Punchtown Bass


The Punch with even more punchy extras. Developed in cooperation with, and endorsed by legendary Motown bassman and James Jamerson alternate Tony Newton. 


  • Adjustable bassmute beats muting sponge. No need to squeeze that old sponge under the strings. Switch your bass between fully-muted, half-muted, three-quarter muted and unmuted at the blink of an eye with a convenient 4-way lever.
  • Special reverse pickup position: The E/A coil remains in traditional position, is not moved towards the bridge, while the D/G coil is moved towards the neck. Result: E/A as punchy es ever, D/G punchier than usual, the output is more balanced across the fretboard. Also clears space for your plucking fingers. 
  • Wider range tone pot for a fatter low end
  • Strings: LaBella® 760FS 45-105 Deep Talkin’ flatwound strings
  • Padded gig bag


  • BITE 1000mV split coil pickup: 1000 millivolt passive record output that bites through your mix.
  • Reinforced headstock heel for extra output and sustain



  • Cherry Burst body finish for a bright, contemporary look
  • BITE 4-in-line headstock: the subtle bite mark makes all the difference
  • Pickguard: Dark Tortoise


  • Body: Alder (alnus)
  • Neck: Vintage tinted hard maple (acer saccharum) with satin speed finish
  • Fretboard: Roasted Austrian black locust fretboard: hard and pretty like the tropical rosewood BITE prefers to leave in the rainforest; pearl dot inlays
  • Nut: Natural bone


  • Control Knobs: Diamond domes chrome
  • Tuners: Cloverleaf in chrome, compact lightweight, encapsulated 1:17 precision gear
  • Bridge: GOTOH® brass in chrome, 19mm string spacing


  • Scale: 34″ long scale
  • Nut width: 41,9 mm (1.65″)
  • Neck profle: C
  • Weight: ca. 3,7 kg (8.2 lbs)
  • Fretboard Radius: 9.5″
  • Frets: Our standard fretwire is 18% nickel silver in medium jumbo dimensions: crown width 0.090″ (2,28 mm) x crown height 0.055″ (1,40 mm). 


Rebuild specifications may be different.
Rebuild soon available in stock at a BITE dealer via this button:

Out of stock

Delivery time: Is this bass in stock at any dealer? Get in touch via the feedback form below.

Reverse split coil

4-way bass mute


About Tony Newton

The Punchtown Bass was developed in cooperation with, and is endorsed by, Motown legend Tony Newton.


In 1965, at the age of 17, Tony was discovered by Tamla/Motown executive Hank Cosby. It was the heyday of soul music and the Motown label in Detroit was its global epicenter. At Motown, bass superstar James Jamerson taught Tony all about his own bass playing so Tony could reproduce Jamerson’s distinctive bass lines on tour and in the studio as a member of the legendary ‘Funk Brothers‘ group of session musicians. 

Oral history: Bass Musician Magazine editor Raul Amador grills Tony Newton on Motown, Jamerson and his BITE Punchtown bass


Tony Newton in 2013 at the presentation of the Funk Brothers’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


Oh, the incomparable artists Tony had the privilege of sharing stage and studio with: Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, …

Line-up of Motown’s 1965 tour of Britain, from left to right: The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, The Supremes with Diana Ross, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas; Funk Brothers in rear from left to right: Robert White (guitar), Earl Van Dyke (keys), Jack Ashford (percussion), Tony Newton (top right corner)


Tony has played on over 130 hit recordings: Stop in the Name of Love, Baby Love, Nowhere to Run, Reach Out, Where Did Our Love Go to name just a few. On some of them, his bass lines are intertwined with Jamerson’s (two basses in one song, who would have thought!).

Motown Bass Day 2023 in Detroit, from left to right: fellow Motown bassmen Al Turner and Nathan Watts (since the 1980s Stevie Wonder’s bassist and long-time musical director) with Tony Newton


Outside of Motown, Tony played also for producers Holland-Dozier-Holland‘s Invictus/Hot Wax label (Freda Payne, Honey Cone, Chairmen of the Board, 100 Proof, 8th Day) and for Stax Records (e.g. on Whatcha See by The Dramatics), for The Mamas & the Papas, Little Richard and others.

You can hear some of Tony’s recordings on his YouTube channel. Tony continues his musical journey with funk-rock-fusion in his formation TNT Xtreme. His biography Gold Thunder – Tony Newton: Legendary Adventures of a Motown Bassman is available on Amazon


Jamerson and me

Close Menu