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About Ed_S

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    Broad Yorkshire bassist

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    South Yorkshire

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  1. I’d say maybe try a Spector (or by extension perhaps a Warwick) as I find the physical feel of them is still sufficiently conventional but quite noticeably different to a Fender, and they generally come with active humbuckers and/or preamps as suggested above. I do like an Ibanez SR, but for my money the Spector has a bit more ‘personality’, for want of a better word.
  2. My first 6 was years ago - an Ibanez BTB406QM in trans blue. I had the matching 5 string in trans black and that was my main bass for aaages but for some reason the 6 was one of those uninspiring instruments and looking back I was just too inexperienced to do anything about it like replacing pickups etc. Also I was using it to play fairly straight up metal with a pick so it was needlessly heavy and wide as I had no use for the extra string, and when I contrived a use for it.. it sounded thin and pretty naff. Anyway, both BTBs moved on eventually and that was it for 6s until the end of last year when I was instructed to select something for my birthday and given a £500 budget. I spotted an Ibanez SR506e on offer at Dawsons so headed over to Manchester and ended up getting it for £450 - with train tickets and lunch at ‘spoons I came in pretty much on budget. This time I’m using it to play generally lighter acoustic/pop-rock with fingers and really enjoying it. The only issue I‘ve had was that the frets sprouted pretty much as soon as I got it home, so I fixed it ...then they did it again a couple of weeks later, so I fixed it again. It’s been alright since but the board just seems to be incredibly dry - it absolutely drinks bore oil and then just goes back to looking dry! 🙄 I’d still recommend it as a nice 6 to get started on - especially the most recent version after they changed the pickups to a slightly different model of Barts. I normally hate Barts but these are really good.
  3. Mine’s 3.64kg - it’s a 2017 but maybe gives an idea of what to expect from a current one.
  4. You and me both! If the 4s were 35” scale like the 5s it would probably have tipped the (bank) balance.
  5. I reckon if I were in the same situation I’d buy the cheapest reasonable neck going, see if I could scrounge a pickup and some wiring components from the many overflowing bits boxes that must be out there, have some fun making the bitsa so I’d done it and scratched the itch for as little extra outlay as possible, and then sell it as a whole instrument for as much as possible! Then sell one of the Japanese P’s and keep the other.
  6. I put one together a few years ago.. White MIM Fender P body from the bay - official spare part that somebody had bought and never got round to using. Mighty Mite licenced P neck with rosewood board also from the bay - seemed to be one that somebody had bought purely to practice applying dodgy decals as it had never been fitted. Tort guard left over from my departed Squier CV 60s P because it was cheaper to use one I had than buy one I liked. Badass II bridge and Schaller straplock buttons from the hardware bits box. Wilkinson tuners, Fender official string tree, neck plate, dome knobs and all screws from various Amazon sellers. A SD quarter pounder, CTS pots, Switchcraft jack, Sprague cap and wire from the electronics bits box. Couple of hours to knock it all together, a set of strings and a setup, and that was it - essentially a MIM P for about £350 when a proper one would have cost closer to £550. Granted, I was using up some bits I already had so that reduced the cost and perhaps made it more worth the effort. I was also incredibly lucky that the neck was true and the fretwork pretty much perfect. Since it was built it’s lived at our rehearsal studios and it’s been great - it plays and sounds as it should, it’s been through some hideous changes of temperature in the gear store there and it rarely comes out of the case even needing tuning. It’s taken some dings and, in fact, since I’ve not seen it for 6 months due to current events I guess could even have been nicked by now.. and I’m not overly worried since it’s a cheap bitsa, which was entirely the point. I say do it if you want to - but probably don’t do it to try and save any money, and certainly do it knowing full well that you could end up with a total waste of time and money!!
  7. Ed_S

    5 string trouble

    I can only speak for myself and from my own experience, but over the years I've owned 5s from all the brands you listed except Dingwall (also Yamaha, Fender, ESP and probably others I can't remember) and whilst all of them felt subtly different in a number of ways when comparing them to each other, all of them felt fundamentally different in exactly the same way when comparing them to any 4 I'd ever owned. Was it the same feeling of 'wrong' for all of the brands you listed or something different about each one?
  8. The Tech21 Q-Strip is a handy tool - might be worth a look given what you’re trying to achieve. Para Driver is also a good shout. I’ve never actually owned the pedal but I use the rack version of it - the RPM - pretty much every day when I’m sat playing along to Spotify and it sounds great. Not as good at overdriven sounds as the BDDI/RBI or VTDI/VTRM, mind.
  9. Ed_S

    NPD. Boss BC-1X

    I put a board together with both the comp and the driver on it and I really liked both of them. The BC-1X is better than my usual EBS MultiComp for cleanliness - very impressive bit of kit and always nice to have some metering. No idea about battery life, though - always had it on a PSU. The driver works best for me as an always-on, with a dedicated overdrive in front of it to offer a bit more push when needed. In fact I’ve found a picture of how they were put together on my phone... We were putting a covers side project together with some but not all members of the main originals band so I didn’t want to use my usual bass and board but also didn’t want to think too hard about different pedals from different companies and making them all fit together, so I took the quick/easy route with all Boss gear and it worked out great. One of the songs we played was Undertow by Mr.Big and the stacked overdrive was just right for that.
  10. The first song I learned was Def Leppard - Animal. No real reason behind it; I was just listening to them a lot at the time and that track seemed to be as good a place to start as any. Importantly, though, the first thing that I actually played along to was a TV theme tune because it happened to be playing as I'd just finished tuning my first bass after getting it home and out of the box for the first time. But then immediately afterwards I printed the tab for Animal and learned it. I quickly realised that I'd had much more fun instinctively playing along to 30 seconds of a recognisable theme tune belonging to a show I didn't even watch - something sportsy like match of the day or grandstand I think it was - than actually learning a song 'properly'. Almost everything from that point forward has been played by ear as a result of just knowing the song from repeated listening. In fact, every song I've ever actually sat and learned since has been done that way because I don't like it, so I won't ever listen to it enough to know it organically, so I have to do it by the numbers.
  11. If I was in a band that normally commanded a fee, my answer would be “yes, if it’s still mutually beneficial to do so”. If it keeps a decent but genuinely struggling venue going and in the process it shows you in a good light, gives you something to post about on social media that’s not yet another ‘one in each corner’ video in your respective back bedrooms.. and maybe even keeps your band going given the number of musos openly questioning whether they even miss gigging.. then it could be worth it to get out there and do something rather than nothing, irrespective of monetary recompense. If it’s all very one-sided and just money down the drain for a naff outing from the band’s perspective, then.. don’t do it. As it is, I’m not in that kind of band so my answer would be “yes, if it’s looking acceptably safe to do so”.
  12. Go on then, I’ll play. Only in the spirit of fun, though; I drew a line under this years ago, so no pointing any fingers, please 🙂 The neck pocket isn’t flat to the back of the neck and it’s also slightly too wide leaving a ridge, there are strange little oblong marks around the edges of the block inlays, the pickguard curves aren’t smooth and the chamfer angle and finish is.. variable, the battery cover corners are a different radius to the route and quite crudely finished, there are areas of orange-peel where the poly didn’t get buffed fully to gloss, and a bird’s eye has fallen out of the back of the neck to leave a hole. High-end custom builds, eh! 🙄
  13. That’s a great looking bass and sounds like a bit of a bargain, too - well acquired! In defence of the GIOs, I have a GSR200b which doesn’t suck. It’s not pretty like the one we’re here to admire but it stays in tune, the fretwork is great, it’s the lightest bass I own and it has a conventional width nut. I genuinely like SRs but the neck on the 4s is just a bit too narrow for me so I actually prefer the GIO in that respect.
  14. Get it refinished in pristine poly, re-fretted with stainless steel and Plek’d, chuck a bridge on it that doesn’t rag your hands to pieces and re-wire it with a hot pickup. Then gig it.
  15. More strings don't necessarily make better music, but I think they do sometimes raise or change expectations. I have heard non-muso friends as well as bandmates say that they were disappointed not to get exhibition playing out of guys who tote basses with more than 4 strings and only use them to 'serve the song' with a less involved line than they felt the aesthetic promised. It's something I bear in mind whilst not letting it bother me too much!
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