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Everything posted by Ed_S

  1. 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!
  2. Possibly not the right thing to have said to the guy I encountered, but no.. I’ve never thought so myself! Was a nice enough bass - the colour scheme was cool but I actually ended up taking the black hardware off it and putting chrome bits on to match the tuners - partly preference and partly to un-roger it. Either way it sounded great, but the neck was a bit too chunky for my liking and I’d just gone the Sandberg SL route so was raising cash to recoup some of that outlay and it ended up leaving along with a MIJ 70s FSR P. I miss that one much more but it was too damn heavy and, come to think of it, had the other thing that I would walk past any instrument for having these days no matter how much I liked it; body-end truss rod adjustment that needs the neck taking off to access!
  3. Ha! That Jackson's great.. I want one Though I've just googled it and seen one with a trem... that's taking it too far!
  4. I had somebody quiz me on the Roger Waters P that I had for a while... I really know nothing about him other than the obvious, and am fairly indifferent to his band, so it made for a difficult conversation given that you could tell the guy was a superfan and thought I was as well. Probably thought I was a bit of a prat for saying "sorry.. dunno mate.. it's just a black p-bass to me" or brief words to that effect as I bundled my gear off stage to let the next band go on. By extension that's probably his lasting memory of my band, so given that in the original metal scene you really can't lose 50% of your average mid-week crowd, I'd have preferred not to have been in that position. The SR is similar to many others, yeah - I guess they're all much of a muchness! That one just really appealed to me when I was browsing round the local shop and they had one in... the finish was much better than the weathered black 305 and it just felt good.. but the inlay killed it dead. I really.. REALLY.. like the look of the red Adam Nitti 5 string too, and that pretty much has nothing to say it's a signature apart from the price, but again, I don't know anything about the guy and I've never knowingly heard him play a single note. Might remedy that this afternoon and see what he's about. Not sure about a white fretboard one - that wouldn't have appealed to me very much had I seen it, so maybe scrolled on fairly quickly!
  5. Just because of the way a lot of people seem to be wired up to think these days, I keep clear of signature models. I rarely know anything at all about the artist behind a signature bass I like the look of, so that'd probably just result in awkward conversations with people at gigs who do. But if your chosen celebrity misbehaves in some way or is shown to have done so in the past, depending on the severity you could be left with more than a few songs to cut out of the covers set; you could have a few grand tied up in an instrument you're uncomfortable to play and can't sell. On-topic, this is one I'd really like if it weren't for the inlay and headstock scribble: As for relic jobs, the more genuinely it looks like a bass has had a hard life, the more genuinely I want to treat it to a refinish.
  6. All the Ibanez 'Dynamix' pickups I've handled look like that - matt textured cover and circles in the pole pieces. If it's one of those then I certainly wouldn't call it an upgrade. They're not bad, but I've only ever taken them out - never installed them! Edit: Here's one I removed earlier...
  7. I've played 5s in standard, 5s tuned down one and two half steps, a 4 tuned to C,F,Bb,Eb with the chunky strings out of a 5 set on it and the nut slots widened (it's currently just as happy in C#,F#,B,E and it's only a Squier VM P with a SD quarter pounder, so nothing special in spec, scale length or construction terms), and even an extra long scale Shuker custom which was built from the ground up to be tuned B,E,A,D and is made of super-dense wood which weighs a tonne. I've also played a lot of gigs on a 4 in standard tuning using a Digitech Drop pedal for certain songs. The Shuker got converted back to just being a very heavy extra-long-scale in standard tuning with normal strings because it wasn't getting used. The Squier rarely gets used either unless I'm recording with it, but ironically always sounded better than the Shuker ever did. The 5s are just like some mystical beacon saying I want inappropriate FoH sound from engineers in small venues, so I'll stick to 4s unless I get to do my own sound. The Drop pedal is my favoured solution since nobody notices / cares that it doesn't sound perfect, but similarly they don't notice any interruption to the flow of the performance since there's no need to change instruments. I wouldn't favour the Drop pedal if I needed it on all the time - I'd use a 4 tuned as low as necessary and modified accordingly - but for a couple of songs in a set it's great.
  8. It's entirely possible! When I got it, I assumed that EMG must have dropped the -HZ branding from the pickup covers to try and stop people from seeing them as a compromise instead of a choice. Looking at it the other day I just assumed that the dealer had sent me one of these instead of the basic model since that product picture might as well be my bass 🙂 Either way, they're both great and they have a sound very much of their own. I would rather like one of the satin blue MMs with the maple board, but I've resisted thus far...
  9. This thread has reminded me to get my Rebops out (sounds rude..) and give them a play! Sadly, they're a classic tale of instruments bought for a project that looked really promising but ultimately went nowhere. They were both bought in early-to-mid 2017 as being "Rebop 5 Dlx" models, but the more I look into it I can't find the Aguilar DCB G4 pickups on the cherry red one ever coming as standard, but it was second hand so maybe it shipped with EMG HZs and had them swapped out by the previous owner? Also the pickups on the black stain one which was ordered new are proper active EMGs instead of HZs so does that make it a '40CS' model that I didn't actually order? Don't get me wrong, I don't really care at this point - they're great fun to play when I remember to dig them out and I have no specific plans to move them on - it'd just be interesting to know what I actually ended up with!
  10. Aesthetically I find basses a bit like motorbikes in the sense that some bikes look great just on the stand and others need the rider sat on them for the shape to properly come to life. I really enjoy a good P bass, but I find it much less boring to look at one in a picture where somebody's playing it than I do when I'm looking at a picture of one sat waiting to be played. It could even be the epitome of 'not for me' like a fretless in sunburst with a tort guard and gold hardware, and I'd still be more interested if somebody was playing it.
  11. The ABM1000 is one of my favourite amps anyway, but I particularly enjoy running it through my generation two Super Twelve. I can’t imagine the current BF cabs being any less capable! I had an ABM500-III and an ABM600-IV, and whilst they’re both long gone they left me with the impression that the 500 would benefit greatly from a cab that was easy for it to drive, and the 600 could drive most cabs well but wouldn’t overly tax anything half-decent. The 1000 really needs something that it can give a good kicking without upsetting it, and whilst I’ve seen criticism of BF cabs in terms of handles, feet, tolex glue, general aesthetics etc. I’ve not seen many say they have poor power handling!
  12. Yeah, that's the one. As it's been a year and a half since I made the comment above, I'll add that the RM800 eventually departed as well, but I still have the ABM1000.
  13. I reckon that'd look great in dark metallic purple. Pearl guard, chrome hardware... and purple.
  14. That is rather nice! I actually wanted one of those myself, but when I called my local shop and they contacted the UK distributor it transpired that it's a model only available in North America despite being advertised globally. I ended up getting a really great deal on a 506e instead and whilst the brown finish doesn't thrill me and may damage easily, as a bass it's still got a lot going for it; a great feeling neck, good fretwork, the first Bartolini electronics I've ever actually liked the sound of ...and it cost less than half of what I was prepared to pay for the 876. Mine weighs 3.88kg (which google tells me is 8.5 pounds) so yeah, about a pound lighter.
  15. We’re an originals-only melodic metal band, so the kind of venue we play usually has rather blurred lines between roles for promoters, sound guys, bar staff ..and punters 🙂 Completely agree with you - I’d much prefer to finish a gig on my cheap little Ibanez that I set up than end up borrowing even an impressive multi-thousand-pound thing from somebody else that just feels wrong. Plus not everybody has the same hygiene standards when it comes to instruments!! And yeah, absolutely - if your main plan, let alone your backup, sounds anything like “it’ll be alright - somebody there will have one we can borrow”, then you’re probably not taking it seriously enough for my liking.
  16. I never used to take a spare bass to any but the biggest gigs - just a set of pre-cut-and-stretched strings and the usual cables, batteries and fuses. I've had various cables, a DI box and an amp head go bad on me during a gig, though, and I got to thinking that all those pieces of kit were well looked after, appeared to be fine when I checked them over before setting off and worked fine last time I used them... but they still failed. These days I always take a backup bass and spares for anything I can't make do without, but that's essentially just the bass, strap, tuner, cable and DI box, so the whole kit fits in the front of the backup bass gig bag and sits at the side of the stage hoping never to be opened. I should probably check the backup kit a little more often than I do, if anything. One interesting thing I've noticed is the response from many venue sound guys when something goes wrong; they rarely seem to stop to ask whether we have spares - they just turn and jet off round the venue, feverishly looking for members of other bands to try and borrow stuff from. Either our band looks especially disorganised in some way, or band members carrying spares is very much the exception rather than the rule in their experience!
  17. No worries - in case it's of any interest to anyone else reading this thread later, it's just a Wilkinson 'WBBC' - still very affordable but so much better than what came on it. Like I said, though, just be careful because I've seen pictures of newer TMB-30s with Ibanez B10 bridges on them and the holes for fitting those are different. If you have an older one like mine with 5 screws down the back of the bridge and none at the front, then just about any 5-hole bridge marketed as a direct drop-in upgrade for the basic fender/squier-style bridge should fit fine, though of course it's always worth checking the manufacturer's specs to be certain. If you have a newer one with 4 offset screws down the back of the bridge (one to the right of each string) and two more at the front, then I think the Ibanez B100 would be a drop-in upgrade but I'm not entirely sure what your 3rd party options are - if any - for using the same holes in the body. Of course you can fill, drill and fit anything you like, but if you were wanting to upgrade just for playing comfort and function rather than aesthetics, I'd be very tempted to leave it as-is because the B10 is already a perfectly comfortable and adjustable bridge, in my own experience at least.
  18. Not a massively useful reply - apologies in advance - but.. I have one stored away under the bed for those midlife crisis moments where I wonder whether I could put up with the weight and inconvenience of valves for the sake of the sound. I just take it out and cart it up the many flights of stairs at our rehearsal studio, enjoy it for a couple of hours, bring it down again (usually nearly setting myself on fire with the latent heat of the tubes...) and invariably put it away for another 6-12 months and carry on using whatever car-stereo-size flavour of the month is shiny! Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great and it’s very versatile, and I’d say that having played through a friend’s AD200 with 4x10 and 1x15 at a decent size gig, I’d expect the VB-2 to be just as loud through the same cabs. The AD might be a bit ‘warmer’ and more bass-heavy sounding by default from memory, but I honestly didn’t do much more than plug in and turn up. The EQ on the VB is comprehensive so could very likely replicate that more classic vibe, though it’s not a tone I use so I’ve never actually asked it to. I’ve only ever played mine through my Markbass 4x10 with quite a mid-present clean tone, and that’s plenty loud enough to get over a metal band; a decent 6x10 should give you one hell of a noise! But it’s a pain in the behind to carry and will try to burn you after it’s been on a while. Just saying.
  19. Could work... I was given the Talman as a gift so decided to throw a little of my own cash and pimp it up a bit with a better bridge (mine’s a 2017 and had a really cheap BBOT with sharp bits stuck out - I’ve noticed the newer ones come with a better bridge from the factory), some decent pickups and a complete rewire with better parts. Never occurred to me to change the guard, though.
  20. I had the original Fly 3 guitar version which was fine for its intended use and surprisingly quite passable for bass on the clean channel at sensible volume. When it fell out of use for guitar I decided I’d swap it for the bass version so I could maybe get some more volume - that turned out to be a mistake as it was just farty and distorted at pretty much all settings and volumes; I was much better off with the guitar version. Maybe the bass one was broken.. who knows - I pulled a mildly disgusted face at it, pulled the batteries out, stuck it in a cupboard somewhere and haven’t seen it since. Smallest amp I’ve got that’s any use to me is a Markbass 801, which is great, but of course several orders of magnitude larger, more powerful and more expensive than the Fly, so not much of a fair comparison.
  21. I put one together to keep at our rehearsal studio - the idea being to have something good enough to play weekly but not so good that if I turned up to find out the storeroom had been cleaned out one night I’d be overly upset. Turned out alright - found a mighty mite rosewood on maple neck that somebody had only used to practice applying dodgy F decals and lacquer (not a horrendous job but not fooling anyone!), a white Fender mex-spare-part P body still in the box, Wilkinson tuners, Quarter Pounder pickup, BadAss II bridge, dark tort guard off a Squier CV, CTS/Switchcraft/Sprague parts to build the loom and all the rest of the bits like neck plate, knobs and string tree just Fender spares. I shopped around so it all owes me just shy of £400 for what amounts to a quite pimped up mex standard. It doesn’t seem to care about being in storage at all sorts of crazy temperatures, I play it every week; it’s comfy and sounds right. Mission accomplished apart from the bit where I wouldn’t be annoyed if it got pinched.. I’d be bloody livid!
  22. Amps with a really nice sounding DI out which you can’t use because the DI level is controlled by the master volume. Onboard preamp knobs with no markings and no centre-detent. Basses that proudly come with a certain brand of string fitted from the factory, but the gauges they’ve used aren’t actually a set you can buy in a packet. Anything that’s clearly been specified to be a number of rack units in height and sometimes even has the threaded holes on the corners but then the rack ears aren’t actually available.
  23. Finding this an interesting discussion given that my own preference is for instruments to be brand new and untouched since leaving the factory. If at all possible I’ll buy from somewhere that has sufficient warehouse capacity to send me one that hasn’t been fiddled with in the shop, and for anything where that doesn’t apply I’ll special order it and ask the shop not to even break the tape - just ‘shift the SKU’. It’s an approach that hasn’t failed me yet. Aside from the dirty pleasure I get from taking a new thing out of its packaging, I much prefer to see something in its original state and, if it’s a bad one, just send it back and get a good one sent; I don’t want to find out too late that it’s a bad one that’s been skilfully dressed up to look like a good one to get it out of the door. That’s just what works for me, of course - it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same. Even if retailers started working on their shop floor stock as suggested here, I can’t see them heading off to the warehouse to crack open all the boxed stock, so I reckon I’ll be ok 🙂
  24. As an original power metal band, the kind of gigs we play mean having to make 30 mins really count. Line-check-only is the norm, so our version of settling in is a song where the drums start, one guitar comes in with the rhythm, second guitar joins in with rhythm, I come in on bass and first guitar switches to lead solo, then the whole thing goes once through the verse riff and the singer comes in at full bore. If the sound guy is any good, it’s basically a mini sound check inside the first 32 bars and then we know where we stand; if it’s sorted by that point then we’re fine for the rest of the set.. if it’s not then experience tells us it’s probably going to be a bit of a battle. At least being power metal the lyrics are apt for such situations!
  25. Absolutely not me! I stay well out of it as I’m happy to play any of our songs in any order. I also have no idea what note most of them finish (..or start) on so I don’t have much to add to discussions about what works nicely together in that sense. The lead guitarist deals with the musical details and then the drummer has a veto if those particular three songs in a row might actually cause his Fitbit to call an ambulance. The biggest problem we have is that most of our songs are about 6 minutes long and most of our sets are half an hour, so we have to pick set lists based on the likelihood of playing everything a bit fast and keeping the banter to an absolute minimum in the time that we’ve saved! We’re actually just in the process of deliberately writing a 3ish minute song to use as padding.
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