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Posts posted by Ed_S

  1. 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.

    • Like 1

  2. 4 minutes ago, Kev said:

    That's interesting, as I don't think the kind of sound guys on our circuit would even remotely get involved with that, hard enough to get them to deal with issues with their own equipment!  Bands asking to borrow gear on the night is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  Before now I've had a headlining band ask to borrow my backline an hour before their set, which is just ridiculous.  Absolutely no issue asking in advance within reason but turning up on the night unprepared is just unprofessional, and that goes for reasonable backups too.  Once a guys bloody strap of all things snapped mid set and ran backstage and gave him mine, as I would have thought spare straps would be a step too far for most!

    Again, it comes down to how serious you take it.  I would hate the idea of finishing a gig with anything by my own instrument, as I am particular about my setups, but yeah, each to their own i guess!

    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.

    • Like 2

  3. 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!

  4. 12 hours ago, TbirdnTalman said:

    Thanks guys you have reinforced my thoughts 🙂  Ed I might pester you at some stage to let me know what bridge you have put on!

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!


  9. 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.

    • Like 2

  10. 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 🙂 

  11. 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!

    • Like 1

  12. 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.

  13. 13 hours ago, DJpullchord said:

    I really don’t mind. People are busy. If someone needs to contact me, they will find a way.

    Sometimes if I have too many emails or voicemails to deal with, I’ll delete the lot, on the premise that if any where important, someone will get back to me.

    An old line manager of mine did something similar - if email was Cc’d to him or he was one of multiple recipients in the To: field he’d got rules in place to just delete it. In his opinion, the only thing worth his time to read was a message you felt was important enough to send directly to him and only him. It certainly didn’t seem to hurt his career progression and he never seemed to disappear under a sea of email like the rest of us!

    Personally I feel free to put in reasonable default clauses like ‘if you haven’t arrived by 8pm I’ll assume you’re not coming and I’ll go out’, or ‘if you haven’t replied by Tuesday I’ll assume you’re no longer interested in buying and I’ll offer the item to the next guy’ etc. I suppose some might say that I’m being rude or confrontational in doing that, and ok.. maybe I’ll ultimately lose out every now and then, but I’d argue that I'm just protecting my time and sanity. Plus, if you were struggling to think of a nice way of letting me down... no need!

  14. On 07/10/2019 at 09:20, mcnach said:


    What builder was that? Good results we hear from every company, but it's important to know how companies behave when there's problems, that's the true measure of their customer service, I guess.

    I deliberately left that bit out as there’s no ‘name and shame’ aspect to the story and no ill feeling; he’s an honest and genuine bloke and the customer service I received was always cheerful and willing... and credit to him, he did keep going until the bass was comfortably playable. Whilst the end results didn’t match the price tag in my personal opinion (and experience of other production instruments up to the same value), for many happy owners they obviously do, so I’ll just stick to buying what I can inspect before handing over my cash from now on - a costly lesson, but I guess some are!

    • Like 2

  15. 15 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

    Yeah, I'm not so worried about the resale value  - if I get to a point where I want to sell it it's already a massive failure.  I just hope that I enjoy playing it and find it comfortable. My Sanberg PJ is such a joy to play I hope my custom build can equal it.

    Fingers crossed!

    My custom build had to go back three or four times to get issues ironed out, and for all that other owners of the brand say theirs are flawless and perfect, even now mine still isn’t; it’s just at a point where it plays fine, the remaining issues are purely cosmetic and I really can’t be bothered with any more back-and-forth! I’d never have another custom build. I would, however, have another Sandberg in a heartbeat!

  16. Bought what I came to realise later was a very nice example of a Sterling Ray35 for a very good price, played it for a bit and got to thinking “this is great - if this is the moderate budget model then I bet a real Stingray 5 would be just amazing!” ...ended up trading it in for one and started working to convince myself it was indeed better. Ended up having to admit to myself that it was much worse and needed to be moved on. Ultimately I lost a grand and learned a lesson.

    • Sad 3

  17. The most dispiriting thing I found about playing a 5 in the context of a metal band was the tendency for the guy on the desk to make a mess of my, and hence our, FoH sound. Too many of them seemed to either see a 5 and think "ooooh yeah, super low notes ahoy; let's hit it with an extreme smiley-face EQ" so all you got out front was low rumble and percussive clicking, or they'd get really flustered by the fact that, especially without compression at work, the B string can flicker an occasional 'clip' light... and suddenly they'd all-but-remove you from the FoH mix for the rest of the set. It got so bad, so frequently, that I eventually just went back to using 4s live for heavier music as it was almost a guarantee of better sound; suddenly the mids were back in the mix and you could hear actual notes. I tried to explain/request/bribe etc. but the sad fact is that once you're on stage, unless you've employed the sound guy (or you *are* the sound guy) you get what you get.

    In terms of the instruments themselves and especially the floppy string thing, I've had 5s that arrived badly set up, and some of those needed more work to get them properly set up than I was capable of myself and/or wanted to pay to have done. However, I've never had a 34" or longer scale 5 string bass which, when set up correctly with a set of EXL220-5s, wasn't perfectly acceptable to play with both fingers and pick - and I wouldn't say I had a particularly light touch with either. One such bass that was perfectly playable was a 2011 MIM Standard Jazz V - a very nice bass, but one that sadly ended up on the altar of GAS!

  18. 1 hour ago, mcnach said:


    Classy colour combination!

    I love the look of that double-P one. The bridge pickup looks pretty close to the position in a Stingray. Nice pair of basses!

    I went for metallic orange and specified as little 'aged' as possible. I actually went to pick it up a few hours ago... and it just looks like a high gloss new instrument, with a couple of very very very minor marks. 

    It's pretty light (8.1 lbs), feels and balances great. Not a huge fan of the strings it came with but then I don't like new stainless steel strings ever... I'll wait a bit and see. I'll probably end up with DR Fat Beams, or maybe nickel Sunbeams as they're a bit mellower. 

    The colour is very vibrant, much nicer than I thought from the pictures online. Here's a couple of pictures taken outside just now, taking advantage of the sun, as the pictures look just like 'in the flesh'. I haven't yet adjusted anything, I think it needs a *touch* on the truss rod as the relief is a bit higher than I'd prefer... which is not unusual as it was set up in Germany and the temperature/humidity here will be different, but even as it is it plays nicely and feels very "solid" despite its light weight. A quick test made me smile... good start ;) Not sure I love that preamp, there's few 2-band preamps I love... we'll see. I've got a John East U-Retro in my drawer that could go in there if the original frustrates me... but first strings. Never judge the electronics in a bass until you've got the right strings on.



    Very nice indeed - good choice!

    Completely agree about the factory fitted strings - I really do like new round steels (though I actually tend not to use them due to the fret damage they cause) but the stock Sandberg ones with the grey silks are not to my liking at all. I’ve encountered them three times recently in the process of getting my pair of SLs and the first thing I’ve wanted to do each time is just get them gone.

  19. 4 minutes ago, mcnach said:


    That's very close to the colour I wanted originally... but I didn't fancy it enough to pay the £525 extra they asked for...

    That orange was apparently a Porsche nitrocellulose car body lacquer. It was a great colour but sadly it started to crack (and not in the usual aged-nitro kind of way) so it ended up being refinished with olympic-ish white poly.


    Can’t go too far wrong with oly white.

    Reckon you did right not to pay that much just for a custom colour. What did you end up going for?

  20. 9 minutes ago, TimR said:

    I listened to it live on Radio 2. Thought it sounded awesome. Crowd were loving it. 

    I cant image watching them to be particularly riveting. I’m sure they used to add loads of dancers in hot pants to their gigs to liven it up. 

    Reminding me of watching their Discovery tour filmed in Rio back in ‘95 🙂

    I saw them myself in Newcastle at the Metro a good few years ago.. 2010ish maybe.. and it was a great gig! The dancers were less baby-oiled and more boxes-on-heads, but still there in force.

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