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About Kiwi

  • Birthday 14/09/1971

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  1. The only inconvenient matter being that Diana met James Hewitt in 1986. Harry was born in 1984.
  2. I've been having no issues so far. I wonder if it's a connection issue?
  3. I've replaced the electronics in both basses. The Pedulla has Alembic Activators and a low pass filter but I'll change that filter at some point. The Spector has a custom set of Wizard soap bars and a Noll 3 band semi parametric eq. The differences are definitely down to the neck. zI can feel them.
  4. It's the same thing where graphite composite is concerned. Rob actually revealed he had a small batch of bowed necks in the 90's because the phenolic resin for the fingerboards wasn't mixed quite right. He thought my modulus (and I'm guessing all the MM Cutlass basses I've owned) had the same issue.
  5. I like mahogany in guitars a lot. I'm planning a couple of builds with mahogany necks (laminated) and bodies. Basses are nice too, one of my self builds has a mahogany body and it's got a lovely mellowness and warmth to it despite a graphite composite bolt on neck. My spector 5 is all maple and, judging by the neck, soft maple too. But there is a nice purr to the timbre. My all maple Pedulla has less of a purr and is a bit sterile sounding but that neck is dead straight and rigid. So the action is very low.
  6. I agree, and there's quite a bit of variability within a tree as well which can mean specifying by species alone won't guarantee predictable results. Swamp ash for example can yield very light wood at the top of the tree and much denser wood at the bottom. And I've already mentioned maple which is probably affected by the same considerations. But then there are some harder species like wenge, ebony and rosewood which vary less according to where in the tree they came from. So both sides of the argument are right. Wood is highly variable but that doesn't take away from the fact that luthiers who are highly experienced in using only a handful of species from known sources should be able to get more consistent results. Sheldon Dingwall makes some very consistent instruments and he once told me that the slabs get weighed to see how close they are to a target weight. I believe EB does the same as well.
  7. Have you ever made your own bass? Not from premade parts but actually made it from blocks of timber and then experimented with different parts? It depends on what someone is looking for as well. You might be looking for something different to what I'm looking for. You might also be sensitive to different aspects compared to me. But I've definitely found The One on occasion. I'm guilty as charged only because I'm interested in finding out whether one-ness (in terms of what works for me) is either a matter of luck or whether there's some way to get it happening consistently. So far it seems there are different ways to get it. It's like a recipe. But like any recipe, the most distinctive flavour combinations rely on maybe three or four ingredients, carefully balanced.
  8. Yes it does and if you compare different basses with a 7 piece laminated neck, they'll generally tend converge in terms of how they sound irrespective of the woods used. This is because the construction method has more of an impact on timbre as the pieces of wood laminate get thinner.
  9. Yes, he's describing dampening. Some woods can be highly selective in the frequencies they dampen. Paul also describes in a later presentation that his guitars were all about the neck. I agree with Paul on both points.
  10. Yeah players prioritise playability and tone in different ways too. I have a Status bass that is extremely easy to play but I wish it was more traditional sounding. But I can tame some of the liveliness with a dual band comp and maybe some different electronics would get it closer to what I'm looking for. By comparison, I've owned a few fantastic sounding Musician Cutlass basses with horrific neck bows and eventually sold them on. My Spector is a slightly less extreme version of the Cutlass basses. I'm hoping a stiffer fingerboard and reinforcement might help with lower action. But it carries a risk of making the bass less growly by lifting the resonance frequency.
  11. I've owned Modulus basses with both extremes. One had a rigid neck, low action and very brittle sound. The other sounded great, very warm but the neck was bowed because the phenolic resin used on the fingerboard wasn't mixed properly and rigid enough. Both had lightweight alder bodies and identical hardware and EMG electronics.
  12. Emphatically yes, necks that are too rigid tend to produce brittle sounding basses given everything else is equal, but this is relative to other components. It's a bit like a recipe. If you put too much flour in a bread recipe you can compensate to a degree by adding other ingredients like water and salt. So it's still possible to design an instrument that hits the sweet spot but only if other materials are selected to compensate eg. a softer or lighter body to soak up harsh frequencies.
  13. There are some types of maple which have a better chance of being in the sweet spot than others, flame and birdseye for example. Some plain kinds too, such as the stuff Ken Smith uses. There are some types that can be too rigid like in the Skarbee Celinder I used to own and need to be laminated with something darker sounding like wenge to get back in the zone. Wenge and flamed maple in Sei basses is very nice. There's also a trade off in playability to be had, rigid necks are easier to set up with low action. I could never get the same action on my old Smith basses as I could on the Alembic or Status basses.
  14. Playability counts a lot more as I get older. I'm going to start investigating filters, the body woods seem to be based on mass (lighter the better, up until a point). Neck woods on a sweet spot of rigidity (which isn't easy to measure), along with dampening for both.
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