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ped

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Everything posted by ped

  1. Guess that’s why they have scratch plates!
  2. Might explain why it’s so light!
  3. I can sort that for you and merge your two accounts together if you like? EDIT - just done it! So all your old posts are now by this account. Cheers 👍🏼
  4. Thanks - well, this one would now be fine for a beginner or even just someone wanting to dip their toes into P territory - but buying one unseen and expecting it to play right out of the box perhaps not. I’d have to see a few to say how well setup they generally arrive (and other reviews seem fairly positive and not as picky as me with action/relief) so hard to say really.
  5. I tried that first but I couldn't get it to feel right. This wedge does actually get slightly thicker towards the back giving a little tilt but I think a single partial shim would have left quite an unsightly gap as it would have necessitated quite an angle!
  6. Full disclosure: This bass was sent to me by Glarry Music. We were in discussion about advertising and I wanted to try the product beforehand. They sent me a bass to try in return for a review on Basschat. The Glarry GP bass retails for an incredible £72.99 with free shipping. Yes that's right - this bass costs about the same as an effects pedal or a couple of packs of strings. It can't be any good, surely? Maybe OK for a beginner? I had to try one for myself to see just how bad a bass in this price range would be. Glarry GP in bright yellow I have had a few Precision style basses over the years, and my first bass was a Squier Affinity Precision Bass (now apparently only available as a PJ) in blue. P basses are often associated with beginners; they're cheap, simple and fit in with all sorts of music. That's why many seasoned players end up going full circle and purchasing a more expensive 'boutique' Precision years later. Someone new to playing bass may not have much money to spend, not knowing whether they'll play for long, and with so many other demands on finances - so one might assume a cheap bass is the way to go. I'm going to argue this can be the case, but with some exceptions. The paintwork is flawless The bass arrived in a triangular cardboard box with a styrofoam insert holding the bass. Included are wrenches for the bridge saddles and truss rod, plus a 1/4" jack lead. Although the lead is cheap and rather thin looking, it's a nice addition. Indeed, Glarry sell a pack including an amplifier for £104.99. This looks like the ideal starter kit, doesn't it? Immediately upon picking up the bass, I could see how well finished it appeared to be. The bright yellow paint was even and flawless to my eye - and the fit and finish of the accoutrements seemed every bit as good as I expected. The body is incredibly light, making the neck feel heavy, however as a whole the bass only weighs 3.05kg with the balance point being around the 15th fret. After tuning up I decided to have a quick play to see how it felt 'out of the box', which is how many beginner players would use the bass. I don't remember ever thinking about action or truss rods when I started playing; it wasn't until much later that I started to tinker and get any bass playing better. As some have pointed out, those hard won early battles against high action and poor setup allow us to later appreciate a finer instrument and may even help develop our playing early on, but with budget basses being so well made these days, it's hard to argue now that someone should put up with something poorly setup. The trouble is how the player would know that their instrument can do better. The attractive headstock As such, out of the box, I found it difficult to play. The action was quite high and there was some back bow to the neck, choking out the first two frets. The strings supplied were steel rounds which felt about 0.045 standard gauge - they felt a little rough and there was some 'chorusing' on the E string which I've had with dud strings before - however, the bass was playable; it had a decent output and I'm sure a younger me could have lived with it like that, no problem. Often at Bass Bashes I play someone else's bass and find the action way too high for my tastes, so I think my own preferences should be ignored from this perspective - I should think someone more used to a higher action would have found it perfectly comfortable. I did wonder if it would be helpful for the bass to come with a brief setup guide, but that could appear daunting and I suppose most people would be able to find out some basic tips online if they were so inclined. My own worry would be that some people might not realise and it could put them off playing. The tuners are where the cost cutting is most evident Let's start with the top of the bass and work our way down. The headstock, bearing the quite stylish looking Glarry logo is unfinished maple, as is the back of the neck. It's generally smooth to the touch but has a very slight roughness, though the back of the neck feels great. The tuners are fairly poor quality - after a little grease they started to work more positively but they are quite rough and stiff to turn, especially when stringing up from scratch. Once you're in the right ballpark they seem to hold the tuning well and adjustments are easy and accurate, but their stiffness really gave me a workout as I strung the bass up and down whilst I adjusted and dismantled the instrument. I should have bought a motorised winder! The fretboard is a dark rosewood. It's quite a thick slab and it looked very dry, with small pieces of fluff stuck in the grain from where it has been presumably wiped down during construction. I gave it a liberal application of Planet Waves Hydrate which really helped the look and feel of the board. The neck itself is quite rounded and fairly deep which took a little getting used to but familiar to many with a 42mm nut. Worth mentioning is the fretwork - it's extremely tidy!! No high frets I can detect, not yet at least - and although the fret ends are cut a little roughly they can be easily addressed. Before - a bit dry! After - looks much nicer! Action post shim showing fret ends The neck joins the body in a conventional bolt on fashion. Here, there's a plastic spacer between the neck plate and the basswood body and a four bolt arrangement. I found the neck pocket to be too deep, so I ended up adding a shim to lift the fretboard up, allowing a lower action. Even by normal standards, with the bridge saddled flat on the floor, the action was quite high and I noticed how close the fretboard was to the surface of the body, almost more like a neck thru design. I'm not sure if this is normal or whether mine was cut a little deep, but I added a shim of about 2mm to bring the action into line. I should note that I also had to file the saddle of the G string down another 2mm in order to get a super low action - again, not something everyone would need to do. Neck with shim added I restrung the bass with Ernie Ball Cobalt Flatwound strings, 0.040 size, which instantly made it feel better and reigned in some of the uneven response from the round wounds. Worth mentioning though that the rounds that came with the bass are for sale at only £6.99. The Cobalt flats alone cost more than half the price of the rest of the bass. Worth mentioning and also noticed at this point was the nut - it was quite rough and had a few sharp edges which I removed with a knife and some sandpaper. Otherwise it seems to be cut just right and functional enough. The nut before tidying up New strings The precision bass pickup is a thing of great mystery - there are so many types, overwound, underwound, alnico or ceramic magnets, vintage or modern, poles or blades, you name it. The pickup use here is actually perfectly acceptable - it has a good even response which is particularly snappy in the treble range and though I think it lacks some low end, the output is decent and it has a truly authoritative sound. The pole pieces sit quite proud of the cover which I don't like the feel of because I keep touching them, but I've seen others which are flush with the cover so I'm not sure which is most common. The height of the pickup was a little bit low, and the lack of foam underneath or springs on the retaining screws means that can't be adjusted easily, and I'm not taking the strings off again to add some springs until I have that motorised winder! Electronically all seemed in order - it’s a simple wiring harness, the soldering looked quite neat and the pots are freely rotating and with a nice amount of resistance. However, after reassembling the bass (I removed the pick guard and removed the debris in the cavity and sandpapered off a few rough edges on the plate itself) I found the tone control no longer worked. After some poking about with a screwdriver I found the cap on the tone pot had one leg touching the wire to the volume knob - the post are quite small and the legs are quite close together. I probably bent it a little bit whilst removing the plate, so I bent it back into position and all was fine again. I'm not sure that would have been a problem otherwise. The Glarry P bass pickup The guts and wiring - would benefit from a little extra shielding And finally, the bridge. A classic 'bent tin' affair, with five bolts at the back but also an extra two at the front corners. The saddles are free to move side to side of course, but once strings are under tension it's stable enough. Adjusting the intonation was fine, but as mentioned I did have to file down the string slot on the G string as those barrel saddles are quite tall - but I've had to do that on all sorts of basses, not just cheap ones. Otherwise it's business as usual at this end. The bridge after adjustment My overall impression? I now have a super playable and excellent sounding bass which is great to look at, comfortable, light and CHEAP! I definitely recommend that you buy one if you're confident with doing setups or just want to have a play around - even for the painted body alone you can't say fairer than the price. Others have pointed out how these basses could be the ideal testbed for modifying, but personally I think it's just great fun playing such a cheap and cheerful instrument. Would I recommend one to a beginner? I think so, with a caveat - honestly I think once set up properly these make superb basses for beginners or otherwise, but they really do need some fettling to make them more playable, which ultimately might mean a beginner sticks with it. The trouble, as mentioned, is getting a beginner to realise that they should put some cash aside for a setup when they buy one - however with a test sample of one bass, I'm not able to judge how well setup there are generally. As mine had a little backbow on the neck I think a beginner would be reluctant to try and adjust that themselves. The sound? well, I know some magazines and reviews give a star rating but I don't think it's possible to judge the sound with stars - all I'll say is that this bass sounds great now, with good strings it has all the snap and clank I like from a Precision. You could say it's a little 'poky' sounding, but it has a really nice character and I really do like the treble response of that pickup. Soon I'll add some sound clips to the post but in the meantime, please ask away if you have any questions! Cheers ped
  7. He was right IMO! I think it’s mainly about tradition - if you play a P bass for many people it’s about going back to basics, and being proud of it. I guess it’s like putting air conditioning in a classic car. Part of the charm is the limitation.
  8. You could ‘charge’ it with a small UV torch, too. A few seconds and they’ll glow for ages! 🔦 ☀️
  9. I suppose, when you know where to look - I think they have a bit of an identity crisis between being an online shop or a bricks and mortar Argos type shop (if you've ever been there you'll know what I mean, you literally order on screen and an elf gets it from the warehouse while - u - wait)
  10. Yep that was me who found out the hard way... In stock’ basically means they know someone on the planet who can supply one for them. No idea what ‘out of stock’ means in this case, just imaginary equipment?
  11. Yeah I guess so - I never move mine about but they have a nice big handle underneath so carrying it isn't too bad. However everything else being equal, I still think I'd prefer an IEM and board setup than a big bass amp behind me at a gig. You can hear/feel yourself so much better (aware that sounds filthy) Given the shape of the boards I don't think it would be too difficult for someone like Eich to make one with a power amp built in. Maybe they will.. they actually have a headphone out on the bottom so you could get by with that and a power chord if you wanted to (several times I've had only my bass in ear and balanced the level with the noise from he rest of the band)
  12. I can’t remember who it was but when I was researching I saw a touring setup of six ‘Large’ bass boards on stage. I think it was Tony Levin or someone like that. Probably quite good if you’ve got decent roadies.
  13. I have a 2x400w 1u power amp I might try with mine, however I think driving it with a dedicated bass amp has the advantage of using a compressor before the board and also being able to EQ the response. I find treble does produce a sound from the board itself but not any extra ‘shake’ that I can feel - however soaking up the bass and low mids with the high and treble off produces a nice even rumble across the whole range plus its audibly quieter which is good for home use. I’m surprised these aren’t more commonplace given the trend towards IEMs. I remember at the LBGS last year people were fascinated by the one on the Eich stand.
  14. A). I’m in this fir the enjoyment, not financial gain.
  15. Doesn’t look like he was very good with a screwdriver
  16. I really enjoyed the review 👍🏼 For the price I think it’s a good amp, it’s nice to have the extras even if they don’t get used - and the preamp voices and drive modes are fun to try. The 6550 definitely has some similarities to my experiences with the real thing, certainly at the bass end of the spectrum. There was an upper mid honk that I wanted to adjust but didn’t have time.
  17. ped

    What Wax?

    Blimey that was quick - it’s here already!! Didn’t know I had Bass Direct Prime! I’ve applied a little wax to the bass and it looks stunning, I think the wood was thirsty! I don’t know it’s history but it’s been in Portugal for a while and might not have had a drink since 1984... Cheers ped
  18. I played a Strandberg guitar at the weekend, it felt really good. The neck shape was really comfortable.
  19. Interesting review, thanks. I also got a U500 recently for use at a studio last weekend. I didn’t really need it in the end but had a chance to give it a try. I agree with the comments about the controls, though I tend to have everything flat and found the best sound by using ‘Flat’ and ‘Linear’ options. I didn’t touch the effects or drive options. I think it sounded really nice like that - very loud and full sounding with a really throaty bass sound, not at all ‘boxy’ It’s not a bad one handed lift but probably a bit heavy to move very far, I found it easier to carry like a box instead 📦 The main reason I got one was for the price, the power, and because I really wanted a big combo with a built in compressor. I was delighted to find the compressor in this amp works really well, in a superb ‘limiting’ style, not at all squashy and breathy like some I could mention. I’m sure I’ll get round to trying some other voicings and some of the effects in due course but with everything flat it’s a great piece of kit, I think.
  20. ped

    What Wax?

    Thanks for the replies. See what I mean about everyone saying something different! Last time I looked, Bass Direct only had the Pro Polish, so I’ve just bought the stuff from there... Cheers
  21. Hi folks I'm looking for the right cleaner/conditioner for this bass. The bass is oil finished, satin to the touch. Here's a close up of the body so you can see what I mean: Ken Smith makes a wax polish for these but it's hard to get in the UK and ordering from the USA seems a bit silly when postage costs more than the product. Can anyone recommend a good product I can use on it to keep it looking good? I assume a wax of some sort but don't know where to start - people say it should have this in, that you shouldn't use it on that, and there seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to it. I'll be looking to use the same product on the back of the bass, including the neck (though not the fingerboard, which is ebony) Cheers ped
  22. The chap has taste!!
  23. Here’s the Lag bass I was thinking of. Looks the same shape, just this one has binding. http://forum.laboitenoiredumusicien.com/viewtopic.php?t=2913
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