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basexperience

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  1. I found and connected to Paul Stephens himself on Facebook - he loves the shell Zilla cabs made, and told me the grille on the front of the V series was inspired by Jaguar(!) - all cool trivia.
  2. Wow, you can decode the serial numbers? My head has (I think - the writing is tricky) T0145-5-301 - pic is attached. IMG_5138.HEIC
  3. Another wicked TE review - nice work.
  4. Can we get in touch with the fella from TE, the designer? I noticed the circuit boards actually have names on!! And a Union Jack. incidentally, while researching yesterday I discovered that there’s a place in the USA which sells parts, including the blank PCBs for the preamp board and the power board for the V8, so theoretically you could actually build a new V8(!!) - I’ve got all the schematics of the amp, which was useful as I was able to supply them to the valve amp specialist I took mine to for checking over. He was astonished it had survived all that abuse: they’re wonderfully engineered. Even the chassis on mine needed attention - the bottom edge had rusted from all the sweat, beer, vodka and red bull (drummer was an animal) etc. I had to carefully take back to bare metal and used black smooth hammerite in place of the enamel. Looks good: she wears her scars with pride.
  5. @VTypeV4 - I'm late to this thread, but that's an epic review. Just epic. I'm lucky enough to own a V4 chrome-knob head, but the tale of the amp is a long, and hard one, with a happy ending. She was bought in Andorra (in Pas de la Casa) by Breeze (from Oxford), who were playing the ski season in Soldeu that year. They had no idea what they were buying was quite so special: they just knew it was one hell of an amp. A V4 Mk2 all-valve 1x15 combo! They used this amp for many, many years and when I depped bass for them (we played as Janeiro in the Aspen Bar in Soldeu in 2007) I brought a 2x12 TE cab I had at the time (they helpfully lugged it all the way there in the van). An absolute monster of an amp, they'd never so much as had it serviced in all that time: the covering was already off in places, and during the season I had to repair the speaker cone with superglue and duct tape(!). She ate up night after night with huge tone, barely running and filling out the whole bar (no PA feed required). Fast forward a decade from there, and the guys finally managed to completely break the combo, purchasing a small TE one to replace it as a stage monitor: by this point their PA was much, much better. They then realised how rare the amp was, and the drummer tried dismantling everything, removing the head from the combo, etc (the speaker was long gone), but he didn't get very far, and the pieces were cosigned to a draughty, leaking(!) shed. I did a couple more gigs with them, and they told me about the V4, so I told them I'd love to do the amp up for them. When I costed it out (there were busted tubes, it needed professional help) they got a little less keen, but then stunned me by asking if I just wanted to have the amp, as they said I knew how special it was and I would look after it. I spent a month or so stripping the cabinet, but sadly it was completely shot: the top had come off and no amount of woodwork was going to bring that MDF back in a way which would take those earth-shattering lows. Deciding it might be a good idea to turn it into an amp I could use at gigs without needing a van (the V4 combo was a 2-man lift!!) I decided to turn it into a head, furiously researching how the V4 heads looked. I didn't have a front grille, so I decided to get Zilla Cabs to do something which would approximate that - and they came through strong! I also took the handle arrangements from both the V4 and the V8 heads and now have 3 handles on top - one in the middle, 2 on the edges - which makes for much easier lugging about. Zilla worked totally remotely from schematics I made of the head unit, including valve clearance and position for the heat grille on the top. Electronically - to my astonishment - the amp had actually survived all the abuse, the beer (2 power valve seats actually had dried beer caked around them.... I AM NOT KIDDING), and even the capacitors were still good. This thing is just immortal. And now she's gigging again. The result is a beautiful, amazing amp, with more volume than the Warwick Pro Bass IX 900w head I have (it's ridiculous though a 1x15 and 4x10 at 4 ohms). The studio mode is very welcome, and the compressor, as you point out, is really nice, very musical. I've got an aftermarket footedal which works a treat on the channel switching and compressor on/off. Here's some pics of what Zilla did, and the amp ready for a function gig a couple of years ago. I think the approximation of the front grille is pretty cool, like some kind of boutique amp. Either way, she sounds amazing. Thanks again for an amazing review. I had no idea these were so rare.
  6. Here she is! I’ve got a new set of D’addario Chrome flatwounds so I can restring them fretless side EAD. If I had bigger hands I’d be able to solo at the top of the fretless board, but that was never my plan anyway: the bottom 3 are going to be used for proper bass (and maybe the odd midrange excursion). the tone off those fretless strings really is quite striking! I’ve taken the thumb rest off: I don’t use them, and it just got in the way - hell of a job getting it off!
  7. Well, I've had it for a day, and I can say it's definitely growing on me a lot. The fretless side really does sound a lot like an upright (I have an NXT 5-string electric upright). And you're right - above the 15th fret or so, the fretless side gets pretty hard to play on the lower 2 strings. However - my plan is to restring the lower strings to E - A - D as I want to use it as two basses in one (effectively), I'm less interested in soloing on the fretless side - after experimenting with walking bass a bit inside a 5-fret area on only 3 strings, I think it's definitely going to work. I don't have huge hands, but I seem to be able to play the bottom 3 strings fairly well without any issues - I am wearing the bass higher than I would usually, though, to help with left hand position. All in all, I'm really impressed with it, it's an excellent instrument. And it's had so little use, the original battery is still in there(!!)
  8. I keep my studio humidified with a LeVoit auto-humidifier set at 45% (I work in here as well) - comfortable human range, and it seems to keep the basses stable. I don't have an EUB though. The humidifier has a huge tank, but in winter with the heating on it'll only last a week or so (trust me, the room's not damp, no mould, bad smells etc - this house pushes moisture out like nothing else I've ever lived in!)
  9. Look out for the Behringer UMC22 interfaces on Amazon - they're dirt cheap, the cream is actually really good and they're amazingly solidly built, too. Bus powered, so nothing else hanging about. Stereo in, stereo out.
  10. Thats a great looking bass mate, nice choice 🙂
  11. Just quickly resurrecting this topic as I just got hold on one of these, and by the looks of it it's never been played, let alone gigged - not a scratch on the back, no fretwear, even seems to have the plastic on the rear control covers. Liked the idea when they came out, and spotted it on eBay at a ludicrous price for a bass this "new" - I don't think anyone who's owned it has really known what to do with it. Proper Ibanez 7-string hard case with it too, not a cheap item. Did anyone else get one? If so, I'd like to ask if you restrung the fretless side to a low E - I'm considering this so the fretless side can be used for actual basslines and not just soloing. Dual truss rod makes it look like it shouldn't be a problem tension wise. Fascinating thing, the most amazing woods (I've got the dragoneye burst model, which is just gorgeous).
  12. Great basses. I got one new back in the day, still have it. I swapped the bridge out for an ABM and fitted an OBP-3. These really are excellent instruments, well built. GLWTS!
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