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Everything posted by TrevorR

  1. Don’t worry, a late Motown vocalist’s estate will be along soon enough to claim it sounds vaguely similar to something he whistled in the shower once...
  2. Good advice but I’d also underline, learn the basic groove that underpins the song and play around that. Sometimes a groove is just a groove and you can play around it as much as you like. Sometimes it’s a fundamental part of the song. Good Times wouldn’t sound like Good Times without an approximation of THAT bassline. So long as you play the fundamentals of the song and work out what’s important to the tune. Applies to certain tunes in all genres. Good Times, Owner of a Lonely Heart, The Chain, So What, Lady Marmalade, Another One Bites The Dust, Rio and Superfreak would all sound as bad as each other withthe iconic bassline replaced by either root notes or a rock ‘n’ roll walking bass. Whereas when we did “What’s Going On” or “Mercy mercy me” in my old band I felt much freer to play around the chord changes...
  3. A jam, in my experience, is between the scone and the clotted cream, not on top of it. YMMV moi luvver!
  4. Here’s a photo of my “The one that got away”... Spandau Ballet at Live Aid, 1985 I popped into Denmark Street back in 2000 or so on the hunt for a 1970s Pro Series Wal to go with my Mk 1. I went into (I think) Music Ground and asked if they ever got any in. The guy behind the desk said, “Not seen any of those in for a while. But funny thing is we just got a couple of the newer type in... they’re hanging at the back.” I went over to have a look and there were two. A walnut fretless and a maple fretted one with an added finger rest that looked strangely familiar for some reason. And for a decent price too. The store guy said, “What do you think?” “Lovely, but I’m not really looking for a Mk 1 at the mo...” “No worries. We’re selling them for that bloke who’s in East Enders who used to be in Spandau Ballet.. He’s not using them any more.” “Oh, nice. They’re lovely basses!” Mentioned it to my wife a couple of days later. “Yeah, the bass he played at Live Aid.” “You should have bought it.” “Really?” “Yes! of course.” “Oh, ok. I think I will!” By which time, of course it was my “one that got away...
  5. Of course, Tears For Fears “Mad World” has been known to work well in a more acoustic mood... and in a depressing, “It’s Christmas, think I’ll just go and top myself” mood. These arrangements may not be mutually exclusive.
  6. This is the paragraph you should be focusing on. The questions you are asking yourself are, no offence intended, a mug's game simply because there is no definitive, scientifically verifiable answer. For the player taste comes into it as much as spec. As does the psychological need to self-justify the expense of the purchase when it comes down to YouTube videos (the posting of which surely has to be a somewhat narcissistic thing anyway). Here's the thing, I can spend hours explaining why Wals cost twice as much as Seis and take 2 years to build - almost entirely custom made parts instead of off the shelf hardware, quality of woods, cost of time from non automated handcrafting, length of settling time between processes, overheads, choice of rate fo return on each bass blah de blah de blah... That doesn't change the fact that Seis are one of the world's finest built basses or the validity of your paragraph quoted above. Or make a Wal better suited to you as a player. Once you get to these price points there is also a complex mix of the makers pricing their time and components and simply charging what the market will bear given the reputation and desirability of their brand. Each will come up with a different formula that suits them. Then there's personal preference... give me a £5+ grand Warwick Masterbuilt bass and I can pretty much guarantee I'd hate it. I just have never found a Warwick I like to play, whether its the old style or more modern necks. I've played a few £1.5k Sandbergs and Maruwotsits and never found one I didn't absolutely love. Whether you love and connect to a bass is the more important thing in my book, rather than price or some sort of "desirability" factor.
  7. The carve at the end of the fingerboard looks really great and works really nicely with the point on the upper bout. Killer bass!
  8. Wonderful profile. I’m not a modern single cut fan but that shape is GORGEOUS! The scoop out where most builders have a but bulbous upper bout is so, so sleek. I’d genuinely say that’s the nicest single cut shape I’ve seen yet!
  9. She’s an amazing player and so much more tasteful and musical in her playing than 99% of bass YouTubers. There are some vids of her playing with her trio and quartet which are well worth tracking down... Picked at random...
  10. Wonder how long it’ll be before someone asks... “So if I order something in 2019 but it won’t be delivered until 2020 does that count...?”
  11. Given the topic of this thread that kind of talk’s not really helping,is it?
  12. It’s nice having both options for those moments when Bluetooth or Wi-fi connection gets glitchy or laggy. But I’d never want to go back to not being able to tweak my monitors from my tablet!
  13. And since nobody has mentioned it, Dave at Rock Wire http://www.rock-wire.co.uk/ our very own @obbm will see you right for the best possible cables and connectors at a very reasonable price. Better than any off the shelf stuff and no more expensive. I’m addicted to his new Sommer cable... buy wisely, buy once as they say!
  14. So what to say about Marco’s bass? Well, for the two or three weeks I had it staying with me I loved having it around. It’s lovely, beautifully built for effectively a home-make and sounds great. Stunning looks too. When I pulled it out of the case at worship band rehearsal everyone stopped and gathered round to have a look, wondering if I’d bought myself a new one. The girl singers said I should just keep it as they loved the look and the woods so much. And the Delano pickups sounded great too - very flexible and some great sounds. Though I still think a three way pickup switch and a three way humbucker coil switch would give you all the functionality in a much more intuitive package. The immediate question from the others was “How much did it cost?” I explained its story but said that I reckoned that to go out to a builder and get something similar spec and design would easily cost a couple of grand or more. Thru neck, hand built, quality woods, lots of unique design features... which got me thinking about how to review it. I think that Marco has the ability to become a proper luthier is he puts his mind and effort to it. So I asked myself, what would need to change to justify paying £2k for a bass like this? So that’s my benchmark. What would he need to do to lift his output to the Shuker , ACG stakes...? Mostly I think it’s just attention to detail. So that’s what I’m going to focus on... where does the QA need tightening up etc. I like the design even though I’ve never really been a fan of Warwick Dolphins or Alembic style random cut outs. That said, I think that the curves of the cut out behind the bridge still need some fine honing to get the flow just right - just some more or less flare on the main part of the body to properly frame the cut out. we’re just talking half a mm but it could flow a touch better. Similarly the ends of the upper and lower horn. Their shapes don’t quite match. Pure nuance but important aesthetics nonetheless. I compared them to my Aria SB where the horns hook similarly and, though different do match in width and profile. Headstock. I like the elongated shape, branded logo and little cut out. I think it’s neat and looks cool. The adjustable nut is cool too and very easy to tweak. And it’s wenge or stripy ebony or very dark rosewood (or similar)! Cool! Wonder what the durability will be? However the cool little maple wooden trussrod cover needs a wider base... its thin enough that when the locating screw loosens it can rotate and leave the truss rod cavity uncovered. And the tuners... I think they’re put on back to front! The shaft should be nearer the neck than the tuning head. As they are pushing with your thumb on the E and A string tuners loosens rather than tightens the string. That just feels wrong. Plus their position on the headstock could be adjusted by a mm or so to even the shafts of the tuner a tiny bit. See. I said it was all about tiny detail. Neck It has its own feeling! Very deep and square D shaped, esp near the headstock. A bassist chum and I decided it was kinda Warwick Squared. I got used to it as I played it but I’d love to play Marco’s take on more traditional neck shapes. The carve is so nice and the Matt finish is lovely to play. And don’t forget, the customer is always right, even if they want a dull, standard J or P bass profile! Lol! I like the matt maple fingerboard too. Can’t stand heavy gloss fingerboards. I’m not sure that the chevron carve at the end of the fingerboard completely works for me but it’s a lovely touch as the board seems to flow into the body. Maybe a different shape might work a tiny bit better? Or not. There’s also a tiny measuring error as a touch of the walnut body/stringer peeks through. But the carve through on the back is lovely! Body Love the shape and it is sooooo light compare to my Wals and Aria!!!!! Very comfy to wear. I’ve commented on a couple of things already to do with the finer points of the aesthetics. But overall it’s a lovely, characterful design. It would definitely be a candidate for a standard model body shape if Marco released a range of basses. The small headstock, extended horn and offset bottom strap button means it hangs really well and it was a pleasure to play. Finishing This is where I think this is where Marco has the main scope to hone his craft. When you look at brands like Shuker, Overwater, Goodfellow, Wal etc the finish is completely perfect and, at the type of level Marco should be aiming for is expected. This is also where a lot of the hidden cost of a custom bass is. Time and care. The funny thing is you sort of can’t really tell when it’s done perfectly over and above the minimum necessary and you can’t always see the time that has gone in to achieve this sort of perfection. But every time you don’t achieve this standard it’s a glaring error. Especially if you’re shelling out £2-3 grand for a bass. On Marco’s bass there are a couple of spots where it looks like a plane blade has caught or chisel slipped and some filler has been needed. On the back of the neck there seem to be some circular sanding marks still present. A little longer with some finer grit sandpaper and wire wool would have sorted that. It looks like the pickup screws haven’t had guide holes properly drilled and the screws are a bit higgledy piggledy in the pickups. One has completely reamed out - no slight pickup height happening any time soon. There is dark filler around the abalone side dots which kinda spoils their circular shape. In fact, with small dots I wonder if a more uniform pearloid, plain white or black might work slightly better, giving a more defined circle. But none of this detail stops the bass being lovely to play, stunning looking or nicely designed. It’s a fab bass and I loved having it around. However, these are the finishing details that set it above the average . From home built/self built into the lofty heights of custom built/luthier built. From what I’ve seen I reckon that Marco could have the capability of making that jump. So in summary, I’d say that Marco should keep honing his skills and he will soon be producing even more droolsome basses than this one. However, the magic, silver bullet is all in that attention to the finest detail. Thank you so much, Marco for letting your lovely bass out for its grand tour of the UK. I so enjoyed pretending it was mine for a little while!
  15. Thoroughly recommend you check out the Joe Sample and Randy Crawford album "No Regrets" from 2008 - some wonderful upright bass playing all across it from Christian McBride, including interesting covers of some well known tunes. Plenty to get your teeth into... http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/qwzf/ A bit walky? Very DB funky...! https://www.allmusic.com/artist/christian-mcbride-mn0000103600
  16. I was just popping in to nominate Tiran's tone on the track Taking It To The Streets. Just the sound gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. I'll also add Mo Foster's fretless tone on "A Walk In the Country" from his Bel Assis album and Herbie Flowers' tone on "Horsell Common And The Heat Ray" from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds album.
  17. Dingbats... love it. The pun centres of my brain just went into dopamine and endorphin overload! ...says the dedicated Walnut!
  18. Yes, indeed... in reference to the original W1111 made for John G Perry and the famed Triple neck in the early mid 70s, the JG series built between '76 and '78 and the original Pro series which were produced from 1978 to 1981. I know this to be true as I actually wrote the line you quote... That's my blog... However, this bass is not from the original Pro series. It is from the later, confusingly also entitled, "Pro" model which were (often/usually) solid ash cores with a facing of maple but potentially of other woods. This doesn't change the fact that as a custom builder there are many individual basses out there that step outside the specs of a model range. Have a look at the many "transitional" basses they produced at the end of the original Pro series run as they were working out for themselves just exactly what the new Custom Series would look like or the few solid mahogany, claro walnut or ash Custom Series basses they made without facings (one of Colin Edwin's is a solid ash bodied Custom series bass)... If I may also quote myself to underline the variations and custom elements of the way in which Wal built basses throughout their history... From the Reissue Pro page... "Construction varies somewhat too. The body is solid ash although on some basses that core is faced with thin exotic veneers - usually flamed or birdseye maple (of a relatively intermediate cosmetic grade as befits the bass' budget ethos). The body is usually finished in a narrow black to clear sunburst finish. This also conveniently hides the join for the veneer. The bodies are also a slab design without any comfort contours for either forearm or stomach. Just to add to the confusion sometimes these basses appeared with a PB serial number on the back-plate of the neck, sometimes with a W serial number." Intro to the custom variations page... "Throughout their history, Electric Wood were known for their custom builds alongside their production models. Whether it was the iconic triple neck or a tweak to the established formula, if you could convince Ian or Pete then the world was your oyster. However, they had to be convinced it would work. They remained craftsmen, dedicated to building beautifully crafted working tools for working musicians. The weird and wonderful but frankly silly basses could be left for other builders. "When visiting their workshops in High Wycombe it was not so unusual to see the odd Strat shaped guitar (albeit sporting the characteristic Wal laminated body) hanging from the guitar rack. Alongside might be a Jazz bass in for renovation. However, despite that their passion remained for the basses for which they had become known."
  19. Marco, everything you ever wanted to know about Wals here... http://walbasshistory.blogspot.com/
  20. On the dark bits I reckon they’ve put on some dark filler and then sanded it back to accentuate the grain. My Aria has a similar thing done prior to colouring and varnishing. Though, without the stain and heavy gloss, of course. Wal really liked their thin matt varnish that sinks into the grain looking like it’s almost unfinished. My Mk 1 Custom has a similar matt lacquer.
  21. Yeah, I see the grain lines you mean but I’d go with ash and mahogany grain that sort of lines up and creates an optical illusion. We’ll have to agree to differ on that one unless one of us buys it so we can check! 😉😂
  22. Nick, Almost certainly mahogany core with flamed ash facings front and back. It's one of these... http://walbasshistory.blogspot.com/p/a-minor-diversion.html http://walbasshistory.blogspot.com/2015/08/gallery-reissue-pro-bass.html The standard for these basses was an ash body with (mostly) thin flamed or figured maple facing and often the ash stained/painted to give a strong visual contrast to the front. I've seen a number (see the blog posts) where there is a dark sunburst effect on the sides to hide the joins or a sunburst and dark painted rear. However, being Wal there are a number of custom variants too. That's what I'd put this one down as. Mahogany core and thin ash facings front and back. And I must say, I think that it looks great. As do the more standard finishes. This is a bit of a one-off, though with that look. Nice! As to the price... I passed up the chance to get one of these at about £300 or something back in about 1995 in a local guitar shop in Slough. Oh, how I regret that now. They were designed as a "more basic/affordable" alternative to the Custom Series basses and I wish that pricing of them was still in the sub £1k price range. I'd snap one (or more) up in a blink of an eye. However, the price is pretty reasonable when you look a where the market is currently placing both the 1970s Mark 1 and 1980s/early 90s Mark 2 passive Pro basses. They are easily reaching £2k+ when they come up for sale now. Too rich for my pocket, very sadly, but that's what they are fetching nowadays. They may be a "cut down Wal" but they are still a totally hand-made bass, made by Wal to their specs, with their own pickups and bridges and built to the same quality as any other Wal bass. And they'll have the Custom Series neck build and shape too - which is a sublime neck to play on (well for me anyway). Cheers Trevor PS don't mind the thumb rest, it's a practical addition to a bass that's meant to be played!
  23. Use the Sennheisers at church for BVs. A lovely smooth sound and they work really well. Good price for that deal too! Never liked using SM58s or Beta58s either.
  24. I really like the Beta 57 as a vocal mic. Used one for years.
  25. She sent them over direct. It’s just an independent maker. Ordered via Facebook and PayPal.
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