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Everything posted by Lo-E

  1. I’m not sure what their productions entail in other cities but the original production in NYC is comprised of the Blue Men (all accomplished percussionists) and a backing trio of multi-instrumentalists playing trap kit, keys, guitar and Chapman Stick. Both the cast members and band members rotate between the various productions to keep the chemistry between them fresh and keep it from getting too repetitive and boring. They all seem to genuinely enjoy it. I’m not sure if the original three Blue Men are performing the show at all anymore.
  2. Wow, that bass is SO made in U.S.A. They wrote it twice!!
  3. My experience with Boomers was that they felt and sounded very similar to D’Addario XLs but they lasted less than 1/2 as long. Boomers were my first strings and I really liked them at the time but my personal opinion is that D’Addario made a similar string in the XL and did a better job of it. Of course, some people swear by Boomers so I can only speak from my own experience.
  4. My 1979 Ibanez Studio ST-924 was a lucky find. I bought it from a friend from school when I was 18 or 19 for $100. It was a really well made, professional instrument and I, not knowing any better, lucked into it. It was a great instrument to learn on. Unlike a lot of instruments that passed through my life in various ways, that one remains safe at home. I don’t gig with it anymore because it weighs as much as a Land Rover but I still practice with it a lot. I still love the neck. Some years ago I found another for sale locally and bought it. They’re fairly uncommon and, at some point, I’ll make one fretless.
  5. A fresh setup is a wonderful thing! Just this afternoon I threw three of my basses on the workbench for fresh strings and setups. One of them surprised me with a cracked nut, making the job a little bigger than expected, but all three are now happy and playing like champs. I tend to let strings get pretty dead so my basses usually end up going longer than they should between setups. I have a couple more slated for tomorrow if I have time.
  6. One of my Jazzes (a Noel Redding model) wears TI Jazz Flats at all times and I use it for R&B stuff or when I’m looking for a ’60s rock sound. My other Jazzes are used for a variety of rock and pop and they wear nickel roundwounds. I’ve changed brands a few times over the years but settled on D’Addario XLs a few years ago and they’re working for me; inexpensive, bright, they feel nice and they last a long time. Sometimes I’ll use DR Sunbeams on the active fretless for a warmer sound but not always.
  7. Wow…. Some really great stuff already mentioned but I’ll add a few: Joe Jackson’s first three albums for Graham Maby’s playing Elvis Costello’s Attractions albums for Bruce Thomas (also BT’s playing on Suzanne Vega’s 99.9F Degrees) Robyn Hitchcock’s albums with Andy Metcalfe and Matthew Seligman Brian Eno’s Another Green World and Before And After Science for Percy Jones (PJ was a big influence on me) All of Peter Gabriel’s albums for Tony Levin Steel Pulse’s albums with Ronald “Stepper” McQueen The Selecter for Charlie Anderson Joni Mitchell Hijiera for Jaco The Band’s first two albums (I really love Rick Danko’s playing on these) REM’s first four records for Mike Mills’ wonderful melodicism I could do this all day!! And I haven’t even touched on my favorite jazz upright albums!
  8. When I was in my 20s, this was my dream bass. I desperately wanted one (with a walnut top but this is close enough!). I’m far from my 20s now and, while it’s not top of my list anymore, I’d still love to have one. Sadly, I couldn’t dream of affording one then and I can’t begin to justify buying one now. Thats’s a beautiful instrument you’ve got there and it’s going to make somebody very happy. Good luck with the sale!
  9. Looks to be solving a problem that doesn’t exist.
  10. I ended up with one of the Czech NS CR basses and I really enjoy playing it…. but it sounds more like a fretless electric than it does a URB, I’m afraid. I’d still recommend it, though. It’s great fun to play!
  11. At the risk of sounding defeatist, I gave that quest up years ago. IMO there are just too many differences in how upright basses and electric basses produce a note to get a URB sound from an electric. Making a new nut out of the same wood as the fingerboard helps a little bit on open notes. Piezo bridge transducers help a little bit, too but, at the end of the day, they’re two different animals. Playing with the right hand over the top of the fingerboard and sweeping the fingers toward the bridge like you would on an upright also helps. As far as strings go, I’ve gotten in the ballpark with flexible flats (in my case TI or light gauge Ernie Ball Series) or nylon tapes but I’ve never gotten a really convincing URB sound. Not to my ears, anyway. Eventually I just settled on a sound that was “upright-ish” and called it a day. When I really, really need to sound like an URB, I just play an URB. That’s probably not the answer you were hoping for, but it’s the best answer I can offer.
  12. It’s very, very seldom that I use effects. I don’t even use the amp’s onboard compression, typically. If a specific song calls for an effect I’m happy to use it but I’m plugged straight into the amp about 99% of the time.
  13. That makes perfect sense. As long as you're aware of where the note actually is, how you get there is up to you. I finger the string almost directly above the note, personally, but that's developed over many years of playing fretless and it happens to work well for the shape of my fingers, the sound I'm after and my vibrato.
  14. I agree with everything Hellzero just said. One thing I feel is worth pointing out is that, if I’m reading your OP correctly, you should not be playing just behind the dots. You should be playing exactly on the dots. Fretless is unlike a fretted bass in that regard. On a fretted bass we play just behind the fret in order to get a clean note but there are no frets to create problems on a fretless and the spot on the fingerboard where the fret would be is where you find the note, not just behind it. If your bass doesn’t play in tune directly on the dots you will need to have the intonation adjusted so that it does. Some people will argue that it’s unnecessary to set the intonation on a fretless bass but that is completely untrue.
  15. The DiMarzio pickups would be quite similar to the originals. The original preamps were pretty advanced for their time but most have gotten noisy over the years. Any modern, bypassable preamp would likely be a step up and would still allow you to play in passive mode. As for the finish, maybe you could drop fill the chip that bothers your arm and leave the rest alone?
  16. Rotosound has been making tape wound strings for as long as I can remember. I think Fender has offered them for a long time as well. Tapes are pretty unique as far as strings go, offering minimal sustain and deep thud but also some top-end detail. In conjunction with a pick, Graham Maby used them to great effect on Joe Jackson’s first two albums. I think he used LaBellas but I wouldn’t swear to it. In my attempts to use them in the past I never really got along with them but now that we’re discussing them it might be time to give them another try. My tastes continue to evolve so they might be just the ticket for me now.
  17. I need to find the strings with a packet that says: Please note; Given the near indestructibility of these strings, any half drunk, ham-fisted baboon could install them without incident. Just put them on your bass. Everything’s going to be okay.
  18. If I’m not mistaken, Landscape is a side project of one of the luthiers working at Atelier Z so it would make perfect sense for the instruments to have attributes in common. I can’t swear by that connection but I believe I remember reading that when I got my Landscape ABG.
  19. Youtube has definitely gotten me out of a jam or two but most of what you'll need to build this skill is experience. It's only after 35 years of setting up instruments that I've gotten as comfortable with the process as I am. While it doesn't offer the immediate satisfaction of Youtube videos, I strongly recommend Hideo Kamimoto's book Electric Guitar Setups as a good place to start. He wrote that book at a time when no other resource like it existed and I think it still holds up well. I've learned a lot since I last read it, but everything I've learned was built upon the foundation it provided.
  20. Well, if you change your mind and decide to deliver to NYC I'd be happy to give you a tour of my favorite pubs! Otherwise, best of luck with the sale (although I think you're crazy to sell that beauty).
  21. New York City. I suspect that the cost of shipping would be the tipping point as I really can’t justify another instrument. As any good, irresponsible gear hound, though, when I see great deals like this locally, I usually find a way!
  22. I’m amazed this is still here. If it weren’t on another continent I’d have grabbed it at that price without hesitation.
  23. Well, I was kidding a bit; tame luthier…. feral luthier…. It was funny in my head, anyway. Nevertheless, I’m happy to weigh in on your situation. Truss rods don’t have a whole lot of effect on neck relief past the 12th fret. They affect it a little bit, but it’s negligible. That’s why I measure neck relief between the 1st and 12th frets rather than the first and last; those first 12 frets are where truss rod adjustments really count. Furthermore, if you do have a “ski jump” and you measure relief between the 1st and last, the ski jump can fool you into believing that your neck relief is greater than it really is. With this in mind, let’s think about your symptoms: Your buzzing doesn’t occur until after the 12th fret so it’s safe to assume (for now) that your nut height is fine and your neck relief is, at least, okay. That leaves two possibilities: a ski jump or a high fret. A high fret is best found using fret rockers - short pieces of straightedge that will span three frets and will ‘rock’ on the middle fret if it’s high. If you don’t have anything to use as fret rockers, the less precise method is just to play the instrument and see if the buzzing stops past a certain fret. If it does, that’s the high fret. If you have a high fret and you’re able to identify it, you then need to determine if it was simply never dressed correctly or if it is raising up out of the fret slot. Once that’s determined, you can either reseat the fret or file and redress it. A ski jump is fairly easy to spot with a straightedge. Because the truss rod has little effect upon the neck past the 12th fret you can just lay a straightedge between the 12th and last fret and see where you stand. A healthy board should be pretty flat regardless of how the truss rod is adjusted. If there’s a ski jump you’ll see it immediately. Addressing a ski jump depends upon several different factors. If a bass has a lot of meat on the frets and the ski jump is very slight, I will first try just leveling some of the height off of the last 5 frets. It’s the least invasive fix and it risks nothing to try since any other fix will sacrifice the last 5 frets anyway. Sometimes there’s enough material on those frets to enable this simple fix to be sufficient for years, if not forever. If the ski jump is too big to “dress out” of the frets, the last several frets will need to be removed, the fingerboard re-leveled, the fret slots deepened and the high frets replaced and dressed. In particularly bad cases, the entire fingerboard might need to be defretted, leveled and refretted but that would be a pretty extreme case and would indicate other, more serious neck issues at play. Once the issue, either a high fret or ski jump, is addressed you’ll need to go back and re-check your setup top-to-bottom and make sure everything is still where you want it. In most cases, you’ll be able to improve it. Hopefully this will help you diagnose your issue and give you an idea of what you’re up against.
  24. I’m a feral luthier myself.
  25. My string height at the 12th is typically 2.3mm for the E string and lowering very slightly with each smaller string. I measure my neck relief at the 6th fret with the string gently touching the 1st and 12th frets. I aim for .2mm (actually .008”). These measurements always end up getting adjusted slightly higher or lower, depending upon the bass, the strings and whatever feels most comfortable to me at the time I’m setting the bass up. It’s not very often I can get very much lower than these bogey values without buzzing but sometimes an instrument will be very cooperative and give me a pleasant surprise.
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