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About andruca

  • Birthday 23/08/1974

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    Madrid, SPAIN

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  1. I've been thru' some basses in that range and IME a used Stingray is hard to beat. Having been to modern era alnico flavors too, my faves are ceramic era (only EBMMs I own these days). Also been to Maruszczyks, Sandbergs, several Yamaha BBs, even an American Deluxe P 5. None is anywhere remotely close to a Stingray 5 bass. Also, I personally despise Delano big pole pickups, some of the worst pickups I've played and owned (PMVC5 + MC5 in a Maruszczyk Jake 5a+). Not only they don't carry the balls (my maruszczyk also happened to perform poorly in a mix), they sound several flavors of DEAD compared to the real thing.
  2. andruca

    Zoom MS60-B

    I agree, that's why I was severely attenuating 180hz (with a narrow Q). I moved the frequency around testing to get to those 180hz (all of this while A/Bing with the MS-60B, same bass, same amp).
  3. andruca

    Zoom MS60-B

    No direct comparison, sorry (and I don't own the Four anymore). Still, just for reference, this is another bass, different bass lines, but the mood is the same (crunchy fat SansAmp, either aggressively plucked or picked). This is the MS-60B, brighter, punchier, bassier. Not only that, the Star Bass in my previous post is a Jazz Bass of doom (sounds pretty much like a Jazz, a hotter and warmer/fatter version, has way more gain and way more bass than almost any Jazz Bass). The ghetto Jazz in this sample is made of parts (all totalling 89€) and it absolutely kills on the MS-60B, it blows the Stingray5 in my first B1X Four sample out of the water, with just the SansAmp and 160comp emulations. Also the SansAmp overdrive reacts differently, for a starter it doesn't mess my lo-mids with unnecessary distortion (what really screws up the emulation on the Four, but that still might be the overall built-in 180hz peak ruining it).
  4. andruca

    Zoom MS60-B

    And here's another sample, made some months into owning it. I particularly remember it being a PITA to EQ, this has 180hz severely cut (narrow band), plus some 80hz boost (wider), plus the ZNR I don't need to use on neither my MS-60B or B3 (where I only need the SansAmp and 160 comp emulations to sound like this). Also gain definitely works in a weird manner in the B1X Four. I kept trying to bring noise down (and also to push preamp and compressor emulations harder) by upping any previous pedals' output volumes, which most of the times did NOTHING (neither push further compression/OD harder nor bring effective volume up so I could lower overall volume -and noise with it-). IDK much about gain structures or whatever, thus can't explain what's different from the B3/MS-60B (they're both just emulations, chained), but you can tell if you do a serious A/B trying to reproduce on the Four a tone you like from the B3/MS-60B. Not even talking same parameters as those simply don't work. If you use the same parameters for (i.e.) SansAmp in the Four it doesn't sound anything like the same parameters on the B3/MS-60B (which obviously sound exactly the same as each other).
  5. andruca

    Zoom MS60-B

    OK, I might have not been precise with my claims. The noise happens even on batteries, but it's probably more a result of having to deal with excess EQ stages to combat plain boxy/dead tone. This is a sample of the B1X Four I've had. Nothing wrong with it, no lemon, no power supply problems. I could have gotten away with it, just not after how miserably sounding it resulted when tested side by side with the MS-60B/B3, they sound more full, punchier and brighter with SansAmp emulation EQ controls almost flat and the 160comp behind it. The 180hz boxy peak only worsens the lack of lowend, particularly ruins things as the SansAmp crunch past a certain gain point. I might be a bit of a nitpicker here. My impression of the B1X Four was excellent, and I didn't care much until I started A/Bing them and trying to get it to sound as fat, defined, bright and punchy. Once I did the Four got old fast.
  6. You're telling me I could have the Darkglass emulation (available only since B3n/B1 Four) in my MS-60B or B3?
  7. andruca

    Zoom MS60-B

    A personal experience warning about the B1 Four/X Four (from someone who also knows the MS-60B/B3 inside out) . I've had an MS-60B since 2015 and it's served me extremely well. Not into a lot of effects, but more of a base tone kinda' guy (fat crunchy SansAmp + compression). I own a real SansAmp (an RBI) which has been my main recording tool since 2004, but it has rarely left my studio since I've got the MS-60B. I usually carry the pedal as my "tone in a box" and use whatever amp, even one of my own. Now, 6 months ago I got a B1X Four. Not that I needed it, but just wanted to have the Darkglass emulations (set on and happy with my SansAmp tone, can't really justify buying a B7K) and also something more state of the art with an expression pedal (after selling a Zoom 708II I had for a long time), even tho' I rarely use that. First thing I did when I got it was try to replicate the patches in my MS-60B (basically one crunchy and one -sorta'- clean patch for each bass I use). Right away I became aware of 2 serious issues with the Four: 1) it's damm BOXY and 2) it's noisy. Spent months trying to make it sound remotely as good as my MS-60B. No luck, to a point where it's even useless for it to have 5 slots instead of 4 if I need to add ZNR and additional EQ to tame a horrible 180hz peak (BOXY zone) and add both lowend and highs in every patch (only to get sorta' close, not quite there at all). Also the ParaEQ model changed, for very worse, now it's only one band, while it was 2 band in the MS-60B/B3. Side by side the Four sounds several levels of DEAD, doesn't carry the punch, the balls nor the liveliness. Also the params for the same effect (say SansAmp emulation) don't work the same on both units. Doesn't Zoom use a previous version of an emulation as reference or starting point to develop the next generation? Dont they plug in a bass and test the same emulation in the old model vs. the new one? The differences I'm talking about are TOO NOTORIOUS to obviate. I don't know what it is (only remarkable electronic difference is input impedance is 1Mohm on the B3/MS-60B vs. 470Kohm on the Fours, could that justify higher noise?). Still, it's not the first time I experience this kind of mishap with Zoom (which I adore and have got MANY great devices from), I got rid of a B2.1u 10 years ago because it didn't sound as good as the 708II I previously had. But it was not like this, this is different, it's like the Four's response is narrowed, BOXY, that's definitely the exact word, very annoyingly so. Sold the B1X Four and got a B3 which sounds exactly as great as my MS-60B and altho' having one less effect slot (still enough for me) it's also a GREAT audio interface and has a DI and even has a CTL in for an expression pedal I found around. Also dealt with faking a sorta' Darkglass, blending in some CMOS distortion/OD in for that middy crunch (there's several models available, the Squeak -RAT- works decently, also do the DS-1 and ODB-3). I've recorded several stuff with this B3 (both from the DI and using it as an interface) and as of today I don't feel like using the SansAmp RBI for recording anymore, I way prefer the recorded tone coming out of the B3 TBH. Haven't tried a B3n but I'm kinda' guessing it has the same problem (I know, not instantly obvious until you A/B one with a B3). Guess I'll have to wait for a future generation to do any upgrades, the Fours don't cut it for me.
  8. I must make clear that the StarBass is the least hollow feeling and sounding of all semi-hollows I've played. It's just the best semi-hollow for those who don't get along too well with the microphonics, the honkiness and lack of articulation. Also it beats all others I've played (the Jack Cassady, some AGB/AFBs, some Eastwood, also played several Hofners and owned an Epiphone Viola) in the bass, punch and sustain dept, if you owned some Star Basses you're probably aware. I'd for sure use the Star Bass for situations where I'd use a semi-hollow, but also for anything else. In fact it's my #1 two pickup 5er these days (my main axes are Stingray5s). This is an example of how my Star Bass records for punk stuff, both in a J mood and in a P mood. Also, for comparison, here's the same track recorded on a Stingray5.
  9. Update! L to R: 2003 Stingray5, 1997 Stingray5, 2011 WPS Star Bass 5, DIY fretless reverse P+J 5er, DIY Jazz Bass
  10. For me it's skinny all the way (not over 20mm front to back @ fret 1). Also I prefer a narrow nut and not over 18mm of spacing at bridge (I own mostly 5ers). Only concession I've made lately is my WPS Star Bass 5, which isn't something outrageous either (21mm @ fret 1) but more D shaped than C. My ideal are my Stingray 5ers' necks, some of the sharpest Cs around, almost Ibby SR thin, narrow nut, 17.5mm spacing. That's my home.
  11. I've only had one "regular" P bass (plus a Maruszczyk Jake 5a+ and a couple Yamaha BBs), and 4 Jazzes (my first bass, a cheap Argentinean Jazz copy, a couple '90s MIJ Fenders and my current cheap parts Jazz). I'm really into the Jazz neck pickup tone, prefer it to a P in fact, the mood is similar but there's some extra twang. I'm into the neck PU full + bridge PU slightly dimmed bunch too, so sweet. I did the series-parallel push-pull mod on my current parts Jazz, makes for some de facto boost/bass boost, very useful for making a thin amp thump, "Motowns down" the all open Jazz tone.
  12. Haven't played the Epi Rivoli. On the Ibby Artcores, well, let's say I WAY PREFER the Jack Casady, or the Epi Viola for the case. Didn't like those Artcores much, thin and nasal sounding. I think many of those are completely hollow body, not even semi hollow, sounded both dead and thin to me in comparison. Beware, I even ditched any acoustic from my life because of how they feel (even the uke-bass, most useless bass related thing I've ever bought), so YMMV.
  13. I haven't played that many hollow/semi-hollow basses, and they have never been my main instrument (Stingray5 has been for the last 20 years), but I've still been to a few places... I've had an Epiphone Viola, after extensively trying the (then) available cheap Hofner options (Icon and Contemporary) and liking the Epi better, seemed considerably more solid, better built, while being the cheapest. Sound wasn't exactly the same but close enough on flats (which I put on only for a short period, I either used this for "acoustic" gigs or HC/punk -tuned BEAD, yep, worked thru' some crunchy SansAmp and heavy compression-). Later in my owning life I used it in a more "reasonable" fashion, regular tuning and worn in (pretty dead indeed) roundwounds. Sometime around 2011/2012 I became aware of the Warwick Star Bass (by about the time they started manufacturing the RockBass version). At that time they were hard to spot used, and I couldn't justify the cost. But also hadn't realised its real potential. Over the years I've played the Jack Casady many times, also the Ibanez Artcore/ABF. I really like the Gibson tone and vibe (just not single cut basses), in fact I was this close to getting an Epi EB3 ad one point in time. I did appreciate that the Casady doesn't sound as nasal as the mini humbuckers (and their position) on my Viola. Then I finally tried a couple RockBass Star Basses at a couple stores and that changed it all. Still it wasn't until a couple months ago that I got lucky enough to find one I could afford. Happened to be a black Korean ProSeries 5er from 2011, at the bargain price of 600€. Now, what differentiates the Star Bass with any other semi-hollow? Simply put, the only thing hollow about it is it's louder when unplugged. Has a thick maple core all thru' the center of the body. There's no microphonics, no feedback, and it's both more "precise" and more "virile" sounding than usual semi-hollows (the 4 string RockBass version is 32", all others are 34"). It can definitely sound in the semi-hollow ballpark with flats (and mostly on the neck PU), but its tone is like that of a Jazz Bass but extra warm and fat, super punchy and with supernatural sustain (lows keep pushing longer than those out of my Rays, you notice that in the way it pushes your preamp, surprising). So, I'm starting to feel bad for the kind of advice I'm giving. Not that I regret my preference, but it's clearly cheating, you know, a Star Bass is the semi-hollow for people who don't get along much with typical semi-hollows. I even modded it to get rid of the other semi-hollow "thing" that I hate 100%, THEY HANG HORRIBLY, NOT JUST THE OMNIPRESENT NECKDIVE BUT THEY TILT FORWARD BECAUSE OF THE STUPID STRAP PIN POSITION AT THE HEEL. Took care of that 2 days after getting mine, flooded the tip of the upper horn with epoxy and put the strap button there, hard as a rock. Now it faces front like a usable bass, and it also helped neckive. This is how it sounds with rounds and in a "rocky" mood... So, take my "advice" with many grains of salt. Probably heretic to the semi-hollow concept (also heretic to Warwick, as I only like the least Warwick models such this one or the Jack Bruce SG shaped one), but I still prefer the Star Bass over any other hollow/semi-ollow bass I've ever played or heard. So much so that it's my only and all-purpose 2 pickup fretted 5er nowadays (selling the Schecter CV5 I've had for occasional "Fenderish" duties, great bass, but the SB can do it all, it's THAT great for my needs).
  14. Yep, sorry for the typo, 2011. Same thing here in Spain, only ones seen (rarely) are the RockBass version, and for no less than 700€. I got mine from Italy. Don't know why but Star Basses show up way more frequently used over there, some you can find in Reverb (usually from stores) and there's also mercatinomusicale.com, which is where I spotted mine.
  15. I'm here just to fuel you Star Bass craving. Got this for 600€ a month ago (2001, Korean Pro Series). Can't tell much of a difference with the Chinese RockBass versions I had tried before, maybe it's just little finish details (and RockBass' rosewood instead of wenge), I'm sure those will be virtually equally nice to grab. STILL, I must say the Star Bass is cheating. I chose it because I've owned an Epiphone Viola (and played several Jack Casadys) and decided I don't like real semihollow "spirit" much (mocrophonics, most of those mini humbuckers sound horrible). It feels and plays like a solid body (just sounds louder unplugged). And it sounds like a Jazz Bass with humbucker lows, more delicate/detailed highs, and INSANE SUSTAIN (yes, more than my Stingray5s, mostly I can tell the lows keep pushing the preamp longer, real nice). It can still sound decently hollow with flats. Only drawback I can think of (not inherent to the StarBass but to most semi hollows/hollows) is the POOR choice of strap pin location (at the heel). I know this is for the sake of "classic authenticity", but couldn't care less, I want my basses to play and hang right and this not only worsens neckdive (much less of a problem in this bass than almost any other bass of the kind) but it also creates a further, even worse, issue: the bass body tilts forward, facing to the floor, SUCKS. I changed the pin location on mine 2 days after getting it (solidifying the top of the upper horn with some epoxy flooding), easy, cheap, and damm solid. It hangs like it should now (facing front) and it also helped neckdive. Except for that the bass is light years away from any semihollow IME. You can grab one used one for what many other of your mentioned choices (Chowny, Gretch, the Jack Casady) cost new or less, and it's definitely a lot more bass for the dough.
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