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About Obrienp

  • Birthday 25/10/1955

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  1. I love the look of that Sentinel. Reverend have really come up with a great headstock shape as well. Familiar but different.
  2. Yes. I’ll try to remember to ask him. Not sure when the build is going to begin yet. He has a 3 month backlog at the moment.
  3. Hi Folks, Well, I thought I would post the conclusion to my debates and thank everybody for their suggestions, information, etc. After chatting to my friendly local luthier, I have ordered a custom build. It’s going to be a scaled down ‘54 P Bass shape (i.e. a 51 with some contouring), 30” scale with a very shallow D profile maple neck, 12” radius fretboard and 40 MM nut width. Lightweight body with through mounted controls. My Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder Jazz at the bridge and a custom wound reverse split P middle pickup. Pickup blender and push/pull parallel/series switch, passive tone, and a Babicz bridge. All sustainable woods in vintage sunburst with some ageing/road worn finish effects. All of the above with case should come in at less than the street price of an American Performer Mustang. I am hoping it is going to be a good replacement for my Aerodyne Jazz but in my preferred 51/54 shape. I will have little and large 51s! If I had known he could do this for what seems a very reasonable price, I would have gone straight to him. It also means I am supporting a local business, which I think is important in these troubled times.
  4. Now that is a thought but I guess the bridge would have to move as well. I might talk to my friendly local luthier.
  5. My head is spinning with choices and cost! To illustrate why I am a bit fixated on weight: I built a full scale ‘51 Precision bass. It’s shocking to look at but that way nobody will pinch it if I leave it unattended at a gig. It weighs 5.5 lbs. it’s much lighter than my Aerodyne Jazz (about 9lbs), the Gretsch Junior Jet is 7.8 lbs. The precision has a full vintage club like neck (Allparts fender licensed) but the body was made from Obeche. It has a mudbucker in the neck position and a SD Quarter pounder middle pickup. Despite all this it is amazingly light and if I wasn’t having hand problems, I could play it all night.
  6. Thanks for the comments folks. I am seriously tempted by the Sire U5 but I think I would end up spending at least £200 on upgrading components, like I did with the Gretsch and that is money you won’t get back if you have to sell. I had never heard of Maruszczych before. I had a quick look at the Bass Direct website and they do look amazing. They have a 32” Elwood 4p for about the same money as the Reverend Wattpower 2 but it is almost 9lb in weight, which is getting towards the weight of the Aerodyne Jazz. If they had a 30” and a bit lighter it would be right at the top of the list. A trip to Bass Direct might be required but I think it would be a bit more than 2 hours each way. Mind you, I am going to have to sell something else as well as the Aerodyne to fund either the Maruszczych, or the Reverend. Anyone interested in a J45 Standard😏? I think it does have to be a short scale now☹️. I still have a big boy bass and a 5 string but I can’t play them for long without discomfort and doing a 2 hour set with 6-8 rock and roll numbers in a row is too much now. I can manage it just about on the Gretsch.
  7. Good point but the Gretsch also has a P width nut but the neck profile is shallow, so it seems to be OK for me. It’s really the depth and profile of the neck that is the issue for me. If it feels a handful for people with normal to large hands, then it is going to be too big for me. It’s certainly worth considering in the equation though.
  8. Apologies, I know there are similar threads around but my enquiry is slightly different to what I have read so far. I am in my 60s, developing arthritis in my left thumb, have short fingers and I am generally struggling with speed and accuracy on big boy basses, not to mention wanting something lighter on my shoulder. This is leading me to sell my beloved Aerodyne Jazz, so I want something that fits into that slot; I.e. more than one pickup but it can’t have a chunky neck (I’ve got a ‘51 P copy for that) and I prefer a flatter fretboard radius than vintage Fenders. I am also drawn to through body stringing. I already have a Gretsch Junior Jet and I like the neck on that, so that is a guide but it has a unique sound and I want something closer to my P/J. I should say that I live in North Norfolk, so there is nowhere that I can get to easily to try my options, so I will have to buy untested online. That’s the background. I came up with the selection because I’ve read good things about the Sire but as I am parting with my real Fender I kind of want to replace it with something else a bit premium. I know vain or what but I also don’t want to be spending a chunk of cash on replacing budget components (pickups, bridge, machine heads, etc). The American Performer Mustang seems to fit the mould and has some quality parts that I am unlikely to want to change but I am sure I read somewhere that the neck is a bit chunky. Anybody with one care to pass a view on that? Last on the list and the most expensive is the Reverend Wattpower. I have read it is very light and has a fast neck. It also has a pickup combo that fits the kind of 50s-80s stuff I am playing in my current band. I know old fart’s music but there it is. I don’t like: the price for a Far Eastern made instrument and the colour. I do like weight, fast neck, quality of components, through body stringing, etc. I just can’t find any objective reviews or sound tests for it online. Anybody able to shed any light on it: got one, or tried it? I left out the JMJ Mustang because i think the price is over the top for a Mex Fender. The Ventura looks as though it has a vintage fretboard radius a bit like a broom handle. The Mex made Mustang P/Js don’t have through body stringing. The Chowny SWB-1 looked interesting but I read they are heavier than a standard P or J bass, so that rules it out. Also I think I read the neck is a bit chunky? So there we are. What does the panel think? I would love to hear from owners of these basses about versatility and neck size in particular.
  9. Fortunately the phasing seems alright in my DiMarzio/SD combination. I am thinking about a blend control rather than a switch but it would be a shame to mess up the very neat wiring harness from Craig: my soldering is pretty rubbish, especially doing earthing to the back of pots!
  10. Just thought I should complete the thread with the result of doing the modification. I won’t bore you with a photo: it just looks like a MIJ Aerodyne Jazz with a chunkier (Gotoh) bridge. I didn’t do the wiring mod myself in the end. Craig from My Humble Workshop was selling a complete harness on fleaBay for just under £20 with PIO capacitor. It has mini pots which fit easily into the very small routing for the through mounted controls on my 2014 model: more recent ones seem to have gone for traditional Jazz metal plate mounted controls. To my ears the mini-pots don’t sound any worse than the CTS pots I would normally use and Craig’s harnesses don’t require any soldering. Anyway, sound wise the DiMarzio P Bass pup and SD 1/4 pounder Jazz go very well together. A quick check on my multi-meter shows them to be very close: about 11 k ohms from the DiMarzio and about 10.5 from the SD. The SD is meant to be 13.5 k according to the website but in this case I am quite pleased it is lower. They work well together with very little difference in output between them solo and I prefer the SD tone to the DiMarzio Jazz. There is a small drop in output when used together in parallel but in series: Wow! Big and clear! Overall, I am very pleased with the combination and the series/parallel wiring option.
  11. Thank you for the comments folks. I hadn’t considered that there might be a fault with the DiMarzio Jazz pup because it’s been like that from when I got it. Also I did read in another forum that somebody else found the DiMarzio P/J set unbalanced. I think polarity between the DiMarzio P and SD Jazz will be OK. I did a rough test by putting the SD up to the DiMarzio and they were attracted rather than pushing away. I agree the serial wiring might sound a bit muddy. I was hoping that, with their tonal range, the combination would cover the complete spectrum but the proof will come from trying it. I’ll have parallel in the default down position on the push/pull, so if the series is too muddy, I just won’t use it. The other bass I have serial wiring on is a home build ‘51 P bass with a DiMarzio One mudbucker in the neck position and a Seymour Duncan 1/4 pounder 51 p bass middle. I was expecting super-mud in the series wiring position but actually it produces a massive rock bass sound with good highs. The idea was to produce a bass with a range of 60s tones and it does that with the pups solo but the combined serial tone is much more hard rock. I then found out Billy Sheehan has a similar combo on his bass - I should have known! Doh!
  12. Apologies if there is already a thread on this. I am thinking of combining a DiMarzio P Bass pickup with a Seymour Duncan 1/4 pounder Jazz bridge pickup in my Fender Aerodyne Jazz bass. I am wondering if anybody has already tried this and how it worked out? I currently have a DiMarzio P/J set in the bass. I found the OEM pickups a bit lacking and fitted the DiMarzio set a few years ago. As they have four wires I wired them up with push/pull pots to give series/parallel options for each pickup. Not worth the effort in my view but others might feel otherwise. I love the P Bass pickup but the Jazz bridge is so whimpy I don’t know how DiMarzio have the cheek to sell them as a set. The Jazz has about 55 percent of the output of the P Bass. If you move from P Bass to Jazz mid-song it is like somebody muted you. There is also a big drop in volume with both pickups on compared to just the P Bass. Now, I know that some volume difference is not unusual with P/J setups but it is ridiculous with the DiMarzio set. I happen to have a Seymour Duncan 1/4 pounder Jazz bridge pickup that I got for another bass but never fitted. On paper it actually has a slightly higher output than the DiMarzio P Bass, so I am thinking that combining them will not produce the huge volume difference I am experiencing with the DiMarzio set. If anything the bridge may be the dominant pickup. However, i know things don’t always work out the way you think they will. Has anybody tried this? Any problems? While I am doing this mod, I am going to repurpose the push/pull switch on the P Bass volume pot. Instead of switching the pickup between series and parallel, I am going to run it in two wire (permanent series) mode and use the switch to combine the P and J pickups in either series, or parallel. I have done this on another bass and it sounds huge with the two pickups in series. It’s like a huge humbucker. Stay safe everybody and fingers crossed that we can get back to gigging soon!
  13. I recently bought one of these G2220 online, taking a bit of a punt, sight unseen but it came in at a tadge over £300 new, so worth the risk. I’ve since noticed the same box shifter has put the price up by £65! Having hit 65 I have started to struggle with my long scale basses on fast stuff: short fingers and arthritis slowing me down and I thought it was time for a shorty. I am generally pleased with the G2220: very good value for the money. Finish is pretty good and most of the hardware is fine. The bridge being the main exception: just too dinky. I was amazed at the power of the pickups. They are much hotter than, for instance, the Seymour Duncan quarter pounders I have in a P/J. I was expecting the sound pallet to be pretty limited to the sort of 60s humbucker mud and thump but there is a lot more available. With the standard strings it reminds me quite a lot of the sounds you get out of an Ibanez SR. I actually wanted something a bit more old school and I was finding the standard strings clanky and too slack, so decided to put some flat wounds on it. Try finding short scale flats in the UK for a decent price at the moment! Nobody seems to have La Bella 45-105 in stock. I have been warned against Rotosound short scale (intonation issues). In the end I took a punt on a set of Jim Dunlop flats. I’ve never tried them before but they seem OK. While changing the strings, I also put on a Fender high mass bridge that I had lying about from a previous project. The original bridge has a standard modern Fender 5 hole fitting, so there are plenty of replacement options out there. It has made a positive difference to the sound and I suspect it will hold the intonation better. While I was doing the string change, I discovered that a couple of the machine heads were very loose, which wasn’t helping tuning stability. Tightening the collet nuts and retaining screws has sorted it for now but I suspect the holes were drilled too large. At some point I may need to replace the tuners with Gotohs or similar. I would be interested to hear from other owners how the electrics have worked out long term. Is it worth replacing the cheap pots with CTS for instance?
  14. My two Ibanez basses. I had an SR300 a few years ago as well. The SRH500 is lovely. It gets really close to an upright sound (especially if you put it through a piezo tone correction pedal; e.g. Zoom AC 3, or TCE BodyRez). It’s light, ergonomic and I love the neck. In fact it’s so good I have been thinking of putting a precision pickup in it and only having one bass at gigs. The Affirma is a bit more marmite. Also light and ergonomic but a bit on the bright side for my purposes. I am thinking of trying it with flats, or tape wound to see if that makes it rounder. The string spacing is a bit of a stretch for my short fingers but compensated by a shallow neck.
  15. Just reviving this thread as I stumbled on it by accident. I have had a 4 string fretted version since they were first released in the UK and I love it. It's light, ergonomic and easy to play. However, the point of this post: the drawback of all piezo based pickup systems in my experience is that they can produce a tizzy, brittle tone at some frequencies: nasal is another way of describing it. I haven't particularly noticed it on the SRH500 to be honest (nothing like as bad as my Taylor 6 string acoustic) but you can make it sound really good by using an acoustic correction pedal like a TC Electronic Bodyrez, or even better a Zoom acoustic pedal like the AC-2, which has a dedicated upright bass voice. Using the AC-2 and some EQ tweaking, I can get a really convincing upright bass sound. Like they say on the BBC: other acoustic pre-amps are available. Obviously, it would sound even more authentic if it were fretless but I am happy with the sound I can get out of it. Incidentally this works pretty well on my Ibanez Affirma bass, which also has the aerosilk piezo pickup system in the bridge.
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