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About Chris2112

  • Birthday 08/08/1984

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  1. @Hellzero Let us know when the new bass comes. I'd be interested to know what you're getting. Stefano did say that he had had messages off another couple of guys in Europe interested in the Manne. Being an unlined fretless six, I did immediately wonder if you were one of those who had been looking at it.
  2. Wishing I could remove the black background from the text, but it seems to be something that has copied over from Talkbass where I made the original post for the sake of convenience, since it's so much easier to post images on basschat! Regarding Di Piazza, yes I know, inuut thought he would be a notable name recognised by our forum users. As for the basses, I am looking forward to really putting them through their paces soon. Having both a Pedulla and the Manne is a dream, I just don't think one fretless is enough!
  3. Evening all, I had just wanted to write a quick piece on a new acquisition of mine, something that may be of interest to some of you because there isn't really a great deal about Manne basses on the internet, especially these older models. There is so little, in fact, that I don't even know what this model was called when it was first made, though I will probably write to the company to find out more about it. In any event, Manne are still around today and probably doing a better trade now than they ever have done. They remain very popular in their native Italy and have a very strong following there. Notably, the virtuoso Dominic Di Piazza used to play one of these. They've been in production since the late 80's with the original luthier still in charge today. I spotted this one for sale on Reverb at about 3AM on a night shift a couple of weeks ago and made contact with the owner, a nice Italian guy who was selling the instrument after owning it for 30 years! Yes, I was dealing with the original owner who remarked that it had cost him a 'fortune' when new and it had obviously been well looked after. After a few days of exchanging messages to work out the logistics of a sale, a deal was made and the bass was promptly shipped from Italy, flying out from Milan and making it's way to me in Northumberland, England. I've liked the look of Manne basses for years but I've never seen one in person, never mind held one. However, I am fairly adaptable and must say it is very comfortable to play. The body and neck are maple, with some sort of burled wood veneer on the headstock. The fretboard is unlined ebony with dot markers in line with where the fret would be. It's a substantial instrument, I have not weighed it but it feels about on par with an old maple Yamaha TRB. The neck is very fast and quite thick front-to-back. In comparison to my Pedulla Pentabuzz, which has a very flat neck which is thin front-to-back, the Manne is considerably heftier but no less comfortable for it. The electronics have been replaced with an EMG setup with active/passing switching. So far, I just run it flat choosing active or passive as I fancy it. The output must be buffered because there is no drop off in output between the two, though the tone in noticeably altered. I haven't yet restrung it with new strings, but I can say that present it has an insane amount of grunt and 'mwah'. The sound is full of body, rich and with a very tactile attack. It really responds to plucking hand placement and technique. The setup gives such low, clean action that makes notes 'bloom' and sustain for ages, just the ticket for carefully considered glissando and sliding a few cents up or down into a note. One thing that tech-heads will note is the tuning system, which is one of the smartest I have seen. The headstock has string-posts that the end of of the string is wound through. The post is controlled by a very small, smoothly geared knob mounted on the back of the headstock. The strings are threaded through the post and locked in at the headstock and then tuned from the bridge. Again, the tuning action is so smooth and accurate. I find this unique system to be rerally smartly made and it works perfectly. It seems that this tuning system faded out in the early 90's, I will try and find out why that was. I expect it was pretty expensive to make compared to off the shelf parts. In any event, this bass is a real find for me. I must thank the original owner for keeping it in such good condition. I am now going to woodshed some UZEB and Alain Caron material...
  4. The UK courier business seems to have fallen in the race to the bottom. A decade ago, they all seemed fairly competent and reliable, now they seem less than useless. That said, I have just had a bass flown in from Milan after initially being posted at Parma. Arrived quickly without delay or damage. MBE in Italy seem decent enough!
  5. What is the attraction there Ped? Seema a bit of a change from the usual boutique kit for you (yes, I know well that Celinders aren't cheap).
  6. Just a note on those. I had previously used Elites in years gone by and found them a cheap and decent string. After a few years off, I grabbed a set for my Bogart Blackstone earlier this year and was massively disappointed. They have changed drastically, feeling cheap and rough and sounding pretty weak. Usually the Blackstone sounds pretty aggressive and rich, but not with these thin-sounding Elites.
  7. Although I really liked that bass, I think I sold it at the right time and don't really miss it. I look back fondly but it was practically brand new when I got it off Pete. A really cool bass that plays and sounds just brilliant, but I've seen it up for sale a few times and never had any burning desire to get it back. OTOH, I sold a Status Stealth 6 string years ago that I still miss. Six strings are always the ones I regret selling, though having something fill it's place staunches the wound! These days, I just buy basses. Selling them is a faff and I'd rather build a collection than thin one out.
  8. Can anyone offer a short summary of what they did wrong, for someone like me who will probably never see the show?
  9. Bass Direct can be a bit hit and miss. I usually use them for strings without issue, it seems odd ordering something without getting a confirmation email back (other than from PayPal) but the strings usually turn up - eventually - in good order. I did once get a set of six strings from them when I had ordered five and was never sure why. Perhaps they sent them by mistake, perhaps they didn't have a five string set available so just sent the six string pack rather than lose the sale. On one occasion, I did try to buy something from them (I think it was a bass though I can't say what) only to be told it was out of stock after payment had been taken. However, I was refunded the next day without issue. Things seem a little more haphazard there since Marcus left. Maybe it's all in my mind. In any event, despite their great stock and one-man-band approach, Bass Direct do seem to be lagging behind a bit in the customer service stakes. It would be great to have a place like that in the UK that was genuinely heralded as being flawlessly excellent, like the kind of customer service you might get in American from say, the Bass Centre in Florida. In terms of bad customer service, two things come to mind that aren't bass related but stand out as just being fosters poor. On one occasion, many years ago, I was out for a meal with my parents at the old San Lorenzo restaurant on Gosforth High Street in Newcastle. I had some sort of pizza with mushrooms on it. As I was eating it, I found a short and curly black hair with a white bud on the end. I notified the waiter, who came back and said the chef wanted to see the pizza. He came back and told me the chef had said it was a hair from the mushrooms! Of course, the pizza and the offending hair were by that point probably in the bin. I declined a replacement pizza and yet I still had to ask for the pizza to be taken off the bill once we were all done. Treating the customer like an idiot - fail. I never went back. The most petty and egregious bit of bad customer service still lives with me now, even years after the company went under. The offending party was Grainger Games, with their store in the Metro Centre, Gateshead. I had been a customer of Grainger Games for years, ever since they were a small octagonal stall inside the Grainger Market in the toon. I can even remember the first game I bought there, it was 'Hexen' for the PS1. Over the years, my brother and I had probably spent thousands there. On a whim, I wenty into the Metro Centre store once and picked up a used copy of Devil May Cry for the Xbox 360 (the rubbish remake with the emo-Dante lead). It was only about a tenner or less, so I bought it and went home. I went to get the disc out of the box a couple of days later and noticed the disc was cracked all the way through, but the seam on the top side of the disc was fairly tight so you wouldn't notice the damage unless you were lifting the disc out of the case. In that sense, it would have been easy to pop the broken disc back in without even noticing the damage, which is exactly what I had assumed had happened. I went back to the store a few days later to return the game, not particularly bothered about the cash and quite happy to take store credit for something else. The manager of the store, a dreadfully impolite bloke, had a look at the disc and outright accused me of breaking the disc. He said "Nah, you've broken that getting it out of the case" and proceeded to flex the disc in the holder, showing the break. I had no doubt that was how the damage was caused but I didn't appreciate being accused in this fashion. He refused to refund me, made me out to be a liar and probably contravened my statutory rights in doing so. I decided there and then never to spend another penny at a Grainger Games. So incensed was I that I wrote a letter to the head office (which was in Benton at the time), complaining about their customer service and noting that I was a long time customer and felt stiffed by the store manager over a £10 game. They sent back more than that sum in vouchers in response, but I never did spend my own cash in store again and I warned my mates of their attitude too. The company went bust a couple of years ago, doomed by their unsustainable business model and the changing market. Although my business wouldn't have saved them, it wouldn't have hurt either.
  10. They have that really rough-hewn, hand-bodged look that Wish and Carl Thompson basses have.
  11. She does occasionally take the hats off, too.
  12. I don't think you could actually buy that from Wish, it'll be a scam like everything else on there. There original was built for the famous YouTube oaf Jared Dines and turned out to have been made in China following some sort of scam involving the original US based builder he had contracted to build it.
  13. Personally, I'm thrilled. I bought a load of Brand X albums back in the days before you could easily check stuff out on the internet to see if you liked it or not. Suffice to say, I didn't really like any of it, finding the albums quite forgettable. I thought it was a lot closer to prog rock than the sort of great fusion it had been described as. In a way, that was sort of understandable given the size and shape of the UK scene at the time. Moreover, I was never a huge fan of Percy's tone. Much like John Patitucci, I found his presence for plucking near the neck could render his sound a little indistinct. That said, it was of little consequence to me as I didn't really give their records repeat listens. The hiring of Jeff Berlin is a great move, I think, because if you're suddenly faced by a longstanding bass chair being vacated, why wouldn't you seek to hire the best in the business? I would have thought that Jeff's historic association with Bill Bruford would play well with Brand X fans and his feat of being able to play an AWBH at a few days notice in the 80's will certainly have worked in his favour.
  14. 'Sadness Will Prevail' by Today Is The Day could have done with being a single album. It's a concept piece, yeah we get it - but the concept could have been conveyed the hour of great tracks and left the rest of the ambient/dawdling parts behind.
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