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0116 Recurve Classic 5 fretless

Can't believe I've not done this so far... picked the bass up last summer and still get overawed every time I pick it up. It's the easiest to play fretless I've ever owned and the new circuit ensures it's also the most versatile sounding. Alan and I have reasonably similar taste is bass sounds and playability options but here he's read my mind (OK, short read). The pix...

[attachment=132079:Full F.jpg]

[attachment=132080:Full R.jpg]

[attachment=132081:Body F.jpg]

[attachment=132082:Body R.jpg]

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[quote name='rumour6' timestamp='1365502327' post='2040309']
0116 Recurve Classic 5 fretless

Can't believe I've not done this so far... picked the bass up last summer and still get overawed every time I pick it up. It's the easiest to play fretless I've ever owned and the new circuit ensures it's also the most versatile sounding. Alan and I have reasonably similar taste is bass sounds and playability options but here he's read my mind (OK, short read). The pix...

[attachment=132079:Full F.jpg]

[attachment=132080:Full R.jpg]

[attachment=132081:Body F.jpg]

[attachment=132082:Body R.jpg]
[/quote]

That [i]IS[/i] gorgeous matey! What's the scale length on it?

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[quote name='rumour6' timestamp='1365502327' post='2040309']
[size=4]Can't believe I've not done this so far... picked the bass up last summer and still get overawed every time I pick it up. It's the easiest to play fretless I've ever owned and the new circuit ensures it's also the most versatile sounding. Alan and I have reasonably similar taste is bass sounds and playability options but here he's read my mind (OK, short read).[/size]
[/quote]

It's quite un-nerving that. I feel the same way about my fretless ACG (#120).

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[quote name='ead' timestamp='1365506870' post='2040374']
It's quite un-nerving that. I feel the same way about my fretless ACG (#120).
[/quote]

Me too about my first ACG, (#0050), its a very simple 5 string single cut, but everything about it is perfect, when I pick it up its like putting on a nicely worn in pair of jeans, if that makes sense. I'm more of a 6 string player, bass that is, but there's just something so special about that bass :)

Edited by eude

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Recurve 066

[URL=http://s1104.photobucket.com/user/uke2/media/Fenmanbacker/image_zpsc0b05dca.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1104.photobucket.com/albums/h327/uke2/Fenmanbacker/image_zpsc0b05dca.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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Nice looking bass. I see we share a liking for the Midget/Compact stack :)

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[quote name='rumour6' timestamp='1365502327' post='2040309']
0116 Recurve Classic 5 fretless

Can't believe I've not done this so far... picked the bass up last summer and still get overawed every time I pick it up. It's the easiest to play fretless I've ever owned and the new circuit ensures it's also the most versatile sounding. Alan and I have reasonably similar taste is bass sounds and playability options but here he's read my mind (OK, short read). The pix...

[attachment=132079:Full F.jpg]

[attachment=132080:Full R.jpg]

[attachment=132081:Body F.jpg]

[attachment=132082:Body R.jpg]
[/quote]

Thats amazing. I'm no fretless player, but a fretted version of that is pretty much my dream ACG aesthetics wise. Whats the spec?

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[quote name='Chris2112' timestamp='1307725428' post='1264209']













[/quote]

Overview: This bass was initially made for basschat user Greeneking as a “dream bass”. It has turned out to be a bit of a dream bass, for me! Made by Alan at ACG in Moffat, Scotland, this bass has really turned my attention towards modern, high end instruments. It is fresh and intriguing to me on a number of levels…
Construction: The bass is made of mahogany with a flamed sycamore back, a maccasar ebony and maple neck, a gabon ebony fretboard and and an amboyna top. I suppose many would sell the top as “amboyna burl” due to the beautiful figuring in the wood. The thru neck construction is beautiful and the quality of the woods is obscene. I have rarely seen a collection of such beautiful woods in a bass. Even the neck has a glossy flamed character to it, and the mahogany slice exposed on the back of the bass shows a delicate wave of figuring running through. Alan also said the fretboard was the blackest piece of wood he had ever seen. The pickup covers appear to be made of wood and have the ACG logo engraved on top, which is a subtle and smart piece of branding. The side dots on the bass are aluminium – this is one of the most subtle and attractive materials I’ve seen used for this; it adds a touch of understated class like walnut panelling inside a good Mercedes Benz. The bass is finished in Acid Catalysed Lacquer to a high gloss finish. The hardware is black, matte finish Hipshot USA stuff, extremely high quality. A Neutrik locking jack is also included for ultra-reliable connections and security.
The construction has been a real surprise. I was expecting a nice, handmade instrument. When I first saw it, I was taken aback. The quality of the woodworking is incredible. Everything is so incredibly precise, the materials used are the absolute best. It is quite easily as nice as anything I’ve ever played and quite easily matches the level of precision and sophistication seen on the most elegant of Fodera and Alembic basses.
Playability: Again, it’s in a class of it’s own. When I first saw the pictures of it, I thought it looked oddly elongated but still a fresh and elegant design. When I saw it in person, I realised how small and superbly proportioned it actually is. With a strap on, it suits beautifully with no neck dive. The first position isn’t too far away as the bridge sits over the body. The bridge does not sit quite as far across as it does on a Warwick Thumb bass, but neither is it offset massively to the side like it is when you play a Fender jazz bass. I tend to wear my basses quite high up, and the accessiblity to all areas of the fretboard is superb. The singlecut design gives it incredible access to the upper frets and the hand never feels strained at those positions, which is a bonus. It has really reinvigorated my desire to comp and solo in the higher registers. The neck is an asymmetrical design, I have heard it compared to a “bass clef” shape. Thicker on the E string side and thinning out towards the G string side, producing a very natural feeling neck. It feels like a real step forward for neck design, superbly comfortable. The board has no radius, which I like. It is a unique player, due to it’s singlecut style and custom neck. It’s equally at home sitting down or standing up, and the weight is very reasonable. I’d be quite happy to do a full standing set with this bass, and I love lightweight basses.
Sound: The sounds of these basses is destined to be the real talking point. Alan used “ACG” pickups wound by Aaron Armstrong. The neck pickup contains an Alnico magnet for warmth and there is a ceramic magnet in the bridge pickup for burp and punch. The pickups then run through an ACG EQ01 pre-amp. This is a filter based pre-amp, with low pass filters and “resonance peak” controls for each pickup with an overall treble and treble peak resonance control. It’s a setup that I found confusing intially. It reminds me of the some of the more exotic Alembic pre-amps in terms of layout, and I found myself fiddling away with controls for a while. What I’ve unlocked is a pre-amp that is incredible versatile, but loaded with it’s own character. It’s certainly a massive step away from traditional boost and cut pre-amps and it took me a few days to really get what I wanted out of it. I could sit down and turn a few controls and I’d have a brilliant sound; but fine tuning it to make the exact sound a I wanted was a bit tricker. Luckily, Alan spotted that I had bought the bass and emailed me the instructions. Once I had a clear understanding of what the controls did and how the pre-amp worked I was able to make the magic happen.
It’s a difficult thing to explain; how the pre-amp works and how you can use it. It is something I will certainly go into if anyone is interested. Suffice to say, I’ve had a blast with it. Given that I bought this bass to be brilliant in the studio, it certainly delivers. A wide range of tones are on offer, but never sound “forced” or artificial like some would with a cut/boost pre-amp (maxing out the treble and bass on an active jazz to try and creat a slap machine bass, for example). This is because you can subtly contour your sound to the extent that it sounds like the bass was meant to sound like that. It’s not just a bass with one voice that can go louder or boomier, it’s a bass with many voices.
It’s natural sound is bright and modern. It’s certainly not Status Graphite or MTD bright, but it gives a nice shimmer. It settles into a burpy, characteristic midrange and a bottom that I believe Geddy Lee would call “fruity” (as he described the bottom end of his Wal basses in 1993). The Wal comparison is something that comes up a lot with these basses, although it was never Alan’s goal. They’ve both got filter based pre-amps and both have a similar sounding midrange. I’ve found that the ACG fits in tonally with”Hold Your Fire” and “Power Windows” by RUSH, I reckon I could dub the bass tracks on those records and few would be able to tell the difference (save for the playing). The bottom end is superbly present too, and the thru neck construction adds a wonderfully even quality to the tones.
The pickups in this bass are the “RFB” models, based on a Musicman Humbucker design. They’re both big, punchy pickups and creat a tonal character that jumps out at you. Interestingly, the bass has a couple of switches that I understand are coil taps. Whatever they do, they just suck the oomph from the bass in general, although flipping the neck one can give you a that huge, middy punch that Musicman Stingrays get. I hear that Alan will most likely be dropping these from these basses, although for me it’s an interesting extra and one I’d ask for again if I bought another ACG!
Verdict: I’m extremely impressed, and even more surprised. I had no idea there were luthiers like this on our doorstep. Sure, you’ve got Sei, Wal and Status down south and Overwater in Carlisle occasionally produce a stunner, but ACG were a relative unknown to me. That made discovering this bass all the more remarkable. Getting it has changed the way I play bass (again). I still love to slap, and this bass is great at that, but it’s got bme back to my Rush and Paul Simon records, revisiting all those incredible fingerstyle lines. It’s got me going over my 80′s pop records, adding to or playing over the basslines there. This is my first singlecut bass, and I’ve fallen in love with it.
Having played my way through the top end basses (Fodera, Alembic, Status, Wal, Kubicki etc etc) it was easy to find incredible basses, but getting harder to find ones that made my jaw drop and get back to the simple joys of playing everything I could through it just because it was so effortless to play and sounded so damn good. I hope the wider bass playing community soon start to embrace these forward thinking ideas that ACG incorporate; I don’t think it will be too long before these top drawer creations from ACG are enjoying the accolades gives to other legendary British luthiers like Status Graphite and Wal!

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][i][b]Mine now...recently acquired in a trade with Ziggy - loving it..[/b][/i][/font][/size]

Edited by TheGreek

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Fantastic mate, that bass is an absolutely beauty! Congratulations :)

Eude

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Updated family snapshots for you ACG lovers - obviously any bass-related communication with Mrs ead must be sanctioned by me first :ph34r:

[attachment=144830:ACG family snapshot v2 01.JPG] [attachment=144831:ACG family snapshot v2 02.JPG]


In the matter of the grunge fretless, I acquired an additional p/guard from Mr C and I'm now a bit undecided. What is the view of the BC community, parchment or tort?

[attachment=144832:ACG Graft with parchment pg.JPG] [attachment=144833:ACG Graft with tort pg.JPG]

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[quote name='ead' timestamp='1377465671' post='2187931']
Great review. Welcome to the ACG club.
[/quote]

I'd like to take credit for it but I pinched it straight from the ACG website..

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And a track made with the guitar above:

[url="https://soundcloud.com/spoombung/make-it-so"]https://soundcloud.c...bung/make-it-so[/url]

Edited by Spoombung

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Here is an update of my current 3.

[URL=http://s915.photobucket.com/user/andrew_workman1/media/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_0612_zps4f446b45.jpg.html][IMG]http://i915.photobucket.com/albums/ac358/andrew_workman1/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_0612_zps4f446b45.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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[quote name='ead' timestamp='1380356341' post='2224127']
Updated family snapshots for you ACG lovers - obviously any bass-related communication with Mrs ead must be sanctioned by me first :ph34r:

[attachment=144830:ACG family snapshot v2 01.JPG] [attachment=144831:ACG family snapshot v2 02.JPG]


In the matter of the grunge fretless, I acquired an additional p/guard from Mr C and I'm now a bit undecided. What is the view of the BC community, parchment or tort?

[attachment=144832:ACG Graft with parchment pg.JPG] [attachment=144833:ACG Graft with tort pg.JPG]
[/quote]

I'd go parchment.
In fact I bought a grunge black Jazz style with parchment scratch plate and was wondering if a tort scratch plate would be more pleasing to the eye.
Having seen them side by side I'll stick to the parchment.
That's a gorgeous fretless.
Can't wait to get some pics up. I've noticed that a lot of people use the pics from Alan's site, probably because photographing a bass isn't as easy as you'd think.

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I've just ended up with this beauty. I've has Sei's and Alembics and the build quality on this surpasses them hands down. It's an incredible instrument.


[attachment=153256:ACG 1.jpg]
[attachment=153258:ACG2.jpg]

Edited by Johngh

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[quote name='Johngh' timestamp='1390734190' post='2348682']
I've just ended up with this beauty. I've has Sei's and Alembics and the build quality on this surpasses them hands down. It's an incredible instrument.


[attachment=153256:ACG 1.jpg]
[attachment=153258:ACG2.jpg]
[/quote]

Great news mate, glad to hear you're as impressed as I am with my basses. I've not compared it to an Alembic, but ACGs beat everything else I've tried.
That's a beauty of a bass mate, enjoy :)

Eude

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Thought I had better put up picks of the ACG's together

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/FAEB0B77-836F-473E-8E23-DA92780CC3D5_zpsy4euadsw.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/FAEB0B77-836F-473E-8E23-DA92780CC3D5_zpsy4euadsw.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

and some more of the Purple Monster

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/1EC267C1-9357-47EC-B506-827AE864B555_zpsdmflwsdo.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/1EC267C1-9357-47EC-B506-827AE864B555_zpsdmflwsdo.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/B2AB5FF2-909C-4F60-95EA-75E4E0D80D83_zpskxwre3xd.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/B2AB5FF2-909C-4F60-95EA-75E4E0D80D83_zpskxwre3xd.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/473B9922-36DE-4301-A5EC-457CDE177B5F_zpsektyslzo.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/473B9922-36DE-4301-A5EC-457CDE177B5F_zpsektyslzo.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/2AB8D527-73DB-4B64-B89A-8BC40AF4C227_zpsnz39drrm.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/2AB8D527-73DB-4B64-B89A-8BC40AF4C227_zpsnz39drrm.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/AAE07E33-7E2C-4585-9BA0-5952DDACF50B_zpsqppxhek8.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/AAE07E33-7E2C-4585-9BA0-5952DDACF50B_zpsqppxhek8.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/BC200234-EB00-4BF1-8562-7AF83C7E82DB_zpsjn1xzhqz.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/BC200234-EB00-4BF1-8562-7AF83C7E82DB_zpsjn1xzhqz.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://s420.photobucket.com/user/spongebob_sqaurepants/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/4C1C8273-E0AC-4630-9591-2DD416A63FDD_zpsgmcvd2eg.jpg.html][IMG]http://i420.photobucket.com/albums/pp287/spongebob_sqaurepants/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-02/4C1C8273-E0AC-4630-9591-2DD416A63FDD_zpsgmcvd2eg.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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Loving the purple monster, great pickup and EQ combination imho. I can only begin to imagine what they might sound like in series.

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