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Vigier Porn!

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19 minutes ago, MNY said:

Hello All,

My Vigier story is quite an unusual one. Some years ago not long after I first started to play bass I tracked down a JD Supernatural to a shop in Birkenhead called Fusion Music. I hadn’t ever seen one in the flesh let alone had the opportunity to buy one, despite them becoming popular off the back of the success of Level 42. I remember travelling with my Dad over the water from Wigan to view and purchase the said JD. 

Whilst we were in the shop looking at the bass which was on a shelf about 10 feet in the air, we got chatting to a French gentleman who had several flight cases with him. I believe this was early 80’s and may even have been Mr.Vigier himself looking to set up a UK dealer network. He showed me a Vigier Passion bass which I vaguely remember being a red/orange burst. The bass definitely had a full graphite neck and I do remember him eschewing the virtues of the bass for slap styles. I could have bought the bass off him for around the same price as the JD just under £700, but frankly I had no idea what I was looking at. I ended up buying the JD which looking back I probably loved because it was played by Mark King. It was an ok bass but went in trade for a Status a couple of years later. I bet if I’d bought the Vigier I would have saved myself a few quid swapping basses. 
 

Not being much of a handy man I have always found myself getting frustrated when having to mess about adjusting truss rods and bridge saddles, I know some folks like it but to me it’s a chore and a waste of playing time. Over the past few weeks I have struggled with the changing temperatures and even though my basses were stored in a stable environment their necks were definitely moving, practically every day. In my frustration I started to look at basses with more stable necks like Spector and Dingwall and came across a shop in Blackburn that had a couple of Vigier basses in stock. From there the research started. I literally scoured the internet and read as much as I could about the brand including several threads on this very site. I couldn’t find any negativity at all (apart from one absurd review in an online bass magazine which slated the build quality and lack of truss rod). After a chat with my lovely long suffering and ever reasonable wife I despatched myself off to Warwick to visit the brilliant Bass Direct to view the only stock Passion bass I could find in the UK. A beautiful blue 5 string. On the snowy drive down I tried to convince myself it was maybe too expensive, it was a 5 string (I haven’t ever kept one for a long period) I should look at other guitars including some Sadowskys, Mayones and maybe the stunning Haynes bass they have in stock. On arrival I was presented with an incredibly beautiful Vigier bass to try through a Genzler rig similar to my own and from there it was game over. I  could have bought half of the basses in the shop for what I was going to shell out for the Vigier,  minus the p/ex on my own basses of course. Needless to say I didn’t even look at the extensive range of drool worthy items on display. 
 

Initial impressions are very positive. The sound is not really what I am I used to hearing having played wooden necked Jazz bass variants in the main with a couple of exceptions, but it’s a really amazing tone especially with both pickups engaged, when it seems to have a real growl. This is my favourite setting for both finger playing and slap. I have been worried about the low B but I needn’t have been, not only does it sound clear as a bell I am enjoying using it as it never sounds at all woolly.  Sorry for the long post, I sincerely hope that the Vigier remains in my possession for a very long time as I can’t imagine that there is much better out there in terms of quality of build or tone. The look won’t be to everyone’s taste but I find it quite refreshing  and faithful to the ‘one that got away’ all those years ago.

My very best wishes to you all for the year ahead. 

 

 

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That is a beautiful bass. Lovely colour and finish. Thanks for sharing!

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@thodrik you’re welcome. Thank you. I hope in some way the story was as interesting as the bass. 

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Im new to this type of pornography but I’ve just taken this one in a trade for my Alpher, only 2 months old and man it’s a corker. Just gotta learn to play a 5 properly. The build quality is mega and it sounds lovely too. 

72A771C9-D5D1-4B2E-9046-BE5C163185B5.jpeg

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I much prefer the looks of the Passions like that , to the Arpeges overall.

I'm spent out for a while , but whenever one came up for sale , always every time coincided with me just buying something else .

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Posted (edited)

@thodrik @MNY and @walshy I think I have your baby brother!

For me this bass really comes into its own in a mix - punchy, growly and articulate. Ridiculously comfortable to play and pretty much flawless finish.

I was thinking about replacing the chrome hardware with black, but then discovered that the ABM bridge is a proprietary Vigier design so decided against messing around drilling new holes etc.

I did originally want a matte sapphire finish but couldn't wait the 12 months for Mr. Vigier to build it! Am very happy with this one though, the deep deep blue looks great. 

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Edited by CookPassBabtridge
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1 hour ago, CookPassBabtridge said:

@thodrik and @walshy I think I have your baby brother!

For me this bass really comes into its own in a mix - punchy, growly and articulate. Ridiculously comfortable to play and pretty much flawless finish.

I was thinking about replacing the chrome hardware with black, but then discovered that the ABM bridge is a proprietary Vigier design so decided against messing around drilling new holes etc.

I did originally want a matte sapphire finish but couldn't wait the 12 months for Mr. Vigier to build it! Am very happy with this one though, the deep deep blue looks great. 

IMG_6881.jpeg

IMG_6880.jpeg

Amazing looking bass! I really like that finish a lot. I really want a Passion as it is the only Vigier bass model I am missing.

In terms of the bridge, I was initially wary of the monorail bridge design on the Arpege compared to the solid hulk of metal on the Excess. However, in terms of functionality and sustain, the monorail bridge on the Arpege has been brilliant and I definitely wouldn’t change it.

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1 hour ago, thodrik said:

Amazing looking bass! I really like that finish a lot. I really want a Passion as it is the only Vigier bass model I am missing.

In terms of the bridge, I was initially wary of the monorail bridge design on the Arpege compared to the solid hulk of metal on the Excess. However, in terms of functionality and sustain, the monorail bridge on the Arpege has been brilliant and I definitely wouldn’t change it.

Cheers! I agree, the monorail bridge is great.

I very nearly went for an Arpege but got the Passion in the end - Arpeges seem to be really rare and I liked liked the pickup position of the Passion. I’d love to know how an Arpege sounds though, the individual preamp for each pickup is a great idea. 

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9 hours ago, CookPassBabtridge said:

Cheers! I agree, the monorail bridge is great.

I very nearly went for an Arpege but got the Passion in the end - Arpeges seem to be really rare and I liked liked the pickup position of the Passion. I’d love to know how an Arpege sounds though, the individual preamp for each pickup is a great idea. 

I think that there is good degree of overlap between the Arpege and the Passion. 

The three band EQ per pickup on the Arpege does give a bit of option paralysis at times. It has taken my ten years to figure out my preferred settings!

I don't tend to use the Arpege as a traditional 'jazz bass' by running the pickup blend dead centre. It sounds great doing this, but in practice I prefer a more traditional 'Fendery' type bass for traditional J bass sounds (I have a Sadowsky for that). 

I use the pickup blend to slightly favour the rear pickup. I generally use the EQ system to add a bit of additional bass to the back pickup (but not the front pick to avoid too avoid a potential lack of definition), so that it sounds less like a single coil jazz pickup, but more like a big humbacker or dual JJ pickup you would find on a Warwick Thumb five string or a Stingray. In practice, I think I am actually trying to make the Arpege sound more like a Passion!

A black, satin finished 5 string Passion is on my 'wishlist' for sure. 

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1 hour ago, thodrik said:

I think that there is good degree of overlap between the Arpege and the Passion. 

The three band EQ per pickup on the Arpege does give a bit of option paralysis at times. It has taken my ten years to figure out my preferred settings!

I don't tend to use the Arpege as a traditional 'jazz bass' by running the pickup blend dead centre. It sounds great doing this, but in practice I prefer a more traditional 'Fendery' type bass for traditional J bass sounds (I have a Sadowsky for that). 

I use the pickup blend to slightly favour the rear pickup. I generally use the EQ system to add a bit of additional bass to the back pickup (but not the front pick to avoid too avoid a potential lack of definition), so that it sounds less like a single coil jazz pickup, but more like a big humbacker or dual JJ pickup you would find on a Warwick Thumb five string or a Stingray. In practice, I think I am actually trying to make the Arpege sound more like a Passion!

A black, satin finished 5 string Passion is on my 'wishlist' for sure. 

Haha yeah, I’m sure I’d be the same if I had the Arpege, I find it hard enough with just a  normal 3-band EQ! At the moment I’m also favouring the rear pickup on my Passion slightly, with mids cranked up, bit of bass boost and bit of treble cut. 

That black finish does look tasty. There’s a grey finish too I think? That would also be very nice in satin.

DA3B795E-C87C-4EE6-A924-7C0ED2222BC0.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, CookPassBabtridge said:

Haha yeah, I’m sure I’d be the same if I had the Arpege, I find it hard enough with just a  normal 3-band EQ! At the moment I’m also favouring the rear pickup on my Passion slightly, with mids cranked up, bit of bass boost and bit of treble cut. 

That black finish does look tasty. There’s a grey finish too I think? That would also be very nice in satin.

DA3B795E-C87C-4EE6-A924-7C0ED2222BC0.jpeg

I really like that finish. I really wanted that for the Arpege but when one in burgundy came up for sale I wasn't going to be choosy!

Honestly, if the pickup system in the Arpege was converted to a comparatively 'simple' three band EQ shared for both pick ups I don't think I would particularly mind. It is the neck shape and general fit and finish that impresses me more than the electronics, even though the electronics are great.

Edited by thodrik
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Posted (edited)
On 02/03/2021 at 16:02, walshy said:

Im new to this type of pornography but I’ve just taken this one in a trade for my Alpher, only 2 months old and man it’s a corker. Just gotta learn to play a 5 properly. The build quality is mega and it sounds lovely too. 

72A771C9-D5D1-4B2E-9046-BE5C163185B5.jpeg

Glad you like the new bass Paul. Unfortunately for me the experiment with 5 strings didn’t work but I now have a stunning Alpher Bass which I am enjoying.Assuming I can afford a 4 string Vigier at some point I won’t hesitate as they are very special basses for sure.

Edited by MNY
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Is this worth a mention in the Vigier porn thread? My 89 Passion series 111, and my recently acquired 83 Arpege series1 Both are incredible instruments..Took abit of time to find an Arpege series1/11 funnily enough! Delighted to have this and quite possibly the best neck I have played on any bass, just amazing..Coming to terms now with how the electronics work.. Sounds great..In excellent condition,  Replacing the cracked back control plate, known Vigier problem..cutting out a bit of plastic to size no big deal..So this is the second Arpege  that I have owned..I had a series 1V..Wonderful bass all singing and dancing, the Glokenklang preamp..but I just feel the older through neck models have abit more in my humble opinion..This maybe nearly forty years old but still pretty groundbreaking in my eyes..Now what about a fretless.lol👍🤟😃

IMG_20210309_153251.jpg

IMG_20210309_153316.jpg

IMG_20210309_153747.jpg

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Love it. Some indicator lines might help with the pre. The caps can be changed and must have been replaced with blank ones previously. I think the knobs are Sifam type, I'll see if I can dig out the details. Stunning bass!

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2 hours ago, wright/watt said:

Now what about a fretless.lol👍🤟😃

Like this one :

399728ded1483a1271414dac1c58ab2f16d6ce20

74b345d180a3df81fc1a4ffc1f05bcba78e4c722

3913ca369fe405382dd6958f6513ec142a7a01c7

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1 hour ago, ped said:

Love it. Some indicator lines might help with the pre. The caps can be changed and must have been replaced with blank ones previously. I think the knobs are Sifam type, I'll see if I can dig out the details. Stunning bass!

Hi Ped,

Yes it is an out an out beauty and a joy to play..Yes the knobs are not the original but do work, any information on originals always good..thanks. Alan😃👍

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9 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Like this one :

399728ded1483a1271414dac1c58ab2f16d6ce20

74b345d180a3df81fc1a4ffc1f05bcba78e4c722

3913ca369fe405382dd6958f6513ec142a7a01c7

Yes something like that would be the business!! Beautiful flame maple in the neck😃

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4 hours ago, ped said:

Love it. Some indicator lines might help with the pre. The caps can be changed and must have been replaced with blank ones previously. I think the knobs are Sifam type, I'll see if I can dig out the details. Stunning bass!

Hi Ped..Thanks for the heads up Sifam control knobs..Have managed to order some..Good news👍😃

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Or the extraordinary Delta Metal one (I love metal fingerboard on fretless basses, check the Fretless Porn thread and my Le Fay Remington Steele 6 RHT CC CAP Big Block) :

fa3f94c70fac24473dd1762b3fc6fe26000b38b7

06ac178eb4566d37047d960f64fc6214953775bf

1da6cdef96c10149c2ed4fcf339e9ad43541ba99

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49 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Or the extraordinary Delta Metal one...

Lovely! 1980 something? How are there fretlines?

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Yep, exactly 1980 for the first Delta Metal fretless instrument...

The very early Delta Metal fretless models were "lined".

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Posted (edited)

DAAAMN... absolutely worth mentioning...
you managed to snatch it up before me... Been looking for one as well... guess i have to keep looking.

Enjoy it!!!

 

On 14/03/2021 at 11:14, wright/watt said:

Is this worth a mention in the Vigier porn thread? My 89 Passion series 111, and my recently acquired 83 Arpege series1 Both are incredible instruments..Took abit of time to find an Arpege series1/11 funnily enough! Delighted to have this and quite possibly the best neck I have played on any bass, just amazing..Coming to terms now with how the electronics work.. Sounds great..In excellent condition,  Replacing the cracked back control plate, known Vigier problem..cutting out a bit of plastic to size no big deal..So this is the second Arpege  that I have owned..I had a series 1V..Wonderful bass all singing and dancing, the Glokenklang preamp..but I just feel the older through neck models have abit more in my humble opinion..This maybe nearly forty years old but still pretty groundbreaking in my eyes..Now what about a fretless.lol👍🤟😃

IMG_20210309_153251.jpg

IMG_20210309_153316.jpg

IMG_20210309_153747.jpg

Edited by Abjatar
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I really really wish that they would do a wooden walnut style finish of the modern Vigier basses. I would love a walnut finished Excess.

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