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krysh

1989 Guild Pilot fretless - modded with Nordstrand Pickups

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SInce my Pianist said that he really wants me to play fretless more often after I had taken my old Guild Pilot fretless to a rehearsal of my still new Jazz Trio, I took the plunge. I never liked the original EMG pickups much because of the bad tone blend and the somehow compressed tone that they produced which never showed the liveliness of the bass when played dry. I love the Nordstrand NJ4SE in my Frankenjazz but didn't want the typical "jaco" sound at all and after an intense research and great consulting of Adrian Smith from Nordstrand, I bit the bulled and ordered a BigSplit-4 for the bridge and a NP-4 for the neck position. I had my trusted luthier install them with passive Vol-Vol-Tone controls.

Now, what can I say, I made everything right. Not only does this new bass now show even more of my unabilites in fretless playing, but it also rewards me with all the great nuances in tone and articulation that I was missing with the EMG's. Finally this fantastic playing bass also delivers all the great tones I ever wanted, I' am very happy. but decide yourself...

some pics - before:



...and after:





...and yes, the P-Pickup is not in the correct position under the strings, but I didn't want more woodwork to be done on the bass.
After listening and testing very precisely for a while I don't hear any disadvantage in sound, so this will stay.

[url="http://snd.sc/WWrQw2"]HERE[/url] you can decide for yourself if you like the sound (with almost 2 years old Thomastik Flats, which even seem to become better with age). I love it!

Edited by krysh

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The original Pilot basses were extremely under-rated. Superb value instruments!

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[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1360454784' post='1970853']
The original Pilot basses were extremely under-rated. Superb value instruments!
[/quote]

yep, so true. my fretless is the 2nd last Guild Bass of 4 I had. I only sold the 2 other pilots (1 1984 and a 5-string) to be able to pay for some custom instruments. Pilots are some of the best used basses you can get for small money.
But what can I say, for a while I owned 9 guild guitars and basses and only one other bass, now there are still 4 guild guitars and 2 basses left and hopefully will never leave. :D

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That sounds great to me...I don't hear much struggling! I've always enjoyed the EMG sound on fretless, but it can be "generic" and not very personal. Never played a Pilot (or a Guild even) but now I'll have to try one out if I ever see one for sale locally.

Thanks for the review

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[quote name='BassBod' timestamp='1360492726' post='1971070']
That sounds great to me...I don't hear much struggling! I've always enjoyed the EMG sound on fretless, but it can be "generic" and not very personal. Never played a Pilot (or a Guild even) but now I'll have to try one out if I ever see one for sale locally.

Thanks for the review
[/quote]

Thank you BassBod, you are too kind! :)

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Very interesting what you've done to your Pilot. If it works for you and does the job then that's excellent and worth the trouble.

I have a 1984 Guild Pilot and although i have more expensive basses it is probably the nicest to play. They are still amazing value for money.

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1360510180' post='1971423']
Very interesting what you've done to your Pilot. If it works for you and does the job then that's excellent and worth the trouble.

I have a 1984 Guild Pilot and although i have more expensive basses it is probably the nicest to play. They are still amazing value for money.
[/quote]
jep, the pilots are great basses. I have sold my 1984 and 1993 5er pilots to finance some custom basses though.
but the fretless will stay. :D

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Is this a pilot that Jerry Peek is playing?

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcn5QsHCi_4"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcn5QsHCi_4[/url]

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[quote name='Conan' timestamp='1361983867' post='1994048']
Is this a pilot that Jerry Peek is playing?

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcn5QsHCi_4[/media]
[/quote]
yep, he's playing a 1984 with emgs and optional available kahler bass trem. guild dropped the pickuguards one year later.
I had one of these early maple neck pilots in red and it was great. sold it to finance my sei jazz 5 though. :blush:

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Ive never tried one. Wonder if they made lefties.
Found a photo of Jaco playing a Guild Pilot fretless but couldnt upload it.

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[quote name='sblueplanet' timestamp='1366842290' post='2058099']
Ive never tried one. Wonder if they made[b] lefties[/b].
Found a photo of Jaco playing a Guild Pilot fretless but couldnt upload it.
[/quote]

they did but they are very rare.

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[quote name='krysh' timestamp='1361997136' post='1994290']
yep, he's playing a 1984 with emgs and optional available kahler bass trem. guild dropped the pickuguards one year later.
I had one of these early maple neck pilots in red and it was great. sold it to finance my sei jazz 5 though. :blush:
[/quote]
I have a yellow one with Kahler bass Trem and oh what fun it is! It really is 1980s excess.

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