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Jonnyboy Rotten

Vester Bass Guitar (or is it an Ibanez SR 5 String?)

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Hey guys,

I was browsing the ebay listings and came across this. I have never heard of Vester before, but this looks suspiciously like my Ibanez SG SR300 even with the same Maple/Rosewood 5 ply neck.

Does anyone know anything about Vester and if they 'share' or rebadge the SR range with Ibanez or is it just a copy with reasonable attention to detail?

[url="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vester-5-string-Bass-/200951262761"]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vester-5-string-Bass-/200951262761[/url]

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i have owned 4 vesters and still own one now and i think a friend of mine had this exact model.
they are built well but do vary from instrument to instrument.
vester made generally good quality korean and japanese instruments and had a broad range of designs.
eventually they got tied up in a legal distpute due to fender taking offence to their logo shape which was similar to the fender one and went under.
(a shame considering the quality was on par or better than the fenders at the time and they were cheaper too)
if the neck is straight and there is not too much fretwear then this is a fair price.

Edited by winterfire666

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MB1.
They did make a rather splendid Thumb clone.
Not to be confused with these guys...

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[quote name='MB1' timestamp='1376394765' post='2173206']
MB1.
They did make a rather splendid Thumb clone.
[/quote]

yeah the 'clipper' i shouldnt have sold that one, better than the warwick counterpart in my opinion (with upgraded pickups that is)

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I've got the one people refer to as a thumb clone.

Great bass easier to play than a thumb thats for sure, big solid brass bridge. I swapped the pups for EMGs.

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i cant have vesters featuring on a thread without posting this bad boy
the mighty Vester 'Argus' - extremely rare natural finish premium version

[attachment=141450:vester argus.jpg]


so good my new xylem custom build is based on it :^)

Edited by winterfire666

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I had a Vester Jazz copy once which I defretted and Jaco-ised as it had no routing under the pickguard. Every now and then it crops up on eBay with people commenting on what a lovely job's been done of the defret... warms me inside considering it was only the second bass I'd done it too, and being in my first year at uni at the time when I did the deed I was rotten drunk and chainsmoking cigars... Frets were a bit chunky when still installed but otherwise a really nicely made bass.

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I had this model - it's the catchily named OPR1335EQ. I thought it was very well made and potentially an excellent bass, except that the neck was very thin at the nut and terribly cramped for a 5er. It didn't help that it was my first 5-string, but I still think it was too narrow.

Watch out on the price - I paid £100 for mine, but when I came to sell it a few months later couldn't get more than £80. That was a few years ago, but I doubt if they'll have appreciated since then.

Edit to add that its active, with generic Korean electronics, which worked well.

Pictures, as it did happen.



Edited by spinynorman

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[quote name='spinynorman' timestamp='1376412513' post='2173622']

Watch out on the price - I paid £100 for mine, but when I came to sell it a few months later couldn't get more than £80. That was a few years ago, but I doubt if they'll have appreciated since then.

[/quote]

thats silly cheap for the quality of the instrument.
my vester argus cost me £350 brand new (i think it should have been £450 but i got a deal because of a tiny unnoticable natural wood blemish) and easily compares to basses in the £600-700 price range in terms of quality although i looked at the trade catalogue at the time and it was one of the highest spec models
ill never sell it though :^)

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[quote name='winterfire666' timestamp='1376415351' post='2173662']
thats silly cheap for the quality of the instrument.
my vester argus cost me £350 brand new (i think it should have been £450 but i got a deal because of a tiny unnoticable natural wood blemish) and easily compares to basses in the £600-700 price range in terms of quality although i looked at the trade catalogue at the time and it was one of the highest spec models
ill never sell it though :^)
[/quote]

I wasn't happy, as I thought it was easily worth the £125 it cost me after shipping, but it seems there's no resale value in the brand. A Maniac, similar to mine, but with PJ pickups, just sold on eBay.com for $91. Some of the Fender copies they did weren't so hot, and I think that rubbed off on the rest. Maybe the later ones can get a bit more, but its a much better bet to buy, so long as you don't pay a lot, rather than sell.

Last post on [url="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/unusual-vester-photos-429324/"]this Talkbass thread[/url] confirms my opinion of the string spacing. Unless you like really tight string spacing, that's going to put people off.

There used to be a good Vester fan site maintained by a Dutch guy, which has gone now. (He used my photos without asking, not that I minded.) You can still see it on the [url="http://web.archive.org/web/20101201053112/http://vesterfansite.nl/page10.php?view=thumbnailList&category=14"]Wayback Machine[/url].

And for anyone that's not already bored to death, a catalogue scan.

Edited by spinynorman

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WOW - this thread just took me back 20 years or so - this was my first five-string at the age of 16 - begged for it for Christmas and Santa duly delivered! Great playing bass, which I let go on a trade-up a few years later (wish I hadn't!). The white finish looked awesome :-)

memories... :-)

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[quote name='51m0n' timestamp='1376395293' post='2173231']
I've got the one people refer to as a thumb clone.

Great bass easier to play than a thumb thats for sure, big solid brass bridge. I swapped the pups for EMGs.
[/quote]

I used to have the Thumb clone in fretless guise. Sold it when I got a proper Thumb for defretting, which had the nasty thick later Warwick neck which I had reprofiled to JD dimensions. So the Vester was nicer to play than a 2000 Thumb but not as good as a 1987 JD Thumb.

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[quote name='tauzero' timestamp='1376693893' post='2178257']
I used to have the Thumb clone in fretless guise. Sold it when I got a proper Thumb for defretting, which had the nasty thick later Warwick neck which I had reprofiled to JD dimensions. So the Vester was nicer to play than a 2000 Thumb but not as good as a 1987 JD Thumb.
[/quote]

It wasnt just the neck profile, Thumb basses have a far too large gap between the string and the body for my liking, when you pop the string I find my finger goes too far under it. Really annoying!

Also I've never played a Thumb that wasnt heavier than a pregnant elephant, the Vester isnt as light as my Roscoe, but its still a lot lighter than a Thumb.....

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[quote name='51m0n' timestamp='1376694195' post='2178261']
Also I've never played a Thumb that wasnt heavier than a pregnant elephant, the Vester isnt as light as my Roscoe, but its still a lot lighter than a Thumb.....
[/quote]

Warwick - the sound of wood, the weight of concrete. I've never found the weight an issue, possibly because the Thumb's predecessors included a Hayman 40/40 and a 70s fretless P made out of a railway sleeper.

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I just dug out my Vester 'whatever' as it has been sitting at the back of the cupboard for about a year untouched. Still plays nicely, sounds great considering the cost, but totally agree about the string spacing. Very tight. Thinking about taking it along to a gig tomorrow night.

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Holy necropost!

But seriously did we actually get to the bottom of if they were an Ibanez copy or if they were the factory that made the SR for Ibanez who decided to do their own etc? Can any one shed any light?

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[quote name='Jonnyboy Rotten' timestamp='1382557854' post='2253725']
Holy necropost!

But seriously did we actually get to the bottom of if they were an Ibanez copy or if they were the factory that made the SR for Ibanez who decided to do their own etc? Can any one shed any light?
[/quote]
No and no. Realistically the Ibby SRs are pretty much a copy of [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/189847-tune-japanese-basses-anybody-know-much-about-them/"]Tune's Bass Maniac[/url] range which appeared in the mid/late 80s. It was a pretty influential design and quite a lot of early 90s stuff took cues from Tune, not just Ibanez. As fot the factory of manufacture, early Ibanez SRs ware made by Fujigen Gakki in Japan and then subsequently in factories all over the place. It's possible the same factory that made Vesters also made some SRs but the design's a coincidence, really.

If I remember rightly Vester attracted Fender's attention not just because of the highly influenced logo but also because of their range of copyright-infringing, P, J, Tele & Strat clones. :rolleyes:

Vester Argus is still on my GAS list, if someone's got a cheap one. :D

Jon.

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A great shame, I didn't know they'd gone under. I too had one as my first 5 string, and I still have it. Some idiot at college tuned it up, not realising the thick string was a B, and the neck has developed a buzz as a result. Nice sound, and low action, although the B is a bit slack and flappy.

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Still have a Vester OPR 1335 EQ, and a Vester 'Sharp Edge' 6 string guitar. Both are brilliant axes, and very playable. Had a Vester 'Clipper' Bass (Warwick Thumb Clone) too, but sold it due to shoulder problems and it weighed a ton(Bubinga) ! But it was loud!. My nephew has my Vester Stage Jazz, and loves the action and playability. So for someone who knew Vester when they were imported by Zildian (UK) back in the early 90s - they are a great substitute for the more expensive brands. Just remember, a name on the headstock does not make you a better player - only a poorer (£) player.

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