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Buscanti Newport Jazz Bass

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Another Jazz Bass clone? What’s the point? As someone who has tried many different basses over the years I have settled on something completely out of the ordinary rather than an off the shelf model – and I love it. Does a Jazz clone do anything for me now? Will it ever? Well, continue reading and you might just find out!


An old dog with new tricks
First let me run through some basic specs. The bass is a prototype which Jeff and his brother Randy put together over a period of about 3 months. The bass was made to evaluate an interesting electronics package and it’s aimed at the gigging bassist looking for a lightweight, usable and reliable instrument.
-Maple neck and fretboard
-Mahogany body with metallic blue paint
-Chrome hardware (PING tuners)
-EMG JV pickups (Alnico rods, dual coil. data sheet here)
-Modified EMG electronics incorporating an EXB expander.
So the bass is a little different in the electronics department. The controls on the bass, nearest the pickups first, are neck volume, bridge volume, standard tone control and then the EMG EXB bass expander control. There’s also a switch for flipping between the standard Tone and the EXB circuit.

The EXB Bass Expander is a clever little device that increases the low and high frequency regions while reducing the midrange simultaneously to provide extra gain and punch. It works a bit like an unconventional equalisation control that instantly serves up a more percussive sound. Quite useful if you’re a slapper.


But it’s a Jazz Bass!
I have heard the same comment from countless people on BC over the years. No matter how often a user posts a picture of a custom built one-off hand made bass, if it’s the shape of a Jazz Bass, someone will say it’s ‘just another clone’. I haven’t had a Jazz Bass shaped instrument for a long time, and I must admit to feeling more interested in basses that don’t fit the mould.
When this bass arrived, though, I found it was nice to have a ‘classic’ in the stable. A bit like a motor enthusiast might like to have a Cadillac just to tick a box. Though I have a Jazz Bass model set up on myVigier with the Roland GK system there’s something about the feel of a Jazz Bass that’s hard to ignore. I always had the chrome covers on my Jazzes and so installed one on the Buscanti too, because it adds to the feel, the sense of occasion of playing a Jazz Bass.


I like the truss rod adjustment being nice and accessible at the base of the neck. It moved nice and smoothly as I turned it to try and straighten the neck a little. There was plenty of adjustment available and I was quickly able to get the relief just right. The fretwork is very good, but I did find that there was some choking in the upper registers on the G string, probably caused mainly by my penchant for super low action more than anything. However, the bridge was limiting the action by keeping the strings quite high up even with the grub screws in their lowest positions.
I guess this isn’t really a judgement of the quality of the bass, because I have always found this with Jazz Basses so I suppose it’s inherit of the design of a bolt on neck where the fretboard sits quite proud of the body. I’m just used to everything being quite a flat surface. It made me realise how lazy I am as a player with my action and relief. In that respect I really enjoyed playing this bass near the bridge with the back pickup cranked for some tight honky growl. The high(er) action meant I had to work a bit harder and mixed with the feel of the bass I found I was playing quite differently. Still badly, but differently.


Final thoughts
This isn’t meant to be a review, really, because I can’t write them. But it hopefully has shown you the bass, a little information about what I like about it and my reaction to it. The bass would cost about $890 (around £560) plus a little extra for a hard case. Being based in the US this won’t make much sense against some European brands where we won’t pay import duty, but I can’t see any reason why Jeff wouldn’t be able to find a UK importer for these superb quality instruments. I like the little letter Jeff wrote to go along with the bass, and I really get the feeling that him and Randy are putting a lot of passion into what they do.

And the ‘Jazz Bass’? it’s a classic. The Newport by Buscanti is a superb copy of a classic with a few subtle mods. Park one in your garage today!

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[quote name='Me And My Bass' timestamp='1388321233' post='2320681']
Lovely, is there a website for the company? Cant find anything on google.
Buscanti basses are made by a couple of guys in the US. One of them is a member of BassChat, username jazzyitalian. Here's his contact details:


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Thanks gents...That's me. I am the guy that builds these basses. Ped has been a great client and a pleasure to work with!

Yes I don't have a web presence because I don't have the bandwidth to manage one. (Mostly the inquiries) Working hard at just staying in the review sections and some social media.

If you have any questions, just write me here and I'll respond within a reasonable time frame.


Jeff Herman
Buscanti Basses

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