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Status basses - advice

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I've recently found myself being drawn towards Status basses, in particular the headless variety.

I had the chance to buy the all graphite (series 2000?) version back in the 80's on a couple of occasions...but instead opted for a Wal and Vigier respectively. I'm currently at the stage of seriously considering ordering a 5 string S2-Classic (bolt on neck); I really love the visual combination of wood and graphite. 

I am unable to get "hands on" - so Status bass owners what can I expect as a Status owner?

Any opinions gratefully appreciated as in fairness they are not exactly inexpensive instruments.  

 

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I've had a few Status basses over the years.  My Series II was bought new in 1985 - I still use it regularly and it's sat next to me now.  I've had a few Streamlines too and still have one.  Weirdly, back in the '80s, I had the choice of the Status or a Wal.  A Wal might have been worth more now but I've had a number since and they don't last long - they just don't really suit me.  As above, the SII still here and is played all the time.

As to what you can expect, well with an S2 classic, you can expect a very modern, powerful and focused tone with a rich and detailed fundamental - almost a compressed in a way.  though they're a versatile instrument and can offer a range of more 'classic' tones.  The mid-scooped slap-tone is certainly there and you'll hear videos all over youtube.  As for tuning, it's super-accurate and super-stable.  Balance is lovely on the headless instruments, and, if you like a flat D neck profile, then this is the classic Status shape.  Fit and finish is of a generally very high standard, fretwork is always good (in my experience), and the brass hardware is well designed and easily adjustable.  The SII isn't a light instrument but it looks very classy and isn't ridiculously heavy - there was a lot of graphite in the earlier models (not so much now, and certainly not with the bolt-ons).  The notion that Status basses are 'sterile' is commonly held but much over-played in my opinion.  There's quite an organic tone available if you're prepared to look for it.  I tend to favour the bridge pickup with treble rolled back and bass boosted substantially - through an Avalon U5 on setting 2, this is close to the grail of bass tones for me.  Lovely instruments and a company that stands behind its product - very easy to deal with and always helpful should you need anything.  I also like Status own brand DBE strings (30-90 is my favoured gauge).  Good luck - if you're around Manchester, you're welcome to try my Series II 

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As above on quality and sound and everything else. I have four of them, S2 fretless 4, S3 fretted 5, S2000 and Electro 2. All wonderful instruments. The necks are to die for in my opinion. That's what first attracted me to them. Love the shape and feel. The profile on current Status necks is very different to the original Series II/Series 2000.

Neck thrus are noted to have quite a bright sparkly tone with bolt-ons having a slightly warmer tone, as told by Mr. Green himself. Difference in sustain between the two is negligible. The Stealth is a different beast again. Moulded graphite with a rigid foam centre. I believe they have a very sparkly tone. 

They are great instruments and you can buy with confidence. Few regret their purchase and those that do probably can't see past something beginning with F.

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Thanks very much White Cloud - I missed a couple of things, extraordinary neck stability and incredibly low action (if that's what you like - I do and have the SII set-up with a ridiculously low action - far too low for most people but I play with a very light touch).  Just let me know if you're around Manchester.  I agree entirely with BassBus too - there's a lot of sparkle in there and a lot of note definition.  You really don't get away with much with a Status!   

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I have a Status Charger, bolt on headless and cannot imagine a more versatile and thoroughly professional instrument. There are no dead spots on the neck, it is beautifully balanced and has a modern, focused sound that really cuts through.  And towards the bottom of the E string it is just growls! I am currently waiting on a Sei bass to sell and then plan to chat to Mr Green about a new one, possibly a Series 3. 

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I've had older ones and loved them. I also had a Streamline, but the neck profile was different and had pretty square shoulders on it.

 

That wasn't for me. I wish they'd do the 1990s neck profile again. And for that matter, do a narrower neck on a 5 string. 48.2mm is far too big for me. 45 is my max.

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Low action is great for me...I play fast fingerstyle with a light touch. Neck stability is also very important - I'm a bit paranoid about that since a Jaydee supernatural that I owned back in the day developed a terminal back bow. I think JD had received a rogue batch of mahogany at that time and I was one of the unlucky ones. 

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I was lucky enough to obtain a 5 string headed series 2 thru neck second hand approx a year ago.guy told me its about 2006 model.i have to admit that its become my go to bass rather than my mk ll Wal 5 .while I’ll always be a Wal freak the reasons are;

b string just sounds more defined and punchy,though the tension seems quite loose ( same strings on both) 

yes the necks quite wide but for me the shallowness of it more than makes up for this in being less fatiguing on a 2 hour show .

lighter.

it stays in tune amazingly!!! So stable!! 

Love the thin body and ergonomics of the thing generally.

also I don’t agree with the ‘sterile ‘ thingy.in my opinion I can dial in a nice warmth to the sound if required.

can I hasten to add this is not a Wal slagging excersise because I will always love mine and am very privileged to own it but these are just honest things I have come to find since owning both.

They are both amazing brands of bass guitar and we should be very proud they are british too!! 

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Mostly negatives from me I’m afraid. I’ve had four, all bought used & now long gone, and have played a great many more. Firstly, I’ve found the bodies are extremely uncomfortable for me but I have fairly unique nerve problems so it’s unlikely you’ll have issues in that direction. My Series 2000 had a very odd neck; the upper register was extremely deep and pretty uncomfortable. The others all had very nice, flattish neck profiles; the (graphite) necks are generally the only thing I like about Status basses. All were obviously very stable but one (bought on ebay) turned out to have a warped neck, one of only 2 warped necks I’ve ever had across about 40-odd basses. 3 out of 4 basses also had electronic issues too. As for the sounds, I’m definitely in the camp that finds them typically too synthetic, but I do play mostly with a plectrum which doubtless accentuates the issue. My experience of the company is limited to attempting to order strings but I had a lot of issues with Dawn not getting back to me about stuff. Quite a few years back, a friend also had a lot of similar issues when trying to order a custom bass (he gave up in the end) but did eventually manage to order a custom Streamline which he’s very happy with and which seems like a pretty nice bass.

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I had a Kingbass.

I loved how it played, sounded, and felt. The quality was unquestionably good.

I was in a band which required a 5 string and I sold it to fund that.

My only gripe was the ergonomics of the damn thing, small body and 32” just made it sit funny on me which for longer periods of playing meant my left shoulder cramped up.

 

I often debate getting an order in for a jazz bass shaped kingbass with a headstock and 34” (they do a model called the J Retro or something...)

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On 19/11/2017 at 12:35, AndyTravis said:

I had a Kingbass.

I loved how it played, sounded, and felt. The quality was unquestionably good.

I was in a band which required a 5 string and I sold it to fund that.

My only gripe was the ergonomics of the damn thing, small body and 32” just made it sit funny on me which for longer periods of playing meant my left shoulder cramped up.

 

I often debate getting an order in for a jazz bass shaped kingbass with a headstock and 34” (they do a model called the J Retro or something...)

I know this is an old post, but I just got an S2 5 string 34", but added the paramatrix EQ - for me best of both worlds :)

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I’ve owned two or three, the best by far was the black all wood energy model. I loved how easy they were to play, the action could get really low and the spacing was really comfy. The green one looked stunning and always turned heads, but sounded a bit, well...’sterile’. 
I still long for a nice status four string. Sadly it’ll never happen. 
I say def give it a spin   

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Edited by gafbass02

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11 hours ago, Grif said:

I know this is an old post, but I just got an S2 5 string 34", but added the paramatrix EQ - for me best of both worlds :)

That's an absolute stunner! 

The Paramatrix EQ wouldn't be for me (I prefer much simpler controls: my ideal Status would have the regular Board 303 preamp but with the filter frequency knob moved to the control cavity as a trim pot (set and forget) and the 3-way boost/cut switch replaced by a boost/cut pot). I mostly leave the EQ on my S2 Classics untouched.

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Without going into masses of detail,  I've had my Vigier Passion 5 (S3) for 24 years without any issues at all.

I sold my Status Streamline on at a monumental loss after less than a year with a host of issues; cracking lacquer, de-laminating fretboard, poor electrics and difficulties with using non-dbe strings. Perhaps i should've gone for an S2, but now I'd just avoid Status altogether. 

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16 hours ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

after less than a year ... issues

Wasn't that covered by any warranty at that point, or did you buy it used?

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17 hours ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Without going into masses of detail,  I've had my Vigier Passion 5 (S3) for 24 years without any issues at all.

I sold my Status Streamline on at a monumental loss after less than a year with a host of issues; cracking lacquer, de-laminating fretboard, poor electrics and difficulties with using non-dbe strings. Perhaps i should've gone for an S2, but now I'd just avoid Status altogether. 

Personally I’d choose Vigier over Status 99% of the time, but YMMV, 

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3 hours ago, LeftyJ said:

Wasn't that covered by any warranty at that point, or did you buy it used?

I bought it new, but was thoroughly heartsick of the upset and disappointment that instrument caused. It was the most expensive instrument I've ever bought. And ultimately the worst. 

Besides,  I couldn't prove that the lacquer cracking wasn't my doing, even though it wasn't. 

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Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Status.

I bought my S2 Classics used, and have been very impressed with both. My 4-string has a faulty jack that doesn't reliably switch on the preamp when plugged in, but otherwise I've had no issues with them whatsoever and the finish and attention to detail on both of mine seems of very high quality. I haven't had to deal with the company yet other than to order strings in their webshop. Based off the other replies in this thread I'm assuming you must have caught an exception. That's definitely not the experience you'd hope to have when going through a custom shop process.

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I owned an s2 classic five string. Couldn’t fault the fit and finish. Weight was manageable and loved the neck profile. Found the headless neck a little difficult to get used to, but got used to it eventually. 

For me, what I didn’t like was the electronics. They are powerful, flexible  and clear, but I like more “character”. 
 

oh and the growl they make is a wonderful thing.

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On 09/12/2020 at 07:26, gafbass02 said:

...the best by far was the black all wood energy model....

DC2DCFDA-44A4-4457-AF12-5F6402AC1CEC.jpeg

 

Wow, would love to have tried that.

I always wanted an all wood Status 6.

The 4's and 5's (wood necks) I've owned have all been wonderful instruments.

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