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ACG Salace headless fretless

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I acquired a ACG Salace headless/fretless in a trade with GreeneKing, the same person who commissioned the single cut Harlot which I have (and love).  Here's a quick review on my first impressions.

The Salace:


Now those of us who are familiar with the work of Alan Crigean should not be surprised at the amazing quality of any of his creations but I must have forgotten as it's been a while since the Harlot has been out of the case. This was a lovely reminder.

The Salace...well what isn't surprising is the weight. The one piece body is made from solid Wenge, ("when gay" for those who still thinks it's pronounced like "henge") so the total weight is over 10lbs even though it's headless. Despite this it still plays fabulous, beautifully balanced and certainly the one of best fretless I've played in a while - probably better even than the Shuker I owned and constantly rave about - the asymmetric ACG necks, as we all know, are a dream to play and this one is no different - the asymmetry makes accessing the skinnier strings so simple and getting up and down the fretboard a joy - there were times that I wasn't 100% sure it wasn't playing itself.

The action is nice and low...not sure if I need to thank Peter (Greeneking) or Alan for this but it's part in the amazing jigsaw of the total playability of this bass can't be underestimated. Combined with the flatwound (never tried these, only tapewound) strings makes the playing experience a total joy. I found myself playing amazing double stop chords which sounded so sweet I was amazing myself.

Electrics on this bass are typical ACG pre and pick ups but I couldn't tell you which models - needless to say they provide a huge range (as do all the Crigean creations I've tried) and compliment the fretless perfectly. There was a slight issue with a loose wire/dry joint/dying battery which meant the bass would cut out occasionally but nothing that a quick trip to my local luthier, Terry Chapman, can't cure.

Aesthetically this is going to be one of your Marmite moments, you either love or hate Alan's designs - they're not your typical J/P clones - personally I love stuff that isn't run of the mill so this suits me "just fine TYVM". You'll note how the lines flow on this - the lower line on the top horn into the lower bout and the top of the body into the top line of the front horn. Very easy on the eye for those who care about such things. 

 Generally I'm not a fan of Wenge, for an exotic wood it's quite plain, rarely do you see a figured "coffee table" grain but I can live with it because of the many other positives I've mentioned.

Overall I'm in a difficult position. I LOVE THIS BASS!! However it was a trade and despite sending mine using Parcelforce48 it didn't arrive when it should have. Here am I enjoying a glorious moment while at the same time feeling guilt and shame because Peter hasn't received his part of the aforementioned trade.

Hopefully tomorrow it arrives safely and I can set aside my negativity....

Thanks Peter and Alan.

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Another cracker!
I remember back when this bass was made, seemed crazy to have a solid wenge body, but as with a lot of Alan's stuff, it just makes perfect sense once you see/play it :)
Congrats on another lovely bass added to your collection mate.


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