Been looking at Bacchus Woodline AC and Dragonfly Fat J basses in particular recently. They look very well made and
I recently played an Xotic XJ-1T which I loved also so it's out of the three!
Anyone have experience with these basses and know best place to order being based in UK? 😁
In the past I've had 2 Bacchus basses, both handmade in Japan and both utterly superb. Not sure why I ever sold them as they were amazing basses and rank with the best out there. Recently I was tipped off by @bassbloke of a made in the Philippines Woodline 5 string in trans blue for sale on eBay. The WL Global Series is a more affordable version of Woodline, which has been the leading model of the Bacchus Handmade series.
The Woodline Global series are handmade in the Philippines as opposed to Japan and are a more affordable version to the full fat MIJ ones. Apparently Deviser, who produce the Bacchus range, wanted to try and produce an instrument at a lower price point without compromising the brand. They sent some of their luthiers out to the Philippines to train the workforce there and keep a watchful eye on them. So how do they differ.
Firstly the woods used are locally sourced and there may be some woods we are unfamiliar with, not in my case. It's a mahogany body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. Tips the scales at 8lb 4oz in old money. The body is slightly down-sized, the neck is superb, and the truss rod adjuster set at the body-end of the neck makes for easy adjustment of neck relief. The workmanship is every bit as good as the Japanese versions, in my opinion, everything fits as it should and it is flawless. It comes with a Bacchus badged gig bag.
So what are the major differences? Hardware is Bacchus's own rather than Gotoh or Hipshot and the pre-amp is a generic Chinese one rather than Aguilar or Bartolini. Mine is set up for 2Vol, Bass/Treble cut/boost. The pickups are their own and is the standard JJ arrangement.
So what does it sound like? Unfortunately in the current situation I haven't been able to use it in anger in a gig or rehearsal situation. I first tried it with my amp and headphones and instantly was wowed. It has a tremendous "bark" to it with everything flat. Even though the pre-amp isn't a known quantity it has tons of cut and boost. I got really carried away when first tying it as it is an absolute joy to play. I decided to sneak a speaker indoors when the neighbours were out and subject to a bit of low level playing. Sounds tremendous and I'm really looking forward to the time when i can really put it through it's paces.
There are a couple of negatives. There is no battery box so to replace the battery means removing the cavity cover to get at the electronics. Also there is no Active/Passive option so if a battery dies on you mid gig, you're stuffed. I feel the battery box omission really is a mistake. They cost very little, especially is bought in the sort on bulk Bacchus buy in and even though this is a handmade instrument, the basic shape and control cavity would have been CNC'd, so apart from a bit of programming, the additional cost is very little.
Both these issue are solvable. I have a couple of battery boxes so a trip to my local luthier and that is solved. I can easily change the pre-amp but will reserve judgement until I've had some time with it.
I'll update the review when I've had a chance to play it properly. meanwhile here are some pics to lust after.
The good people at Ishibashi sent me this old Bacchus Grooveline. I reckon it’s early to mid-2000’s. I’ve been looking for a Stingray with a J neck size for a while and this really fits the bill. It’s a dinky J ash body, weight is a sweet 3.5kg. Maple neck with with blocks and binding is always a winner.
It’s a fixer upper and that was reflected in the price, but these Handmade logo’d Bacchii are always superbly built and the pickups are amazing. Such is the case here, it’s a really good player, even with a duff fret job, old strings and that criminal bbot bridge in place of the Deviser Tune-o-matic. What were they thinking?
I will sort out that crack and replace the bridge and broken tuner. I’m thinking of stripping what is left of the finish and refinishing in an emerald green stain. The previous owner had fingernails like Wolverine, by the looks of it. I’ll also sort out the frets, a level, crown and dress awaits.
Anyone know where a man can buy Gotoh tuner buttons?
Sad to see this go, but I need to update my PA system.
She's almost mint. No fret wear, and only one small ding. Neck is straight as possible. Plays like butter and sounds even better!
Handmade in Japan, with 2 piece ash body, 34" maple neck and ebony fingerboard with 24 frets. Hipshot bridge and "head" system. Uses regular strings and double ball. Bacchus pickups and Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. Controls are Master Vol(Pull up=Preamp ON/OFF),Balance, Master Tone (passive),Treble, Middle, Bass, Mid Freq SW, Series/Parallel SW
It's the same bass as this one: https://reverb.com/item/21796598-bacchus-woodline-headless-5-2018-spring-collection-limited
Price include shipping to Europe, in original bag and well packed. Can be delivered in London the 18.-19. of January
Fantastic and rare Bacchus 24 frets 5 strings, year 2015
2 piece light ash body.
1 piece maple neck 400R
Width at nut 46 mm
Ebony board, 24 frets, 34"
Bacchus JBT-alv pups
Bartolini Xtct preamp
Vol, blend, treble,middle, bass, active / passive switch and switch single coil/humbucker
Gotoh Mechaanics Black
Gotoh Bridge, string through or top loading functionality.... 18mm string distance.
Weight 3,9 kg
Oil finish for body and headstock.
Provided with original gig bag
Only one ding on the retro of body, very small.
Shipping cost 25 gbp in all european countries
Video on you tube here