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rushbo

Eros Mark II semi acoustic bass

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I blame that picture of Blue holding that lovely, red Gibson...

I picked up a slightly tatty, but generally intact semi-acoustic bass - an Eros Mark II - with a view to replacing pretty much everything except the body and neck. "All the hardware will terrible and made of either tin or cheese and the intonation will be so bad, it'll be unplayable beyond the second fret", thought I. Well, that's not the case. Once I'd scraped off the filth and given it a very quick set up, it seemed to play quite nicely. Pots were very scratchy and it had the weirdest fret buzz I had ever heard - a sort of fretless "mwah" noise, but just on three frets of the "D"  string.  A turn of the bridge height screw and bobs-yer-proverbial. A quick squirt of switch cleaner, followed by the dreary task of putting the thing back together (seriously... trying to put the pots back into a semi-acoustic is like trying to perform gynaecology through a letterbox) and it sounds way better than it has a right to. The action is medium low, there's no mains hum and the tone controls actually make a difference to the sound. Who'd have thought it?

It took quite a bit of cleaning and there were some nasty, but shallow scratches to deal with. Out came the rubbing compound and some elbow grease and it looks the business. Well, I think so.

Has anyone else had any experience with one of these? I've seen a few Eros basses, but they always seem to be generic Fender copies. The only info I could find online, was from a 1975 Rosetti catalogue, where I found out they were a bargain at £65. 

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Eros Mk II.png

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21 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

That looks lovely!

What's the panel on the back for?

Thank you sir. The panel allows a little bit of access to the pots and output jack. Maybe I should whack a set of active EMG's in it, just to mess with the purists...

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My first bass was an Eros! Not the same one though, an EB-3 copy, natural finish. Bought for me by my parents for £20. It was a lot of money in those days (1995)!

Sorry to digress. As you were!

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Well, that's nice! This is an early 70s Matsumoku build (easy to ID from the offset dots & "Steel Adjustable" neckplate) and very closely related to the Aria 5120 & 5520 models:

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/aria/hollow/sem/semi.html

Eros & Eros Mk II were Rosetti's own import brands, as the catalogue suggests, and all of the Mk IIs I've encountered have been Matsumoku products. There *might* be date codes stamped on the backs of the pickups but from the black-button tuners I'd expect '72 or earlier, since those vanished around that time. The serial numbers on the neckplates seem to be random, certainly on pre-76 instruments.

Anyway, that's a very nice, intact example of a pretty uncommon bass - as one of them there "purists" I think it's be a shame to mod it irreversibly because you'd struggle to find another one!

 

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35 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

Anyway, that's a very nice, intact example of a pretty uncommon bass - as one of them there "purists" I think it's be a shame to mod it irreversibly because you'd struggle to find another one!

 

1

Rest assured that it'll remain unmolested...

I was really surprised at how good it sounds and how well it intonates, given the rather "primitive" bridge.

I'll use it in anger at rehearsal next week to see how it copes in a band situation, as it would be a shame not to play it.

...and thanks for all the info, Bassassin!

Edited by rushbo

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From my experience with semi hollow basses they’re tough going at rehearsals as they’re not as clear sounding...but at a gig, that sound is huge.

I Sold a hofner because I could never hear myself clearly at rehearsals - went to see the band of the guy who bought it and it sounded collosal!

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