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I Denby

identify my Vigier?

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I bought a Vigier Arpege bass guitar in around 1984/5. Played it for about 8 years and has been hibernating for about 25 years!..until very recently.

It has a through timber neck with brass inlays down its length.

It's a lovely bass (apart from slightly buzzy electronics)

Anyone know which series it is -perhaps 1 or 2 (I can't remember)?

vigier arpege 2.jpg

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4 minutes ago, thodrik said:

Calling @ped!
 

What he said....

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Righto here I am! 

First of all, it looks like a lovely bass, congrats. Where did you buy it? 

It’s a series 1 bass, before Patrice started using carbon fibre necks. The brass laminate runs along the neck and although it’s a bit heavy it’s a really good system. I had a series 1 fretless which I recently sold but never had to touch the truss rod once I had set it up. 

There should be a serial number above the rear strap pin but it’ll probably be before Patrice started recording them against the date (there’s a spreadsheet on the Vigier site but think it only starts with series 2 basses). In that case, the year and date of manufacture will be under a pickup, usually the neck one. 

Assuming the electronics are original then they might feel a bit buzzy by modern standards however they can be cleaned up and working flawlessly. It’s a really nice sounding filter preamp which is attached to some awesome Benedetti pickups. 

Enjoy it - it’s hard to find a decent one of that vintage that doesn’t have any finish cracks, butchered electronics or knackered truss rod adjuster. 

Anything else I can answer for you?

Cheers

ped

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So you are the same guy asking for advice in another thread to buy a new top quality instrument and you have such a beauty at home! No need to go shopping, there are only few that can reach her level. (I do have two Passions from 1988 and 1989. Won't separate until death us...)

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Ped

Thanks for that. It's at a local luthiers at the moment having it checked out, and to have the electronics looked at as the active circuity has gone weird -distorted, buzzing and clicking etc. Something's wrong with it, so hopefully he can sort it. I bought it from a shop in Bingley, Yorkshire. They had a black and chrome one in the shop and I opted for the optional extra of gold metalwork. I remember it cost around £900.00 back in 84/85

Itu

You're right, it is a lovely bass, but things move on over a 25 year period and I'm wondering if there's something nicer out there.

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3 minutes ago, I Denby said:

BTW - I MUCH prefer the shape of mine to the later models...they seem to round everything off a bit too much

I have a Series IV (when they started to go bolt on). I love the shape, but in my opinion the shape of the Series IV models are slightly more mainstream and bit less 'uniquely' Vigier like the Series 1 and 2 models. The fit and finish to Vigier is generally top notch whatever the time period or model (I have an Excess as well and my brother has an Excalibur).

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On 10/01/2019 at 17:17, I Denby said:

So, how come Vigier moved to bolt-on necks. Is it a cost efficiency thing?

I may be wrong, (in that I writing this from memory of reading other threads from years back and without checking or verifying anything) but my understanding is that:

Part of the reason was cost efficiency. The new Series IV basses could be produced more quickly. This resulted in the Series IV Arpeges being available for a much lower price than the Series III basses. I also understand that the equipment that was being used to create the neck through models were getting old, so it was becoming more difficult and time consuming for Vigier to produce the neck through models. 

Also, I think that part of it is that Patrice Vigier doesn't see in any tonal advantages/disadvantages between bolt on vs set neck vs neck through. This could explain why the GV Guitars (the Vigier equivalent of a set neck single cut Les Paul or neck through PRS) are all bolt on designs. 

None of my basses have neck though designs and I don't think I am missing anything in terms of tone. However, I will accept that a high quality neck through bass like a Vigier (or Spector or Warwick or Fodera or equivalent) is real work of art in terms of design and gives the instrument a real bit of 'Je ne sais quoi'...

I'll get my coat....

Edited by thodrik
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6 hours ago, I Denby said:

You're right, it is a lovely bass, but things move on over a 25 year period and I'm wondering if there's something nicer out there.

Don't worry, your instrument is still state-of-the-art. And rare: I found my 1988 Passion after hunting slappyto, zikinf, and leboncoin for months.

More pics, please...

Edited by itu

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My only complaint with my Vigier is the buzzy electronics -touching a string or jack sockets etc. I remember back in the day when I was in a studio recording, the engineers found it a bit of a problem and one one or two occasions I had to use an Aria Pro 2  instead!

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Hopefully it'll be sorted then - my Arpege fretless had the same and it was dead quiet. The fretted series II I had needed a new jack. Let us now how you get on. If you do need to replace it I may be able to find you a replacement Vigier pre.

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I will have to try a Vigier at some point.

 

I love the look of the Passions. Would have to be a 4 string though - the 5 string nut width appears to be 48mm and that's too big for me.

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I also had the same problem with the old Vigier or other basses I owned.

It's an easy fix : pickup cavity is ungrounded and most of the time unshielded, and even if it's shielded with paint, aluminium or even coper, these cavities must be grounded (that said copper is the best shielding material as most of the shielding paint is not conductive and aluminium is a pain in the *ss to solder).

I've done this to all my problematic instruments and now they are dead quiet, except for the single coil pickup typical humming, but there is always a quiet position when you play, don't worry.

All cavities and bridge must be star grounded. I even shield and ground the pickup cover or simply the pickup itself, but it's something a bit tricky to do, because you can short the pickup...

If you don't want to shield all your problematic instruments, just buy this cable http://d-buz.com

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52 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I will have to try a Vigier at some point.

 

I love the look of the Passions. Would have to be a 4 string though - the 5 string nut width appears to be 48mm and that's too big for me.

I'll try and bring mine to a bash soon. The series II passion is the best four string I've ever played, it's seen off many basses in it's time including Alembics, Bacchus, Zon, Fender, Marleaux etc. They didn't do a five string in graphite so for me the best 5 is a Ken Smith.

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I played a red 5-string Passion series II back in the early 90's in a shop. She had her little twin sister (4-string) beside her. Similar necks out of graphite. So did you mean five string Arpège in graphite?

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Yes I’ve heard stories but personally never seen one in over 15 years so perhaps there are some but I didn’t think so. At least not full carbon series 2 basses. I thought I asked Patrice too but it would have been a while ago. I thought he said they only ever had moulds for four string necks and it was those moulds wearing out that led to the development of the 10/90 system (which have too much relief for my liking) 

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i ve purchased ped s old vigier fretless 5 .... 

always been in search for a perfect modern sounding fretless and i was so surprised when i pick the bass  up !!!! 

If i dont get wrong mine id from 1983 , the benedetti pickups are amazing and so is the preamp . 

Mine is very similar to yours apart from being 5 fretless . 

best purchase i ve ever done 

 

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10 hours ago, fiatcoupe432 said:

i ve purchased ped s old vigier fretless 5 .... 

always been in search for a perfect modern sounding fretless and i was so surprised when i pick the bass  up !!!! 

If i dont get wrong mine id from 1983 , the benedetti pickups are amazing and so is the preamp . 

Mine is very similar to yours apart from being 5 fretless . 

best purchase i ve ever done 

 

So glad you love the bass. I knew you would. I bought it from an old man in Spain who was such a nice person he sent it before I had paid. Lots of good vibes around that bass. 

Just realised I still have the C string I was meant to give you - PM me your address and I’ll pop it in the post!

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On 11/01/2019 at 10:24, fretmeister said:

I will have to try a Vigier at some point.

 

I love the look of the Passions. Would have to be a 4 string though - the 5 string nut width appears to be 48mm and that's too big for me.

I have a Series III Passion V. The necks are quite shallow, so I don't think you'd find the 48mm width too much of a difficulty. I certainly don't.

Sounds and plays rather nicely. I've had it from new since 1997, and not so much as a hiccup.

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