It's that time,
I made a decision before christmas a bass I used to own appeared in the sales section I talked myself out of buying it back! I dont need it. I sold it while ago for a few reasons I didn't need the 5th string since I wasnt gigging. It played great but I dont get on with active basses! The band I starting practicing with had different goals so the gigging didn't happen etc...etc.. So as logic dictates I stuck an offer in and its mine again.
Now I didn't just purchase with the usual GAS I had put the feelers out to Mike at zoot about the possibility of working the bass into something special and it was positive enough for me to jump in.
It's not going to be a quick process I need to raise some funds and another project will be worked on and sold to justify the purchase/work.
So first up I need to do some fiddling on a DeArmond starfire I took in part exchange a while ago, the bass has been modded with pickups and they are a little close to the strings. Tomorrow I plan to lower them to get it playing better.
So I started with the starfire today the plastic spacers the bass that were on the bass when I purchased it had been hacked at as you can see in the pictures.
So a new set were purchased and j have been sanding them thinner to try and get a better position! It's slow work as I dont want to ruin them progress has been made and I will come back to it.
This has also given me the chance to look at the pickups which should be Fred Hammon Darkstar pickups but I'm yet to find any markings
I have a confession. I like Jazz basses. My very first bass guitar was (is, I still own it) a Vester Jazz. I had a wonderful Status Retroactive jazz for 10 years but sold it last year after realising I prefer a medium 32” scale. Alan Cringean built me a superb Finn 5 which I modelled on a Jazz but even that went when he built me an even more superb Skelf.
So I am Jazzless at the moment, save for my Vester. I’ve spent all year playing around with ideas, considered Maruszczyk, ACG, Shuker, even contemplated trying to find a Fender MIJ medium scale jazz. I was going down the ACG route with another Finn but deep down I wanted a more traditional Fender-esque shape.
Then I remembered Mike Walsh and Zoot. He’s been building stunning basses for a few years and his recent Funkmeister builds have been catching my eye. Several months of emails and playing with specs later, last Thursday I went over to see Mike and we thrashed out the final spec (probably). So this is very very early days but hopefully I won’t change my mind at all now
“The specs?”, I hear you ask. Yes. My Vester has a very big ballsy Jazz sound thanks to its Schaller pickups; the Status was similar thanks to its humbucking J pickups and active circuit. So I wanted similar and spent a long time considering all the woods and pickups (you’ll see...):
Zoot Funkmeister 4 string, 32” with slimmed down body to suit the shorter scale
Idigbo body (similar to swamp ash but cheaper as less figured), gloss black finish with matching headstock
BWB scratchplate, rear mounted V/V/T controls
Maple neck, ebony board with MOP blocks and white binding, 40mm nut and 16” radius
Nordstrand Big Split pickups
Black hardware - Hipshot Kickass bridge and ultra lite tuners
And that’s about it. It’s going to be amazing. Mike is a very infectiously enthusiastic bass builder and I hope he has as much fun seeing this develop as I will
Pictures will appear when progress is made but this is such an early point in the process you’ll be waiting a while
One of the first S4 basses, handmade in UK, through strung, Bartolini pickup, 3-band active EQ, neck stained to match body, Hiscox hard case, original documentation, pretty much as new. This has been under my bed since shortly after I bought it for a grand in 2000, but there is no way my tendonitis is ever going to recover to the point where I can play again and somebody should probably be making use of this. Price does not include shipping. Free Trace Elliot practice amp with slight cat damage if you can collect from Leicester.
ZOOT ICENI CUSTOM 5
I think this is probably an earlier Zoot from the 90's (although don't hold me to that), as the style and build suggests it having seen a few other Zoots online to compare.
All Schaller hardware, Bartolini J pickups and Bartolini NTMB preamp. Controls, Vol, Vol, (mute/kill switch for each PU individually, very handy), Mid with a pull boost, and bass/treb on a stacked knob. It has a custom made detachable thumb rest you will see in most of the pics, not used by me but comes with it.
Mahogany body, quilt maple top with a sandwich of what looks like Ash and walnut? Seven piece Mahogany/Maple neck with birdseye FB with thin inlaid stripe both sides. Few little dings here and there as would be expected as it's been played a lot, but its actually very good indeed for its age.
Honestly though, this plays so nicely with a really great neck and really low action all the way up the neck, playability being excellent!
IF YOU PLAY WITH A FAST LIGHT TOUCH AND LIKE A LOW ACTION ON YOUR BASSES, THIS WILL BE UP YOUR STREET!
I'm based near Biggleswade, Beds BTW and would prefer collection as it can be viewed in the flesh then too, although can arrange courier for UK mainland delivery.