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I nearly bought a Stick


prowla
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  • 2 months later...

If an affordable one that actually does the job properly, whether someone's home-built kit or a DIY job or the real thing, ever came along.... I'd be very interested in trying it out.  But honestly, I have no idea if I'd like it or not, since it's not something one can doodle around on at your local music store.

I'll be curious to watch this thread in case you ever DO pick one up, and what you think about it if you do, as a noobie to it also!

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As a bass player 1st., someone who wishes to play cool rhythm because none of the guitarists I knew, knew how to play rhythm, and someone who wishes to compose without sitting w/ a bass on my lap and reaching over to fart around on a keyboard, plus totally digging the SOUND of a Stick, is why I blindly put down $$$ on an instrument I had no idea how, or if, I could play. You have to be driven, hearing the march of a different drummer, playing on the opposite side of town, in the rain...People do buy the damn things thinking they'll get on with it, only to find it's NOTHING like they expected. These show up for sale from time to time. Unfortunately (for the buyer) the re-sale value is HIGH. YOU HAVE TO BE DRIVEN. 

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I took a wild punt on mine in exchange for a nice bass in good condition (so is The Stick, people don't trash them)

They are very different. And, as a bassist, you'll struggle to reproduce any up-tempo, blazing basslines that you might squeeze from a bass guitar.

The tone of the bass strings is simply amazing. Clarity and sustain of a piano, attack of a harpsichord and warmth of a bass from the wood (or aluminium if it's a railboard)

The melody strings can be a bit twangy and brittle sounding,  but take well to modulation effects and delay. At least they're laid out as you might expect,  even if you play them from above with the "wrong" hand!

Anyone thinking of buying one; Do lots of research! I didn't (typically), and it's been a bit of a mission to pick up bits of info people might otherwise take for granted-

For example, mine is a 36 inch scale. Apparently, there are 34s out there.

You can play above what appears to be a zero fret. To stop a note, you just release the string against the integral damper. Problem is, there's  now no facility to use an open string to pedal against or whatever you might want to use it for.

On the plus side, any theory knowledge you have is immediately transferable, and learning to control the dynamics of the strings will come quickly to players of string instruments. Similarly, hammering on and off, trills bends and slides won't be too alien either.

There are workarounds for some of the issues that prevent a Stick from functioning in a bass-like role;

Playing uncrossed (left hand for melody, right for bass) stops your hands colliding. Simply turning down the melody strings and using both hands on the bass side can give a serious turn of pace if needed.

I tried tuning the bass side in 4ths rather than 5ths, expecting a revelation. It didn't happen, so I went back to 5ths again!

And an 2 female mono to 1male mono adaptor (as pictured) could become your new best friend. It means you can plug into one amp/DI/fx unit/desk channel/headphone amp if you need to.

20200902_092938.jpg

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7 hours ago, StickyDBRmf said:

plus totally digging the SOUND of a Stick, is why I blindly put down $$$ on an instrument I had no idea how, or if, I could play. You have to be driven, hearing the march of a different drummer, playing on the opposite side of town, in the rain...People do buy the damn things thinking they'll get on with it, only to find it's NOTHING like they expected. These show up for sale from time to time. Unfortunately (for the buyer) the re-sale value is HIGH.

Agreed here. I missed out on a lot before I got mine.

Turns out, I don't play it much but it would be one of the last instruments I got rid of.

I got rid of my NS-Stick, as, in the words of my wife, the stick is a thing of its own, the NS stick was neither one thing or the other, but my stick would only go if I had another stick that was better!

1 hour ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

For example, mine is a 36 inch scale. Apparently, there are 34s out there.

Mine is a 34, its a railboard.

1 hour ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

And an 2 female mono to 1male mono adaptor (as pictured) could become your new best friend. It means you can plug into one amp/DI/fx unit/desk channel/headphone amp if you need to.

The railboard has a mono / stereo switch so you don't need that.

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40 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Ah, but if you did have one (they're £2), you could run each half of your railboard to different FX/compression/EQ, then reunite the two signals before using a single amp etc.

Thats what the helix FX is for. And if not that a buffered mixer would be a much better idea than just shorting the output of two effects together.

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5 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Thats what the helix FX is for. And if not that a buffered mixer would be a much better idea than just shorting the output of two effects together.

I don't own a helix,  though.

 And whilst I can and do use a mixer, sometimes the adaptor is more convenient. I've suffered no ill-effects at all from re-combining the two halves of the output. Mine's running the all-passive stick-up. Is the Railboard active?

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

 And whilst I can and do use a mixer, sometimes the adaptor is more convenient. I've suffered no ill-effects at all from re-combining the two halves of the output.

There are no issues connecting two halves  of the output (their own lead can do that), its combining hte output of two effects pedals is not ideal. Not that it will break them.

22 minutes ago, Lfalex v1.1 said:

Mine's running the all-passive stick-up. Is the Railboard active?

Yes, but only for phantom power.

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Unless you're running melody and bass side w/ volume pot at maximum, the two leads into a mono plug ain't gonna cut it. Impedance mismatch or something like that. You need some kind of summing mixer. The PASV-4 pu and ACTV-2 pu have mono switches. Stickup no. I don't know how the Railboard pu works.

Woodinblack- "it would be one of the last instruments I got rid of." I would grab my Stick if the house were on fire...it's the instrument I (try to) play every day, and while I have an assortment of basses (and guitars) to get an assortment of sounds that I CAN'T get on Stick, I much rather prefer to get a Stick sound. 

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Late to this as usual but older style passive Sticks really need a buffered preamp to run in mono. It’s not that it won’t work by either flicking the switch or doing the old jack plug in halfway method but a lot of the clarity is lost due to technical reasons that I’m not fully up to speed with- impedance loading?

A low cost solution is a Boss LS-2 pedal which is really useful for many other things too which is why I’ve ended up with two of them!

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