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BassBunny

Bacchus Woodline WL534

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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.

Bascchus_WL534_1.thumb.jpg.4c7c850e28c8bddf968737f3717e797e.jpgBascchus_WL534_3.thumb.jpg.30c05a83eb85316766887249754e3aad.jpgBascchus_WL534_4.jpg.9881449730e9208712379c619f196ba6.jpgBascchus_WL534_7.jpg.60766dbd2a042aa964722df08beaf197.jpgBascchus_WL534_8.jpg.d42cce13ca2bcc8047daa2823da496f3.jpg

 

Bascchus_WL534_2.jpg

Bascchus_WL534_5.jpg

Bascchus_WL534_6.jpg

 

 

Edited by BassBunny
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1 hour ago, bassbloke said:

Are you sure volume isn't push/pull?  I missed that minor detail on mine until I was changing the knobs. 

Unfortunately it isn't. It's set up with 2 volumes, like one of my previous Bacchus, and they are just standard ones, no switching at all.

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I've just purchased a Bacchus Woodline WL534 Global active (same as that blue one) in Olympic White from BassJapanDirect. I'm waiting in anticipation for it to arrive. I've got a sheet of black pearl pickguard material so I'll be making a new pickguard for it. I also have a set of Hipshot UltraLite tuners to go on and an Audere preamp if needed. I had a Bacchus HJB5 a few years ago and had to sell it to free up some funds, so I'm stoked to have another one coming.

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Interesting @Marty Forrer that you sourced your new bass direct from Japan and via BassJapanDirect (aka Danny Stewart). I've gone down that route previously for an Atelier Z when they were virtually unknown in Europe. With Bacchus, I've just bagged a blue Craft series WL4-DX from BassDirect (UK). Like you, I'm currently awaiting its arrival.

These guys in France seem to have quite a big presence, though I don't know them and cannot vouch for them. https://japanguitar-handmade.com/gb/24-basses

 

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On 02/09/2020 at 21:36, BlueMoon said:

Interesting @Marty Forrer that you sourced your new bass direct from Japan and via BassJapanDirect (aka Danny Stewart). I've gone down that route previously for an Atelier Z when they were virtually unknown in Europe. With Bacchus, I've just bagged a blue Craft series WL4-DX from BassDirect (UK). Like you, I'm currently awaiting its arrival.

These guys in France seem to have quite a big presence, though I don't know them and cannot vouch for them. https://japanguitar-handmade.com/gb/24-basses

 

I'm in New Zealand. Japan is easier (cheaper) than Europe for me.

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On 05/09/2020 at 13:02, Marty Forrer said:

I'm in New Zealand. Japan is easier (cheaper) than Europe for me.

OK, that is logical. I didn't realise or think of that context.

Enjoy your bass when it arrives!!

 

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