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*gasp* Look at this MusicMan Big Al 5-string at The Bass Gallery... gorgous!


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3 hours ago, BigRedX said:

 

50 years ago due to the grain pattern, that piece of wood would never have been considered for making into a guitar or bass neck.

Most of the Gibson j200 acoustics (50’s-60’s) had figured maple necks, as did quite a few fenders of that era. (The pictured one is a 67/8)

 

i know with fender that was just whatever maple they had - but Gibson obviously had great stocks of figured stuff because of Les Paul tops etc.

 

A lot of the jazz guitar luthiers used flamed maple too for necks around that time.

 

Anyhow - it’s a fancy bit of wood - I quite enjoy the Birdseye figuring on my 2 SR5’s and the “sledge” sabre I had was beautifully figured.

431D1557-1344-4663-A139-8BAF985EAB6B.jpeg

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On 06/05/2022 at 23:45, LukeFRC said:

I'm not sure that positivity is much different really to other long standing members not liking something.

 

Would the useful word here be "polarisation"?

 

I found watching a demo of the Big Al a bit like watching one of the L-2000: almost uncountable options, and only actually interested in a couple of the sounds. I'm very impressed by / envious of people who have instruments as versatile as this and then enjoy the full breadth of that versatility.

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I had one last year and it was a great bass. The looks divide opinion but in the flesh it was cool - something isn’t quite right about the pickguard shape to my eyes, but it’s better than looking at yet another Fender clone! Comfortable neck and perfect fretwork like other MusicMan basses, real punch in the low end and a wide and distinct palette of sounds. It takes a little bit of time to explore the options but I found 4 favourite tones with a bit of shaping (the 4-band EQ is really versatile). Just because there are other options, doesn’t mean you have to use them!
If I were in the studio and wanted to take one bass not knowing what sound I’d need it would be the Big Al. I only moved it on because bass is just a hobby and I have a low boredom threshold :)

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Posted (edited)

The sounds out of the Big Al speak for themselves. It’s a very good sounding P bass, good thick neck sound series and parallel MM sounds. And that’s just in passive mode. If you’re a player who appreciates a bit of on stage aesthetics as well as a well made and playable instrument the Big Al would fit that bill. I think MM should be applauded whether you like the style of the thing or not for actually doing it.  

Edited by krispn
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I don't love the look of the Big Al, but I don't hate it either. It does bug me that the headstock is a stingray headstock rather than one designed to fit with the body (thinking more like the fender performer). The angular body with a roundy headstock just looks like an afterthought.

 

But that sunburst - awful.

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On 08/05/2022 at 07:04, Ricky Rioli said:

I found watching a demo of the Big Al a bit like watching one of the L-2000: almost uncountable options, and only actually interested in a couple of the sounds. I'm very impressed by / envious of people who have instruments as versatile as this and then enjoy the full breadth of that versatility.

 

I think having multiple sounds is of more about being able to please a larger number of potential users rather than supplying lots of different sounds to a single player. Certainly when I have owned guitars and basses that were capable of producing lots of different sounds from the on-board controls, I would only use more than one, if the alternatives were only a single  switch push away. Even then I'd probably stick with the one overall sound that worked best with the band and use a programmable multi-effects to alter it as required.

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On 06/05/2022 at 22:00, drTStingray said:


Yep agreed - that’s really nice and especially the neck. I think I know who owns (or used to own that). There’s quite a following for Big Als so I would imagine it would sell quite quickly. As for the one at Bass Direct, I’m surprised it was so cheap - was it an SSS though (seems to be the most sought after version) - or maybe Bass Direct weren’t aware of the volume of people looking for them (in the US often though). 
 

One thing which never ceases to amaze me is the number of people who are willing to take the trouble to log in on forums and post totally negative views on a thread (fugly etc etc). To the extent we get more fugly comments than anything else - I’m not sure how helpful those comments are - seems a bit like pi**ing in the wind to me as the people who like the instrument will just think they’re rather silly!! 
 

I often feel people’s love for certain 50s/60s designed and rather average instruments is odd (I’m thinking, from memory any electrical device from 1960 came with built in hum and other negatives but no-one would dream of using them instead of properly engineered modern stuff using a range of elements invented in the last 50+ years nowadays, certainly on a day to day basis) but mediocre instruments containing the same - well some musicians seem to absolutely love em  - such instruments are also fugly in some cases (IMHO) - however I’m really not inclined to log in and tell everyone - like most people, I just walk past what I’m not interested in!!  

Well, being fair, I did post an opinion so it's fair game for people to disagree. I like a vintage Precision as much as the next person but I do like basses that stand out from the crowd and I love it when a manufacturer has a go at something new. It honestly never occurred to me that people would think it was horrible but it's been quite funny finding out how divisive this thing is. 

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29 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

I think having multiple sounds is of more about being able to please a larger number of potential users rather than supplying lots of different sounds to a single player. Certainly when I have owned guitars and basses that were capable of producing lots of different sounds from the on-board controls, I would only use more than one, if the alternatives were only a single  switch push away. Even then I'd probably stick with the one overall sound that worked best with the band and use a programmable multi-effects to alter it as required.

I've got a Dingwall combustion 5 and it's got 4 different settings for its 3 pickups and I use each one of them - they all fulfil a role so for me it's far more helpful but I do admire people who can carefully dial in something from a versatile bass with loads of different controls.

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It is a strange business. I personally don't care that much about how a bass looks. It can, however, amaze me with how it plays or sounds. I don't know about anyone else, but I really don't notice how my bass looks when I am playing it. If I think it is pretty, more the better, but it is the sound that impresses me most. 

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10 minutes ago, dclaassen said:

It is a strange business. I personally don't care that much about how a bass looks. It can, however, amaze me with how it plays or sounds. I don't know about anyone else, but I really don't notice how my bass looks when I am playing it. If I think it is pretty, more the better, but it is the sound that impresses me most. 

I think ergonomics are much more important - a nice feeling neck, body, contours that suit you, but I can be lit up by the look of an instrument. It can definitely inspire my imagination, especially something beaten up that's been used in anger.

 

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Horses for courses and all that, but frankly I've seen better-looking Wishbasses.

 

On 07/05/2022 at 08:30, lownote said:

 

But that said I can't quite see the point of posting on a forum where everyone agrees with you or is frightened off giving their opinion if it differs.  

 

I don't know what gives you the idea that this is such a forum, but it isn't. This thread is a case in point.

 

On 07/05/2022 at 08:30, lownote said:

 

So now cancel culture is here too. 

 

No. It's not.

 

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54 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Props to the OP for his covert plug of a commission sale.

 

(I'm making this up... or am I?)

No I'm really flipping not! I HAVE sold a bass through these guys (they got me a very good price - can't fault them) but no. Not guilty.

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On 08/05/2022 at 10:06, FDC484950 said:

I had one last year and it was a great bass. The looks divide opinion but in the flesh it was cool - something isn’t quite right about the pickguard shape to my eyes, but it’s better than looking at yet another Fender clone! Comfortable neck and perfect fretwork like other MusicMan basses, real punch in the low end and a wide and distinct palette of sounds. It takes a little bit of time to explore the options but I found 4 favourite tones with a bit of shaping (the 4-band EQ is really versatile). Just because there are other options, doesn’t mean you have to use them!
If I were in the studio and wanted to take one bass not knowing what sound I’d need it would be the Big Al. I only moved it on because bass is just a hobby and I have a low boredom threshold :)

Great take - thanks!

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7 minutes ago, kwmlondon said:

No I'm really flipping not! I HAVE sold a bass through these guys (they got me a very good price - can't fault them) but no. Not guilty.

One doth protest too much 😜

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4 hours ago, kwmlondon said:

Well, being fair, I did post an opinion so it's fair game for people to disagree. I like a vintage Precision as much as the next person but I do like basses that stand out from the crowd and I love it when a manufacturer has a go at something new. It honestly never occurred to me that people would think it was horrible but it's been quite funny finding out how divisive this thing is. 

 

I'm not sure why I don't like it but it's probably to do with the straight lines going all over the place and one straight line along the bottom of the top horn going askew where it crosses the neck. Status basses have a fair few straight lines but I find them attractive, probably due to the curvey bits giving relief from the straight lines, and the bottom of the top horn flowing back rather than angling down. I'd be interested to see one without that hideous scratchplate on it.

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13 minutes ago, tauzero said:

 

I'm not sure why I don't like it but it's probably to do with the straight lines going all over the place and one straight line along the bottom of the top horn going askew where it crosses the neck. Status basses have a fair few straight lines but I find them attractive, probably due to the curvey bits giving relief from the straight lines, and the bottom of the top horn flowing back rather than angling down. I'd be interested to see one without that hideous scratchplate on it.

MusicMan are not scared of a "divisive" scratchplate. I mean, they pioneered the toilet-seat look...

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1 hour ago, tauzero said:

 

I'm not sure why I don't like it but it's probably to do with the straight lines going all over the place and one straight line along the bottom of the top horn going askew where it crosses the neck. Status basses have a fair few straight lines but I find them attractive, probably due to the curvey bits giving relief from the straight lines, and the bottom of the top horn flowing back rather than angling down. I'd be interested to see one without that hideous scratchplate on it.

I don't like the look as I kinda feel there's a beautiful design in there, and it's just not quite made it... 

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23 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I don't like the look as I kinda feel there's a beautiful design in there, and it's just not quite made it... 

 

"Right, the top horn tip is *here* <draws 'x'> and the bottom horn tip is *here* <draws another 'x'> and the curve of the lower bout is *here* <draws curve> and the waist is *here* and *here* <draws another two 'x's>. OK, give the apprentice a ruler and let him finish up".

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38 minutes ago, tauzero said:

 

"Right, the top horn tip is *here* <draws 'x'> and the bottom horn tip is *here* <draws another 'x'> and the curve of the lower bout is *here* <draws curve> and the waist is *here* and *here* <draws another two 'x's>. OK, give the apprentice a ruler and let him finish up".

Hey. So they lost the compass that month. So what?

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It has one too many strings for me but I've always dug the Big Al in the looks department. It's the cost of it that has always put me off - it would have to be perfect for me to spend that kind of cash and I can't help thinking that a Big Al would be utterly wasted on me. 

 

Good bass pr0n though ;)

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21 minutes ago, neepheid said:

It has one too many strings for me but I've always dug the Big Al in the looks department. It's the cost of it that has always put me off - it would have to be perfect for me to spend that kind of cash and I can't help thinking that a Big Al would be utterly wasted on me. 

 

Good bass pr0n though ;)

 Definitely Houses of Parliament worthy for sure! 

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