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Sugden

ACG Recurve review

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Ok I thought I would write a proper review after having the bass for a few weeks. I'll update it after its been gigged but as that wont be for awhile due to bands and such I’ll add to this later.

Spec:

Body wood: Black Limba with a Spalted Scottish Beech top and a black veneer accent line.
Neck: Wenge/Black Limba 5 piece with Spalted Beech head plate and a Black Limba back plate and heel.
Fingerboard: Macassar Ebony.
Hardware: Hipshot Type a bridge in brass, Hipshot Ultralite tuners, 2 ACG custom wound soap bar pickups, ACG custom made pre-amp.
Finish 60% sheen Lacquer on the body with 20% sheen on the neck for a satin feel.

A bit about my playing style I suppose to give you an idea what I play. Well I mainly play stuff I’ve written or play from bands but, I like to have an attempt at playing muse, incubus, rage, audio slave, madness, chillies etc list goes on. I like to range from jazz (which I'm by no means good enough for) bit of funk, rock, metal every now and then so a pretty wide range. I’ve only been playing for 2 and half years so a steep learning curve. Still I have had my chance at playing a wide range of basses in the last year. I play through a markbass littlemark, and 2x10. Yes this is my savings from about 4 years but I just love playing bass.

So to start with the build quality on the bass is superb. The pickups sit perfectly in their routes and the neck pocket is .0 mm perfect. The pickups are positioned to allow for a nice finger style action, and slap; this was something I asked for moving the front pickup slightly further back than what Alan’s used too. It’s got a fantastic finish with 60% gloss lacquer on the body and 20% satin feel on the neck. I went for this because I have become rather won over by gloss, but playing in the summer with full gloss along the neck is just not nice. After a few gigs, and some long practises with the new band I’m really happy I chose this as an option as it feels great. It was a finish Alan suggested and I’m really glad I went for it.

The body woods are just stunning they look 10 times better than in the photos, and come together nicely. Alan really knows where to source his woods, and what will look good together. The body is a great size feels really comfortable; it balances and sits nicely when worn. It’s the most comfortable bass I have played, and feels comfortable even after 4 hours of practise.

The neck is great to play. Initially I was a bit worried about the neck thickness but after playing for barely a few minutes all I can say is it just fits my hand. The A symmetrical neck feels great, and I’m sure is a major contributing factor to the superb playability of the neck.

So I suppose I have covered how fantastic it looks and now onto the most important part the sound. It’s got a really warm full bodied tone with plenty of clarity and sustain. I’m sure a lot of this comes from the black Limba which is meant to be very similar to mahogany. The bass sounds great acoustically as well, I know this sounds a bit weird but its nice to hear the tone is there, as all pickups do at the end of the day is build on the great tone of the wood. This is where the super flexible pre-amp comes in, it has so many sounds hidden in it, it’s crazy. I think this is a bass I could probably play in any style. The pre amp allows for such a diverse sound choice. I’ve been able to find the tone of the Ritter, and attack of the Spector; something very close to my old jazz, and a very musicman-esk tone. But along with those a tone I think I’ve settled on with a very deep bass response allowing the highs to shine through into a great slap tone. The major advantage is just tweaking my tone from song to song quite drastically in some cases by simply panning between the tones I have worked out between each pickup. I have a nice round tone full of bass set from my neck pickup, and a very slap orientated tone with a bit of bite from the bridge pickup.

The pre amp takes awhile to learn, and also takes awhile to figure out how to make small adjustments like you would on a normal pre; but its well worth the effort and time. I prefer this pre to any I have used.

Running through my solid state Littlemark II it just sounds great, and brings through the real sound of the bass. It suits a tube sound as well which I achieve through the v-type pre; but I maybe changing to a hybrid head soon for ease of transport. I feel a bit of tube just brings out the depth and warmth the bass has to its full extent. But that’s totally personal preference and after playing the bass through full valve and solid state heads I have to say I think the bass works with which ever you’re more comfortable with. The warmth shines through in valve and the clarity is just brilliant through a good solid state.

I’m sure people out there would disagree with me but for what I want this is perfect I’m very happy with the bass, it’s the best bass I’ve played and the only one I have bought I haven’t had second thoughts about. I’m so happy with it I have placed and order for a fretless to accompany this beauty, selling a Ritter, Spector, and a Musicman bongo to keep this ACG, and get another. It’s a bass that anyone who I know has tried and loved. It sounds great recorded and really works through the mix in live situations and practises.

Working with Alan was fantastic, he was really helpful and honest all the way through he went out of his way to help me. I know it doesn’t have much to do with the bass but well its got to be one of the most important parts of buying a custom; been able to get on well with its builder.

Hope this helps others any questions just ask, and hopefully adding some sound clips later as well.

I have just read over this again after having the bass for nearly 6 months, and all I can say is I feel exactly the same way now, if not even more impressed with the bass.

Thanks a lot Alan

Cheers
.
Sug

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Sorry nothing of just the bass on its own I will really have to get some. I'll learn something good and get some tracks of just the bass next time we are recording.

If you go here [url="http://www.myspace.com/penguininthesun"]http://www.myspace.com/penguininthesun[/url] and click on Get me Out thats the ACG and me recording in the picture. Thats the bass into the LMII all EQ flat and then into the desk and the only thing that was done was a little compression.

But i have to stress that the amount of tones you can get out the pre-amp is huge.

Here are some soundclips on talkbass to begin to see the diversity. [url="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=276129&page=4"]http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.p...6129&page=4[/url]

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[quote name='d-basser' post='11813' date='Jun 4 2007, 01:23 PM']that thing is so lovely (and wonderful sounding) it makes me want to cry...then get an overdraft[/quote]

cheers ill have to do an update review on it soon along with its sister the fretless harlot and ill put up a link to the small ep i recorded with that band all with both the acg's. the fretless tone in one song is a stunner ortho let down by my playing but the tone saves it i think.

It is a fantastic instrument. I haven't as of yet found anything i'd want to replace it with and if you know me owning something for over 2 years is well I dont think its ever happened.

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It's great to go into a music store and think that the bass you've got at home is better than anything that's hanging on the walls :)

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