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The night after Halloween...


alexclaber

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And the Frankenfretless has risen from the grave and it sounds gooooood.

 

Thanks to Jack Read for the Willis ramp and the Bartolini pickup that's living in the bridge position, thanks to my Warwick for donating its MEC preamp and thanks to my girlfriend for tolerating the endless fiddling with this bass - I shall strip, sand and solder no more!

 

Alex

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Alex - I'm hoping my neck, guard and knobs show up today so I can finish my frankenbass as well. I have the 3-tone sunburst P bass body ready with a 62 reissue pickup, BadAss bridge and Straplocs. The electronics are wired and ready to go.

 

Waiting for the tortoise guard, chrome flat knobs, and a Rosewood, pearl block inlay and bound JAZZ neck. I have 62 reissue tuners for that.

 

Jazz bass feel on the neck with that P bass tone from the body and pickup. I hope it will sound and play as well as I expect it to.

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Originally posted by SteveC:

I hope it will sound and play as well as I expect it to.

Me too! That's the scary thing with doing this, you never know if it'll work - my main concern was that because the bridge pickup is so close to the bridge I thought there wouldn't be enough bottom. Thanks to Jack Read's knowledge I was able to select a J-pickup which was voiced with a lot of low end and more subdued mids which compensated for the very rearward position.

 

The strangest thing is the amount of mwah this bass has - I've had to raise the action really high to lessen it and am thus having great fun playing it more like an upright, really digging in and letting my fingers thump the body on every pluck.

 

Unfortunately I'm getting more and more desire for a simple P-bass with high action and thick flatwounds - must ignore, already have too much gear...

 

Alex

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The fretless had its first post-reincarnation outing yesterday -I took it along to my jazz workshop. As I mentioned above, I've got the action up really high (about 1/2" on the E-string 12th fret) so my left hand wasn't too happy until I was warmed up, but it was so nice to be able to dig in hard to get that quick decaying and thumpy upright sound without any risk of clattery fret noise. Glad I dropped the MEC2 in there - for a good upright sound I had to turn the bass EQ (@100Hz) all the way up and then for solos I put the bass flat and turned up the treble (@1kHz) a bit which brought out the mwah.

 

The rig I was going through was an Eden WT300 (plugged into the FX return) into an EA VL208 with all the EQ flat so it should sound almost identical through my Acme rig which bodes well. The other bassist (whose rig I was sharing) was playing an NS CR5 upright and Lakland Skyline 5 and I felt the fretless sounded pretty damn good next to them, though somewhat lacking in ultra-deep lows next to the 5-string electric upright, but that's no surprise with this pickup configuration. Anyway, it's not like acoustic uprights put out any real lows, they roll off around 100Hz when played without amps.

 

Overall I'm very pleased - this £200 bass now blows away my Warwick in the jazz context, everything just swings more without frets and with a high action and the less punchy and growly sound blended better with the other instruments. Also, the horn-like phrasing possibilities made my soloing sound musical rather than like a lumbering guitarist.

 

This is now my #1 jazz bass. Excellent.

 

Alex

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