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Ok, so I have a weakness for F holes and piezo bridges


Bob Gollihur

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I fell victim to temptation and impulsively bid on Godin A5 acoustic electric bass last night, a mere five seconds before the end. Seemed like a good deal and everyone seems to rave about them.

 

Some of the comments I read on-line and in the 1999 Bass Player magazine review of the A4 seemed to indicate that it's cool for use in blues and otherwise electric stuff, as in magnetic pickup land. Zat true?

 

I already have a fretless Fender A/E acoustic electric four string bass, a real sweetheart, but still suffering from Fender Electronics Disease. My friends at K&K Sound are sending me a two channel preamp with separate 3 band EQ for each channel that I will install into the Fender control cavity-- in spite of installing a Graphtech buffering preamp a while back, the bass still has only a single active EQ knob for both, and each absolutely needs its own EQ. It will make it a much more useful stage bass.

 

Anyone out there using a semi-hollow piezo-equipped bass as a main or steady stage bass?? And in what sort of situation.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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LOL Ben Loy! Yea..I almost missed this thread, 'cept I have a soft spot for f holes and piezos, too (tho not always on the same bass!)

 

Ok, Bob...welcome to Godin club. I suppose I am the resident "expert" here on these; I am a Godin endorsee (and am actually planning a west coast clinic tour for them this fall...)

 

I use both a fretted A4 and fretless A5 (almost) exclusively; at least 90% of my gigs (solo, ensemble and studio). I gig 2-3 times a week at this point (mostly as a soloist, but also with a number of bands ranging from classical chamber music to jazz to blues to fun to rock) and still manage to get a few studio soundtrack sessions in now and then.

 

The A series Godin Basses are quite exceptional instruments with a unique tonal and dynamic response. Much like basses by Rick Turner and Rob Allen, they truely respond to your hand pressure and placement (of both hands that is!); so much so that I refer to this a "digital tone controls". These basses, like most semi-acoustics, react differently to different types of strings as well.

I am also an TI endorsee, and use their strings on all my basses exclusively (I have 9 basses, incl a mint 67 P bass..none of which get a whole lotta play since getting the Godins..oddly I used to get a lot of studio calls requesting that P bass, but now I get quite a few requesting the Godins...)

Mine now are strung with TI Acousticores, which I love. They offer alot of timbral variety and I can go from thumpy URB-ish tones to burpy R&B to growly Jaco- Jazz bass tones to snappy Stanley/Marcus "hard plucks" all by changing hand position. They even slap and tap damn fine.

 

I had used TI flats on the fretless, and this imparted a more upright-ish vibe, but with still plenty o' mwah.

 

(as a side note, I have recently ordered from Godin a fretted Five string. My fretless is set up with a high C string, as I feel this is more usful for my work, Yet again, I tune it CGDAE or CGDGD low to high in fifths, like a cello. I will most likely set the fretted one up with a high c instead of the low B as well for a lot of chordal things I do..yet the B on the "usual" five tuning/setup is quite food.

 

As is par for most piezos, attaing and maintaing proper string balance is neccessary, and so some bridge saddle work may be in order on your bass (I have a bunch of tricks for balancing piezo outputs, and you can e-mail me off board at ekstasis1@hotmail.com if interested.).

 

Also, I have found that with most piezo basses running straight into conventional bass amps yields a less than desirable sound. Your exp with URBs and EUBs probably will second this. I have found that regardless of amp used, a high quality high impedence (3-5megOhm or more) buffer amp such as Raven Labs MDB1, SansAmp Acoustic DI, or something similar, realy helps maintain the integrity of the tone. Some amps, like AI and Aer have this feature built in.

 

The Baggs system employed by Godin is very nice and true sounding. It responds well to both presure and top vibration, yeilding a very open and acoustic sound. The eq sliders have a pretty steep curve, and I have found using them to cut freqs rather than boost is ideal. I usually roll back the bass slider (which centered at 50hz) to about 35-40% (centers are detented on all the sliders 'cept for volume, of course). The mid slider(200hz) is the key to a lot of cool tones..boosting this to about 65% gives a very nice J bass sound, and rolling back gives a passable "faux P Bass" tone. Treble is centered at 10khz and is good for killing finger noise.

 

These basses do a very good "ersatz-upright" tone when played lightly by the neck.

 

I use mine, as I said , in any number of scenarios, to great success.....even slapping or pick-style stuff (for which I use my nails, not a pick...). Not just for blues and roots. Yes, they can exist in 'lectric-land very easily, although people are usually skeptical at first (hollow body and lack of magnetic PU) .....but all are won over and amazed when they hear it!

I have rec'd many compliments on my bass tone, from players and civilians alike, and I have to give some credit to these basses.

 

I have played that same Fender A/E you mentioned..the Godins stand head and shoulders above that model in both playability and tone.

 

Hope that helps......

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Right now I am still in the planning stages....and submitting possibilities to Godin...focused on Cali (for obvious reasons) but hadn't thought about the NW..are there any Godin Dealers you know of it Seattle? Or TI dealers as well (I am trying to do a whole "clinic tour" for both...if so please send me their names/webpage addy/email.

 

Thanks.....

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Thanks for the great tips, Max! I've emailed you for your tips. I'm hoping to get this bass in time for next Friday's gig.

 

As far as geekdom goes, I'm proud to be one. ;)

 

I find that, in general, bass players are far more aware of their instruments and gear than players of other instruments. When there are problems, the band looks to the bass player to fix it, eh???

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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Originally posted by Max Valentino:

Right now I am still in the planning stages....and submitting possibilities to Godin...focused on Cali (for obvious reasons) but hadn't thought about the NW..are there any Godin Dealers you know of it Seattle? Or TI dealers as well (I am trying to do a whole "clinic tour" for both...if so please send me their names/webpage addy/email.

 

Thanks.....

 

Max

Does TI stand for Thomastik-Infeld?

 

If so thats easy:

 

http://www.bassnw.com

 

Two posts in the last 20 minutes both of them link there, crazy.

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