I think it all has to do with mojo and confidence. For example, the guitarist in the band that we used to do shows with got all the female attention because a) he was the most attractive guy in that band, and b) he was the craziest guy onstage. The others tended to just stand there looking nervous, despite playing extravagantly. I don't intend to brag, but in our band I tended to be the guy the girls wanted to talk to the most because I would do all the little things my two bandmates wouldnt: smile at them! be approachable! have fun onstage! After our performances, my bandmates would generally stray off into a corner while I chatted it up with everyone, womenfolk included. I never tried to pick any of them up because I'm not "that guy", but the point remains the same.
1988 Fender American Telecaster, all stock. Sunburst/rosewood with a mint pickguard.
1984 Marshall JCM800 2203 100-watt head, modified by Lee Jackson of Metaltronix. 6550 power tubes, an extra 12AX7 in the preamp, 6-way tone selector switch, and a dual master volumes with a push-pull knob to get high-gain sounds at lower volumes.
New bass! It's a Lakland Skyline 44-02 Deluxe, from the original batch of Skylines. Made in Korea with Bartolini pickups and preamp. I plan on putting on a tortoise-shell pickguard soon. This bass is crazy; it has a lot of different tones and it nails every sound I'd need.
I'm on my third Mesa tube amp. The first was a 400+ that died in a freak accident, the second was an original Bass 400, and I currently have a brand-new 400+. It's killer. It's not heavy for a tube amp at all.... both it and the SVT put out around 300 watts, but the 400+ weighs 45 pounds while the SVT weighs 90 pounds or more, depending on the year.
If you want a Ryan Martinie tone with the Thumb, just stick with your Genz. The Mesa is a tube amp, and tubes have a squishy tonality to them that works well for fat, full, smooth tones. It IS punchy and clear for a tube amp, but not in the way you'd want. I mainly play smoother styles; I try and get a tone similar to Ben Kenney's from Incubus. Huge, warm, and clear. Still, if you're thinking "Ryknow" or "Dirk Lance" or something, you're better off with solid state. The 400+ isn't uber-hifi and it lets you know it.
I did get the opportunity to try it with my hardcore/progressive band before we split ways, using my Stingray with rounds. I got a crazy, nasty, gritty sound similar to Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan. It was really cool. But the best part is that I can get really good, smooth sounds from the same amp using my P-Bass with flats and a pick.
As far as retubing expenses, if you get bias pots installed you can make those 6L6s last forever. Tubes and transistors actually have equal service lives. Nonetheless, a full retube would cost you about $250, or more for nicer tubes.
Throughout most of 2007 and a little bit of 2008, I had both CTS and tendonitis in my left wrist from a combination of typing, playing bass, and mountain biking. It sucked and has actually left my wrist permanently weakened to a degree.
The "tickling" sensation is definately an early symptom of CTS. Go to the doctor if it gets worse or changes in any way.
I had to really improve my bass technique to keep the pain from my wrist when playing; I raised my strap up and straightened my wrist, and tried to maintain the 1-finger-per-fret rule so as to minimize twisting and awkward positioning.
BTW, I'm only 20 and was 18-19 when all this happened to my wrist, so these issues can definitely spring up at any age!
Nay, she is gone. I've been borrowing an Ampeg 410HLF cab, but soon I hope to score a Mesa 2x12 and 1x15, or something like that. The 2x15EV was a good cab but compared to the newer Mesas it sounds kind of "old".... it'd be great for guys who want a relatively mellow tone, but after hearing more of the new cabs, I'm really wanting a 2x12 and something else to reinforce it.
I do have access to an older ADA 1x15EV cab, which is basically the same as half of my old Mesa cab. I'm thinking of picking it up for recording instead of using that boomy 410HLF.
I haven't posted in a little while...... I basically hit the "reset" button with all my gear, sold everything I wasn't using or didn't need, and got gear that I did need for working with my two bands. I apologize for the crappy pics, we haven't had a single ray of sunshine in the past 5 days. So....
2000 G&L USA L2000. It's Clear Blue with a #5 vintage P-Bass type neck and a rosewood fingerboard. This one stays tuned down a whole step to DGCF. It's really heavy, and with the bulky neck it's a bass fit for giants
2005 G&L USA L2000; custom-ordered with a Cherry Sunburst finish and natural-wood binding, #6 J-bass type neck, and a birdseye maple fingerboard. It stays in standard tuning, EADG. Very lightweight and the total opposite of the blue L2K in just about every way.
1986 EBMM Stingray. Trans Teal with a rosewood fingerboard and 2-band EQ. It's beat up and has a lot of mojo. I've had this bass for years and it isn't going anywhere!! Stays in standard tuning. I might put some flats on it in the near future, but I'm not sure yet.
Brand-spanking new 2008 Mesa 400+, one of the very last ones ever made. It was a special order during the final production run. I had one in the past but it got fried in an unfortunate electrical incident. Out of all the amps I've owned I dug the 400+ the most, so now that I have a fresh new one, it won't be going anywhere. Hazzah for the forest of 6L6's!
I've got two rosewood basses (EBMM Stingray and MIM Jazz) and one maple (MIA Fender P-Bass). The maple has an added benefit of being easy to see on a darker stage. And to me, it also seems to be a little brasher and more zingy-sounding, whereas the rosewood is more controlled.
Rosewood is also tougher and denser.
My Ric has a gloss-finished bubinga fingerboard, which is what they used in the 70's (they use rosewood now, I think). My problem is that all my basses sound so radically different anyway that determining the effect of the fingerboard on the tone is pretty hard.
You really do have the best rig around!! The SM900 is an insanely flexible amp, and I'm already with you in that I'll take larger speakers over 10's any day My jaw still drops every time I think of the Warwick story, too................
It's really not a big deal, I bought it to play, not invest. With all its clothes on it looks totally normal and it sounds freaking HUGE. The neck is dead straight and the frets look almost new, and it plays like a dream with super-low action and no fret buzz.
Back in the 70's and 80's it wasn't too uncommon for people to do that to Rics. Or permanently alter any bass.
I just picked up a 1978 Rickenbacker 4001 a couple of weeks ago. It's in gorgeous condition.
However, when I removed the pickguard, I found this glaring back at me:
So, in essence, my Ric used to look exactly like the one in the Scarified video for a period of time. It's irritating that people f***ed with basses like that back then, and it's just as irritating that I found out about this a week after I bought the bass. Oh well, with the guard on you can't notice it.
I had been playing bass for 2 years, and was in the guitar shop playing around on a few different basses. All of a sudden, this 400 pound Jamaican dude walks up to me and shouts "Man, you got a DEEP groove!"
It was that moment I knew for certain I was a bass player.
(Bassilo) You really think it's the fact that you're criticizing, eh? Like... that's why everyone gets annoyed when you post?
It has nothing to do with that. Every "critical" post you have seems like it's purposely as un-tact as possible, trying to be overly mean for effect.
"then why not get a vintage, and be like a true conosseur of bass tone, as opposed to getting one "for show", or as a main bass. Now that would just be plain retarded."
If you can't see how... everybody but you can and will infer that you're calling mountaindew88 a non-connesseur retard that has a bass for show, I can't help you. There's a million ways of saying things, and when you criticize, your "honesty" is just "blatant jerkiness".
And this is coming from ME.
That's exactly how I interpreted it....
Let's let this go, alright? I got my Ric, I showed it off more than enough, and started a 3-page fight in the process. Goodly.
Dew: seeing how you already got all the versatility u gonna need - i mean you got a passive jazz, a Thumb, and a Stingray to cover the entire spectrum - then why not get a vintage, and be like a true conosseur of bass tone, as opposed to getting one "for show", or as a main bass. Now that would just be plain retarded.
I'm not sure I get what you're trying to say. If you mean that I had all that I need an I shouldn't have gotten the Rickenbacker on principal.... whatever. If I want it and can afford it, I'll get whatever the hell I want.
If you meant that I should have gotten a vintage Ric- I did. It's a '76.
As far as me being a wine-snob about my bass tones, I really don't care about it that much. I just want good-sounding, sturdy, cool basses that make me happy. This one fits the bill, as does the Stingray and Jazz, and my new/old G&L. The Warwicks don't anymore, so I'm selling them. I'm not a collector or purist about bass sounds; I'm a songwriter. I write music on many instruments that pleases me and occasionally pleases others. I don't have the time or patience to look for perfect-this and vintage-that or the "proper" NOS tubes for some "perfect" vintage amp or anything like that. With basses, if it speaks to me and makes me smile, it comes home. I don't care if it's pre-Fender or pre-CBS or pre-factory or pre-trendy.
Why am I trying to justify my purchase to you? If you don't like it, piss off!
Most ricks/copies you cant because the action is too low, and that bar thing that isn't there on yours.
You can, and it sounds pretty great. But I never did a lot of slapping unless I was just messing around or showing off or something. This thing sounds the best with a pick, for sure.
To Bassilo, I'll admit that I did a lot of Ric bashing (and vintage-bashing) a while ago, but I also used to immaturely bash anything I didn't want or had no interest in. After I looked at things more open-mindedly, I figured I'd be much happier with retro gear than high-end modern stuff, and took the step to move my gear and sound in that directiion. Also, I'm still in total support of Jazz and Precision basses. They're great instruments with a universally great sound.
^ I have excellent reasons for owning a Ric: I wanted one (in this color), I found one I could afford locally, and I bought it. It wasn't that I was particularly inspired by some musician to buy one; none of my current lineup of "heros" play one or probably even own one, in fact. Comfort-wise, I can't find anything wrong. It balances well and feels like any other vintage-type bass I've played. The neck is slim and fast. With my right hand, I either mount my thumb on the bridge pickup inside the surrounding metal part, or I just play with a pick.
As far as tone, I'm not a superhero and I'm really not trying to break massive ground with my bass sound. If it sounds good and I can use it to write really hooky stuff, I'm fine. With versatility, who cares? If I had a bass that could cop a million different sounds..... it'd really be lacking character. That's why I want more than one bass.
Why flats? I need them right now for the McCartney-type tone I'm trying to get on a few songs my girlfriend wrote and recorded. Rickenbacker and Chris Squire aren't always synonymous
I looked at a couple of episodes of that FLCL cartoon; it's bizarre! The only anime I've ever watched in my life was Cowboy Bebop when I was younger, so I can't say I'm really used to the oddball themes :\
Anyway, I'm probably going to shoot a couple of videos with the Rick this afternoon, while I've got sunlight. I'll throw one up with my G&L, too. I haven't played any Yes or Rush songs for about 4 years, so it might just be time for that
Here's some more pics, with the relatively few battle scars. No indents or dings, mostly just little lines and the occasional paint chip. Almost nothing goes through the finish, except on the headstock:
Also in the first set of pictures, you can see a small chip next to the bridge, and a very light wormtrack above the pickguard.
As for the note that I have too many basses, 'tis true. I'm actually trying to downsize to just a few that I know I'll keep forever, and an Azureglo or Midnight Blue Rickenbacker was one of those basses that I've wanted for years, since I was 14. After a year of enjoying Warwicks, my two remaining are probably heading out the door sometime soon.
Don't worry fitz, my entire 10th and 11th grade years in high school were spent obsessing over Yes and Rush, and I'm definately into the tones. Paul D'Amour (formerly of Tool) also had an amazing sound on his 4001CS Chris Squire sig bass, too.
Thing is, according to Rickenbacker, the 4001 was designed specifically to use light-gauge flats (rounds weren't invented yet), and using rounds would damage the neck and wear the frets (which couldn't withstand rounds back then, as they didn't exist). However, back then, "rounds" were Rotosounds, which were (and are) super tense and coarse. I could get away with D'Addario XLs or something, which are soft and low-tension. I'll likely put rounds on it in the future, but right now I'm working on some bass tracks for songs my girlfriend wrote and recorded, and I really want a flatwound sound.
It's kind of hard to figure out though... back in the day, flatwounds were less tense than rounds, but now it's really varied. In general, today, flats are more tense. Right now, the bass is strung with TI roundwounds (I think; they have purple silk) and the neck is almost dead straight.
And it was sooo epic. It's a 1976 Rickenbacker 4001, in Azureglo. I bought it from the original owner, too, who apparently took insanely good care of it. No problems whatsoever, I just need to give it a setup and some flatwounds.
I also stumbled on this weird-ass cartoon when looking for info-
5-string only with me. I'll never buy another 4 as long as I live, unless it's something that just totally blows my pants off. My Thumb NT4 is a great bass, as is my Stingray 4, but one or both of them will soon be restrung BEAD.
Playing 5-string is just perfect for me, I can go as high or as low as I want with zero restrictions, and can play in two octaves in most postitions. 6-string is a bit much; it's cool, but I feel like I'd be sacrificing playability for another string I wouldn't frequently use. I'd be fine with the right one, though. Long story short- no more 4-strings for me. I'll keep the ones I have, but I won't buy another one.
As far as tunings, my basses are:
Stingray- EADG Fortress One- ADGCF, always Fortress Flashback- BEADG Thumb BO5- Either BEADG or ADGCF; it's my main bass so it switches roles a lot Thumb NT4- Soon to be BEAD; it has 26 frets so it'll have the same number of notes as a 22-fretted 5-string. With it's D-Tuner, I can drop it to A whenever I want.
A lot of people think that 2000 is the only year of significance in Warwick's production shifts. Here's the full rundown:
1982- Company is founded by H.P. Wilfer 1991- They intruduce CNC and more mechanization 1995- Company moves from Erlangen to Markneukirchen to facilitate increased production 1998- Ovangkol sees it's first use in bolt-on necks 2000- The big factory opens; much more sophisticated technologies are employed; neck- through models start getting ovangkol necks
Companies will always grow and change. Fortunately for us, Warwick makes very smart moves which benefit both the company and the consumer. They can now produce basses of much higher quality and consistency, in a greater quantity to satisfy demand. Everyone wins.
Can't agree on the post-2000-Warwicks-are-inferior standpoint.
Older is certainly not better with Wicks. Back in the 80's, the trussrod system was garbage. It could only be adjusted in one direction, and some were even made too short for the neck, causing bad warpage problems. Yes, all the basses were totally handmade up to 1991, but CNC- when applied where necessary- is always more accurate than human hands. The best combination is a blend of both, which is what Warwick has used since 1991 or 92.
Two-way removeable trussrods were put into use in 1992, and were updated to fixed two-way rods in 1996. Double-expanding trussrods like these are incredibly stable and prevent lengthwise compression of the neck, which would result in neck distortions over time. These rods also require minimal tweaking throughout the year compared to a normal trussrod. In mid 1995, the steel bars and volutes were added to bolt-on models, and neck-through models were updated in late 1997. In 1998, they began using ovangkol for the necks of bolt-ons, and in 2000 the neck-throughs were made with ovangkol as well.
In terms of which neck wood is better, there is no right answer. Ovangkol (also called shedua and used heavily by builders like Wal) is extremely similar to Bubinga, except slightly heavier and denser, and not quite as pretty. It's an insanely stable neck wood. Wenge is in the same family as mahogany and is an equally awesome wood. It's a little heavier than ovangkol with slightly better mechanical properties. The reason they switched woods was manyfold:
1) The dust produced when working with wenge is toxic, and this is obviously very problematic during manufacturing. 2)The regions of the Congo where wenge grows is always in some state of political strife, and is therefore extremely difficult to harvest.
Feel-wise, wenge is slightly waxy to the touch and open-grained, whereas ovangkol feels dry and tight-grained. With stability, there is no difference.
As I prefer the feel of wenge, my ideal Warwick would be made between 1995 and 1998 for a bolt-on, and circa 1997-1999 for a neck-through. Wenge neck, volute, and steel supports. Perfect. I wouldn't complain about ovangkol, either. In terms of the highest quality and greatest stability, I'd take a new Warwick way before I'd take an old 80's-early 90's bass.
Electronically, as it's been said, MEC = fail in most cases. My basses sound good enough as they are, however, so I'm not going to worry about dropping $1,000 on new pre's and pickups for all of them.
+1 to fitz's comments. Also, keep in mind that many Wicks, especially, the Thumb, weren't intended to be held balls-low. Yes, the neck is chunkier than many, but if you play with good technique it should facilitate your playing, not hinder it.
Another great thing about Warwicks is that everything is adjustable. EVERYTHING. The nut height, the height of each string over the nut, the overall bridge height, the height and spacing of each saddle (and there's a locking screw for each function of the bridge to save your settings), hell- even the tuning keys are adjustable for tightness. Yay German overengineering!
Also, don't forget the insane degree of stability and construction you get with Warwicks. The necks are laminated; being composed of several pieces of ovangkol (or wenge in the past, or maple on certain models) glued with the grain running in opposition to the adjacent pieces. This adds a tremendous amount of strength to the neck, preventing warpage and adding resistance to humidity shifts. In addition, ovangkol and wenge (and most maples) are incredibly strong, heavy, and dense woods that are incredibly stable. Second, the trussrod is a modern double-expanding type, not the old Fender style that compresses the neck lengthwise (which will eventually distort the neck). This gives the neck longevity and even greater stability. Finally, all bolt-on necks since 1995 and all neck-through necks since 1997 have dual steel support bars running from the 24th to the 12th fret. This stabilizes that region of the neck, and almost elimates the possiblity of warpage and S-curving.
In short, the necks are freaking bulletproof. It could not have been done any better.
I live in Michigan, which is in a region of the world where it can go from -20F with zero humidity in the winter, to over 100F in the summer and 100% humidity. I currently own four Warwicks, purchasing my first back in Feb. 2008, the second in May 2008, the third in Aug. 2008, and my fourth in Jan. 2009. Since the initial purchase of each bass, I set up everything once, and they have remained perfect to this day, including the first bass. It hasn't budged through any of the seasonal changes.