Fender Heartfield DR basses...Wow!
Just found out about the existence of these basses...
Crikey, they look good. Especially in translucent finishes (don't like the fancy colors that much)...
I understand that they were made in the early 90s to compete with Jackson, Yamaha etcetera, but were discontinued quite quickly. Are they any good? Rare? Expensive?:ninja:
They never sold well. I played a couple, in the 90's. Nothing too special, really. They all looked nice.
I had a Fender Heartfield Prophecy I bass for several years. Four string, P/J configuration. I bought it used at a good price and it was my main bass for a few years. The stock pickups were just okay so I upgraded them. It was very light and played great. It's one of those basses I wish I hadn't sold!
One owned a Heartfield 5 string with an interesting red pearlburst finish. Beautiful instrument, but VERY ordinary sounding.
I can only tell you about mine...
I have a DR5. It is a great sounding/feeling instrument. String spacing is a bit on the wider side with a shallow wide-ish composite neck.
I'd describe the sound as broad deep rather than tight with a very nice subterranean growl. Very well made. Rumor has it that they were built too well which is why Fender discontinued them.
The only real quirk, at least with the dr series is the EQ. Basically one knob and a switch. In one position the switch acts like a mid boost cut controlled by the knob in the other it seems like a fixed boost and cut with the knob acting like a frequency sweep. It is very subtle, but effective. In a recording situation you can almost always dial in the perfect sound. In a live situation it is too subtle and fiddly not at all useful for radical changes n tone. But the tone you do get is really wonderful. There were supposed to be some issues with the necks but nothing I can detect on mine yet.
As to value, they aren't well known enough to instill any lust. If you want a distinctive well made axe they are great. As an investment I don't know.
I assume you've checked this out already?
I own two Heartfield basses: a Cherry Burst (?) DR-6C (neck-thru) 6 string and a Black Pearl Burst DR-5 bolt-on 5 string. Granted the single knob and switch may not give a player a wide range of tones I still like my Heartfields very much. I am a sucker for a bass with a good feeling/playing neck and both of my basses have very comfortable (for me) wide necks. I can't think of many other basses that I have tried (boutique or factory made) that feel as good as my DR-5 5 string. I wouldn't sell or trade it for anything.
The 5 string models have 19 millimeter string spacing at the bridge which is wide, but it suits me fine. The 6 string models have 17.5 millimeter string spacing at the bridge. I only wish the 6 string models had 19 millimeter spacing and a slightly wider neck. I personally perfer the tone of the bolt-on model; it is brighter and snappier than the neck-thru bass in my opinion.
I do have an issue with the trust rod in my 6 string. It is frozen in place currently. I don't know of any bass luthier/repair men that I trust to fix it. At least not where I live. :hmm: :help:
As stated above the tone of Heartfield basses may not be the greatest, but I still love mine. :cool: I've had my 5 string since 1992 and my 6 string since mid 1994. I only wish I had had the money (at the time) to buy a DR-4 four string a another DR-5 string in the red pearl burst finish. :crying:
I've had my DR-5 since 1990 and have loved it the whole time. Many others have come and gone, this one stays. I love the wider string spacing.
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