NBD Ledbelli MJB 5 string
Check the Facebook page and website for more pictures of this actual bass.
MJB= Modern Jazz Bass
Nordstrand Big Split pickups
Nitrocellulose Crimson Burst
Flame maple top/back
Flame maple neck w/ beautiful Birdseye fretboard
Mike Pope Flexcore preamp Vol/Blend/Passive Tone Control/Low Mid/Hi mid/Bass/Treble
I ordered this a few months back from Cleve and received it last Friday. Its a brand new model he is putting in to production and I ordered the first one from him. I didn't have much time to play it the first couple of days due to my work schedule and also wanted to give it some time before I posted a review of sorts.
I've had some more time over the last few days with it and am really pleased with the construction and playability. It rivals any of the big names out there. The neck is a satin finish and is fast and smooth. It's not chunky from front to back and sort of reminds me of a Lakland 55-94. It very comfortable to play. It's 1.75" at the nut if I remember correctly.
The finish is absolutely gorgeous! I wanted a subtle burst and Cleve was kind enough to send me samples before we finalized the finished. It's a real stunner! Even more so in person. I about did a back flip when I saw it in person.
I haven't weighed it yet but I would say its somewhere in the 9.5-10lb range.
The pickups are Nordstrand Big Splits and they sound wonderful in active or passive mode. I've yet to find a sound I don't like. The pickup spacing is quite a bit more modern than your standard J bass. Cleve suggested this spacing for a punchier/more aggressive tone and I figured why not give it a shot. I love how the neck pickup sounds in this position. It's very punchy and sort of p bass like. I've never really been one to favor the bridge pickup, but it sounds very good soloed also. It's a bit thicker sounding than your typical J bass pickup and has a very nice musical quality.
I wouldn't call this bass a typical jazz bass as you would probably guess by the pickup placement and type of pickups but more of a Modern Jazz Bass MJB as the model name suggests. However, it is still able to retain a lot of the jazz bass tones you would hear in a classic jazz bass but definitely has it's own character, which is a good thing. The split pickups probably lose a little bit of top end I would assume but with the combination of the preamp and passive tone control you can dial in some very nice top end.
I really feel like Cleve's work needs to be displayed and discovered, and that's why I wanted to make this thread. I, myself learned about him last year while browsing the Luthiers section of Talkbass and always thought his work was beautiful.
His communication and attention to detail throughout the whole process was amazing. I can tell he really takes pride in his work and is a true craftsman. This bass not only sounds great but is a piece of art. It's a totally custom bass and definitely doesn't feel like your everyday, off the shelf model.
You can check out his other models and pricing on his website and see more pictures of my actual bass on his facebook page. I'm sure he will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Happy Ledbelli Owner
Here are a few studio shots from the Ledbelli facebook page.
Very cool! I like that pickup placement.
That looks absolutely stunning!
Thanks guys! I really dig the pickup spacing. The finish looks even more beautiful in person. It's a real stunner!
Maybe a stupid question but are those Big Splits in a soapbar casing? Dont they come in JB casings too? And if so, what made you decide to go with the soaps?
That is a beautiful bass! Very eye catching. Congrats!
Also, I forgot to mention the fretwork is outstanding and the low b string is a killer.
Oh yum I'm gonna have to load the website at home so I can see just how out of budget this is!
Flash enabled sites don't load on iPhone...
Thank you, Jason, for your kind words! I'm glad that you are happy with your instrument!
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