Blast Cult 145

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by edfriedland, Jul 17, 2012.


  1. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Just got my hands on a Blast Cult 145. I'm reviewing it for BP, and will be shooting a video demo of it in a few weeks for BWTV... but I also purchased it for my own use.

    I played a honky tonk country gig with it this Sunday and have nothing but high praise for it! The setup is fairly typical for slap, a much flatter fingerboard and bridge radius makes slapping easier for sure, though I wouldn't attempt any serious bowing with it. The BC guys tell me they can make the basses with a traditional radius if you want, but I wanted to experience the full slap setup since that's what I want to use this bass for.

    The bass is not very loud acoustically, but it's much louder than the old KDB in that dept. The finish is much lighter, not the heavy sparkle/gloss finishes of the KDB, I think that helps the wood resonate better. But then, the number of gigs I've played un-amplified can be counted on one hand, and that is over 40 years.

    The bass is VERY sturdy! Extra bracing inside, and Gorilla glue to hold it together means you can in fact stand on it. I tried it a few times! In 40 years, it's never seemed like a good idea to stand on my basses... but since I knew this one could take it, I tried and well.... it's not that hard, it's kind of fun, but considering how drunk I usually am when playing country music... I think I'll forgo that on the gig!

    The most impressive thing is the sound and how well the pickup/preamp system works with the bass. The pickups are similar to the old KDB Dollhead, but the elements are encased in wood now, and they probably changed the construction of them a bit. The tension screw for the bridge pickup was a great idea for the Dollhead, and it works great with the new pickup too. The clicky is also in wood and stuck to the back of the board with double-sided tape. I understand you can affect the tone with placement, and different sticky material, but for now I'll leave it where they put it.

    The preamp is two channel and really tailors the sound in a useful way. Instead of replicating the function of the amp tone controls, the Channel Blaster pre is designed to cut the stuff you don't want. I notice a lot of slappers using graphic eq and cutting a lot - this pre does that in a more effective way. It sounds very acoustically true, but you can easily dial in that "ice pick" click that Psycho guys love.

    The string spacing is 1" at the bridge, and it makes the slap easier, though I'm still adjusting to it for jazz solos. The overall tone is very direct and punchy. Every note is really there, very clear. The sound is definitely upright/acoustic, but the note consistency is way improved over my other plywood bass. I was able to dial in a nice warm honky tonk tone, but have the clicky in wait so when I chose to slap, it picked up the slaps. Otherwise, the clicky really doesn't influence the tone much.

    I will be demoing this, so I won't go into any more detail now, but let's just say that I think this is a killer axe for slap and roots music, but I also could see this bass working great in any amplified context. I also really like their strings! The gut G&D sound pure and traditional, and their steel E&A are very well balanced with the gut. The tension is right, and the tone is blends great - it's not like having two basses in one axe. I want to try a full set of them on my Juzek.

    Two big thumbs up for the 145!
  2. Skribble

    Skribble

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, Englandshire
    Really looking forward to the review, Ed.

    I had the very good fortune to catch The Legendary Shack Shakers on one of their two UK dates on Monday. Also managed to have a quick chat with Mark Robertson after the gig - his bass, pickup and preamp are all Blast Cult and it all sounded immense.

    Skrib.
  3. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    Hey! Mark, from Legendary ShackShakers here. Glad you liked the bass! Mines a custom 145, and the best live bass I've ever owned for slapping...Mine is at the bottom of the picture...the top one belongs to Geoff Firebaugh of Hillbilly Casino

    [​IMG]
  4. chopsy

    chopsy

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Location:
    Utica, NY
    Beautiful bass, Mark! I saw you guys open for the Rev Horton Heat and you put on an awesome show, great seeing you on here.

    great review, Ed. look forward to more feedback
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  6. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
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    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    Me too Ed! And thanks :)
  7. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    What awesome paint jobs!
  8. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    Thanks, Ed! Trying to figure out how to build a cab that compliments the bass with out going all Amish Hex Overkill (hey, there's a side project in the making!)
  9. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Is it even possible to have too many Amish Hex signs? I don't think so.
  10. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    Depends on who you ask, I suppose :)
  11. Skribble

    Skribble

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, Englandshire
    Hey Mark!

    Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about bass and generally put up with my drunken bullsh*t...

    One of my friends got a couple of photos from the Bristol, UK gig - hope you don't mind me posting.

    Cheers,

    Skrib.

    Attached Files:

  12. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Ed looking forward to the video. Mark I played your old "Out House" KDB at the '06-'07? NAMM..now that bass sounded great if the new 145's are even better I might just have to sell my kidney to buy one!
  13. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
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    Nashville, TN
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    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    In that case, say goodbye to your kidney! The BC basses do play and sound better, to me. Not that the old KDB's were bad by any stretch :)
  14. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    Hey man! Thanks for posting the pictures!
  15. Akito

    Akito

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Spokane
    Hey guys, I was wondering if you have anything to add about BC basses and pick up system? I'm wondering if I should go with the single or double sound post and how all the details on the bass hold up under gigging conditions. Thanks!
  16. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
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    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    I have been playing my custom Blast Cult since the first of this year...maybe 160-175 by now. 4 trips to Europe and back...That bass sounds better than ever and is holding up like a champ...best live bass I've ever owned by a VERY long shot. For my own fun, I tried about 5 different pickups and came back to the Blast Cult...they really dialed it in, IMO. The Channel Blaster pre is a matter of opinion. I like it, but don't use it all the time as I find it a bit too dark on the loud gigs. My company, BNA has been doing prototype pres and I use those or a DTAR Solstice at times.

    As for the two soundpost question...how loud do you play? Jason Burns didn't feel my bass needed two soundposts, so we just went with one and it sounds wonderful. Another friend of mine (Geoff Firebaugh) has a custom BC with two soundposts and I gotta say he can get even louder than I can with less low end issues...he can crank his low end to comical proportions and have no feedback. The tradeoff is a less 'acoustic' sounding bass, though his sounds great...I just think mine sounds a little more acoustic. You have to make that decision based on the style and types of gigs you do most often.
  17. Akito

    Akito

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Spokane
    Hey Mark! Thanks for responding! I am trying to round up the funds to get a 145 and just trying to decide on what options I really want and need. I know your bass is a custom- is that mostly the paint job or did you have it built to different specs than the standard?
    I play in all sorts of environments from barely amplified to full on slamming drums. This year I have played for audiences of 10 people and for 20k+. The one thing I don't do is ever stop. lol! I definitely would love to be able to plug in at a gig with a heavy hitting drummer and not have to worry about feedback on stage.
    I considered going with the monolux pickup which is a single bridge pickup for now and upgrading to the fb pickup and maybe the channel blaster next year if I still wanted the full deal. I could use my fishman pre and probably be okay for now. It's kind of a cost issue and as much as I would like the total package, the bass itself sure would be a fine start!
    Unfortunately my dog developed cancer and passed away after a 6 month battle with it. I really spent the money I had been saving for an upright all year on his care.
    Do you ever use a bow, and what strings do you prefer?
  18. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

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    My bass is custom, mostly just in the visuals...it will sound pretty much the same as any Blast Cult you can buy, 'off the shelf.' Jason doesn't really do an 'entry level' bass. They're all full pro basses, and worth every penny.

    My arco playing sucks, but I do it occasionally. Lately I've been using BC Tone Monger strings...steel E & A, raw gut D & G. Some people say you can't bow guts, but it's not true...there are entire orchestras that only use gut...for me it's perfect...good pizz, GREAT slap tone...I like em :)

    Also a big fan of Jargar Dulces for steel and Clef guts.

    Though I use the two pickup system, I barely use the fingerboard and often don't use it at all...I just like the option of having it if needed.
  19. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've been experimenting with just the BC bridge pickup and a Fishman Platinum pre... I like it! The Channel Blaster is a great box, but I'm not sure if I'm really a "clicky" kind of guy or not. The Fishman lets me open up the high end on the bridge pickup and cut the offensive mids. I can get similar results with the Channel Blasters bridge channel, but it simply requires more extreme eq on the amp. Not a problem if I'm only playing upright, but sometimes I'm doubling on electric too.

    I apologize for the extreme delay in getting my BC145 video done... I've been real busy. But soon, I promise!
  20. Akito

    Akito

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Location:
    Spokane
    You guys are awesome, thanks for the info! Couple of more questions- what do you guys think of the tuners etc, do they hold tune well? What do you think about the weight of the bass, and do you have the adjustable bridge? Thanks again. I'm scraping together $$$ as we speak lol
  21. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    New Orleans LA
    I look forward to your full review Ed! I'm not an upright player, but really want to take the plunge in the next year. These BC's really have piqued my interest!

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