1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

NBD ACG

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SoVeryTired, Jan 11, 2013.


  1. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Once upon a time I had a nice 5 string. Great 24-fret asymmetric neck, really nice feel. Then I got a cheap Squier P Special and it made me sad, because the passive P-J setup was the sound I wanted, not the active J-MM.

    But help was at hand. Thanks to the small (but growing) and enthusiastic band of ACG owners on TB I've been following Alan's work for a while. Fantastic quality and, from the occasional stock model that was up for sale, great value. So when he announced the pricing for his Graft range I didn't find it too hard to sell my old 5er to put down a deposit.

    The specs:

    Graft Finn in alder with black limba top
    5 string
    34" scale neck, rosewood on 3-piece maple
    Flat radius
    Alloy side dots
    Hipshot type B 18mm
    Passive - volume, tone, 4 way rotary selection switch
    SB single coil in bridge, PB split coil in PBass position

    My first impressions - it's fantastically comfortable. The pictures I've seen suggested a slimmer, more offset J shape. In the flesh it's really well-proportioned, small but perfectly balanced with no hint of neck dive due to the long upper horn. The neck is so easy to get around with a very low buzz-free action. I've only managed to play through my pedalboard into a home speaker system (with sub). I can tell that the familiar sounds are all there - the thumping P, the snarly J, the scooped slap-friendly parallel blend - and with the addition of the two pickups in series. Pure thunder. I had to unplug as the sideboard was starting to vibrate and the fish were looking worried.

    I'll update after I've played a proper set with it on Sunday but for now I'll just say... buy an ACG, they're unbelievable value!

    The official pics are on this thread.

    My not-so-great pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    blindrabbit likes this.
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2001
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Beautiful--I really like the black limba top! Just curious--is the series-mode output a lot hotter than the other settings?

    Alan's Graft range is really an incredible value on an amazing handmade instrument, and is tempting even though I already have an ACG.
     
  3. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Series is definitely an ouput boost.
     
  4. Solarmist

    Solarmist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    15 miles from Mt. Rainier
    WOW - thats gorgeous ... fantastic looking bass!
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
  7. eude

    eude

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    London
    Said elsewhere, but huge congrats again.
    That bass is a real looker, I loved that particular limba top since I first saw it (I actually asked of it could be made into a 6er I liked it that much) and the Finn shape is just perfect isn't it.
    All my ACG basses are active but I would really like to try a passive setup.

    Can't wait to hear how to get on trying it in anger.

    Cheers,
    Eude
     
  8. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Thanks guys. Don't think there'll be any anger involved with this bass - intensity maybe!
     
  9. JebDude

    JebDude

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Location:
    Minnesnowta
    Very nice, SVT! Definitely looks well worth the wait.
     
  10. eude

    eude

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    London
    Just a phrase meaning "at volume" :hyper:

    Eude
     
  11. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Don't worry, I hear you - it's just funny thinking of the word 'anger' in connection with this bass, as it's so far removed from the emotions I feel when I pick it up!

    There will be plenty of volume tomorrow. I have a feeling the house subs will be cranked.

    :bassist::hyper:
     
  12. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    I think this bass is a GAS killer. I went guitar shopping with my dad today and I've never been so disinterested in the bass section. My reactions varied between 'meh' and 'but you could get an ACG for less then that'.
     
  13. eude

    eude

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    London
    It might not cure your GAS for ACG's though...
     
  14. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
  15. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    So, proper test today after a weekend of unplugged playing at home. For context, I play in a church band (bass, drums, keys, electric and acoustic guitars, three singers). It's an amp-free stage with DIs and IEMs (guitar amps mic'd backstage). In style we're more rock than hymns or gospel. I don't know the specs of the PA but there are decent speakers and subs, powerful enough to more than cope with the 500+ seater hall.

    The initial output was a little lower than my old Squier, probably due to pickup height, so the level was turned up. This produced a fair but of noise but we traced that to my pedalboard. I only have it there really because my tuner is on it (I'm also play one of those skinny six-string things) so we just bypassed the effects and got straight down to it. Of a four-song set (played twice) I played fingerstyle on three and pick on one. Some parts fairly routine root-note pounding, others more melodic. On the bridge of one song it starts with everything pulling right back and I play a part right up the neck, hitting the 24th fret G. On the second time through, as it builds, I drop down to the 12th and then by the 3rd I'm hitting the open B. That one's fun. :)

    So, how did the bass stand up to the job? Pretty much perfectly. So easy to get around the neck compared to my old fiver, gien the 34" scale and 18mm spacing compared to 35" and 19mm. Sweet, clear and bell-like at the top end, thunderous at the bottom end. I made sure I used all the pickup combinations, sometimes changing mid-song for a different tone.

    Split coil: Punch. Classic P sound. Great with fingers or pick, loud or quiet, fast or slow. If I had just this pickup I'd still be very, very happy.

    Single coil bridge: Slice. A real cutting J bridge sound. I probably won't often use it on its own - I played it with a pick in the first service and realised it was just too trebly, but for some fast fingerstyle funk it'd work great.

    Split coil and single coil together in parallel: Slap. If my understanding of electronics is correct, this is effectively 0.5P + 0.5J (roughly speaking). A slightly scooped, very clear sound which would work great for slap and also was very effective for quieter moments.

    Split coil and single coil together in series: Armageddon. This, I believe, is basically P + J, i.e. the output of both added together. Pure thunder but in a very musical and useable way. This will be my go-to setting for the loud stuff when I'm playing fingerstyle, whereas I'd probably go to just the split coil solo'd for pick work, to balance the output.

    Playability was absolutely fantastic, the low notes retained great clarity. My main concern was that it might sound as 'nice' as it looks - no, it sounds like a bass should. Soft when you want it to be and a snarling beast when you really attack it. This is going to inspire me to be a better player as it really deserves to be played often and well.

    Top marks to Alan.
     
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    North central Ohio
    Disclosures:
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Awesome bass! I love the look and I love the specs. Alan's basses are really great, and the Graft line is a ridiculous bargain!

    Enjoy! :bassist: :bassist: :bassist: :cool:
     
  17. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Thanks Tom. And thanks for your reviews and posts that helped push me over the edge!

    It ridiculously cheap by bass standards but still, for me, quite a lot if money to spend on a bass that was a complete unknown. Except for the rave reviews from people who know what they're talking about. So glad I took the plunge!
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Location:
    North central Ohio
    Disclosures:
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Excellent point. I do not mean to trivialize the expenditure in any way. It is a leap of faith, and I am very glad that you are happy with the results! :cool:
     
  19. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Don't worry, no trivializing interpreted! Its the first time I've spent so much on a musical instrument without trying it first or, in this case, even trying one by the same builder. But I saw a lot of satisfied customers and, probably most importantly, I knew what I wanted and why.
     
  20. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    That bass looks like it's all business... a real journeyman. Fantastic.
     
  21. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Yep - although it has a real beauty as well in the flesh. The top is a work of art/nature! And the minimal satin finish sets it off nicely.

    The aim, as you say, was for this to be a real workhorse bass. Nothing too flashy or fancy, just a passive PJ 5er, but with the asymmetric neck for the feel I like. I specced it up as being the only bass I'll ever need - but not necessarily the only bass I'll ever want. :cool:
     

Share This Page