Roscoe questions and advise?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AndyW83, Oct 28, 2013.


  1. AndyW83

    AndyW83

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    So Im treating myself to a new bass. I think Ive narrowed it down to a Roscoe custom. I was a little sticker shocked when I realized what it was going to cost, but I ask you, is it money well spent? Also im VERY torn between the LG and the SKB. I realize size is the main difference, but realistically im buying this based on looks and reputation. I dont want something huge but at the same time i dont want to be driving a toothpick. Whats most comfortable? If I do go with the LG should I keep the pickups slanted or have them straight? Id love to hear everyones opions. Ready, set...... go
  2. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    South Jersey
    You get a lot for your dollar with a Roscoe. Personally I like the Century but I like bigger basses, not that the Century is huge by any means.

    Where are you located?
  3. AndyW83

    AndyW83

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    I heard the Century is the biggest, and also most comparable to a jazz bass. Not for me I dont think. Its gonna be either the LG or SKB. Im in north jersey
  4. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2000
    Location:
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Disclosures:
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    The CS alone is worth the money! As for the basses themselves, you can't go wrong. Keith and Gard will be there from wood choices to preamp and final build. They make a point to ask what you're looking for tonally, and then offer combos that will get you there. I went with a Century as well, and I call it the Swiss Army knife of basses. There ain't too much you can't do with this bass.
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sutton, MA
    I love the look of the SKB but I find the LG to be more comfortable. How many strings are you intending to get?

    I ask b/c some have complained of neck dive with the LG on the 6 string models (others have not). I have an LG 4 stringer and I used to have an SKB 6 stringer.

    With the 4 stringer LG, I find the slanted pickups to be great. With the 6 stringer, the original being Jimmy Haslip's LG, the slanted pickups actually are in a different location on his strings b/c he strings it upside down.

    Jon Packard had one built with the pickups slanted in the opposite direction (so that the placement on the strings would be like Jimmy's). You can ask him how it sounded.

    Some have thought the slanted pickups (the usual way) may be thin sounding on the high C string b/c it's so close to the bridge. I would think a good compromise would be to straighten them out and have them in the JB position (sort of like Tom Kennedy's Fodera).
  6. AndyW83

    AndyW83

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Im going with a 5 string. In playing the two did you find that the LG feels and looks much smaller?
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    +1 in that, even on a 5 string, I would go either with the stock 'straight' in-line position, or the 'reverse slant' which would give the G and D string a bit more 'meat' by moving the pickup a bit away from the bridge.

    The standard Bart straight pickup position is actually closer to the Tommy Kennedy model than a J position, with the neck pickup moved toward the bridge a bit. LOVE it.... lots of burp and a very tight but fat B string. Super articulate.

    I really love the Century body. To the OP, it is a very small body, but has that extended horn that puts the upper horn in a more traditional position over the 12th fret, resulting in very nice balance on the strap. Really nice looking body.

    Quite frankly, if I was buying one new, I'd go with the Century Standard + or whatever that 'base model with top veneer is called'. You lose the carved top, but otherwise, you are all there, at a significant discount to the top end models.

    You can get 'JP or 'J' pickups from Aguilar now, which is a nice option (with an OB-1 with bypass and passive tone control) if you want Roscoe looks and playability with a more traditional tone. I find that the Bart soaps and pre 'sound a like a Roscoe' to me... very signature tone due to the construction and that nice 'close to the bridge' pickup position.

    Amazing quality, fit and finish, etc. for the price!
  8. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    West Grove Pa via the Northside of the 'Burg!
    Unless there is something very particular you are looking for, I would go used.
    For some reason, there are many incredible Roscoes available in the classifieds right now....and you could might be able to send it to Riscoe if a particular mod can be added after the actual build (pickups, preamp, etc...)
    JMO
  9. AndyW83

    AndyW83

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    What are your thoughts on the century being like a jazz bass? Do you agree? Have you played the LG or SKB and if so which do you think is balanced better? Ive been hearing so may mixed opinions that its making my decision even harder. The body is really the only thing thats holding back on pulling the trigger
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    First, tonally, the body shapes really don't impact anything. The Century can have the same electronics as the other body styles, so, for the most part, it is an aesthetic choice. Any body style of a Roscoe with the standard Bart electronics package sounds absolutely NOTHING like a J Bass.

    Secondly, there is little similarity between the Century body and a more traditional J Bass body. I think those comments come from the distance between the strap buttons (i.e., the extended top horn), which is similar to a J bass, resulting in very good balance on the strap. If anything, the Century is somewhat similar to the MTD body style to my eye.

    Here is a picture of a J body (Alleva Coppolo) next to my Roscoe Century. Given that the J is 21 fret and the Roscoe is 24, you can really see how much closer to the bridge both pickups are on the Roscoe (even compared to the 70's J position of the A-C), resulting, in combination with those warm, fat Barts, that classic burpy, articulate Roscoe tone IMO.

    I have played both other body styles, and they are fine, although I personally felt the balance on the 5 string on that smallest body style was a touch neck heavy. Luckily, I found the Century body style my preference aesthetically, so it all became a moot issue for me.

    [​IMG]
  11. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Get over to Bensalem and check a few out at http://www.bassspecialties.com/. They usually have a few on hand and you'll get a chance to check them all out in a very nice shop with a bunch of great amps to play through as well. they are really cool there as well, so no need to guess, pop over and play them all!
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    To the OP, you should head over to the Rocket Music location on the sponsored site on TB. Most of the Roscoe guys hang out there, and Greg (from Rocket) is a very good source for 'all things Roscoe' if you have questions.
  13. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Texas
    I really like my SKB3005. The playability and balance are excellent but that Century is beautiful. If I got another Roscoe it would be a Century for the aesthetics and horn placement. That side by side with a jazz is helpful - didn't know it was that compact.
  14. Gard

    Gard

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2000
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    Disclosures:
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Andy, Ken (KJung) hit the nail on the head: when I stated it was similar to a J bass, I was absolutely referring to the locations of the strap button - it will "hang" like a J, but it is (as you can see in his photo) significantly more "svelte" than a Fender J or one of its many derivatives. :)

    Guys, thanks for chiming in!
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    I love my Roscoe!
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    I personally think the 'carved' Century is one of the nicest looking instruments out there. All those curves, and the compact size really looks great to me, and is a joy on the gig.
  17. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Location:
    SEPA
    However, be advised, per that link:

    NOTICE!! - THE BENSALEM, PA STORE IS NOW CLOSED! - BASS SPECIALTIES WILL CONTINUE AS AN ON-LINE ENTITY

    The site, which has not been updated for a while, does show 'By Appointment Only' at a Langhorne location. It does show some Roscoes 'in stock' but that was a while ago.

    Could well still be worth a trip, but make your arrangements first.

    You probably won't find any Roscoe haters in this thread ;-) There's a lot of Roscoe information in the two Roscoe Club threads, as well as the (now closed but available for viewing) Roscoe Forum.

    I love mine and I haven't even had it that long. (SKB).
  18. AndyW83

    AndyW83

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Being Im spending quite a bit of money I just want to make sure im getting the one thats id be most happy with. IM sure that if ANY of them showed up at my door id be ecstatic. For the past week Ive been trying to decide which to go for based on pictures and opinions. And it has actually been working. My current bass is an ibanez SR755 and the top horn does go to the 12th fret, so Im thinking this is something Id probably want to stay with, being im comfortable with the balance and such. I also like the overall size of the body. Not too big. Not too small. From the sounds of it, most of you would also choose the century over the SKB?
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sutton, MA
    Here's an LG with "reverse slant" pickups.

    I love the tone of this bass.

  20. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2000
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    West Fargo, ND
    IMHO, they are worth every penny, and then some. I have 4 Century Customs with different pickup configurations (one of them is also fretless). Each is a different flavor of awesome. I have owned a lot of basses over the years, and I have finally found "the one"........ (well, actually, four "the ones":D)

    But, don't take my word. Get somewhere and try a couple if you can. You'll be glad you did.

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