Schecter Ultracure Bass VI - anyone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Apr 12, 2012.


  1. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Okay, this interesting axe just might be too new at this point. But just in case, has anyone actually checked out this striking bass VI? I'm very curious.

    Thanks!
  2. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    doesnt even look baritone.
  3. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I went to the Schecter site. When you look at the bass VI next to the regular Ultracure, you can see that neck is definitely longer. I know this axe isn't what most would consider pretty, but damn, it intrigues me.
  4. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Reviving this thread, as I recently picked up an Ultracure VI. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I couldn't play before buying, so was thinking that I had made a bad purchase, when it first arrived. I just couldn't get a decent sound out of it, running through my SWR Redhead. However, I plugged it into my Westbury guitar amp, and it really came to life, and sounded great. The lower register is very much a bass sound. Chords are pretty muddy when played on the low E, A and D strings. But, single notes sound great down there. With the EQ flat, and no effects, the low strings really remind me of Mark Sandman's tone - right or wrong, that was what I thought when playing. Lots of mids.

    The higher strings are great for chords, and if you want that "vintage" Robert Smith lead tone (Disintegration) there is little that you have to do to achieve it. This thing plays Pictures of You, pretty much, by itself. I am a horrific guitarist, but when I did pull one out, I usually reached for an old Aria gypsy electric - semi-hollow body. The higher strings remind me of that sound. I have to go by memory on this one, because I recently sold the Aria, so can't do a side by side comparison. It does not remind me of a strat, at all, though. A little chorus and delay, and I was playing The Last Days of Summer, without even trying.

    What I am really digging about this VI, though, is the size. It is almost as long as my MIM Fender P. The neck is very similar and I love the large frets. I started on bass, and have always played bass, so never enjoyed getting much past the twelfth fret on traditional guitars. Just hated the small fret space. This one is very easy to play, up and down the neck. The back of the neck is glossy, but not sticky at all. I haven't had any trouble with it, but my guitar style is much closer to someone like Robert Smith, than Steve Vai, so it would have to have tar on the back to really impede what I want to do with it. Some people will like the stars and moons that are inlayed on the fret board. Most will dislike them. I find them a bit cheesy, but they don't bother me. The 'goth' part of me from my 20s enjoys them.

    The body is actually bigger than the P bass. Both from side to side, and front to back width. This is a mahogany body that is pretty close to 2" thick. At its widest point, the body must be getting to be around 16". It is definitely "none more black" but looks cool to me. It is not a light instrument, because of the size of the body. I don't have a scale here, but I would guess that it is a pound or more heavier than the P bass.

    Pickups sound nice. Real Duncans. One off switch for each one - depending on how bass-y or treble-y you want it to sound. I think that the knobs are volume and tone. I tend to be a "turn everything to 11 and play" type of guy, so don't fuss with knobs much. I do find the switches useful, though, depending on what type of tone I am looking for.

    Photos posted below. One of the guitar by itself, and the other showing it next to the P bass for comparison.

    I see these on the street for $999. I wouldn't recommend it for that price. I would have just bought the Ultra VI - or even the Hellcat VI. But, I contacted Musicians Friend and they were able to give me a very good price on the RS version, so I went for it. I wanted the larger body, and I have been a big Cure fan for more than two decades, so was happy to pay a bit more for the signature model. At the price that I was offered, I feel that the instrument is worth it.

    Quality, in general, is very good on the instrument. No issues at all with the finish, frets or setup. For me, anyway.

    Hope that this info is helpful to anyone interested in one of these. I played a Fender Bass VI a little while ago, and originally was trying to find one of those at a decent price, as I enjoyed it. I am glad that I went the Schecter route, though. For me, this is a better fit, tone-wise. This is not likely the case for many others, though.

    I will try to post some sound clips down the road. I am sure that they'd be more useful to people than my word-y review.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Interesting concept, but dad gum! Is uglier than a bulldog in a prom dress!
  6. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Heh. I have a feeling this will be a common thought. You have to really like Robert Smith, or have some amount of 'goth' in you to enjoy the look. I was never really a big goth fan, but played with a band in the 90s who did well with that crowd. This would have been a hit at those shows.
  7. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Actually, I dig the look. I like that it's big; I'm 6'4". I'm just not sure how much I'd actually use it. I gig on bass but only mess around on electric guitar at home. If I were to buy something like this, I'd actually want to use it for playing outside of my living room. Perhaps I could find a way to use it on a few songs. I really wish I could try one out but so far I haven't even seen the regular Ultracure anywhere so forget about finding a VI to demo. Sigh...
  8. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Say, have you considered posting a demo video on YouTube? You'd be the the first for the Ultracure VI. Just a thought. ;)
  9. Calaverasgrande

    Calaverasgrande

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Location:
    East Oakland, California
    I like the general look but think it would benefit from a contrasting pickguard, maybe in silver or some farout pattern to reflect the trippy side of the Cure.
    The price is a bit much though.
    How is that $999 but this is $599?
  10. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Not a big YouTube guy, but will get some sounds posted soon, I really am pathetic with more than four strings, so the focus will be the sound and not performance :)

    My studio is in the process of being painted, but once complete, I will get this into the board.
  11. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Agreed. I was going to just get the Ultra VI, but called MF and they gave me an acceptable price on the Ultracure, so I went for it. As a Cure fan for 25 years, the money is only justified for sentimental reasons, or if you like the aesthetics. I really do like to size and weight of it, and glad I went ahead with the signature model. I don't want to post the price I got, but it was very fair and I highly recommend contacting MF before buying anything new on the retail side of the world.
  12. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    So, still feeling the love for your Ultracure VI? Got any clips to share? Any gigging stories? Are you using it more as a bass or a guitar? Any regrets???
  13. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    I am still enjoying it. Work had just started in my studio when it arrived, and it will be this week before it is put back together. I will get some clips once I can turn things on in there again.

    I am a very bad guitar player, so pretty clumsy around six strings, but it is fun to play. And, running it into my M6, I can get some very cool tones.

    Couple more days and I will get some audio posted. The studio has gone way over both time and budget, but once I started I didn't want to cut corners.
  14. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for checking back in. Looking forward to those clips. As for all those strings, I am a guitar player but not a very good one. I think initially I'll want to play it like a guitar with a pick but will likely, gradually use it more like a bass. Of course, I'm only speculating, I've never even seen one of these things other than online.
  15. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    I play with a pick all the time - well, most of the time - on bass, so also using a pick on the bass VI. You can't really attack on the low strings - as you would with an acoustic guitar, for example - without getting a bit muddy, so the tone really dictates how it gets played, for me anyway. I really like it, though. I am curious to try it in a band setting, playing my usual bass lines, but we are on a hiatus till next month while one of the guys moves, so will likely be a month or so till I can do that.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would love a Bass VI. I like that design, too, even the inlays. Don't think I could ever make one a main player, but I do like them.
  17. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Studio is _finally_ put back together. Hell of a process, but fired up the gear tonight and all is back online. Will try to run some recordings tomorrow, and will update once posted.

    @JimmyM - agreed on the inlays, and overall look. But also know that most folks don't share my aesthetic. As to using it as a full-time bass, my feelings haven't really changed, and they run pretty close to what JoeNerve posted about his Fender Bass VI. You can do some really cool things with it, but I don't see using it as a 'bass' for an entire gig. Not in a 'traditional' sense, anyway.
  18. Curmei

    Curmei

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Apologies for the long delay. I got called away for work, and was in PA and then MA until Tuesday this week. Didn't want to continue posting that "I would get something up soon" so, decided to wait till I actually had something posted :)

    The MP3 below is filled with terrible playing, but I wanted to get something up that compares the Ultra with my P bass. The file is about 7 minutes long, and not really worth listening to from start to finish, but you should be able to jump around and pick up the differences between the two instruments. The breakdown is:

    Basslines
    0:00 - 0:48 - Ultracure
    0:48 - 1:29 - P bass
    1:30 - 2:20 - Ultracure
    2:21 - 2:59 - P bass
    3:00 - 3:47 - Ultracure
    3:48 - 4:34 - P bass

    Chords and other "guitar" playing
    4:36 - 5:10 - Ultracure playing C, G, D, no effects
    5:11 - End - Ultracure with a bit of delay, chorus and distortion

    Note that there is no effects at all until the last bit of the recording. The set up for both the Ultra and the P are:
    Instrument -> Presonus Firestudio -> Sonar X1

    The effects on the last bit are from Sonar - just stock settings pulled from the Effects menu. I just added to give something other than the dry sound.

    The P and the UC both had volume and tone all the way up. Only the neck and middle pickups were turned on the UC. That is just my favorite setting for these parts.

    You can really hear that the UC is really right in-between a "normal" guitar and bass. Definitely kinda lives in its own space.

    I will try to get a more thorough "review" recording this weekend, but wanted to get _something_ posted, as I had planned on doing this a while ago.

    http://theflux.com/UltraVI.mp3

    Questions or the like, just let me know. I am just getting settled back into the studio, so I should be able to post some other recordings without too much of a wait.
  19. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    And here I thought you forgot about us! Will check out the clip later (at work now). Looking forward to it.
  20. dgce

    dgce

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the clips, Curmei. Clearly the Ultracure VI can cover bass territory. However, it's equally clear that the P bass is more proficient at doing this. The Ultracure seems to shine more in the guitar registrar.

    Guitars like the UC VI are niche instruments, there's just no getting around it. I wouldn't want to depend on it as my main bass. But I'd love to have it in the arsenal and use it on a few songs here and there. It strikes me as something potentially fun to experiment with (effects, tunings, capos). One could come up with some cool ideas that might be only possible on this unique instrument.

    Thanks again, Curmei. I don't see myself running out and buying this bass/guitar/who-what tomorrow. But sometime down the road, maybe. I like that it's different and contrary to some others, I dig the look. If you come up with any really "out there" ideas on the UC VI, don't be shy! Post it!

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