I was able to play this bass for a bit and while didn't get too deep into its capabilities it definitely made an impression.
It's long. I'm used to 35" scale basses and this felt like I was reaching a little further. But it's not an uncomfortable 36" scale. The neck felt good, kind of like a Jazz but but not too thin. I only played it siting down but it "stayed put" and there is no neck dive (pretty compact headstock), it is well-balanced.
While it certainly looks like it is going to sound hi-fi (aluminum fretboard) it really is capable of sounding quite rich. Yes, you *can* make it twanky but the low end can be massive as well. The scale may be a contributing factor, but the low notes were precise while still being buttery... if that makes sense. Very clean up and down the board.
As Ken mentioned, it does seem to have some built-in compression. While you can still be dynamic, it doesn't get out of control. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, maybe it's too forgiving? But it sure is easy to play.
Overall, it was a lot of fun to play! It's more versatile than it appears and I bet it would be great for recording. Dead quiet electronics and a balanced sound.
I don't feel quite right rating the build quality (I left my fine-tooth comb at home) or value since it isn't mine. So ignore those ratings. But if I found one at a decent price I'd probably look into picking one up. The looks might not be for everyone but it's got what counts in the sound department.
Andreas Bull Shark
- 5/5, 5 from 2 reviews
1995? Andreas Bull Shark 4 string Bass. 36" scale, Alembic Pickups and electronics, Aluminum Fretboard
Incredible Bass....Not a novelty!!!
- 5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 20, 2015
- Build Quality:
- + Gorgeous and attention getting. Piano like tone. Amazing neck and fretboard. Plays and sounds like no other. Perfectly Balanced.
- - some odd design issues, Some finishing issues. Requires a custom cs!
The bass was made in Austria by Andreas Pilcher and three craftsman. They made a total of 400 instruments between 1995-2003 or so. The latter instruments were made under the ownership of Enfield. Only 50 Bullsharks were built to these specs. The basses were distributed in Europe, Japan and the US. I am reviewing the bass as it is unlikely you will ever see one.
Obviously this bass has some crazy looks. Nearly everyone who sees it in person has to take a picture of it. It actually gathers a crowd at GC or Sam Ash without even plugging it in. When i decided to buy it I figured that Alembic would not have allowed their electronics in just any bass. I was right.
My main player is a 1991 Alembic Essence with higher end electronics then the Bull Shark. I never expected the Sharks tone to approach my Essence. I have had MTD, Fender, Spectors....I have played many many fantastic basses. This one is an equal or better player and has a bigger sound then any of them except the Ritter I played. The E string is so huge and powerful I HAVE to try this bass BEAD....just need to buy a tapered B string to fit the graphite nut. The 36" scale must be a player in this.
Here is a clip recorded on my Iphone of Doug Wimbish trying out the bass.....
My Alembic and Bullshark now have the exact same Rotosound Steels 35 55 70 90. strings on them. The Bullshark makes the Alembic sound tame when AB. The Scale of the bass in not very noticable until I switch back to the 34" Alembic......then it is very noticeable. The ergonomics of the Bullshark work very well when sitting. Standing the bass seems light and perfectly balanced. I would describe the tone as piano like.....cross between a Modulus/Status and ALembic. The tone is warm and huge. Amazing punch. The higher strings are not nearly as pronounced as I would have guessed. When popped the high stings have an amazing finesse....almost like slightly compressed. The harmonics jump from the fretboard.
The fretboard. Smooth and bright acoustically. Not clangy. The shark tooth cutout markers are easy to see. The frets are perfectly done. As nice as any I have seen. Not sure how a fret job would be done though!
Overall the bass sounds like the very best of the boutique world. At $4100.00 new in 1995 the bass was more expensive then the Alembic at the time. At 1650 dollars I have never gotten a better deal on an instrument and would not sell it at twice what I paid.
The quibbles?? The battery compartment is in the jack plate on the bottom of the bass. The battery barely fits. You risk damaging the jack everytime you change the battery. The finish on the headstock shows some lack of sanding/finishing as does the notch carved for the truss rod. Very minor flaws on a stunning bass but a Ritter, Fodera or Alembic would never leave the shop with such imperfections.
The bass is long. No standard cs or gigbag will hold it. I have the factory cs which weighs 30 lbs empty. The cs alone would cost 700 dollars to replace. It would however protect the bass from anything short of nuclear attack.
- No. of Frets:
- No. of Strings:
- Body Material:
- Specially Dried Ash
- Neck Material:
- Body Finish:
- Unique Red Black Burst
- Nut Width:
- Fingerboard Material:
- ALUMINUM specially treated
- Alembic fatboy 2x
- Other Hardware:
- Schaller Tuners and straplock
- EQ / Controls:
- Volume, Pan, treble, bass
paul likes this.
- 4100. new....Paid 1650.00