Posting this review in hopes of getting some information out there about this builder. Felton is based out of South Carolina and operated by Jon Levister. Jon offers a few different models at this time with various options, including choice of wood, electronics, scale length, etc. Currently, he states his build time is about 90 days.
This being my first build with Jon, I went with the cheapest model available, the Standard 5. The options I chose were:
When I first started discussing the build with Jon, I made it clear that I'd been spoiled by the likes of Alembic and Warwick when it comes to super-low action, setting most of my basses at 1mm. He said this would not be a problem, so I sent the deposit and off to the races we went.
- Swamp ash body
- Maple neck (32" scale)
- Bloodwood fingerboard and headstock veneer
- Benson humbucker
- Volume, tone, 3-way selector (series, parallel, bridge coil)
- Hipshot Style B bridge (more on this later)
- Hipshot ultralight tuners
- Hipshot X-tender
After about 90 days, the bass arrived, and I couldn't be much happier...especially for the price. The Iced Tea burst looks great, the bloodwood fingerboard is FAST, and the Benson humbucker is about as natural-sounding as any pickup I've ever heard. The toggle is very effective, offering three distinct tones ranging from P-bass, to Stingray, to Jaco-style J. Jon's fretwork is exceptional, with rolled edges to boot. Action is exactly where I like it for the most part, with the exception being the B string (that's addressed next).
Jon uses the Hipshot Kickass as his standard bridge for this model. Though I requested a Style B, a Kickass had to be used. I am a devout Hipshot worshipper, but this bridge is not for me. It's heavy and the mechanics of the saddle inserts is just clunky. I have little faith that the inserts won't loosen over time as a result of vibration. Also, the Kickass offers the least amount of vertical adjustment when compared to the A and B bridges, which is why I requested a Style B. As a result, my B string saddle bottomed-out before the action could reach its full potential.
Jon is easy to work with and he makes an exceptional product. Personally, I'd advise anyone to order one of his basses now before their popularity soars and he starts charging $3k...which would still be worth it.