This is my fourth Valenti bass so that should tell you how much I like them but this was my first foray into his budget priced line, the Verrazzano series. I was reticent and held off due to the fact that the basses only come with a 34" scale. But, my own excellent experiences with his instruments coupled with the glowing reviews I had read for his Verrazzano line eventually assuaged my doubts and in June, after a few emails between us, I sent Nino my deposit and received the bass on Sept. 6th.
Luckily I had practice scheduled that night with my country band so of course I had to take the new one along!
Setup for the practice was:
Verrazzano V21-J5 → A-Designs KGB-1tf (EQ set flat) → Line input on Presonus 16.4.2 mixer (Rattlesnake Cable Co. cables used also).
I wanted to use the KGB because I find it to be a very clean pre, with very little coloration. The output of the mixer was going into one powered JBL 15" two-way loud speaker and one powered Peavey 18" sub.
This bass, in one three hour practice session, completely blew my personal biases against 34" scale 5 string basses out of the water! That low B was TIGHT! No flop, no fart! Just beautiful, room-shaking lows!
The electronics were great! I've used Aguilar pickups in all my Valenti Jazz basses and the Super Singles, which are patterned after 60's era pups, sounded very similar to the Aggie 5J-60s I have in my Sonic Blue T21-J5. They were very balanced and sounded great up and down the neck. The OBP-1 preamp, being boost only, took me a minute to adjust to. When I first plugged in, I had the bass & treble knobs set at 50% which was a little much. In the past I've only used preamps with a boost/cut option and I found 50% was a good starting point in dialing in my tone. Finally after some tweaking and turning I found that right around a 5% boost on bass and maybe 8% boost on treble gave a great tone that sat well in the mix with an acoustic guitar, Telecaster with humbuckers, vocals and drum machine (our drummer is on vacation). I had only used three-band pres in the past because I felt that my tone suffered without that midrange control in there. Not the case here! Another bias destroyed!
Gotta say that I love the passive tone control! I wish now that I had opted for it on my Shoreline Gold T21-J5, along with an Aggie OBP-2 preamp (I still prefer the boost/cut option).
Of course, as with all Valenti basses, the fit and finish was perfect. The satin finish gives the entire bass that silky feel that you find on the necks. All the joints were flush and tight and the frets were dressed and smooth.
I love everything about this bass! The Verrazzano page on Nino's website states that a "lower price doesn't have to mean a lower quality bass" and with the Verrazzano series it's true. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nino's basses rank right up there with Lull and Sadowsky and are the best deal in the "Super J" (and P) market. I may have to name this bass "Wanda" after the character on the show "In Living Color" because she definitely rocked my world!
Valenti Verrazzano V21-j5
A lower priced bass doesn’t have to mean a lower quality bass.