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Achtung! - All German bass talkers

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TRU, Sep 30, 2002.


  1. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Can someone please sum up what was said about the Jerzy Drozd Obsession Excellency V in the latest Guitarre & Bass? Scans perhaps...
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I don't have a scanner, but here's an on-the-fly translation:

    Jerzy Drozd Obsession Excellency V bass

    Finely sculptured shapes, beautiful woods, first-class quality: Spanish bass builder Jerzy Drozd convinces with great instruments that meet the highest standards even in the smallest details.

    There are five different basic versions of the Obsession bass, if you include the Signature models.
    Basic and Excellency feature bolt-on necks, the Mastery, Prodigy and Signature sport neck-thru construction. Additionally to the usual 4, 5 and 6-string versions, Drozd also offers 7-string models. Not only that, you can also choose between 24, 28 or 36 frets - or positions, since there are fretless versions of all models available.

    Every bass is a hand-made custom according to the company, so they can easily offer numerous options and upgrades.

    Our test bass from the Excellency line is pretty "conservative" for a Drozd, with only 24 frets and 5 strings. Optional features are a two-piece bridge and active 3-band EQ.

    <b>Construction</b>

    Like already mentioned above, the necks of the Excellency models are bolted to the body, and firmly so, with six screws. The 3-piece neck is made from hard quarter-sawn maple, the fingerboard, like the saddle, is made from ebony. On the fingerboard there are 24 flawlessly dressed frets, the instrument has a 35" (888 mm) scale.
    Generous use of material at the spot between the neck and the tilted headstock effectively stabilizes the neck/headstock construction.
    The front of the headstock has a wood top that fits the body wood. The truss rod cover is also made from the same wood - and it isn't just screwed on the headstock, but seamlessly fitted into the headstock front!

    For the body, that is comfortably shaped in a Spector or Warwick-style, two pieces of African Etimoe wood are used, the thick top woods are beautifully selected Zebrawood.
    A fitting detail is that the recessed pot knobs are also made from zebrawood.
    The body woods are sealed with a open-pore [Polyurethane satin finish] finish, the neck has a satin finish. The Drozd 5-string scores not only with its exceptionally beautiful woods - balanced shaping, ergonomic design and perfect workmanship form a unity.

    <b>Hardware</b>

    The headstock sports 5 closed Gotoh precision tuners, that are angled for easy accessability. Schaller locking strap holders are standard on Drozd basses, they're slightly recessed into the body wood.

    Our test bass didn't come with the standard bridge, but with the optional 2-piece bridge. These components also are accurately recessed into the body. The bridge offers 3D adjustability for every string; after adjustment all moving parts can be fastened with special screws. Losses in sound quality or noises because of a instable bridge are safely avoided this way, sound-wise it looks like a very high quality setup.

    <b>Electronics</b>

    For pickups, 2 passive Bartolini humbuckers in a slim soapbar format are used. These pickups have a narrow magnetic window and feature a split-coil construction with separate coils for B/E/A and D/G.
    There's a blend pot for both pickups. An interesting deail: the pot connections [?] of the passive pan pot are not connected to ground as a voltage divider - this is to avoid signal loss due to impedance mismatch with the pickups. You can't fully solo a single pickup as a result, but this simple wiring trick shows results in practical use.
    For further tonal shaping there's a 3-band EQ by Bartolini - standard is 2-band. The power consumption of the circuit is 0.4 mAh which makes for an average battery life span of appr. more than 1000 hrs.
    When you have to change the battery, though, you'll notice that a too precise construction can have its drawbacks. First of all, it's not easy to remove the electronics cover that's perfectly fit into the back of the body - due to this precision it fits really tight. Same with the battery compartment. A little more room [less precision] might avoid such hassles.
    A positive thing at this point is the flawless shielding of the electronics compartment, and also that the screws of the electronics cover are not screwed directly into the body, but have metal counterparts [?].

    <b>Handling</b>

    With 4.2 kg the Obsession is not a heavy 5-string, in spite of the hard woods and the long neck.
    The shaped body fits smugly [ :D ] to the belly, the instrument is comfortable and well-balanced when hanging on a strap.
    String spacing at the bridge are @ 18 mm, the neck combined a wide fingerboard with a flat neck profile, making for a fiver that's easily and effortlessly to master, is still massive enough for harder playing and offers plenty of room for clean fretting and hearty fingerstyle playing.
    The neck plays comfortably up to the highest fret and the great ergonomic design lets you forget the 35" scale. A great bass with outstanding handling!

    <b>Sound</b>

    Construction, scale, wood choice and features lend this bass astounding sound properties, all parameters from the precise and lively attack, the direct, very detailed and finely chiseled tone and the long, even sustain are exceptional.
    The manufacturer uses tapered roundwounds that are more sensitive and vibrate "wider" due to the reduced stiffness at the bridge. The slightly extended scale avoids rattling and give the Obsession a silky attack on the lower strings.

    The pickups also have their part in the precise and finely sculpted tone of the fiver; they get even fragile overtones, due to the narrow magnetic window, making for an open and clear top end - that is coupled with a fat and powerful low end.
    The pan pot circuit trick mentioned earlier avoids the loss of the delicate brilliant highs due to impedance mismatch. You can't switch off a single pickup, but the resulting pan spectrum is still wide enough to feature all typical neck and bridge pickup sounds - you only loose the most extreme solo pickup sounds.

    Finely detailed tone and a phat bottom usually are opposites that can only with some difficulty be combined into a single bass. The Obsession Excellency manages this feat with top-notch quality of all components and their well-thought combination. You can see how well all parts fit together when you check out the powerful 3-band EQ, whose knobs offer powerful tweaks - yet even the most extreme settings yield usable sounds. Every setting gives a balanced and practical sound. Great powerful mids without any honkiness, a phat booty that still has lots of definition, boosted wiry highs are offered by the fiver with a silkiness and without harshness. Where the pan pot is subtle, the perfectly tuned EQ offers a huge palette of distinct sound variations - and still the overall sound is balanced! Without question, this Obsession 5-string is an excellent highend bass with exceptional sonic properties!

    <b>Conclusion</b>

    The first impression holds true: What a superb instrument! First impressions are the great choice of selected woods, then the comfy, effortless but yet dynamic-proof playability, finally it's the exceptionally detailed, precise yet powerful tone that incites playing fun and enthusiasm. Jerzy Drozd is obviously able to weld all those great traits into a bass in a well-calculated way, there's lots of proof for that in this test bass. A dream bass!

    <b>Pro</b>

    • sound variablility
    • tonal properties
    • playability
    • workmanship
    • features
    • precision [tone]
    • high detail [tone]

    <b>Con</b>

    • the electronic cover is fit too tightly

    <b>Specs</b>

    manufacturer: Jerzy Drozd
    model: Obsession Excellency 5-string
    type: 5-string solidbody bass guitar
    country: Spain
    scale: 888 mm, extra-longscale
    neck: bolt-on, 3-piece maple with ebony fingerboard, 24 frets.
    neck measures: saddle: 48 mm, bridge: 66 mm
    string spacing: adjustable, factory setup: 18mm
    body: 2-piece etimoe body with zebrawood top
    finish: polyurethan satin finish, neck: satin finish
    pickups: passive, 2x Bartolini Thin Soapbar humbucker
    EQ: active, Bartolini 3-band EQ
    controls: vol, pan, bass, mid, treble
    battery: 1x9 volts
    power consumption: ca. 0.4 mAh
    hardware: black, closed Gotoh tuners, 2-piece 3D bridge with locking screws, Schaller Securitylocks
    weight: ca. 4.2 kg
    list price: standard model: ca. 2200 Euro
    2-piece bridge: ca. 60 Euro
    3-band EQ: ca. 70 Euro
    list price test bass: ca. 2330 Euro
     
  3. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Wow, thanks a _lot_! I owe you one! What a group of helpful people this is.

    Seems like there is only one cure for my GAS, I'm gonna have to buy one of those. I was offered the same bass that was in the review, does it look ok to you? ;)
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Judging from the pics in the review, it's a winner. I'm not a zebrawood fan in terms of looks - and I'm not sure I like the wooden pot knobs, but apart from that personal issue it looks great!
     
  5. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Yeah, I have never been a fan of zebra before, but if it's even close to this, I'm sold:
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The test bass is darker.
     
  7. Hebebe ?!? :eek:

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  8. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    hey, they've got a marleaux lookalike, too :eek: