Aluminum Neck Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by oZZma, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    Travis Bean, Kramer and Electrical Guitar Company owners and lovers unite!! I see there are many on TB but I can't find a "club" in the search so I created It! :) Welcome everybody! If you want to join and be listed just state the aluminum neck bass you own! ;)
    Photos are very welcome too! :)

    I'd like to start the discussion asking you: what kind of strings do you use on your aluminum neck bass? I think the choice may affect significantly the "voice" of any instrument and more significantly on these ones which are really unforgiving ones!
    I currently use Daddario ProSteels (heavy gauge), I loved their sound on my previous bass (Fender Jaguar) but I'm a newbie to aluminum necks and looking for more options and suggestions!

    --- the club! ---

    1. Bob_Ross (lusting for) Travis Bean TB-2000 :D
    2. GIBrat51 ('78 Kramer 450B and '81 Kramer Duke Special
    3. oZZma ('83 Kramer Stagemaster)
    4. A9X (Kramer DMZ5000)
    5. mikewalker ('81 Kramer Vanguard, Vaccaro X-Ray, '02 Hartke HK-4, Hartke XL-4 Prototype #46)
    6. cdwthunderfoot (EGC guitar+bass - coming soon!)
    7. cataract (Obstructures prototype - coming soon!)
    8. Jeff Scott ('76 Kramer 350B, sold)
    9. Todd Hamby (Kramer 650B, Kramer 450B)
    10. Boot Soul (Travis Bean TB2000)
    11. hbarcat (Hartke - coming soon!)
    12. saltymonkey (Travis Bean TB2000)
    13. singlemalt ('76 Kramer 450B)
    14. slantedpanted (Kramer)
    15. Phud (Kramer 450B)
    16. saddleslab (Travis Bean TB2000)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  2. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Great idea for a thread! Sadly I will only be able to participate vicariously, as I own no aluminum, but I've lusted for a Travis Bean TB-2000 for ages. Some day...

    But seriously: How can you start a thread like this -- and even go into details about what strings you use on your aluminum-necked bass -- without even mentioning what make/model you own, much less posting a picture of said bass?!?!

    Show us the bass! :)
    TubeDood, danesdad, Andre678 and 3 others like this.
  3. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Kramer 450B bass.jpg Lefty Duke 2.JPG OK, I'll play.. here are my"Lumies"; a '78 Kramer 450B, and an '81 Kramer Duke Special (or Deluxe; whichever you prefer). I also have another Duke, but it's a righty, and it's just parts for a custom bass that's under way.. Yes, the 450B in the picture is mine; Jerry's Lefty Guitars just takes better pictures than I do...:whistle:
    As for strings? I'd say just put whatever you want on yours. I'm sure lots of people will disagree, but.. I've got close to 2 dozen basses - of all kinds - and, other than being VERY neck heavy, the only real difference the 450B's aluminum neck makes, IME, is sustain. Obscene amounts of sustain... The Duke came with an old - but still good - set of short scale GHS Bass Boomers on it. The Duke Special's forte' is copping a P-bass/Jazz Bass sound, using a pickup made of 2 back-to-back Dimarzio Jazz pickups and a mare's nest of wiring. IMO, it does it pretty well - well enough to save me having to buy a Jazz Bass, anyway... I like the Boomers, so that's what it wears...;) The 450B? This thing is LOUD; I can just about knock my old Marshall combo amp on it's ass, playing an open E with it. I haven't made up my mind about strings, yet. It came with a set of rounds with black silk on both ends; not sure what they are; other than that they're pretty dead. I've tried a set of Warwick Black Label Low B's on it; kinda what I was looking for, but; I don't really have any use for BEAD basses, and I didn't want to hack the aluminum, pinned nut up. Not many lefty Kramer nuts floating around... So, the old rounds are back on it for now. It will, like most of my basses, most likely wind up with flats of some kind on it. La Bellas or Roto 77s, probably...:thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  4. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    Ok, I'll start showing my bass then!

    Kramer stagemaster.JPG

    It's a Kramer Stagemaster 1983, the previous owner added the bridge pickup (mod I really like). It was a very good deal and I'm happy with it, it sounds thunderous, but my wet dream is the EGC series one:p unfortunately I can't afford one at the moment but "Some day"... :)
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
    Bob_Ross, mikewalker and cataract like this.
  5. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    I have a Kramer DMZ5000 aloooominum neck submarine.
    I offer the attached crappy photo as proof and as a warning to others; sometimes bourbon and ebay don't mix. IMG_20180923_112118271[1].jpg
    Akiyama, Frunobulax, bholder and 4 others like this.
  6. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018

    Mine came with a set of, I think, someting like .135 gauge. The guy was a doom/sludge guy :D
    It doesn't seem to me like the nut was filed, but if so... there would not be much I could do to fix it. That Aluminum-one-piece-with-the-neck nut is one of those "bright ideas" I can't understand :eyebrow:
  7. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Yep, something magical in those Aluminum necks!
    I have
    1981 Kramer Vanguard...

    Vaccaro X-Ray (2000-ish?)...

    XK-4 (3).JPG
    XK-4 (5).JPG
    Hartke XK-4 - hot-rodded with EMG pickups (2002-ish?)...

    XL-4 (4) (Medium).JPG
    XL-4 (1).JPG
    Hartke XL-4 Prototype #46 (2001) :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    I fell in love with the sound of Aluminum Kramers back in the late 1970s, but could never afford one back then...

    PS: (trivia!) I used to own a nice Koa Travis Bean TB-2000 in the late 1980s... the thing WEIGHED A TON though!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
  8. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    @mikewalker wow they are gorgeous! I didn't know them! :woot:
    The Vaccaro X-Ray aesthetically is just... sexy drool
    mikewalker likes this.
  9. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    PS: strings...
    Vanguard's 31 inch scale is perfect for GHS Balanced Nickles Medium 44-106 "Short Scale set".

    Vaccaro X-ray currently has some old set of generic roundwounds- and sounds MAGICAL! I have never in my life heard a better-balanced sounding bass guitar... Example: G is not too tinny, and tone of E on 12th fret, 7th fret or 2nd frets are all near identical (etc!). I have a set of Thomastik Powerbass EB344 sitting here I bought for it a year ago, but frankly it sounds so good I am afraid to change the strings :)

    Hartke XK-4 has a set of Rotosound SH77 Steve Harris Signature (heavy!) flatwounds, and I keep it tuned down to DGCF. Awesome tones!

    Hartke XL-4 has a set of (coated) neon yellow roundwound something-or-others. Sounds great, so I have no desire to change them yet. Might be a splendid candidate for that set of Thomastiks...
    oZZma likes this.
  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Both the Harktes have the identical body as the Vaccaro - only the pickguards were changed (and the headstock, of course). Hartkes are essentially just hot-rodded Vaccaros... :D
    oZZma likes this.
  11. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    that body shape is possibly my favourite ever, maybe the Series One by EGC was "inspired" by these models?
    mikewalker likes this.
  12. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    :) That one actually reminds me of a certain 80s Washburn more... and maybe something even older than that! There is inspiration lurking EVERYWHERE...
    oZZma likes this.
  13. cdwthunderfoot


    Nov 29, 2015
    I have a matching EGC guitar and bass pair on order. until they arrive, I shall be living vicariously through you guys.
    mikewalker, oZZma and cataract like this.
  14. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Sick. That’s gonna be a great pair!
    I’m doing the vicarious thing as well- expecting an Obstructures bass prototype to arrive sometime early next month.
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  15. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    which model did you choose?

    wow, I had to google it, never heard about them!
    Obstructures \ thing \ 0.750 bass guitar
    Very strange and unique brutalist/industrial look, I like it! drool
    From the description:
    "The extreme mass of the body and neck refuses to absorb the vibration of the strings as well as any extreme lows and highs yielding a monstrous tone."
    Yesssss drooldrooldrool
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  16. cdwthunderfoot


    Nov 29, 2015
    As it stands right now: Series two with black anodized body, brushed aluminum neck, dual humbuckers with push/pulls for coil tapping.

    Of course I made the mistake of looking at the Instagram page the other day and seeing an Gibson RD shaped guitar and I'm really close to throwing out my 4 months I've been waiting so far to get them done in that shape.
    cataract, mikewalker and oZZma like this.
  17. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    maybe you're still in time to change idea on the shape without losing the "queue"?
    (I'd stick to series two anyways, I like its look better :D)
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    I owned a very early (Fall 1976) Kramer 350B for a while back in 2012. Cool bass, but it would NEVER stay in tune. I attribute that "feature" to the aluminum neck. The feel of the neck was superb, unless it was cold (the neck, not the weather, although there certainly was some correlation there). :smug: The profile was similar to that of the two 1973 4001 basses I owned for many years (friends of mine own them these days).
    oZZma, cataract and mikewalker like this.

  19. I love my Kramer 650b! My very first bass was a 450b.
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