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Another Happy Cleveland Owner

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by lostinbass, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Wanted to take a minute to give the guys at AES an on-line plug, and also to thank the TalkBass gang for turning me on to them in the first place.
    I picked up my new Cleveland about a month ago, and I'm still feeling like a kid on Christmas morning every time I pull it out of the bag (which has become a daily obsession).
    On his website, Arnold talks about filling a niche with the Cleveland, and he's built an instrument that was exactly what I was looking for. I'm a bluegrass player who does alot of outdoor events in the summer, and mainly coffeehouse type gigs during our nasty winters here in upstate NY. I was looking for a new bass with a big sound but was leery of carved tops because of the inherent problems with temperature and humidity extremes that we're all aware of, plus the added rigors of outdoor festivals, etc. I came to the conclusion that there are alot of decent plywoods out there that were well made, looked nice, but probably didn't sound a whole lot better that than the 70 yr old (?) Czech plywood that I already owned. Then I discovered the Cleveland.
    The full, even sound blew me away, and was what sold me originally. It was fun to watch the initial reactions of the two other bassists that I've allowed to play it -the same as mine, "Wow!". I still can't believe how great this bass sounds right out of the box, and my bandmates agree. What I wasn't expecting was how much more playable this instrument is as compared to my old bass. I can only guess that this can be credited to Arnold's fine setup work, and that the bridge and fingerboard profiles are matched up much more closely than on my old instrument. He tells me that he spends a full eight hours setting up the bridge, and the results show it.
    To sum it all up, it was well worth the extra money (and time between placing the order and picking up the bass) when compared to purchasing one of the many other "off the shelf" plywoods available today in the $2K to $2500 range. This is my fantasy instument, I don't plan on buying another bass, and over the long haul I think investing the extra bucks will be well worth it.
    As an aside, thanks again to TalkBass for steering me towards AES in the first place. I first discovered this forum when I started to look for info online about basses. What a wealth of knowledge and info. You've helped me to discover a whole new world of music that I'd never bothered to explore, as evidenced by a blossoming Ray Brown infatuation. But that's another story... Bye for now.
  2. Aleph5


    Feb 24, 2004
    Good testimony that mirrors mine. Enjoy!
  3. Glad it all worked out so good for you! Hope to see you around and be sure to check through the Archives under Ray's name. Ray, of course, is one of our top infaturators .
  4. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Cleveland!! There are many NS owners here on TalkBass who know how you feel. Arnold & Wil are true masters and they make wonderful basses.

  5. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm still loving my laminated blonde Cleveland. I just started lessons with a new teacher this week, and after hearing me play with the bow for a little he thought it had a solid top.
  6. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I know exactly what you're talking about.

    I actually loaned mine to one of my teachers for a few days since his bass was in the shop. He loved the way the bass felt-he told me it reminded him that it his could use a bit more work than just fixing the cracks.

    I've received 2 comments that weren't quite positive, but i think i have fixed one of them.

    -The low end warmth/presence drops out once you hit the heel. This is the one i think i've corrected, i raised the bridge a bit and the sound opened up quite a bit-i was surprised by how little it took to get much more volume out of it. Very very very pleased.

    -This one is a decision i made. One of my teachers-recommended to swap pickups. I have the K&K Bass Master Pro package on it-he recommended a realist, i figure-i'll try out a realist sometime. Maybe go w/a Realist and Bass Max-not really sure, waiting till college before i pull the trigger on another pickup.

    I have pictures of my cleveland here.


    click on bass stuff. Yeah-i also play slab.

    That's all
  7. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I haven't had any problems with low end in the upper register. Higher notes have a pleasing depth with pizz and a singing arco sonority.

    My Cleveland came with a Realist installed. Like many others, I had an impossible time getting any high end or midrange growl out of it, even with preamps and serious EQ. Arco was sweet but pizz was strictly old-school thump. From what I can tell Realists tend to work better on carved basses. I have since gotten a BassMax which I feel does a very good job amplifying the sound of this bass with or without a preamp. The BassMax can sound good or bad depending on the tightness of the fit. Also experiment with turning the element over and trying it in both bridge wings.

    I also have a Schertler Stat-B which does a great job bringing out the full range of the instrument. I'd also consider the Fishman Full Circle.
  8. Aleph5


    Feb 24, 2004
    Why not just the Stat by itself?
  9. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Hey Winston,
    Thanks again for letting me play your bass before I got mine! I am loving it more every day! Good luck with the new lessons. Maybe we can get all of the west coast Clevelands together some time.

  10. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Laziness, I guess. IMO the Stat-B needs a bit of processing to sounds its very best. The Fishman Platinum Bass EQ works great for that, but with the Stat-B preamp that's two boxes to deal with. At my regular hotel gig we need to set up/take down quickly in a small space. Drunk people sometimes try to walk through our little stage area during breaks, so I try to keep gear to an absolute minimum. It's not that I don't care about my tone, but there's so much ambient noise--conversation, glasses clinking, bands/DJs in other rooms, cars outside, TV/canned music :scowl:--that I mostly need a tone that cuts through.

    That gig is usually Cleveland w/Pirastro Jazzers-->BassMax-->short cord-->GK 200MB pointed up at my ears. I can't believe how good that setup sounds considering the pickup cost me $90 and the 17 year-old amp was $280. Minimizing my setup also forces me to concentrate on creating a full acoustic tone that projects. For gigs/recordings where there's more opportunity to actually hear the bass I'll break out the "good stuff".

    Jeff--I'm glad you're digging it. Another TalkBasser checked mine out not long after you did and I think he bought one too.
  11. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Now this is what I'm looking for!

    So I'm cutting every corner I can to save up the money for a quality DB instead of buying another 5-string slab. (But I couldn't pass up the barely used iamp 800 and the VL110.)

    I'm picking up what you're putting down. (In fact, I think I just stepped in it.) :)

    And oh yeah, pics please! Winston, did you post pics somewhere? I need more pics for the screen-saver slide show at work. :D
  12. Lostinbass,
    I too have one of Arnold's broadshouldered (Cleveland) blondes. I never thought I'd find a laminated bass with "The Sound" that the Cleveland has. For my bucks, it's the perfect bass for bluegrass as well as jazz and how about that E string! Enjoy that bass man, you've got one of the best.
    Jim Henderson