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Anyone familiar with Blade basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bmc, Mar 18, 2005.


  1. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    I have a line on a Blade Tetra bass for a good price. It's a Jazz clone that plays and sounds really good.

    Anyone own one of these?
     
  2. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    My first bass was a black Blade P-Bass copy with a maple neck I bought new for $150 in 1991. Not sure if that will help you judge the value of the Tetra or not. Probably not.
     
  3. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    Was it Swiss made by an Americn named Gary Levinson, who set up shop here. His bases retail for around $800 in the US.
     
  4. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    It looks like Gary Levinson is the maker of the Blade Tetra, as well as my earlier Blade, based on the website and logo. However, these basses have many more features than my starter bass, and it is 14 years later.
     
  5. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    The blades that I remember from the late 80's were high-end jazz copies, kind of like what Sadowsky is doing now, and certainly not cheap starter instruments. From what I can remember they were actually very nice instruments - really attractive, tinted transparent finishes, they were made by Gary Levinson, and there was indeed some Swiss connection.
     
  6. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    I remember that they offered several models, and that mine was the least expensive. It am not implying it was a poor instrument, just a basic instrument. I am positive that this is the same company that made my bass. Also keep in mind the difference in the value of the USD vs Swiss Franc between 1991 and today.
     
  7. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    I hear their guitars are excellent, I didn't even know they made basses.
     
  8. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    NC
    PhoBucket, I was not trying to imply anything. Just making the observation that the only Blades I could recall were high-priced bits of kit and yes he/they did a lot of guitars too. Same thing - reworking of classic designs - Strats, Jazzmasters, etc. Maybe I am confusing the basses and guitars.
     
  9. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    So has anyone played one of these basses recently?
     
  10. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    I have tried one and it's really quite nice. I need to go back and work it out some more. It's a hotrodded Jazz that's actually made in Japan. I exchanged emails with Blade. Their office is an hour and half away in Basel.

    Their guitars get very good reviews.
     
  11. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I tried one years ago, still have the catalog. They were very well made Fender knokoffs, ala Sadowsky, mike Lull, As I recall the electronics were very sterile, kinda of in tune with the 80's EMG thing at the time. At worst if you got a good price you'd be getting a well made Fender clone you could through some new electronics in.
     
  12. zbigniew

    zbigniew

    Nov 14, 2002
    Northern Iceland
    Hihi, I have a Blade B3 I just got a few weeks ago.
    It was probably made in late eighties or early nineties (it has the Fender headstock design). Then Levinson Blade had 2 bass models, the B3 in solid colours and B4 with transparent finishes. There were probably more differences but I'm not aware of them. Both were made in Japan to the best of my knowledge, but designed by Levinson of Switzerland.
    Mine has an aged white finish which I think looks very nice. It has as someone said earlier, a kind of EMG sound, sustains really good, bass is thumpy and treble "zingy" without being clanky. It has pretty sophisticated electronics, two active pickups w. a dummy coil, a 9v preamp with adjustable trimpots (inside the cavity) for low hi and mid, trimpots also for bridge and neck p.u. hum balancer (I have never touched those hum balancers) and the tone knob is labeled "low pass filter".
    I played a gig last weekend w. it and was rather pleased. Only gripe is that it is heavy and dug into my left shoulder quite a bit. Guess I should get a better strap.

    Mr. Levinson stopped making basses for a few years and then started it again last year or the year before that. His main business is in guitars. Maybe you have seen the three bass models he got now, a kinda basic jazz clone, a version more aking to Sadowsky with no pickguard and better electronics and a five string version of the latter one. Those I haven't tried or read a review on. But based on his guitar reputation and my bass I would guess those are pretty good too.
    Do you know how old the one you tried is?

    On a side note, when I have searched ebay for "Blade" it sometimes returns really low priced p-basses with a different trademark design and headstock and no mention of Levinson anywhere. I always thought that was another brand by the same name with no connection to Levinson of Switzerland.
     
  13. They sound like fairly decent instruments is there a chance any of you have any pictures you could post for my greedy eyes..? :D :D
     
  14. zbigniew

    zbigniew

    Nov 14, 2002
    Northern Iceland
    Ah yes, pics. I'm kinda technically challenged but hope this works.
    (I guess it did :) btw, this is a pic the seller of my instrument sent me)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. nice score hopefully it gets alot of use out of ya.... Wish you the best of luck with your new bass.....
     
  16. Eisenmann

    Eisenmann

    May 12, 2004
    check out http://www.bladeguitars.com

    concept and design are made in switzerland (by gary levison i think) and they are manufactured in japan as far as i know

    blade rocks
    the basses have really unusual tone-controls but when you got into it they are really nice and handy
     
  17. zbigniew

    zbigniew

    Nov 14, 2002
    Northern Iceland
    Thanks man :)

    Now I'm curious about bmc and what he will decide about the Blade Tetra he's thinking about buying.
     
  18. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    I think I'm going to go for it. Not sure if you have followed my recent rants on Swiss prices being over the top. Despite all of that I have found a shop that I have recently bought a MarkBass head and an SWR cab for VERY good prices. The bass I tried the amp set up with is the Blade. He has a very good price set on it, cheaper than the Aerodyne he has hanging on the wall, and a much better playing and sunding bass in my opinion.

    Thanks for all the feedback. I appreciate it.

    FWIW, the one I'm looking at is on the Blade website. It's the Tetra in black with a white pickguard.