Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Anyone have an R bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theaterbass29, Feb 3, 2004.


  1. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Ive suddenly become interested in R basses by Ray Rogers. I understand he began his building career starting at Carl Thompson, then moved to Fodera for a short time before starting his own company. I like his designs, but they of course like most basses these days seem to be Fodera ripoffs. Does anyone have one of his Singlecuts? How would you compare it to Fodera or Elrick. I consider Fodera and Elrick to be at the top of the game as far as build quality and I own one of each of these makers basses. Tell me what you think of the R bass.
     
  2. WATCHTHECHORD

    WATCHTHECHORD

    Oct 28, 2003
    NewYork
    I have never played one but a friend of mine has, he says they are sweet basses...one just sold on E-BAY for about 2 grand, or slightly less, i wanted to buy it sooooo bad, but was too late for it, the guy that sold it was from PA......if u know RBass site please send to me...it looked fantastic the one on E-BAY, it was a single cut....i am just as interested as you are. :bassist:
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've played a couple of R basses, they were pretty nice. I wouldn't trade any of my Elricks for one. IMO not quite on the same level as my Elricks, Brubakers, MTD, Bone or Fodera though in the same general price range. Build quality was fine, it was the sound that just didn't grab me like the others. YMMV.
     
  4. R Bass

    I own two five string R basses. Both are OUTSTANDING. One has a Chestnut top and the other is Jara Burl. Anyone that tells you that R Bases are not as good as Fodera or Elrick is just upset that they paid $5,000 - $6,000+ versus $2,500 - $3,000 for their bass. Ray's basses have everything you could possibly dream of. Great feel, Great tone, Great looks, Great choice of electrics. Both of my basses play like butter with low action and have the ability to shape tone from smooth mellow to hi-fi modern. I play mostly Blues, Rock and Motown and have never felt limited in achieving the sound I was looking for. Don't get me wrong Fodera and Elrick make outstanding basses. The only problem you will encounter is if Ray builds you a bass it will take at least 6 months. He only makes about 30 Basses per year.

    A well known professional player who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons once told me in response to the Fodera ripoff statements. "If it looks like a Fodera, feels like a Fodera, and sounds like a Fodera but cost 1/2 the price of a Fodera what is the problem?" It is a lot like saying Ibuprofen isn't as good as Advil.

    Truth be told, hasen't almost eveyone copied Fender and Gibson in sound and design at one point in time.

    But Hey, It is just my opinion.

    R Bass Website
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Anyone? Really?

    :D

    Like I said, I've played a couple (actual more than a couple now that I think about it) and they didn't compare to my Elricks or Fodera. This has nothing to do with me being upset, why would I be? I bought my basses used, the Elrick E-volution 4 for $1400, the Fodera Anthony Jackson Contrabass 6 for $2500. Upset? Right;)

    And when did Elricks start at $5,000 anyway?

    Like I said, your mileage may vary. This is all obviously subjective. It doesn't have to be because anyone is upset, it's all about what you like. Several of my basses just blew the R basses away as far as tone, which is key for me. On one occasion I compared a very nice looking R bass that belonged to a friend with one of my Brubakers (same general price range new as R basses). The difference in punch, tone and presence was amazing (my friend agreed).

    I want to like every cool looking bass I pick up and the R bass was no different. I've found a few used at pretty good prices and have been offered a few in trade. They seem to keep changing hands. At this point I don't care that they look like Foderas, if they truly did compare to my Fodera I'd own one. Period.

    I've also played several Foderas that I've found underwhelming. They're not all winners. Maybe I haven't come across the "right" R bass yet:D

    Glad you like yours.
     
  6. R Bass

    If I offended anyone I do apoligize.
    I in no way meant to put down anyone else’s bass. Hey, if from the begining people all wanted to look and sound the same we would all be playing Fenders.
     
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Brad has made a good point about the "YMMV."

    I've played a friend's R Bass and the tone and feel were drop-dead gorgeous. It made cocobolo my favorite tonewood.

    But, when you get into the custom bass realm, you may run into some instruments where the customer's spec's created a bass that just didn't result in a fine
    instrument. The customer may have made poor choices or asked for weird designs and ignored the luthier's advice to change what the customer spec'd.

    And, as Brad says, it's all just so "subjective." I love the unconventional sounds my custom can produce. A Fender Jazz lover would probably hate it.
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I doubt that you offended anyone, especially me. That's why I >>:D'd at the beginning of my post.

    There are lots of people that think that people will defend what they bought and slam everything else because of their investment. Guess what...?

    In some cases it's absolutely true:D

    I don't seem to fall in that category... I appreciate a bass for what it is, period. Heck, I've probably recommended the first generation Cort Artisan B4FL fretless as much if not more than my Fodera here. Like you, I like what I like.

    And I don't consider what you said as a putdown and I'd also hope the same would be true of the way people take what I said. For some the R bass could be the Holy Grail of tone... for ME, they weren't.

    Of course I haven't played them all... yet;)
     
  9. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    My high end basses consist of
    Elrick SingleCut5, Buckeye over Ash, wenge board, OBP-3
    Fodera V.W. Monarch 4, Spalt Maple, mahogany, kingwood.
    Sadowsky Modern 5, Ash body, Maple board, Sad. Soaps.
    Zon Sonus 5, Ash Body, Bart elec., gloss neck
    1961 Stock P bass with original custom maple board.

    The only thing Im missing right now is a 6, and I like Rays designs, not to mention that since he worked for Carl T., I assume he knows how to make a really light weight 6. Having worked in Brooklyn, Im sure he knows how all the N.Y. guys do their thing and when it comes down to it, its all in the wood recipe, and how well an instrument can be set up, the rest is up to the player....as Jaco said..."the tone is in my hands"...which Im still working on. I recently heard someone on here state..."I play high end basses because they make me sound better". Im sure that is true to a certain degree, but most high end basses are so pure, they can actually make you sound bad if your technique is less than average.
    To sum it up, I think an R bass is in my future due to build quality and price. I buy and trade alot, so there is a possibility that when I get one, I may trade it off as well, but I dont think I will lose money on the deal, like I would if I were to sell my Elrick today. By the way, right now, my Elrick is my favorite of my basses, it is MY SOUND. But Im not against trying something new. Still interested in comments from R bass owners. Thanks for posting.
     
  10. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I don't think that Elrick's are as expensive as Rbasses, especially used Elricks, which happen to be the very best deal out there on the used market that I can find. I'd still like own a Rbass at some point though.
     
  11. My teacher has a beautiful R Bass. He seems to like it, but I haven't had a chance to play it.

    [​IMG]

    He has much shorter hair now. ;)
     
  12. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Could you ask your teacher what preamp is in his R bass, it appears to be either a Fodera/Pope pre or the HAZLAB which is essentially the same thing I understand. Either way, I bet that is what I want, but I would be curious to know what is on his. Thanks.
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've seen a general preference for the Pope preamp but IMO I like the HAZ more. So far the Foderas that have impressed me happened to have this preamp. Maybe it's a coincidence;)
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It's tough to find a better deal used than an Elrick. I still have no idea why. I have three and they range from extra primo nice to phenomenal.
     
  15. Flat Bass

    Flat Bass

    Dec 8, 2002
    I have a Single Cut Elite model that is for sale. It was made in Oct. 2003 it is practically brand new. Has a everything on it. Has a spalted maple top and matching headstock, Mahogany body/back, 5 piece neck through, 35" scale, Bartolini pickups and preamp, but the pickups and knobs are covered with Ebony! Asking $2250.00 plus shipping. Very nice bass. I am just a Jazz bass lover and can not seem to find my specific exotic bass :confused: Let me know.
     
  16. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    I think Im going to order my R bass through Brian at the Low End.net in Memphis, although he and I are going to have to figure something out on taxes, we both live in Tennessee.
    Anyways, here is an approximate of what Im going to order.

    R bass, SingleCut 6
    Figured Horse Chesnut top, Korina body(stained mahogany)
    Kingwood ( Rosewood ) fingerboard
    24 Fret, 35 inch scale
    Hipshot Brass bridge, Hipshot Ultralite tuners, in black
    Brass Nut
    HazLab preamp with Passive Tone control.
    Aero Dual Coil pickups, with coil tap.
    Wooden pickup covers in Kingwood and Knobs of kingwood.

    His six string basses tend to be in the $2800 range, but I have asked for several upgrades. I hope that with a discount or something I can get this bass for somewhere close to $3000. When you compare to Fodera at $5200 or Elrick at $3600, $3000 sounds like a heck of a deal. Not to mention, Im interested in seeing what tricks Ray knows to get the weight down, like the Carl Thompson basses he used to make. Those things are the lightest basses on earth, at least that have tone. I think that with this bass, My Elrick 5 SingleCut, and my V.W. Fodera Monarch, I will have the gamut of 4,5,and 6 string basses covered, plus still have my Zon and Sadowsky basses for studio.
     
  17. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Hey Salsjag, what is the preamp in your Chesnut topped R bass? Thanks.
     
  18. I owned one of Ray's basses for about a month (the 5 string Chak te kok topped model with the fingerstyle ramp that was floating around before it ended up at Bass Alone). it was phenomenal. i was really impressed by the construction and was told from a source that at one point it was ray's personal bass. I've played Foderas at Bass Alone, and IMO i was more comfortable playing the Rbass rather than "babying" the Fodera. the quality felt the same, the workmanship was nearly identical (from what i could see), but at least if i dropped it it wouldn't be 1/4 of my yearly salary you know? not that i make it habit of dropping expensive basses :p .. i had to sell the Rbass for rent and not go homeless. i'd definitely get another if i had the opportunity... just my 2 cents...
     
  19. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I played that bass several times along with some other R basses John has had in stock. Not to be a stick in the mud here but that R bass really didn't come close to 80% of the Fodera's I have played in terms of construction, and tone. I can see how some people might get the impression that it is a close approximation, but I don't think it really is. You should not be uncomfortable playing a Fodera because of the cost. You buy it to play. I am not at all inhibited by the prices of my basses, I bought them to play and that is what I do. I am not scared of dings or whatnot, it's just a bass!

    When you look at the gamut of what you can pay for musical instruments Fodera's are not really THAT expensive.

    With all that said an R bass is certainly not a bad bass. In fact it's a fine bass. But this notion of "get a Fodera quality bass at half the price" hasn't been true with a single R bass I have tried out of the ten or so I have had experience with, and I really wonder how it is that people draw that conclusion.
     
  20. i hear ya.. john has told me about you and your fodera collection. no bias or anything ;) ... just kidding around!! as far as it being just a bass, i agree with ya, but when a Fodera is LITERALLY about a 1/4 of my yearly salary (the one i want anyway :D ) it's hard to wanna jump up and down on stage and get it sweaty and all that goes with being a gigging bassist. anyway my real point was that for a budget-based buyer it's kind of cool to have the option of getting something "fodera-esque" (is that a bad thing to say? if so, sorry Vinnie & Joey!) without having to have the Fodera price tag.. don't get me wrong, Fodera basses are incredible and undeniably some of the best built stuff on the market.