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Anyone here actually own(ed) a Hembry bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bongomania, Apr 20, 2009.


  1. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    http://www.hembryguitars.com/home.htm

    His work has been mentioned in most of the threads about "crazy, unusual, impractical, U-word, heavy metal" basses, as well as a couple mentions in the "cheap but good custom bass" threads, but so far I haven't seen any commentary from people who have actually owned one of his basses.

    So fess up! :) And please post pics! Show and tell about your Hembry basses, pros and cons both welcome.
     
  2. The dude from Dead Raven Choir-- Patrick Klima, I think -- has a double neck lefty Hembry that he enjoys quite a bit. I think he goes by pklima here. Hopefully he'll drop in to give his two cents.
     
  3. Foamy

    Foamy

    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    Wow, that '51 looks freakin' brilliant! (Sorry Bongo to add a bump here with no news....)
     
  4. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY

    I will soon :)

    As I mentioned in another thread, I spoke to Scott about building me a bass version of "The Darkness"
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I would seriously dig a bass version of this:

    [​IMG]

    Maybe with just a P pup run straight to the output jack, no knobs. :bassist: He says he will do a custom-carved bass like this for around $1500 or so.
     
  6. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Yeah, he told me a bass version of the Darkness would be around the same as the guitar...$2000 or so.

    I was going to get 2 Basslines or Bart's with a 3 band pre.
     
  7. ErebusBass

    ErebusBass

    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Oh yeah, 5 strings and two soapbars for me though
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    bump!
     
  9. Schizoid75

    Schizoid75

    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Give me another few days. I had Scott build me an axe bass ala Gene Simmons, but headless and 5-string. It's due to arrive on Christmas Eve according to FedEx. Once I get to check it out, I'll post again with my impressions.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Cool! Looking forward to it.
     
  11. Schizoid75

    Schizoid75

    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Normally, I always have problems when I'm waiting on a UPS or FedEx shipment that I'm really excited about. This time it actually arrived a day early, so Merry Kissmas to me.

    I had been itching for a new custom bass and being a fan of both crazy, flashy designs and Gene Simmons and Kiss, I decided to go with an axe bass. I had found the Hembry Guitars website a while back and bookmarked it for the future. I saw that Scott had done a 5-string axe, so I approached him about building another 5-string but headless this time. I already had the ABM hardware (which David King got for me via AllParts--thanks, David!). Scott was a little apprehensive having never used the ABM stuff before, but he agreed to give it a whirl.

    The whole process was pretty painless. Scott got my down payment around mid October. He was pretty good about keeping me updated and sending pictures. If I hadn't heard from him in a while, I would drop him a line and he usually responded within a day or so. We actually never talked on the phone, now that I think about it.

    So, what do I think about the finished product? Well, I'm slightly conflicted. There are a few things that I had specified to Scott that didn't happen. I had requested a longer horn that he had done on the other 5-string axe he did. I detest neck heavy instruments and wanted the longer horn to help the balance. In the end, it seems it was best to avoid it. The bass balances perfectly as-is and looks more classic. It's just that Scott never said he was changing my spec or needed more info, so I was surprised. Obviously, I saw it when he sent me an early construction pic, but I didn't bring it up as 1) the body was already carved, and 2) I figured he knew what he was doing.

    I also requested to keep it around 8 lbs. but the finished bass seems to be around 10 lbs. by my bathroom scale. I played a full gig with it and it didn't bother me at all, so it's hard for me to be too upset. My other main bass is about 8.75 to 9, so not a huge change. Still it seems there was room to thin out the body.

    I also gave Scott specific neck dimensions. While the string spacing is bang-on, the neck is much thicker than I had spec'd. I was appalled when I first picked it up, but once I set it up and played the whole gig with it, I had no problems.

    Now, let me say that the price is definitely right. Scott has a range of prices listed on his site and I'm definitely on the low side of things. I can't imagine spending this amount of money on another bass and being this happy. I think that one of the ways Scott keeps his cost down is using a lot of stock components and doing things in a certain way. I'm guessing my neck was purchased in whole rather than being made in-house.

    So, I guess what I would say is that Scott represents a great value and is willing to do some unique stuff. If you have certain features or specs that are important to you, make sure you get confirmation on them from Scott. Or just relax your expectations a bit and Scott will get you basically what you want in his own manner for a tremendous price.

    I actually haven't e-mailed Scott since getting the bass, so that's coming later. I'll see what he has to say about my neck specs and the extra weight.

    Here's a link to some pics that Scott had shot before he shipped the bass. Feel free to ask questions or PM me if you prefer.
    http://s280.photobucket.com/albums/kk166/Schizoid75/?newest=1

    I know the "review" sounds critical, but if you just played the bass without hearing my specs and I told you how much it cost, you'd likely be impressed.
     
  12. Schizoid75

    Schizoid75

    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    So, I sent Scott an e-mail letting him know my feelings about the bass. To make a long story short, he apologized profusely that he had missed my specs. I sent him those very early in the process and I guess by the time he started building, he had forgotten about them. He agreed to refund a portion of my price for the oversight and I'm fully satisfied with the situation. I played the bass for an entire gig again on Saturday and had no isses. Sounded great, stayed in tune all night, and got tons of compliments on the look. I'm still getting used to the neck. I can't decide whether I'm going to keep it or have Sims make a new one yet.
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'm glad to hear he acknowledged there was a discrepancy, not to mention trying to make it up to you. I've had two custom basses made by other builders (not Scott), where the builders held to most but not all of the specs we had agreed on ahead of time. In the first case I had no way of knowing how it was going to turn out, so "it was what it was"; and the builder totally denied any discrepancies existed. In the second case I was able to catch (and remind the builder to fix) several of those discrepancies during the build process, but there was still one big one in the end product that I could not have caught, and where by the end of the process I had given up on clear communication with that builder.

    Since the neck is much thicker than expected, maybe it would be most cost-effective to have a local-to-you luthier shave it down to the shape and thickness you like?
     
  14. Schizoid75

    Schizoid75

    Apr 27, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Yeah, there's a well-regarded local shop that could probably do that for me, but since the neck is painted, it probably would start getting close enough to the new Sims neck for me to consider it. I'm not positive, but I'm guessing Scott didn't build the neck from scratch. Seems like more of an off-the-shelf model. If I decide I don't like the neck enough, I'd probably just get a new once because I'd rather have a darker fingerboard like straight ebony of phenolic and I think the fretwork is a little patchy in spots. There's some bad buzzing around the 15-17th frets and up, but I'm almost never up there.

    In any case, the more I use the bass, the more satisfied I am with it. It's like the neck seems to shrink every time I play it. I plan on holding off until tax time. Then I'll decide what to do. One way or another, it's headed over to England for some lights! I love my LED's!
     
  15. baron665

    baron665

    Apr 9, 2010
    Michigan
    He said about $1500.00 for my idea of making a doubleneck 5 string bass guitar with a 6 string baritone guitar. Just a standard P bass shaped body. Passive pickups.
     

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