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Bass Mods vs. Marusczyck vs. Bacchus vs. Devon J-style bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveAceofBass, Dec 21, 2016.


  1. Devon J5

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  2. Marusczyck Elwood L

    7 vote(s)
    22.6%
  3. BassMods K534

    6 vote(s)
    19.4%
  4. Bacchus Woodline DX5

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  1. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    TBers,

    In the market for a new jazz bass. My budget is $2K or under (prefer WAY less). I normally like 24 fret 5-string lightweight chambered basses, but I really just want a pure jazz bass sound. I'm a huge Sadowsky and Kinal fan and have an NYC as well as two custom Kinal's, but none have double jazz pups and give me that jazz bass tone. So I'm looking at options... Having owned custom basses before, I liked the idea of getting another custom, and it seems like Marusczyck might be the best bang for the buck. However BassMods has some new stuff coming out that might fit the bill, and also Bacchus has some nice looking stuff at an affordable price point. Lastly Devon Smullen of Devon basses seems like an amazing guy and great builder...but this would really max out my budget.

    I want to get TBers' opinions on these four. Which would you go for and why?

    1. Devon J5 custom bass
    2. Marusczyck custom Elwood L or TCS model
    3. BassMods K534 custom
    4. Bacchus 5-string jazz

    Please let me know what model you think...and should I consider just going with a 4-string since I'm looking for a jazz bass? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. So are you looking for a chambered or solid body?
    The only one on the list that I have really ever payed attention to is Maruszczyk.
    I know those basses are unbelievable for the price. I would just kill for an Elwood Absolution...
     
  3. guitfrank

    guitfrank

    Apr 24, 2010
    let me pitch in. although every one of these builders will provide you with thunderous jazz bass goodness, your best band-for-buck ratio will be the Bacchus. doesn't matter if you choose a 1000$ Bacchus or a 2000$ Bacchus. all I'm saying is that it'll be a better bass than it's competitors (you can buy a fine instrument for 800$ plus shipping or go crazy and pay 3000$ - either way you win)
     
    b15fliptop likes this.
  4. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I've really been leaning towards the Marusczyck Elwood L or Elwood TCS...both are chambered
     
  5. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    What makes them better? Which series compares with Marusczyck handmade?
     
  6. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I know 2 and 4. Played both, own a cheap Bacchus. Depending on where in the world you live, one will be cheaper than the other. As for quality / bang for the buck, Bacchus has a slight edge. Most likely, they are on the top 10 best bang for the buck in the world. But depending on the place you live in the world, the shipping cost offsets the bang for the buck .

    Although not on the list, another choice although not on it is Sandberg. It's good and cheap. Considering both Marusczyck and Sandberg are from Europe you could probably get a better deal on a stripped down Sandberg from Thomann or some giant retailer like that and pay no VAT. Shipping is 50 euros or so. But then again, not sure how much tax you'd pay in the States.

    Anyway there's no need to spend 2 grands on a Bacchus, Marusczyck or Sandberg. Up to a 1700, it's all all good and you need to spend a hell lot more than 2k if you want to up the game. Above 3.5K you are now in the range of the STR and custom Maruscyzck and Sandberg. Beyond, I personally would just get an F bass, Sadowsky, Custom Fender.
    One last thing. STR has a stripped down version of their high end stuff. LS5 Sierra or something like that..... I forget the name. It's 1700 or less. Same as middle range Bacchus without the top, but seasoned wood, build quality, etc etc . I vaguely remember some sales guy telling me that the first batch of Sierras were made in the Philippines and set up in Japan but the recent batch of LS5s were made in Japan at the Deviser factory. You need to look it up if you're interested. Someone else could explain this better, esp the SET UP in Japan vs MADE in Japan. anyway I played these at the store and I was surprised. They're good. STR quality without the cosmetic top and high price.
     
  7. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Ok I just checked the STR LS5 Sierra is a humbucker, so scrap it. The prototype I saw on sale was a Jazz and it was made in Philippines.
     
  8. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    So the deal is I own a Sadowsky NYC, and two custom Kinal basses. I don't NEED another bass, but I don't have a JJ bass, and that's why my interest is piqued. As for pricing I can get a custom Marusczyck for around $1600 shipped. The BassMods site sometimes has instruments for half that price, but I gotta wait for the right one. Devon would be the most expensive of these...Bacchus not really custom and no guarantee the weight will be light enough.
     
  9. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    I have no experience with any on your list. But I just picked up a bass mods fretless K6 in a trade. I am really impressed with how well done it is for a low priced bass. I really can not find any fault with it other than the weight.
     
  10. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I would go for a Marusczyck if I were you. 1600 shipped, you can't beat it. Even a cheap Sandberg, (they are cheap) will go for 1200 and that's not a custom. Bacchus is only recommended if you're going to come to Japan and try them out. The airfare will cost you a 1000. Just as a reference, go to thomann.de. and take a look for the prices and you'll probably just end up buying the Marusczyck.
     
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  11. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I AM going to Shanghai in February...not sure what's there
     
  12. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Bacchus basses slam. Mine plays very well, and the build quality is fantastic.
     
  13. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
  15. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Since coming from Japan, to Canada, then to here in Pittsburgh, my neck has stayed straight and needed no adjustments. The thing almost plays itself...some of the lowest action I've ever had.
     
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  16. Clecoguy

    Clecoguy

    Apr 24, 2014
    My vote is for Devon. He just built me a custom designed 5 string. I absolutely love it. He just rolled out his new website where you can find more details.

    Devonguitars.com
     

    Attached Files:

    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  17. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm originally from Pittsburgh!
     
    songwriter21 likes this.
  18. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Sweet!
     
  19. Bassworship1

    Bassworship1

    Jun 20, 2013
    Jackson
    I vote Devon as his basses are the best I've ever played. I have 2 of his Modern basses and this is coming from around 20 or so basses that are Boutique level in the $2200-6500 price range. Build, Playability, and tone is as good as any I've played.

    D4.jpg B1.jpg
     
    Clecoguy likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 15, 2021

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