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Birth of a new "SuperJazz"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassyBill, Jun 2, 2005.


  1. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    It’s been long in the making, but it’s worth it. My new SuperJ is finished, all but a few minor adjustments after “settling it in”. This one is the fretted sister of my fretless that has appeared in a few TB threads recently.

    [​IMG]

    This new one has a Warmoth alder dinky J body with quilt maple top, turquoise dye finish. Neck is a Status Graphite J replacement, phenolic fingerboard (no dots!). Nordstrand NJ4SE pickups, J-Retro pre, Badass II bridge, Schaller tuners.

    It looks, plays and sounds just great. :D I’ve owned some nice instruments over the years, but these two recent “SuperJ’s” are in a league of their own. The response and clarity of this one, like its sister, is amazing, as is the sheer range of frequencies that seem to just “be there” almost by magic. I’m convinced Rob Green’s necks play a BIG part in this! The Nordstrands and J-Retro do a great job of capturing and shaping the intrinsic sound of the bass. I really cannot do justice to the sound in words, I’ll try and record the thing when I’ve calmed down a bit! Suffice to say that this now my number one bass. Oh yes!
     
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Great stuff Bill! I'll hopefully be posting my own super J in about 2-3 weeks. Soundclips and more pics would be fantastic.
     
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Cheers Chris - I'm looking forward to seeing your new baby! I'll try and get some better pics than this one and some soundclips done at the weekend.
     
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Great, I'll be impatiently waiting :D
     
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Well, I've played it and played it and played it. It just gets better, the more I play the more I love it. I set the pickup height properly after reading some posts in the Pickups forum and then set the gain adjustment for each pickup on the pre-amp. This has brought it "to life" even more. The NJ4SE/J-Retro setup is an absolute killer pickup/pre combination, as I know some of you out there have already vouched for. Growl...? Jeez, it growls alright! Thank you, thank you Carey Nordstrand and John East for making this simple bass player very happy! Next job will be fine adjusting relief/action/intonation (it's pretty close already).

    I am just so knocked out with this bass I can't get over it! It's like it combines the best things about every other bass I've played, all rolled into one. This is the first time I have ever been completely happy with all aspects of a bass. Hope that feeling lasts...!! Sound clips and more pics coming soon, I promise.
     
  6. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    So, bassybill, when are you going to post some links to mp3's so we can hear the tone of this beast?

    I'm interested in doing a similar project and I'd love to hear how yours turned out.

    Pete
     
  7. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Dec 27, 2002
    Germany
    bassybill, how do you adjust the pickup height on your Status? High, low, or inbetween? I'm not sure what sounds better on mine so I'm looking for someone to take the decision off me. :D
     
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Looks gorgeous!
    Turquise-burst, black and gold look wonderful.
     
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    And its amazing, how it hangs from the ceiling like that....
     
  10. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Seems to be a terrific bass.
    I´d also like to hear some clips.
    Congrats.
     
  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    In the studio with this on Saturday next - will post some clips then I hope!!

    I recorded the fretless "sister" bass straight into my PC soundcard some months back, but when I tried to do that with this bass the signal came through distorted. Maybe an impedance mismatch? As I said, the fretless has EMGs, this one has the Nordies and J-Retro. Anyway, that meant I couldn't record this one at home. :(

    Roll on Saturday, then! ;) I'll also try and get some better pics.
    Bill
     
  12. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Pickup height... well, I usually look at factory specs if available, then bearing those in mind I try for the "as low as you can get without bashing the strings" position, and sort of compromise between the two. Just experiment until you're happy with the tone/string balance/output really.

    EMG say you can get their active pickups a lot closer to the strings than conventional pickups as the magnetism is weaker and won't cause "wolf tones" or other problems. In practice my three Js (two with EMGs, one with NJ4SEs) all have pups set about the same, somewhat lower than Fender spec.

    My Status came from Rob Green set up perfectly and I haven't touched its pickup adjustment.
     
  13. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Well, I think I need photography lessons. But I managed to get a *slightly* better picture of the front of the bass.

    [​IMG]

    The recording went well. Three of the other guys in the band are doing the mixing next week and I've asked if I can have bass/drums mp3s as well as the full mixes to post for you guys to have a listen to. Watch this space.
     
  14. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Enjoy, all the best with it! :bassist:
     
  15. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I generally don't like the modern, no-pickguard look on a jazz bass, but that is one good looking instrument!
     
  16. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Given that Jaco was playing one in the 70's, I'm not sure how "modern" that look really is, but I do agree, this is one SWEET looking bass. :hyper:
     
  17. Orco87

    Orco87

    Mar 26, 2000
    Texas
    I want to put a graphite neck on the next bass, how does it feel?
     
  18. pil

    pil

    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    Wow...that really is gorgeous - im not one for gold hardware but on that it's perfect! :bassist:
     
  19. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thanks for the nice comments, guys. :) Yeah, the "Jaco" bass is the look I like - control plate with no pickguard. I also agree that gold hardware doesn't suit every bass, but I do like it with blue and green dyed colours.

    Orco... graphite neck feels great to me. Profile is very like a standard jazz. Finish is smooth but not "sticky" like some glossier finishes I've felt. The whole bass feels REALLY solid and sort of rings out like it was made of one piece of brass! Maybe this is something to do with the rigidity of the neck? Sort of encourages you to dig in with confidence. See my posts above for my views on the effect the neck has on tone.
     
  20. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    C'mon Bill! It's been ages since you promised to post sound clips...... :bawl:

    Throw us a sound clip! I'm dying to hear...... :hyper:

    Pete