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Bittersweet NBD (Portamento)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Supadope, Dec 5, 2018.


  1. Supadope

    Supadope

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    First off, NBD was about a month and a half ago. Life is busy, so now is my first opportunity to post.

    I have an assortment of decent midrange and budget basses. My main basses are a Peavey Forum 5 and Millennium 5. I have been wanting a good fretless for a while and tragedy brought the need to make a purchase.

    I play in a few bands, one of which is a cover band that plays bars and the occasional wedding. We rehearse almost every Sunday evening and we are good friends as well as bandmates. Each week we bring new ideas for tunes to cover to keep things interesting.

    One Sunday afternoon about six months ago I heard Sevendust’s Angel’s Son on the radio and proposed it to the guys that evening. My singer and guitarist were not familiar with the song and they generally do not get into harder rock or metal. So they began to chat about something else. My drummer, Jamie (nicknamed Mittens because he always wears those drummer gloves) is a huge Sevendust fan. So, we went on our own tangent about the finer points of metal. Our conversation cycled back to Angel’s Son and Mittens told me about a heart condition that he had, and that if he he died from it, he wanted Angel’s Son played at his funeral. My response was, “OK, but don’t die!” Since the other guys weren’t into it, we never put Angel’s Son into our setlist.

    On the night of October 25th, Jamie had a heart attack and died.

    The next day I was speaking with Jamie’s wife and I offered my help with anything she needed. She asked if I could set up music at the wake, and she insisted that there wasn't quiet, typical, funeral music. It needed to rock because Mittens would want it that way. That’s when I remembered our conversation about Angel’s Son.

    My bandmates and I quickly worked up an arrangement with me on backing vocals & my fretless 4 string AEB, my guitarist on an acoustic, and our singer filling out the rhythm on cajon.

    The fretless really worked well for the cello parts, but the 4 string lacked the low end needed for the rest of the song. So, I ordered the SRF705 from Sweetwater knowing that they could have it delivered to me in Louisville before the wake and funeral.

    We played at both the wake and the next morning at the church for the funeral service. The song was quite powerful and there was not a dry eye in the place. The service was absolutely beautiful. So many wonderful memories reflected about such a great guy. It was such a sad honor to play for, then carry my friend to his grave.

    But, time heals and we are starting auditions this week. The show must go on...with a sweet new bass. So, let's talk about this Ibanez.

    First, this is not the one that I initially got from Sweetwater. I had some complaints about the first one. It had two things that really bothered me. First was the B string really lost volume below 6th 'fret'. I though with graphite reinforced necks, dead spots were a thing of the past. They are not. Second, the mahogany body wings are each two pieces glued together, and the grains were really mismatched. For almost a thousand bucks, this was a let down.

    So, I took a road trip. Visited some friends in Indy, and hit Sweetwater to exchange the bass. And I'm quite satisfied with the 2nd one. The body wings match very well and the B sounds much better. The action seems better, too.

    20181111_211314.

    I'm sure it will bug some of you, but I put a sticker on every instrument that I have. But, I've never sold a bass. When I buy it, it's mine. I don't care about resale. This sticker is from 3rd Turn Brewing, a local brewery started by some friends of mine. Get yourself a pint if you're in town!

    Besides stickers, I usually don't mod basses except for strap locks. However, the bridge pickup didn't sound that great and kind of got in the way, so I removed it. I also added a little thumb rest. (I think it's a foot from an old Rat pedal.)

    20181128_213213.
    20181127_211527.

    Here's my impressions of the bass:

    Even though it was the heaviest one that Sweetwater had, it's very light. But, I'm used the Peaveys which are at least 3 lbs heavier. It's also very balanced and comfortable.

    The sound is balanced across all the strings. The B string sounds very good but not great. (But, I'm spoiled on the heavy-as-sin Peaveys and their 35" scale.) The sustain is also very good.

    The neck is as comfortable and playable as my beloved Peaveys. But the 30 'fret' fretboard is a bit silly. I never really play above the 19th fret and would prefer more area for my right hand fingering.

    The 16.5mm bridge spacing is tight. I would prefer another mm there.

    And finally, the neck pickup and the piezo sound great together.

    Overall, this is a great bass and I will be happy with for many years to come.

    RIP, Mittens.
    20181205_015951.
     

    Attached Files:

    MonetBass, JRA, Joshua and 3 others like this.
  2. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    That's quite a tale :wideyed:

    RIP Mittens :sorry: It's great that you guys and the Mrs sent him out proper. And of course congrats on your NBD.

    Your time must be really tight!
     
    Supadope likes this.
  3. Supadope

    Supadope

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    Thanks.
     
  4. Supadope

    Supadope

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    Here's a link to the Angel's Son video. It's still pretty tough to get through without getting all misty.

     
    Joshua likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    thanks for sharing all of that. congrats on your new instrument, of course, but more than that: congratulations on having a great friendship and for being such a thoughtful friend! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    Supadope likes this.
  6. Supadope

    Supadope

    Nov 30, 2015
    Louisville
    Thank you.
     
    JRA likes this.

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