Bolt on

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nanook, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. nanook

    nanook Guest

    Feb 9, 2000
    Well, against my better judgment, I'm considering a bolt on 5 string.

    Bolt ON's have always sounded jagged to me. The harmonics just don't seam to travel through the instruments properly.

    That aside, I must say the quality of the MTD 535 does look good as does some models of Fodera, Curbow and Fleishman.

    I would appreciate some advice on high end 5 string bolt ON's.

    Maybe I should stay away from the hardware and go with a Ken Smith???

  2. If the bolt-ons you've tried put you off, how about a glue-in? (since glue joints don't dampen fundamentals/harmonics as much).

    I don't know how feasible it is for your location, but has a Ken Lawrence Brase with a glue-on for $3000+ US -

  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Right rick :)

    I'm in love with a set-neck bass for if I only had the dough for a new bass. :(

    Reiner is one of the craziest and nicest (and best!) luthiers i've ever met.

    These are pics of a Le Fay Remington 5 fretless with a "30-fret" aluminium fretboard:

  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I've always disliked neck-throughs because they felt "compressed" to me. I like for the bass to respond when I really dig in, and I've always gotten that with bolt basses.

    I owned an MTD 535 and it was a fabulous bass (just wrong for what I was doing at the time), but it's the most "neck-through-ish" bolt bass I've ever heard in terms of tone. Very hi-fi, but it lacked a little low-mid punch, IMO. Bear in mind that MTD basses vary with the woods used. Mine had a wenge/wenge neck, which is supposedly the brightest combo he offered.
  5. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    As has been said, bolt-ons aren't actually brighter, they're just less bottom-y.

    Apparently I'm not too sensitive to the difference, or there are so many other factors that can affect the overall sound...

    I traded a Carvin all-mahogany neck-thru 6-string (mahogany neck, too) with ebony fingerboard for a Conklin GrooveTools 7-string that has an ash body with maple top and that 7-layer wenge/purpleheart bolt-on neck and Bartolinis, and that phenolic fingerboard. I played the two basses side-by-side for a couple of days before i decided to go with the Conk, but I decided that the Conk could do at least every tone the Carvin could, at least in the Jaco-y tone area where I like to hang out.

    The Conk is a shred brighter but seems to have as much bottom; I assumed that was because of the phenolic fingerboard. But there are so many differences in woods, neck construction, pickups, and preamps that heaven knows what it actually was that made it different.

    My point? Dunno. I guess each bass is such an amalgamation of characteristics and factors that you can't really predict how one is going to sound vis-a-vis another. I guess you really do just have to play 'em to find out how any particular one is going to respond to YOU.

    Couldn't read the website at le-fay, but ya GOTTA love that pistol-grip neck joint -- I bet that really helps locate your hand for high-register playing. Pretty cool idea.
  6. JimS

    JimS Gold Supporting Member

    I don't know. Last May I was in Roger Sadowsky's shop and tried a few of his 5 strings with bolt-on necks. The low B, especially on the PJ5 and Vintage jazz 5 was down right prodigious.