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Brice lovers....new bass "defiant"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Magman, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Wow! I really like these! I may have to add one to my collection...
  2. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Wonder how that neck's stability is gonna turn out. IIRC, some of the other Brice 6ers came with dual truss rods- this bass advertises only one. Is one truss rod enough for a 6-string neck, even a five piece laminated one? Warmoth's Gecko necks have dual rods.

    That aside, it looks like a winner, IMO.
  3. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ

  4. what? you havent heard of the the non-neck thru neck thru basses....!:meh: or as theyre sometimes know - bolt-on neck thru basses!!!:confused:
    is this making sense to anybody?
    :bag: :ninja:
  5. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    That's obviously a typo. But they do show images of the back of the bass- there's no reason for anyone to think it's neck-thru.
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    It's a pretty nice looking bass.
  7. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Why don't they make these in a 4 string version? I wasn interested in a Bubinga bass a while back, but they only made 5 and 6 string versions.:spit:
  8. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    i like it. too bad i don't have ANY money.
  9. It looks really nice. It's making me wonder whether to go and save up $1000 for my first 6 string or try one of these out. Has anyone here ever played Brice 6 strings? Many people do say how good they sound and play for the money. More over, I hear the construction is better and if thats the case, maybe I can just purchase pickups down the road.
  10. I've had 3 Brice 6 strings
    - V2 fretless - had to move the bridge back a 1/4 inch to get the right intonation. It's a great bass - spent 199 on it NEW - now discontinued

    - HXB406 - electronics crackled on the first one, sent it back and got another that the head joint separated from the neck in shipping, and sent that back to get another one that had noisy electronics. Sold that one to get my...

    - Prestige Z neck thru natural - which people comment sounds better than basses costing 3 and 4 times as much - the only thing is don't try to turn any control while playing or risk static.

    The construction for the most part is great, and the sound for the money is good. It's not the bass that I want to take into a studio to record, but if you're playing in a smoky bar, want to sound good, and don't want to have a kitten if someone knocks it over while the band is on break, then these are the best.

  11. Keep the stock pickups - just replace the electronics...maybe even drill another hole (if you're brave) and put a 3 band EQ in there, which is what I may do with mine when the custom one gets build and delivered (see previous comment about taking basses into the studio....:) )

    Where's Ed Goode - he can offer some positive feedback too!
  12. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I had a V2 fretted 6er. Bought used for $185 inc. shipping. It was a very solid bass, no high frets, no hardware issues, no orange peel, no slop in the neck gap. The "quilted" top was really a veneer, which I wish they'd passed on. I have no problems with transparent finishes on standard grain.

    My only complaint was slightly narrower spacing than I'd prefer and a less-than adequate B string, which I attribute mostly to the 34" scale (the other strings were great and even the B didn't FEEL floppy- it just didn't SOUND as clear and defined as it should have). I sold it for that reason.

    I'd be all over this if I knew a single truss rod neck would be sufficiiently stiff, and that I could get a clear, balanced tone out of the B string.

    Two questions for those in the know about Brice, and for those more in the know than I about basses in general:

    1) Why is it so difficult to get the B string to do what it should? I'm not talking about "you get what you pay for" as an answer- there's no magic or extra expense involved in balancing one extra string, or at least I wouldn't think there'd be. If there were, everyone would know exactly what the difference-making component/luthierie trick was and what it cost and why.

    2) This bass claims a 3 5/8" or @92mm/18.4mm spacing at the bridge, but the bridge looks exactly like the one that came stock on the V2, which was narrower. I forget the exact spacing. Any ideas on whether the bridge is a wider version of the past model, or maybe the spacing isn't as wide as advertised (after all, they say "neck-thru" and it obviously ain't that)?
  13. gravaged


    Dec 9, 2005

    I am of the opinion that it has more to do with the overall stability of the neck joint and a solidly constructed neck (and the rest of the bass, for that matter) than just 34" vs 35" or whatever scale length.

    Case in point: John Turner's 7 string basses with a 34" scale and tight low B and lower F# string...

    Looks like they took down the "neck-thru" comment, I don't see it anymore. I always planned to get a Brice 6'er; then I bought a Peavey for half the price of the Brice models and I don't regret it :p
  14. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    That makes sense. But the V2's neck was quite stable, and as I said before, the pocket was tight with no gap. Also, the floor of the neck pocket was routed flat as it should have been- no wavy carving to make the connection loose. I did shim it to get the action where it should be (I don't understand the point of high-mass bridges if they're designed in a way that prevents the saddles from going as low as they need to be for the greatest playability. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul), but the bass sounded the same before the shim work, so that wasn't the problem.

    BTW, here's the exact same bridge that came on the V2. It's 16.5mm, which is what I now remember the V2 spacing being, but it appears to be the same bridge that's on the Defiant. How many bridges of this design can there be, really? It's not like this is a Hipshot or anything- I'd think whoever makes it would be a one-size-fits-all sort of company.

    Maybe I need to send Kurt an email and see if that 18.4 is a legit measurement.
  15. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    You rang?

    Now, I'm just a little PO'd ..... I was at Rondo over the weekend and didn't see this bass :( I sure would have liked to fool around with it a little. I'll get there in the next day or two, for sure .....

    Generally, Brice basses are well constructed and worth every penny you spend on them. I've had three 6 string's (2 HXB406 and 1 Prestige Z6 neck through) at various points over the past year or so. I use them on a regular basis, mostly for rehearsals or low-rent gigs, but I have recorded with the Prestige Z6NT and it was pretty cool ....

    Don't get confused between the SX stuff and Brice .... the only common bond between them is that Rondo is the distributor. While it is very normal to switch out the SX electronics, you'll likely find that the Brice basses actually sound very good with the stock pups. I have noticed that the pots on the HXB's get a little scratchy while rotating them, but once the position is set they sound just fine.

    This new bass seems interesting, and it looks like the hardware is better than the previous HXB versions (at least it seems so looking at the pics), but it's also another $100+ than the HXB's.

    The only issue I have with the newer Brice line is the pricing. The Z6 is $450 (and will likely go up in price pretty soon), this new one is $400 ..... there's a lot of competition in that price point, especially when looking at the used market. I happen to like the Brice 6's a lot, but at the $400-$450 point you can get a good used Peavey, Tobias, Aria Pro, even a possibility for a TRB if you're lucky. And some Cirrus basses are in the $550-$600 range if you're patient. IMO, the Brice can compete with these other basses, but you really need to play them to believe that ....

    I'll pop in with more info once I've played this Defiant a little .... :cool:
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Based on my experience with my Brice 6 string fretless I'd recommend buying one to "get your feet wet" on 6 string basses. I have the discontinued "V2" model, which is a nice bass. Frankly IMO they haven't bested it except perhaps with the neck-through Prestige, and I personally prefer the V2 to the Prestige. The construction, pickups, and hardware are all adequate. That looks like the exact same bridge as the one on my V2, it's a fair quality piece at best.

    If you want a significantly better 6 string than a Brice, there are a lot of options for more money, but still well under $1000. Peavey makes some great low priced six string basses. Dean does as well.
  17. I have an HXB fretless 5, and also an Agile baritone guitar (from same factory I believe).

    Both are sting through, and have lots of sustain.

    The 'B' on the HXB is not wimpy at all, it really pumps out some bass and tone. This was my first 5er and I immediately knew i was 5 guy!

    Fit and finish on both units is very good. No neck gaps, no neck problems. They stay in tune, intonate fine, tuners are good, trustrod adjusts fine, frets on the agile are perfectly smooth. The necks have a satin finish which is great for feel.
    The pickups on both on good - very noticeable tonal differences between positions, and good tonefal sound in a all positions.
    The HXB humbuckers are not high output though.

    As mentioned in this thread, the HXB blend pot crackles, if there is a sound coming through (on mine). I suspect there is a design flaw in the electronics rather than dust (otherwise it would crackle when no signal from pickups?). The active EQ/preamp is a bit noisy and not the best, I use it disabled all the time.
    Passives electronics on the agile are silent.

    The other issue (its not really an issue, just a quality thing) is that the nuts are hard plastic, not bone or graphite. On a top notch instrument I would expect a different material.

    I think its misleading to present these as 'beginner' or starter instruments. Obviously the crackling blend knob is a problem. But otherwise they are *far* superior in quality to my first instruments, and certainly better than many midrange instruments (400 new). What more important is personnal preference in tone, string spacing and whatnot - but thats the rub, they are mailorder so its harder to do a shootout.
    I'd trust a 6er.

    I asked Kurt wether any defiant 5's are coming in, but he said no, not yet :( . There are some HXB 5s coming in.

    I purposefully didn;t get a fretted 5 yet to force myself to play fretless. It has worked... but there are somethings I just find to damn hard to nail properly consistently and a fretted bass would mean I can get some recordings done faster and act as a backup - I havn;t fiddled with hxb electronics for fear of being hgih and dry. They are two quite different instruments in some ways (fretted vs fretless).

    I just think a 6 would be too much for me. The neck look like it would be very wide on that thing, though the design of the instrument is well balanced visually. I just don't think I'd use the upper C. I don't use G much.

  18. 1 - Do strings have an impact? They must do don't they? I just wonder how many bad-b reviews are down to peculiarities of one brand of string. Its the string doing the primary vibrating after all.

    2 - I do know the prestige Z series were specifically made with wider string spacing due to requests from HXB/V2 customers. So if they retooled the bridge machine for that range, then perhaps they are reusing here. You could email Kurt/rondo and get an answer, as its an important question.

  19. From what I've learned over the past six months, construction and strings play a part in FBS (that would be "Floppy B Syndrome")

    I have a 34" Samick neck-thru that has a tight B. I put a set of SITs on it, and it's still tight. Conversely, I have two bolt-on 34", and have D'Addarios on one and Snakeskins on the other. Different strings have different tensions - the more tension required to tune the string to the desired note, the less floppy the string is. The construction of the bass is also a factor. It would seem that a neck through provides more tension than a bolt-on neck joint...yet there are bolt ons (Roscoes and MTDs) that have tight low strings and bolt on necks. A longer scale will also offer you better string tension.

    The SIT story is an interesting one. The set I had on my 34" neckthru Samick was actually from my 35" Brice Prestige. Mike Adler recommended I try SITs to see if I like them since they will have a nice tension on a 34" scale. When I did, I found that my low B was quite tight, but the action overall was lowered! Perhaps the other strings required less tension to get to their desired sound. The spacing's a little tight for me (which is why I'll be selling it soon), but it plays fabulously now.
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