Cliff Bordwell chambered six string mini review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jaxlaw, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. jaxlaw

    jaxlaw Guest

    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    I was blessed to aquire this bass Last month.


    Six string
    lined bubinga fingerboard
    34" scale
    Burl Maple Top
    Chambered walnut and spruce body
    Nordstrand pu's

    I love the bass. I have had it for about a month and wanted to let it sink in before I tried to give the bass a fair review. I'll start a thread and let everyone know what I think of the Bass. I'll say this now you can't go wrong with Cliff and his designs. I was more concerned about the Bass being fretless than chambered as I wasn't until this time very much of a fretless player.

    First the wood, the build the neck joint, the electronics the entire package is top notch. The fingerboard is a work of art. I do mostly jazz and gospel I knew the bass would work for the jazz stuff but I am surpirsed how the bass lends itself to the gospel arena as well in which the playing can get quite agressive - I can get a distinct slap tone out of the bass and fingerstyle I can get both the burp and mwah that define a high quality instrument.

    I normally play the bass in the passive mode. I get a very organic wood tone out of the Bass, hard to describe but pleasing. The chambered nature of the bass makes the body somewhat thicker - but gives a lot of tone - the bass is like a mixture of the best qaulities of my Eminence EUB and my MIA Febnder Jazz in the passive mode and more than holds its own with my Roscoe in the active mode while maintaing a definitive organic tone.

    I don't solo bass but I do do bach and paly the head and chords of the standards (real book). This bass is excelent for this work as well. To date I have played this bass with the Jones High Scholl Alumni Band (Big Band lots of horns). The Bernie Lee jazz Trio. Bill White ( he does Louis Armstrong Covers) Soul for Real ( Smoth jazz /standards). The McKinney Gospel Chior (Moderen urban gospel) and worship services for St. John A.M.E. Church - So as you can see the bass gets a workout and fits in in every circumstance - I leave all my other bases at home now.

    Ergonomically the bass sits both in the lap and on the shoulder well. some people may find the thickness of the body - like an acoustic somewhat - different. No neck dive.

    If you are considering having a bass built I suggest you look at Cliff's work. I am extremely satisfied. If you are in the Orlando area pm me or call me and I'll bring the bass out for you to see.
  2. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Wow... that is incredible bass. Do you have any more pics?
  3. sargebaker

    sargebaker Builder - Island Instruments Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    my first post in a long time... Yum!
  4. Bernie Connors

    Bernie Connors Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2002
    Indiana, USA
    Wow!!! Cliff's work really is something to behold. That's a great looking bass.

    And from your review, it delivers on the playing side as well. The best of both worlds!
  5. malicous

    malicous Guest

    Apr 25, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Very nice. Congratulations on a great bass.
  6. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Very nice indeed. I look forward to hearing more thoughts. I'm really interested in your thoughts on the chambering.

    Congrats on a gorgeous bass.
  7. nippes


    Jul 25, 2006
    Congrads. I´d love to see some more pics. This really is a beauty.
  8. Thunderwood

    Thunderwood Guest

    Mar 20, 2007
    Delafield, WI
    Yes! More pictures if you have any time to put that thing down!
    That bass is on the homepage, you must feel special!

    I just e-mailed Cliff about a custom bass Design. He seems to really like the design I made. I am very excited to do business with him.
  9. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  10. jtlee

    jtlee Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Man, what a beauty! Cliff's work is so that chambered design. Congrats!
  11. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    nice looking CB! I've had my single cut CB for about 7 months now and still can't put it down. With Cliff's basses, you'll notice you'll end up playing more!
    :bassist: - Scott.
    nonohmic likes this.
  12. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Killer bass! I also am lucky enough to have gotten a CB in the last year, and have also waited (about 6 months) to review it. I'll likely post the review next week. I didn't opt for the chambered design, but I'd like to hear your impressions of that.
    nonohmic likes this.
  13. jaxlaw

    jaxlaw Guest

    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    I got an additional picture from Cliff today should have more by the end of the week - I'll have to figure out how to post them as I have no URL for them. I am in the middle of a busy week but I'll figure it out.

    NickyBass & Lomo, I really like the Chambered design. IMO it gives the bass a quite unique tonal characteristic and enhances the fretless quality of the bass. In the passive mode the Chambered design really sticks out - the bass has a richer quality of sound than the previous fretless acoustic (Godin) that I had at one point which to my ear at times sounded a bit thin in comparison. In other words better sustain and depth of tone - no feedback issues - so far - and a more organic (woody) tone than my solid body basses (Roscoe, Fender, Tune). Passive the Bass really emphasizes the mids and it is this mode that I enjoy the most, however in some circumstances when I am provided with a thin amp as a baclkine or the room acoustics demand it or I am teamed with a thick keyboard and loud active drummer I can throw on the aguilar pre amp and boost the bottom and get a ton of tone that really cuts through.

    The bass is definitely not a one trick pony. It is not a beginner bass (you have to be on point due to the fretless nature and the fact that the bass is unforgiving - slight shifts will alter your pitch - and the bass reproduces even slight changes in pitch quite accurately and evenly) - but it is a bass that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in being serious about the instrument.
  14. jaxlaw

    jaxlaw Guest

    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    Here are some additional pictures that I got of the Bass



    Michael C. likes this.
  15. Bernie Connors

    Bernie Connors Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2002
    Indiana, USA
    :eek: :eek:

    That is just an amazing picture.

    Great work, Cliff. Wow...
  16. Papersen


    Mar 22, 2002
    Wow, amazing design.
    CB is among my fav luthiers for sure.
    I hope to play one of his creations someday.
  17. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    That looks incredible.

    nonohmic likes this.
  18. Holy hell. That's awesome! :)
  19. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    WOW, a work of art !!!
    Congrats jaxlaw.:bassist:
  20. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    WOW!!!! I can't get over how gorgeous that is. Increadible workmanship. It looks flawless.

    Is Cliff offering the chambering on the 'D' style fretted basses, or just the fretless singlecuts?