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Comments about high(ish) end basses needed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassplayer7770, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. I have a list of 4-string basses I'm considering basically in the $1400 to $2000 price range, but it's very difficult finding such high end basses in Columbus, Ohio. I'm looking for a bass with modern tone (something to contrast the sound of my Reverend Rumblefish). Please comment about any of the basses listed.

    Devon Diamond D-Includes Swamp Ash/slightly figured Mahogany body, Ebony fingerboard, Bartolini Soapbars, Bartolini 3-band preamp, Hipshot Type A bridge and tuners.

    Benavente Vortex-Includes Mahogany body with Red or Clear finish, Ebony fingerboard, DiMarzio single coils (possibly dual coils), Demeter 3-band preamp (possibly with switches), Hipshot Type A bridge and tuners.

    Hanewinckel Classic Series BO-Includes Mahogany body (Ceres or Draken body style), Pau Ferro (or Wenge) fingerboard, Bartolini Soapbars, Bartolini 3-band preamp, Gotoh tuners, and quick release brass bridge. Would it be worth the extra to go for the Artist Series instead?

    Roscoe LG3000-Includes Mahogany body with Figured or Flamed Maple top and Red or Clear finish, Rosewood (or Spalted Purpleheart) fingerboard, Bartolini soapbars, Bartolini 2-band preamp, and I'm not sure what tuners and bridges they use.

    Surine Quest Series II-Includes Mahogany body, Ebony fingerboard, neck-through construction, Bartolini Soapbars, Bartolini 3-band preamp, Gotoh tuners, and ABM bridge.

    Brubaker NSB or K4B-Includes Ash body with AAA Maple top but not sure which finish, Rosewood fingerboard, Bartolini Soapbars, 3-band preamp, Hipshot Type B bridge, and chrome tuners. This includes the upgrade package and will cost a little over the $2000 I mentioned above.

    Again, any comments are welcome. Thanks so much!:)
  2. Just so you all know, I have read all the reviews I could and have done searches here on Talk Bass, but I guess I need further guidance to narrow down my decisions. Any help is appreciated.:)
  3. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    All the basses you've listed are equipped with barts but one: the vortex. Barts soapbars are not my cup of tea because IMO they color the sound too much.

    I really like Chris Benavente's work so I'd say go for the vortex (even if I prefer set neck rather than bolt-on;) )
    I think vortex are really fair priced.

    Why are you going with the demeter pre over the u-retro? I think a couple of guys have the dimarzio ultra jazz/U-retro combo on their benaventes so you should ask them about it.

    I'm sur Brian will be around soon.

  4. Thanks for your comments.

    Actually, Brian seemed to suggest the Demeter because the U-Retro has so much output. Any comments from U-Retro/DiMarzio Benavente owners are certainly welcome!

    Josh, thanks for your comments as well.

    I may also visit a local store that evidently carries brands like Alembic, G&L, PRS, Pedulla, Rickenbacker, Washburn, MTD, Lakland, ESP, and Spector. I hope they have some of the higher end gear for some of those though.
  5. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey, on my search, I found that most high end basses kick butt, but there were certain thing I NEEDED, and that made all the differnce.

    For a 5 string, I NEEDED wider spacing, 35 inch scale or some gimmick to make the b tight, and godd amount of space between the neck pickup and the neck to be able to get into. That eliminated quite a bit off the bat.

    I don't think those should be your guidelines for what you need, but make that list of total requirement (oh yeah, no maple board at the time) and you may find your list getting slightly narrower, which is a good thing.
  6. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO

    buy your bass used. in that price range, most of the time people take impeccable care of their instruments. I have a fodera, mtd, & sadowsky that I bought used for 1/2 of the new price, and they are amazing.

    Out of your choices, I think the Roscoe is the most like your Reverend, so i'd stay further away from that. However, there's a reason you bought the Rev, so you probably don't want to be TOO far away from it! Out of those, i'd pick the Benavente but i'd put Aero p/u's in it. Chris B does amazing work and the basses sound amazing.

    for used gear, look at ebay.com, bassnw.com, basscentral.com, bassgear.com, and lots more!
  7. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yep, if you're spending that kind of money, you should have a very good idea about what neck width and shape you prefer, controls and electronics, ergonomics, the weight of the bass, type of bridge, etc.

    I did a lot of thinking and comparing specs before I ordered my first custom bass, and it wasn't long before I started thinking about another one with different features.

    So, take your time, and don't rely so much on other people's opinions. This is YOUR purchase, not theirs.

    Good luck!

  8. Must have:
    4-strings with standard 3/4" string spacing (does this really change much?)
    Upper horn that reaches at least to twelfth fret (preferably) so it will balance well on a strap and be comfortable to play.
    Rosewood (Pau Ferro) or Ebony fingerboard.
    Active electronics, preferably 3-band.
    2 pickups (Soapbars, J/J, or P/J, or whatever as long as it sounds good)

    That's all I can really come up with for now. Does Mahogany sound like a good idea for a good, versatile body wood?

    vanselus, once I'm able to narrow down my options I will likely look for used gear as well.
  9. Ta Daaaaaaaaaaa!!


    heh heh heh
  10. That's a very good possibility (except I want the Quest body design)...:D
  11. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    I would go for:

    1. the Roscoe
    2. a used Sadowsky 4 with the modern set-up
    3. a used Zon 4
    4. MTD Manatoba (from Adrian Garcia, no doubt:D )
  12. that's a good point. i played a brubaker, and it made quite a contrast to my reverend - but so much so that i probably wouldn't get it. it's a fine line between a "different" sound and a sound that's just not you. that said, the brubaker was excellent otherwise - action was divine, nice wide spacing, tight B.
  13. I'm actually looking for something with a bit brighter sound, but it should still have plenty of bass, etc. How was the Brubaker so much different than the Reverend soundwise? Were you comparing a 4 to a 5? What woods were used on the Brubaker you played? What pickups/preamp?
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I have a Maple Brubaker NBS-Custom 5. It has Bart soaps and a three band Bart EQ with switchable mids. I typically leave mine flat, though I sometimes pull up the mid pot and bump it slightly for a killer growly fingerstyle sound. There's an abundance of high end in my bass, coupled with very serious lows and mids. It's been my number one bass since shortly after I got it. Punchy, articulate and just plain excellent full range sound. And as DHC said, the playability ain't too shabby either. Extremely veratile sounding bass IMO.

    The rest of the basses are no slouches, I'm especially fond of Surines and I've had good experiences with Hannies, Roscoes and Benaventes. I've only seen Devin basses on the internet.

    I'm buying another Brubaker.
  15. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    we here i my 2 cents
    try used definitely
    i got my 1986 tobias 4 for 1700
    i really dig the zon sonus 4 and would get one now if i had the bread
    honestly though
    when you find the right axe you will know right off the bat
  16. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    word, player, I'm in columbus ohio too. Not only does the instrument scene her stink, but so does the music scene. haha
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I'm in Cleveland right now. Anything happening here?
  18. my reverend is definitely brighter. i would characterize the brubaker sound as warm, slightly growly, low-middy. i would characterize my reverend as tight, sizzly, high-mid-middy. if you want something BRIGHTER than the reverend, i think i would look in another direction. maybe a rickenbacker, or something with seymour duncan pickups if you're looking for something more mid-scooped (what i think of as "modern tone").
  19. Hey, I'm part of that music scene!!!:mad: ;) Well, I've recently found out about German Village Music Haus and an online dealer Superbass ( www.superbass.net ). Both seem to have nice basses (Superbass has Roscoes). Perhaps you should try them out.

    Brad, thanks for your honest review of the Brubaker.

    dancehallclasher, perhaps you're right. I think the Reverend has nice low end as well, but it is pretty bright, tight, and sizzly as you said. I'm assuming the high end can always be dialed in anyway with a good preamp, so that may not be a big concern. I want nice low end as well, but I'm sure all the basses on the list would deliver.:)
  20. www.bassalone.com

    They stock high end basses, new and used. Categorized by the # of strings.
    Cool site.


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