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Conklin GT-7 fretless review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mark beem, Mar 7, 2003.


  1. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Woo-hoo!!

    It finally arrived Thursday after missing the FedEx guy on Wednesday!! VERY nice bass! For the money you can't beat these things for construction, durability ( I think a tank could probably roll over them without a scratch!), and playablilty!!

    Specifications:
    Standard Groove Tools 7 string model
    Bolt-on neck
    34" scale
    Lined fretless ebanol fingerboard
    Black Hardware
    Bartolini pups with Mighty Mite 2 band preamp
    7 pc Wenge/Purpleheart neck
    Swamp Ash body w/ figured maple top
    Wine red finish ( really wanted a clear one, but now I have a matching set!! )

    First thing I notice on pulling it out of the box is that it seems heavier than my fretted GT-7 (?). Couldn't tell for sure as my fretted one is at the studio. Visual inspection showed that fit and finish were top-notch!! The bass had been set up by Mike there at Bill's shop and was perfect!! (Thanks Mike!!)

    Playing the bass unplugged, the sound is very pronounced. The ash body is resonant and the "mwah" could be heard just fine!! The ebanol fingerboard is slick and feels very good under the fingers. Plugging it in however, revealed a BIG (pleasant) surprise!!!

    There are those (myself included) that feel that the only downfall these basses have is the 2 band Mighty Mite preamp... I've even replaced the one in my fretted with an Aguilar OBP-3. However, I plugged into my old Crate BX-100 with the EQ set flat, and was almost knocked over by the sound I got from it!!! The Mighty Mite pre sounded wonderful!!!! Clear highs and lows that were like the Voice of God!!! My cats didn't like it at all and Im sure the neighbors were wondering what the hell was going on!!! Don't understand why, but the stock preamp seemed to sit better in the fretless model. I'd be curious to know from other GT-7 fretless owners (Eli..) if they think the same.

    Bottom line... EXCELLENT BASS!! I really had thought that I was gonna have to replace the pre once it arrived. But, I'm gonna leave it just the way it is!!! I'd still like to have one more fretless model that I could string low F# to high C... I might look into the "New Century" series for that..

    Quick addendum.... One thing IMO that would be a great addition to the basses would be screw inserts in the control cavity and battery housing..
     
  2. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Well, it's good to hear you're happy with it (to say the least!). I too was very impressed with the apparent stiffness of the neck.

    The two basses -- fretted and fretless -- certainly have different voices, even fitted with the same strings. I never looked at the fretted as in any way inferior, just different. It's brighter, which I suppose could be interpreted as thinner. I do use an outboard Tech 21 Acoustic DI set on permanent mid-boost at 800 Hz and run both basses through it on every gig (after a Carvin A/B box that the basses are plugged into).

    Obviously, you prefer the tone of the fretless to the tone of the fretted. Cool for you!

    And welcome to the "identical fretted & fretless" club!
     
  4. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Eli.. I never meant to insinuate that I felt the fretted bass was inferior.. Just that in comparing the two I felt the fretless' tone was better with the stock preamp. No, I think both are excellent basses!

    Oh, I forgot to mention yesterday also that I got an email from Bill (Conklin) and he's begun gluing up the neck for my 8 string!!!!
     
  5. How's the B string and Low F# string on these? I would assume that the Low F# would be pretty floppy with 34 inch scale, but is that the case?
     
  6. Ask JT about his basses; he has several 7,8-strings equipped with a low F# and a 34'' scale.


    A 34'' Sadowsky 6-string will have a thunderous B.
    A 35'' Modulus' B will be solid as a rock.
    A 390'' Rogue will still have a bad B.



    The construction is FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR more important than the scale length. Scale length just plays a somewhat small importance. Is a Warwick Thumb's 33.25'' scale (or whatever it is) less taut than a 35'' Ibanez BTB1000?? No way.
     
  7. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

    Kraig.. The B's are very good on the GT-7's... As far as the F#'s.. I'll have to get back to you on it.. I dont have a F# on a 34" scale bass (yet).. Was planning on getting a "New Century" series 7 strung low F# to C..

    How's the weather in Halifax?? I was up there a couple of years ago... I really liked it up there!!!
     
  8. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    No... just fell under his malign influence!! LOL!!!
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Congrats! I'd love to give one a try (especially a fretless GT-BD7), but there's no music stores around me that carry them. Let me know if you find another for sale somewhere ;)
     
  10. Very, very cold. :( :D
     
  11. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Now THAT would be cool. Website shows a mid level knob with a freq selector switch at 250, 500, or 800 Hz. Guess where I'M going! This is quite an onboard preamp! I would LOVE to see one of these things in the flesh...
     
  12. I'm trying to get a fretted GTBD-7. I'd like to avoid the sales tax on it, so I'm trying to avoid buying from either MF or Conklin directly (since both are in Missouri).

    Needless to say, I'll be looking into fretless if I get along with the 7. :D Any chance we might get some sound samples from one of the fretless 7 owners?
     
  13. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    OK, it's time to learn the technology.

    I have the bass (of course), a nice DI box, and a computer with a normal computer sound card (not a specialized digital recording type card). How would I go about creating the sample and then posting it here? I'll be happy to email it if I can't post it.
     
  14. You should be able to just run a patch cable from the DI into the computer (with the help of a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter). Your sound card should have a line-in that you can plug into. At that point you just need to select that input as the recording input. If you're running some sort of Windows (95 or later), you should be able to just double-click the speaker in your system tray (lower right) to bring up your mixer. Then, go to options -> properties -> recording -> OK. At this screen you should be able to click the select checkbox under the proper input (and adjust the input level).

    The tricky part is going to be finding a program to use for recording. I assume you could just use the windows sound recorder, but that's a less-than-elegant solution. I personally use an old version of SoundForge that I picked up a long time ago.

    I'm sure some of the more recording-minded folks on this board could give you better instructions for making good recordings. Mine normally turn out pretty badly due to my lack of ability on the instrument and general apathy for getting high-quality recordings.

    FWIW, here's one of my quick recordings. Yes, I realize fully that I do not deserve such nice basses.

    Click here if you don't care about your hearing
     
  15. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Congrats, Prog! I enjoyed my time with a GT7. Easily the best value in multi-string basses. Glad yer diggin' em.