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Crook Custom Guitars 5 string!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mimaz, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Well, now that I’ve had this instrument for over 2 months, I’d say it’s long overdue to write a review of my newest bass, a Crook Custom Guitars 5 string.

    I have been playing in a Telecaster oriented band for the last 3 ½ years, and it seemed to me that a Telecaster bodied bass would be a lot of fun……..problem is, I only play 5’s, and nobody makes a Telecaster shaped 5 string bass…….that’s where Bill Crook stepped in.

    First, just a bit about Bill………..after being on the road with the band America for the last 15 years or so, and previously having spent time working with Frank Zappa, AC/DC, Three Dog Night, and probably a couple of others that I’ve forgotten about, Bill decided it was time to retire from the road and build guitars full time. That’s where Crook Custom Guitars was born………Bill is making the best guitars he can, one at a time, at a level of quality and attention to detail that is absolutely incredible. Bill does a lot of Tele style guitars (and other styles too), and he has become recognized as one of the industry’s leading authorities on the paisley finish. (It doesn’t hurt that a certain extremely talented guitarist of the same name is from our hometown, a friend of ours from way back, and plays Crook guitars, almost always with a “Paisley” finish. Check out Bill’s website, you’ll see what I mean.)

    Bill does FOH sound for our band, The Fabulous Bender Boys, and has been a friend for many years. After I joined the Benders, I realized that when I was standing onstage with nothing but Crook Custom guitars all around me, a Crook bass was going to be the obvious choice. We talked and planned for a year or more about this Tele bodied 5 string. I am fortunate to own and play some very nice basses (check the gear list on my profile), but none of them truly fit the “vibe” I was searching for with the Benders. All of my other 5’s are active, with rosewood or ebony boards, and a bit on the “modern” side. The Crook bass would buck every one of these trends!

    First, we went with a maple fingerboard….something “new” for me. After carefully measuring the dimensions and profile of my Sadowsky Metro (my previous #1 bass), Bill worked with Tommy at USA Custom Guitars to build a neck that felt just right, just like home. 1 7/8” at the nut, 19mm bridge spacing, 34” scale, and finished with just a slight vintage tint. The fingerboard is birdseye maple, it looks great, and feels perfect. The fret work is simply to die for. The body is swamp ash, finished in a massive metal flake for the maximum bling, and topped with a white MOP pickguard. Hipshot tuners, and a Hipshot aluminum B Bridge are the hardware of choice. For electronics, Bill suggested that I try out some Bill Lawrence PuPs, and we went with a reverse PJ combination, all passive. I should point out that in a band like the Benders, with lots of vocal harmonies and a ton of Teles and Baritone guitar, the “space” occupied by the bass needs to be compact and very well defined. We went the route of the reverse P and the aluminum bridge for this very reason, for sake of a tone that is full without being muddy in any way, and allows you to hear the instrument, not just the electronics. Speaking of electronics, the control setup is Vol, Blend, (Blank), and Tone. (The blank is for possible future use. I ordered a Lawrence Q control when I got the PuPs, but have not yet installed it, since I wanted to hear the bass in the simplest possible configuration to start.)

    It’s hard to imagine how I could possibly be more pleased with the end result! The look, the feel, and most importantly the sound is absolutely what I was seeking. I will make no attempt to hide the fact that Bill is a friend of mine, and I want to let everyone know that he is now starting to build basses as well as guitars. Beyond that, that product speaks for itself. He’s got a couple of 4 stringers in the works for other customers, and I’m proud and excited to say that my next 2 (yeah 2!) Crook basses are already in progress! Other than saying that the next one is a modern twist on a vintage design, I’ll let the rest be a surprise.

    P7070144. P7070129.

    jimmykicker likes this.
  2. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Pretty cool, I dig the reverse P pup a lot. That blue sparkle finish is awesome too.
  3. Very cool. Absolute class with absolute quality !!
  4. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Thanks for the compliments guys! :smug:
  5. TeleTubby


    Jan 6, 2006
    Lynden, WA
    Wow, you got me thinking with that one....mmmmm, tangerine paisley, my favorite (and most importantly, my wife's also!).

    "Absolute class with absolute quality" says just about everything about that beautiful bass, but I'd also add that it perfectly describes Bill, too- thanks so much for the pics and inspiration!!!
  6. Very cool, very funky. I like that a lot.
  7. shawn-o


    Jan 29, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Beautiful bass!

    I had actually exchanged emails with bill about a year ago after seeing Brad paisley in concert and falling in love with his tele's.

    If i had the current finances, i would without a doubt be looking at a pink paisley tele-bass.
  8. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    This may just be a great time to toss another email his way.........I think he has a body finished in pink paisley that has not yet been spoken for.......check with him to be sure.
  9. Oric


    Feb 19, 2008
    Georgetown, Kentucky
    That bass is amazing.
    I would buy that in an instant if it was a production model.

    How much did it set you back?
  10. jon118


    Apr 19, 2008
    It reminds me a lot of G&L's ASAT Z3 guitar in the same colors.


    That's not a bad thing since I really like that particular G&L. Had you ever seen the ASAT before or are the similarities just a really awesome coincidence. Either way I've been loving that bass ever since I saw it in your avatar. Seriously awesome instrument. If you had white pickup covers it would be a perfect twin to the guitar. Of course you have black pickup covers, they have a rosewood fretboard, I guess it balances out.
  11. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I've never seen that particular color combination on the ASAT......that's almost eerie how similar it is! Actually, the color came about on the bass as a result of seeing a boat in a similar color that had HUGE metalflake effect......shining in the sun it was almost blinding, and this bass isn't much different, especially under the stage lights! :cool:

    I knew that GL ASAT basses did the Tele body shape in a 4 string version, but never in a 5 that I'm aware of.

    I kind of thought about how the PuPs would look in white, but the Lawrence's are like old Fords.......any color you want as long as it's black. The covers are fixed on the PuPs, so you can't change them out.
  12. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    Like most high-end instruments, the price will vary based on your particular requests for finish, hardware, electronics, etc........for instance, I didn't get the hardshell case with this one (I didn't need it), but Bill tells me that this one with HS case etc would be about $3K complete.
  13. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    That's kinda neat! I love that birdseye board.
  14. rockambo


    Apr 12, 2005
    Washington, DC

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