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DeArmond Pilot Deluxe 6-string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrWalker, Apr 16, 2002.


  1. MrWalker

    MrWalker Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Hi,

    I am trying to find myself a cheap 6-string bass to add to my collection (don't want to trade my MTD Grendel, at least not yet). I've come across a DeArmond Pilot Deluxe 6-string bass for about $525. Is this a good deal, or can I get better? How is the Pilot as compared to for example the Ibanez BTB and the Conklin 7-string (yes, I know the Conklin is slightly more expensive, but not much). All opinions are appreciated!
     
  2. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Well I can't comment on the other two but I have the 5 string deluxe and it rocks. It sounds pretty cool, the electronics do their job well, looks nice. Only problem is that I find the mahogany body accentuates the mids, I don't know hwo you like your tone but I find it a bit overpowering so the mid knob is down to 3 on mine. The other body option (ash?) is , I believe, much bassier (but doesn't look as cool). String spacing is much wider at the nut than an Ibanez as well. Much wider.
     
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Dean makes some very nice low cost high quality six string basses. Take a look.
     
  4. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    I haven't played the deluxe 6, however keep in mind that fender cut dearmond off. Thats how i got my Pilot + 5 for $160. If you can, play it and compare it to @ least something else in the store. The price sounds about right to me-maybe a tad bit high, i think here they were sellin the deluxes for around there. Hope it works out.
     
  5. MrWalker

    MrWalker Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Thanks for your time, everyone!

    I've decided to wait this one a little out, as I think the price is going a bit high, too. Especially after shipping costs and VAT has been paid, it'll run at nearly $700. So I'm chillin' it, looking for other cool gear :) But thanks for your time anyway!
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Have you played a BTB? The spacing on those is wider than your DeArmond.
     
  7. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    Seriously? There's one in my local music shop and the spacing looks tiny at the nut. Looks no bigger than that of a SDGR. Well, I stand corrected...
     
  8. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I have the Pilot Deluxe 6, so here is my review, FWIW:

    First, to address spacing, I actually find it to be quite comfortable, though not the widest (and not as wide as BTB). I have no complaints, though.

    Soundwise, it's surprisingly good for a bass in this price range. The low B is actually decent (not great - decent - but good for $525.00). The soapbars on it do the job nicely. I'm not even considering replacing them - no need, IMHO.
    It's my understanding that the active preamp is a BT, for what that's worth. When you dial it to the back pickup only, you really get a nice slap sound (if you play slap on a 6 - I do), but it has a hard time cutting through. I usually keep my dial in the middle, which provides a really nice, balanced sound.

    It;s a neck-through, which is nice and really makes a huge difference for basses in this price range. The neck itself is not the fastest in the world and I've noticed a little more left hand fatigue than normal (more than on my other basses), but nothing to worry about.

    The hardware is, well, cheap. The bridge, in particular, is pretty crappy, so you would do well to replace. The tuners are adequate - they keep tune nicely. The knobs come loose a lot, which is a pain.

    The wood itself is nothing exotic, but it seems to resonate quite well. Mine is a natural wood finish and it looks good - I've gotten a lot of compliments and even more "what is that?"s.

    The fretboard is a nice rosewood and the fretjob is pretty good. Seems to be an even fretjob overall and the frets are slim and low, making for smooth fretting.

    Overall, I've been extremely happy with it. This was my primary bass in the last band I was in and it really did the job nicely.

    In the end, if I were looking at buying, I'd compare to others within a similar (+150) proce range and go with what felt, played and sounded best. I paid $525.00 for it new at the time (last spring) and it was a steal then.

    Hope this info helps. Please feel free to e-mail me at jbigger1@ix.netcom.com if you have any questions.
     
  9. MrWalker

    MrWalker Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Norway
    Thanks for the help, all of you!

    I conclude that the bass is probably a good value at the price, and that it compares well with other instruments in the same price range. I'll sleep on it, then we'll see in the morning! :)