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DeArmond Pilot V Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Smurf, Jan 24, 2004.


  1. Smurf

    Smurf

    Dec 27, 2003
    After about a week with this bass all I can say is WOW! When I switched I wanted a 5 to work with and this thing has got to be a best buy, IMHO. The specs....5 string 9 volt active 35" scale, a very wide, but thin as in depth neck, a really nice see-thru red finish, nice tuners, they feel really smooth and hold tune very well. The balance is right on with a strap, and it weighs close to nothing. As some people have said, the EQ is set up, from front to rear of the bass, treb - bass - mid....very strange.The Balance control that blends the PU is VERY smooth from front PU to back. The PU, which are 2 jazz style, are pretty quite. All the controls feel very smooth, and ther are no sudden changes in volume thru-out there travel. The bridge is solid, and has a good amount of mass to it. The only problem I have with it is the way the neck is bolted on. It's a 4 string size back plate with for screws, and its off center to boot!It's on the high string side of the neck, and there is nothing bolted behind the B string. But it seems solid enough. Over all, this bass sounds, plays, and tweeks like a pro. I recommend it. PS The Basic 40 with a 12" just don't cut it...gas anyone?:D
     
  2. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    A little late in the day for it as the particular model to which you refer has been out of production for several years, but I imagine there are some still floating around. The final DeArmond Pilots in the grade you describe had P & J style pickups.

    Yes, it seems as though everyone who got some of the blowout DeArmonds felt they were excellent values.

    I got a final production Pilot DeLuxe specifically for resale and I was very impressed by it, though it is not the style of bass I personally use. I checked it out thoroughly and set it aside to eBay or sell at some point. Very well-made bass: Multi-laminated, through-body neck, Schaller bridge, bead-blasted chrome hardware...pretty flashy!
     
  3. Smurf

    Smurf

    Dec 27, 2003
    I did know that they were not made anymore, but I wasn't sure for how long. Where I got this had 5 of them,all as new, and all bolt on, and this one felt the best. The PU are both the stright J style, even tho they had one that had the P&J setup. Sorry if it's a late review, but I just had to vent. I think I'll be looking for a 4 in the future, all tho an amp is first on the list. Now where did I put that check book......
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I am soon to buy a Pilot Pro 5 from SuperDuck soon. I hope it sounds pretty good. I would love to have a nech-thru version, but I'll take what I can get! I cant wait to see how the B sounds.
     
  5. 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 had the 6-string version of the one Bongo mentions above. It was a decent bass for the money, but I just didn't care for the body style. Also, I thought the hardware was utter crap - ESPECIALLY the bridge.

    This was the top-of-the-line, neckthru model with soaps, too. The pickups were *okay*, but I also thought the overall tone of the bass was thin. It just wasn't terribly versatile.

    Still, for the money, it's a decent bass. I did like the neck profile.
     
  6. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    I've got a Pilot Plus V that was my first 5 stringer that i got when Sam Ash was blowing them out for $160. I like it. However, ever since i got my ray5 i don't play it any more. The neck feels really wide but flat and since the Ray5 has a narrow baseball bat neck the switching between the 2 was too difficult. Right now the DeArmond is living at my bass teachers house so he can find out if he wants to dive into the 5 string realm. They are great basses for the money though. That's all
     
  7. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I am glad he didnt like the body shape, cause I love it. :D

    I still gig with this bass, and I really like it.
     
  8. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Which is a high-end Schaller unit on the DeLuxe. The tuners are Gotohs, I believe. It's not cheap hardware, in any case.

    I don't understand the design theory of that bridge, but Schaller certainly wants enough for it.

    I also am not personally thrilled with the styling and the hippyfied oiled wood business, but it's certainly a well-built bass, with the exception of the wiring, which is uncharacteristically spotty on the whole DeArmond line. Not defective, just messy sometimes. Other times it's beautifully done.:meh:
     
  9. 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.
    Hey Ben - how's it going, man? Glad you're still diggin' that bad boy!

    Bongo - Mine was not equipped with a Schaller bridge and DEFINITELY was not equipped with Gotoh tuners, IIRC.
     
  10. 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.
    Here is a pic of the tuners:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. 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.
    And a shot of the bridge (if this is a Schaller, I'm surprised as it's unlike the ones I've played):
    [​IMG]
     
  12. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    What didn't you like about the bridge? :confused: I never had any problems with it whatsoever; it did what it was supposed to do. Even though the saddles don't have any slots, I never had a problem with them wobbling.

    Though I have to agree, the neck profile is great, for a five string.
     
  13. 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.
    SuperDuck - I thought the string hole routings were sloppy and I just didn't care for the relative lack of sustain. It just seemed a bit flimsy for my tastes.

    Just personal preference.