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Does anyone know about or use a US Masters?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Dec 9, 2000.


  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    When I was picking up my Pedulla last week at GC they also had a used KILLER fretless 5-string made by US Masters. It had a purpleheart fretboard on top of a birdseye maple neck. The body was Australian Lacewood with maple and heartwood laminated into it. This thing was so light!! It has two soapbar pups but no active electronics. Not only was this thing BEAUTIFUL, played easily but it had great tone.

    I checked for a website and found that they are usually made to order and shipped from the factory. The list for this bass is $1488 with case and $208 for the upgrade to the birdseye.I believe this includes shipping, too. The spec sheet says that they are 7.8 pounds for the 5 string and you have a choice of fretboards...purpleheart, pao ferro and maple.

    The price that GC has on it is $1899!! You can imagine the surprise when I told them that they wanted more than the current new price. Guess what? They weren't willing to deal much off of their list price. No shock to me..those robbers.

    I'm thinking that if I were ever to get into a fretless 5 that this would be the way to go. Does anyone here know anything about these?
     
  2. I played a US Masters fretted 4 string with a P pickup (it's their lowest end model) and I thought it was pretty sweet. It was a bit frustrating to play because the pickup was right at the neck and REALLY needed to be lowered.. but I could tell it was a quality bass nonetheless.

    They're made not too many miles from here (I'm a student at UW Madison.. Middleton is just outside of Madison.. I have some relatives there) and one of these days I think I just might take a trip to their shop.

    They carry some US Masters basses at http://www.basscentral.com you might want to check that out.
     
  3. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Thanks for the reply. I guess from the amount of replies this company must not be well know if known at all.

    It's really a drag when you demo an instrument and they are set up poorly.

    I am very, VERY picky and I thought that the US Masters was built extremely well. I saw it just after I was fooling around on a Warwick fretless 4 that felt like a ton of bricks. The EP54 was only 8 pounds. I thought that it must be chambered it was so light. The lacewood, which I've never seen is beautiful, too. It is a bolt on neck but from the info at their website it seemes that they have a great way of making a solid connection.

    I would be really cool to go to the factory. They've got a really big website at: http://www.usmasters.com

    I'm going to start saving my soda cans to get the cash together for a fretless ep54.

     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've played a few over the years. They have a Lightwave model now.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Brad - it sounds like Jerry has the "opposite" kind of luck to you - finding basses he really likes at more than list price! ;)
     
  6. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    That guy at GC musta thought that I just fell off the turnip truck for not jumping on a price higher than list. I didn't press anything since I don't have the bucks at the time to be a buyer. But who knows I might win the lottery and have cash in hand...yeah right!

    Brad, you said that you have had several of the US Masters basses? May I ask why you sold/traded your basses? Did you find anything bad about them? Any further input would be greatly appreciated.

    I found the 5 string fretless (ep54) much easier to play than the Warwick 4 string. It is much easier to play the B string than on my Roscoe Beck 5'er. I seemed very playable and the tone seemed quite good even though I was in a horrible place to evaluate the tone of an instrument.

    I never feel good about deciding what the final tone is in a store such as GC since they have usually have 2 or 3 slap happy fools going at it and their inane background music is blaring. They alway want to hook you up into the bottom end amps too, for some reason. They really cater to the "instant gratification" crowd.

    Thanks all for your time and replies.
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I've never owned one Jerry, I've played a few of them, most recently one I found in a small store in Harrisburg, PA. The price was about the same as a MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe 5 (~$1100) which IMO wasn't exactly a bargain. The same dealer had an MTD K5 for $449 that I liked a lot more. The US Masters is a tough sell in my book because it's in the price range of quite a few very nice basses with better name recognition and resale value (if you're into that kind of thing).
     
  8. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Brad, thanks for your reply and candor on the US Masters. I did find that Bass Central is a dealer for the US Masters line and so I called and spoke to Grasshopper (Chris) about them. He was real enthusiastic about the EP line. He did recommend the Aguilar preamp option.

    I am looking for a 5 string fretless. I've got some time to check other 5 string fretlesses but this used one that I played at GC was much more impressive than the new Pedulla MVP that they have at about half the price. And I'm a BIG fan of my Pedulla Rapture 4. I may go back to that GC just to spend a bit more time with that one just see if it's all that I remember. Of course I'm not even going buy that used one since the price is so far off base it's not even funny. I'm also planning a day trip up to BassNW to see what they've got in that catagory that might tempt me. I do doubt that I'm going to be able to find anything close in quality for a price that a working man could afford.

    I know what you mean by lower resale value because of name recognition. Just look at my profile and you'll see that I stick pretty close to things that everybody knows.

    Thanks again for for your thoughts, Brad. I appreciate it.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings