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Epiphone Zenith

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Itzayana, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I have been gassing for an Epiphone Zenith.
    Any recommendations or advice from owners?
    Not sure if I should buy one and if I do if I should get fretless or stay with fretted which I am used to.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't own one but I've played one it's really something. Beautiful tone and looks. If you're new to fretless maybe you should start with a cheapo to see if you like it. You don't wanna be stuck with an $800 fretless bass you don't like.
  3. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    They are a really unique bass; I played a fretted one and it was very nice; I've been considering buying one, but it's kind of a niche instrument...I think there are a lot of things you wouldn't be able to do with it. What kind of music do you play?
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't know if you've seen this, but here's Ed Friedland's review:
    gebass6 likes this.
  5. hhenry


    Feb 17, 2011
    NFLD, Canada
    No longer made, I do believe. So it may be tough to find a new one.
  6. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I am learning jazz so I thought that this would be a good choice????
  7. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    For jazz, it would probably work quite well. I'm just thinking that for hard-driving rock or funk or something, probably not such a good idea.
  8. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback.
    Sounds like a good bass for me.
    Okay, sure, why not? I am going to start the hunt.
    You only live once.
  9. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I love the look and loved how the one I tried sounded/played.

    Just not practical for me.

    Most original thing Gibson has done with a bass in 40 years IMO.
  11. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I played both. I like the fretless model better.
  12. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
  13. I have both the fretted and fretless. Wonderful, eccentric, and attractive instruments. They are very responsive to your string choices. I would suggest TI Jazz Flats for the fretted and D'Addario black nylons for the fretless. Personally, I think either the fretted or fretless would be exceptional for jazz.

    I've used the fretted one for a number of theatre shows now, and feel that it cops a pretty good quasi-upright vibe. I have not played the fretless out yet, but it sounds even more upright-esque to me.

    I will also mention that the the electronics, made by Ghost Systems, I believe, are sort of odd. The output levels of the magnetic pickup and the piezo are way out of whack. There is no way to adjust the balance internally on the circuit board. I haven't played mine in a while, but I believe it's the piezo that is not as loud as the magnetic. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, you can hear a big volume difference between the two pickups as I pan the blend, when plugged into the jack that combines the outputs.

    That should not be a deal-breaker as far as a player considering buying a Zenith, though. It's just something to be aware of ahead of time. I really like my two Zeniths.

    I generally have played mine plugged into the Nanomag mono jack. I've also tried the stereo (blend) jack, but with the blend rolled all the way to the piezo side.

    Since we have the attention of a few Zenith owners here, does anyone know what the two switches on the circuit board are for? I've inquired with both Gibson and with Ghost Systems, but cannot get an answer there. The basses do not come with an owner's manual, and the switches are not labeled. I do know they do not set the output of the pickups.

    Those who have posted in this thread, noting that the Zenith is discontinued, are correct. The last ones were received in this country in March this year.
  14. weedydog


    May 7, 2012
    I cant register to thelowend.net... :( why?
  15. The elctronics are by Shadow, Germany. I just got one, it sucks about the low gain of the pup volume controls really. not sure what to do about it, maybe not important, but otherwise the bass is not so versitile either.
  16. Wolftone, I would prefer my fretted Zenith to not be the only bass I owned, but if a bassist has a collection of instruments and picks them for specific purposes, which I do, the Zenith is a very worthwhile instrument.
  17. Beautiful bass
  18. Here are my two Zeniths at the most recent ET Talkbass GTG last summer.

    The natural top on the left is the fretted, and the vintage tinted one on the right is the fretless.


    Some of my other instruments are also in the picture- The blue peeking out is my Synapse 5, the violin bass is my Douglas fretless, and the Steinie is my Spirit XZ-25F fretless.