Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

fender heartfeild

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eric234, May 8, 2005.


  1. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    philadelphia
    i'm looking at buying a used bass and was wondering whether the fender heartfeilds are any good?
     
  2. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    They're great! I have a Heartfield pre and pickups from a 5, which I want to build a bass around one of these days. They were built in Japan, in the custom shop, I believe, but for some reason, they never took off. I liked their tone and the feel, but never had the money to buy one.
     
  3. eric234

    eric234 Guest

    Mar 11, 2005
    philadelphia
    cool because this guy is offering me his for 250 thanks alot
     
  4. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think thats a killer deal. I 've used mine as a backup for
    many years. The 5 string playes like butter. I can't think of
    many 5's on the used market that are as good a deal as the
    Heartfield's.
    Hey bassic. Nice wood for the bass, you wanna actually get to making it. I'd like to see a report on your new bass soon.
     
  5. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I liked them too. Great basses. I've always wanted one. Let me know if you want to dump those pickups and pre and I'll build my own around them.
     
  6. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    IIRC, they were intorduced by Fender around 1991 as a line to fight Ibanez in the "Battle of the Pointy Guitar", but by that time grunge was already knocking at the door and they never got the chance to take off. Even Ibanez had trouble stating afloat during the "we all must play Starts and Les Pauls no matter what genre of music" days.

    But they were excellently-made instruments, and I remember back in the day both my guitarists were able to get top-of-the-line Heartfields that listed for about a grand... for $199.
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I recenty read a bit on them (there's not much out there) cause a set of pups and pre out of a Prophecy III came up on ebay, which I ended up picking up. It's been a couple weeks and a few pups ago but the review's in Dimento's PJ experiment in the pups forum. From what I recall ok but nothing to scream about.

    Info I read about the bass itself while looking for pup info indicated a quality piece of craftsmanship but the bass apparently wasn't very heavily promoted so didn't catch on, at least in part. Nothing new about that, Gibson was going to discontinue the Les Paul in the 50's if Les himself hadn't intervened.

    Seems the III was a neckthrough and the I and II's bolt-on but don't remember difference between the I & II. Seems about $300 was roughly the going used price for one - not much awareness about them for the most part. Someone mentioned the Aerodyne is the later day version. Unless I'm confusing them with another outfit, I think Heartfield still makes basses out of England.
     
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I believe they were made at the Fuji -Gen (sp) factory in
    Japan. Fender didn't make a decent 5 string at the time so
    they imported the Heartfield's. One problem was, it didn't look
    like a jazz or p bass. As a result Fender didn't put much P.R.
    behind it, but got them into the hands of a number of players
    for exposure. They just never got behind it. I still think it may
    have been more successful with a more standard pickup and
    preamp. Nathan East had one. He used it in an Eric Clapton
    video where he had to play bass in the rain. He had to use
    something and the Heartfield was free.
     
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I never knew anything about them at all until this one recently went up on the 'bay

    [​IMG]

    I love this bass and would love to play one in person. I understand that they were very well built .....
     
  10. Blazer

    Blazer

    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    It astounds me that nobody mentions STEVE BAILEY, he used to be a Heartfield endorser and used his Heartfield six string bass a LOT.

    [​IMG]

    But after Fender Dropped the DR series, Bailey went to Aria.
     
  11. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    A friend of mine owns one like that (different color).
    It`s a great instrument, neck through, really well built.
    IIRC, it has two outputs jacks (one is a XLR).
    I`ve heard it in recordings and in live situations. The tone was
    hi-fi and very defined.
    My friend had it strung with Ken Smith (a lot of attack with "slappy" sound alla Geddy Lee with his black Wal) and then with some TI (mellower sound).
    For that price you`ll buy a great bargain.
     
  12. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    This Heartfield DR-6 was my bread and butter bass from 1993-1997. I still have mine and will never let go. They are built incredibly well and sound and feel amazing. What people also don't know about them is that they have graphite necks and as a result, a very distinct tone.

    I am always looking for a spare.
     
  13. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Do you know what the string spacing is at the bridge? I was told by a less than reputable source that it's ~ 18mm ....

    I know you said you'll never sell yours, but, if the mood should ever strike you to off-load, just give a shout ......
    (the one that was on the 'bay in the pic above was somewhere around $1200-$1300 .... I'm guessing I should have bought it :crying: )
     
  14. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I don't mean to be argumentative, but The only graphite was
    on the headstock. I could be wrong here, but I don't think so.
     
  15. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I think the neck is graphite with a rosewood fingerboard. It may be multilayered, i.e. graphite over wood, but graphite is a significant component to the neck and the bass certainly has the unmistakeable mellow tone of a graphite neck. I have the original manual at home so I will check and get back to the post. In the meantime, check out the review on Harmony-Central as they all reference the use of graphite in the necks.
     
  16. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    The necks are definitely rosewood over graphite. The B-string on the Heartfield is one of the best I have played.
    IIRC, the flip-out battery cover is the same cover used for the ashtrays on airplanes.
     
  17. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Not to be argumentative, The only graphite anyone at Fender
    ever told me about, was the piece on the headstock face.
    I had some dealings with Fender at the time. I seem to recall
    asking about this when I saw the graphite on the headstock.
    Also, the only gripe I've ever had with my Heartfield 5, has
    been the instability of the neck with weather changes. I don't
    think that would happen with a graphite reinforced neck.
     
  18. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    The owner's manual clearly states the neck is rosewood over graphite.
    I have owned a DR 5 for close to 10 years and have had zero neck stability issues, in fact, I have never adjusted the neck even once.
     
  19. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Well, you could blow me over with a feather! I just spoke to
    my Fender contact. The Hearfield's had a tri-lam neck. A thin
    strip of graphite from the top of the headstock the length of
    the neck, between the maple and rosewood. Cost effective,
    but not great. The graphite was so thin that it wasn't much
    structural help. If they had done it right, it would have
    resulted in a more expensive bass. Not the market the were
    going for. BUT!!! I was wrong. I was completely wrong. Sorry.
    I was so sure about it, especially with my instability issues.
    These are still ergonomically, wonderfull 5 string basses. I put
    EMG pickups, and pre in mine. Its great.
     
  20. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    And I have the pickups from that one... :D

    Just need time to get moved into my house and get my shop set up before I build one for those pickups and pre...actually have to finish my 6...