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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eric234, May 8, 2005.
i'm looking at buying a used bass and was wondering whether the fender heartfeilds are any good?
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.
cool because this guy is offering me his for 250 thanks alot
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I never knew anything about them at all until this one recently went up on the 'bay
I love this bass and would love to play one in person. I understand that they were very well built .....
It astounds me that nobody mentions STEVE BAILEY, he used to be a Heartfield endorser and used his Heartfield six string bass a LOT.
But after Fender Dropped the DR series, Bailey went to Aria.
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And I have the pickups from that one...
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...