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Finally got my hands on a Brubaker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malthumb, Feb 2, 2004.


  1. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    The Southfield Michigan Guitar Center has a used Brubaker 5 string fretless. Maple body, walnut top. They're asking $2,795. Nice bass. I didn't spend much time with it, but I can say that the neck, fingerboard and action feel great.

    When I picked it up I thought it was a bit heavier than it looked, but not objectionable. There was a guy sitting at the next amp Wooten-izing a Thumb Bass. I spent a little bit of time talking to him and getting an impromptu tapping lesson (yes, let the record show....I never learned to tap). Shawn was damn good. Told him about TB. Hope he shows up.

    I didn't get a chance to really get into the tone. I found the controls to be a bit confusing (volume was at the bottom). I spent so much time talking to Shawn that I had to leave before I could figure everything out. I'll probably check it out again later this week. Of course I'll make sure to leave my checks and credit cards home. Just in case I get bit by the GAS bug.

    Peace,

    James
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    James, as you hold the bass looking down at the controls, from left to right:


    Panpot---- Mids (push/pull)----- Bass (bottom) Treble (top)---- Volume (pull passive)

    two or three position coil selector depending on pickup type (single, dual or quadcoil).

    You should be able to get a serious Jaco-ish tone by panning to the bridge, pull up the Mid control and turn it up slightly (the push/pull changes the center frequency). The preamp is pretty versatile and simple to use once you understand it.

    BTW is this the Walnut-topped fretless with the lined gloss finished fretboard?

    You can fnd the damndest things at GC. That's where I found my Surine 7, MTD 635 and Woodchuck found my Fodera.

    Have fun.
     
  3. jivetkr

    jivetkr

    May 15, 2002
    NJ
    Very true. You never know what someone will have traded in.
     
  4. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Brad,

    Thanks for the layout help. I'll probably get to spend some quality time with it this weekend.

    This one does have the lined gloss finished fretboard. You have some personal experience with it?
     
  5. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    There was a mint Brubaker at the local GC. It's the only bass I've ever had to put down because I was afraid I'd hock my children to buy it. The neck was wicked comfortable, setup with super low action. Usually, that's a problem for me, since I play like I'm trying to rip the strings off the bass. But instead of the usual clanking I elicit from just about any bass, this thing was quiet, smooth, fast, rich, expressive and... and... and... (bites thumb, runs away)
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I remember seeing it briefly at the shop before it shipped out. Very good looking bass that sounded great too.

    Of course I'm not biased.

    :D
     
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's a great description of what mine do. I love having low action without the detrimental stuff. Kevin makes it look easy.
     
  8. Small world; I just played that very bass yesterday. Definitely a sweet instrument...I've got no fretless skills AT ALL and it still sounded gorgeous despite my bumbling. We had the same thoughts about the controls and weight as well (thought it was a hollowbody or semihollow, but it was too heavy...maybe that hole was just a very small chamber?)

    One thing that really surprised me about it was the location; dunno if this was the case when you played it, but when I was there the Brubaker was sitting on a stand perched precariously atop a rack case that was barely big enough to hold the stand. One little bump and that beautiful $2800 bass would tumble about three feet to the ground! :eek:

    Did you play that pre-Gibson Tobias 5er too? I dunno if it was in public view; I wouldn't have even noticed it but Scott grabbed it from behind the desk and said "try this." That was another really nice one, though equally beyond my means. I should really stop trying expensive basses, makes it so much harder to be satisfied with what I can afford...
     
  9. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Small world indeed! I did notice the quirky placement of this bass. Southfield GC goes out of their way to hang the $1,500 Warwicks out of the way of "kids", then they balance a $2,800 Brubaker on a stand on top of an amp. :meh:

    The Tobias was there the day I was there. It was behind the desk and supposedly had been sold. But judging by your post, you were there 3 days after me and it was still there. Interesting.

    Anyway, I went back on Saturday, even though I barely escaped the Quick Reflexes / Hot Iron incident. I took my Hanewinckel fretless to try a little A/B comparison. Bottom line, they are very comparable basses. They both have Bartolini circuits and pickups, so I shouldn't be too surprised. The Brubaker neck felt slightly better and faster. The Brubaker was also more ballsy. Had more output at the max settings than the Hanewinckel. Tone was pretty much a wash. It is easier to change tones on the Brubaker, but I could still dial and switch tones on the Hanewinckel. I may be able to even get more tones on the Hanewinckel, but I can get all I need from the Brubaker. The Brubaker's nice, but I'm not giving up my Hannie for it.

    One thing I found interesting....everybody who picked up the Brubaker tried to slap on it. I know you can slap on a fretless if you really want to, but it seems to me to be a less than desireable way to really bring out the tone.

    Peace,

    James
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Like my Zon Legacy standard and Elrick singlecut, the gloss boarded Brubakers are very easy to slap on. I actually get very good results on all three, reminiscent of old school, Louis Johnson type tone. It's probably easier than slapping on a fretted, as you can get the action very low. Here's mine :D :
     
  11. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    mmmm....Brubaker.

    Hey Brad, how are ya?
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Pretty good, Jonesy. Long time no see:D

    How's it going?
     
  13. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    You guys are lucky your GC has some cool stuff.
    My GC seems to always have the same Fenders, Stingrays and Warwicks hanging there, with the occasional Conklin GT7 thrown in for good measure. Id love to walk in and see a Brubaker or Elrick there for my testing pleasure.
     
  14. Danksalot

    Danksalot

    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    You have a Guitar Center withing 3 hours driving time?

    That's better than what I've got.
     
  15. The impression I got was that it was "spoken for" but not yet actually purchased. When Scott took it away from me to put it in back (a sad moment), I think he said somebody had mentioned "wanting" to put a deposit on it...my memory might have distorted it however. It's anybody's guess what would have transpired had I pulled out a roll of hundreds and said "I want it now!", but that was never a possibility. Getting off-topic...

    Heh...count me as your exception. That bass doesn't deserve me slapping on it, so I didn't...I'm not worthy :D

    Three GCs within an hour's drive actually (in low traffic), but who's counting? :cool: ... Low Down Sound is the holy grail though; puts any GC to shame. Weather excepted, there really are some pretty cool things about southeast Michigan... Danks, I hope you've got at least a decent local shop or two?
     
  16. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Can't forget Huber & Breese :bassist: :bassist: . It's not too far from the East Side Guitar Center. And if you've got time to kill and can drive to Lansing (is any other state's capital so far removed from other major urban centers? New Yorkers don't have to answer, I know about Albany) check out Elderly Music. :bassist: :hyper:

    Peace,

    James
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I have four GCs withing an hour's drive.

    So far they've done pretty good by me, as far as used gear goes.