First Gig Impressions - Conklin Sidewinder 7

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boogiebass, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Played four sets at Hennessey's Tavern in Carlsbad, CA last night with the pictured bass. Running through an Epifani T-310 powered by Stewart World 1.6 amp (the perfect amp for this preamp!) and Aguilar DB659 preamp. FWIW, here's my impressions:


    This bass has a very balanced tone from top to bottom without the emphasis on the low end (e.g. Roscoe) or the high end (e.g. Elrick). The Demeter preamp is very good and quite sensitive to small adjustments. I found that it took a set or so to really dial it in. The Lane Poor pickups are very clean and quiet. I missed the massive low end punch of my Roscoe and Hanewinckel at times on the B string but it was mainly just a matter of getting used to the balance of this instrument. I also was surprised how upper register chords didn't leap out. Again, all the registers are about the same so it does take a bit of getting used to. Overall, this is an extremely natural, versatile sounding bass. STRENGTHS: Slap tone was outstanding, among the best I've heard. Sustain is also exceptional. WEAKNESSES: Not the last word in low end punch or top end sweetness. Overall, still an A+.


    The bass is quite heavy. Strapped high, it didn't create a problem for me as it's also very well-balanced. The neck is big but intelligently laid-out and the string spacing is comfortable. The side markers are easy to see, even in the semi-darkness. The neck profile is not flat but not too chunky, either. My big paws have no problem with it, others with tiny hands might struggle, although I doubt much. This bass has an overall solid feel to it from the heft to the large volute at the nut and the size of the neck and body. STRENGTHS: Nice spacing allows easy slapping. WEAKNESSES: Not the fastest 7 neck around, for sure. Overall, an A.



    The Hanewinckel has a much faster neck and significantly stronger low end. It's also lighter. In fact, in just about every significant area, the Hanewinckel suits me better. Both of these instruments have 34" scales, as well. The Conklin's best attribute, its slap tone, is almost equalled by the Hanewinckel.


    The Elrick is a feather, way lighter than the Conklin and has a much better top-end. But it doesn't have the sustain or tonal balance of the Conklin. A toss-up, really, but I slightly prefer the Elrick for my style and needs. Both of these basses have lower output than my other two sevens, btw.


    The Roscoe low end blows away the Conklin. But the Roscoe can't touch the Conklin in the mids and upper register and the Conklin blows away the Roscoe for slap. And the Conklin has better sustain. They're both rather heavy and and the necks are comparable. For my style, which includes a lot of slap these days, it's the Conklin. (Note to John Turner: When I first bought the Roscoe years ago, we debated Conklin vs. Roscoe. I've come over to your side, bro!)


    I think this Conklin is a great seven string bass and I'm keeping it. Its slap tone and neutral tonal balance make it a working musician's dream. Although the weight and style may not be for everyone, what it does well, it does VERY well. Thank you P. J. LaMariana, whoever you are and wherever you are!

  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    cool. you got quite the range of instruments there - all the basses covered, so to speak ;) . i hear ya about the neck - that's bill's standard string spacing. the necks on my customs are slightly tighter spaced at the nut, which impoves the speed and feel a lot, imo.

    if you get the chance, i would really dig a sound sample of these basses - the same passage, maybe, just played on each of the instruments. that would be really enlightening.
  3. great looking bass, boogie! I'm always glad to see another Conklin convert! hey from a bass brother in New Orleans!

    from the low end,

  4. VJP

    VJP Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Hey Boogie,

    Now that's one of the best instrument reviews I've read on TB. Great comparison with your other basses, and outstanding real gig review.

    We need more reviews like this. This should be the template. Great Job!!!!
  5. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I agree with the Conklin God, sound samples would be nice.
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I'll have to do that.
  7. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000