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Fretless: James Basses V-vs- Warrior Isabella V- mp3

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KayCee, May 4, 2006.

  1. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Today I'm going to do a quick shootout of my other two basses, both five-string fretlesses. Both are neck-thru models.

    On the left, we have the James Basses fretless, which features the following:

    Zebra/Wenge/Zebra neck
    Ebony fingerboard
    Solid Zebra body wings
    Aero dual-coil pickup, passive
    passive treble rolloff

    On the right, we have the Warrior Isabella fretless, with:

    Rosewood fingerboard
    Mahogany body wings with maple facings
    Bartolini J-style pickups
    Bartolini preamp

    Obviously, this isn't a very scientific comparison. We have several variables going in this shootout, but that's the way these basses line up. Still, I hope it will be useful for someone interested in either bass.

    Four, four bar riffs: low register, middle register, high register, and then a scale from the open low B up to the highest E on the fingerboard.

    The treble is rolled off about 40% on the James bass. On the Warrior, we're rolled towards the bridge pickup about 40%, with about a 3db boost at 800hz.

    Even with all of these variables, I hope that the personality of each instrument comes across.
  2. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    I prefer the left one. Clear, burpy tone.
  3. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    James Basses V and Warrior Isabella V
  4. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    Would be great if you would play the samples on each bass...low, middle, high, scale then switch basses....

    but from what I can tell...for my tastes, the Warrior, or second bass, is the more refined sound...has a great smoothness that is still bright and it can sing.

    Thanks for the comparison.
  5. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    It actually would have been easier to record it that way, but I thought the more direct comparisons would be helpful. Maybe not.

    As long as I'm posting, a couple of other differences. The James (L) has DR Sunbeams, the Warrior (R) has D'Addario nickel round med lights.

    The James has a tung oil finish, while the Warrior has a poly clear coat finish.

    Then an obvious difference is that the James is a double cut, while the Warrior is a single cut.

    Very different instruments.
  6. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    But each very cool on their own right. :cool:
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    GREAT playing... again...

    I prefer the James. :)
  8. rafunk


    Sep 18, 2005
    Valencia, Spain
    I prefer the James, it have a very nice tone. And you have a nice playing :)
  9. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    I am curious how the Warrior would sound with DR Highbeams or another stainless round wound?
  10. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I´ve had a hard time deciding, since both basses sound great. Your playing and intonation is really good.

    I prefer the Second bass (the Warrior I believe), it´s a lil´bit warmer and organic.
  11. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    I'm afraid that would really eat up an unfinished rosewood board.

    I really wish that I could bypass the Bartolini preamp, because I think that it adds a strong color of it's own (along with the Bart pickups). I've toyed with the idea of fitting the bass with a new preamp, maybe the new Glockenklang or something equally transparent. The Warrior is a wonderful bass, and it plays like a dream.

    The James bass benefits, I believe, from it's lack of preamp. The Aero pickup is really great, and the passive treble rolloff gets the job done.

    Hmmm...maybe a pair of Aero or Nordstrand J pickups and the Glockenklang pre in the Warrior.

    I appreciate the input.

  12. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    +1 on the Nordstrand pickups...they sound WONDERFUL, and IMO, better than the Aeros. YMMV, but I, and a growing minion of bassists, feel that the Nordstrand pickups are among the best you can buy at any price.
  13. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine

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