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Fried bass review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Figjam, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Some of you may remember Fried basses, they have been brought up a few times recently. Well Gary Fried asked me to do a review of one of his basses, and of course I said I would be happy to. He sent me one of his basses, free of charge to me, and after playing it for a few days Im ready to write a review for you guys.

    He sent me his 4 string mahogany jazz. The Specs can be found at his site, but since we are all lazy they are essentialy

    mahogany body with 'mahogany burst' finish
    birdseye maple neck
    cocobolo fingerboard
    dimarzio model j humcancelling pups
    aguilar obp-1 with passive tone

    My first impressions were that the top looks great, excellent choice and of course pictures don't do it justice. I pick up the bass and yea, its pretty heavy, but most jazz basses are. I am spoiled by playing a relatively light bass (Sterling) and a quite light bass (MTD kingston) but this bass weighs similiarly to most full bodied jazz basses, a little more though. Feels very solid.

    I played the bass unplugged first, as I always do, to get a feel for the resonance. The bass has a nice acoustic tone, very focused and solid. I plug it in, and am pleased to see that it maintains this tone. Very focused, probably from the mahogany. Piano like tone with that jazz element to it.

    I like to slap when I am practicing alone... a lot. So of course I gave this bass the test. Slap tone is pretty good. Not as much booty around the whole neck as my Sterling, but the pops are very nice sounding. Perhaps they are my favorite thing about the bass. Very brilliant and focused sounding. Very good jazz tone.

    Fingerstyle, this bass really shines in the upper registers, IME. It sustains for days up there. Not sure if this is due to the electronics or overall craftmanship. The notes ring true and deep all the way up the neck. The fretwork is very good and there are no problem areas. The neck is a bit chunkier than I am used to feeling on a jazz bass, but it doesnt take long to get used to. Plus, I am also used to my Sterling...

    The more I play this bass the more I like it. For the price that he is selling these at, it is definitely a great bass.

    If anyone has any questions they would like answered feel free to ask.

    His website is www.friedbasses.com , and pictures can be found on there, altough here is one just for reference

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Not a huge fan of the whole no pickguard on a fancy jazz with control plate look, kinda plain to me, but I like!
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Not a very informative website. I would like to find out more about them (options, etc), but there is nothing on there that I could find.
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It's a new site i believe, hopefully he will add some more stuff when he gets time :)
  5. Thats cool Fig, how'd you come about meeting Mr Fried?

    Thats a nice Jazz, not sure if I like the sound of a chunkier Jazz neck, since I'm so used to my Ibanez' neck. That bass would be really sexy with a black control plate and chrome knobs.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    He found me I guess. I posted in a thread about his basses a while back, and a month later he Pmed me. Im curious as to why he asked me as well, perhaps because i live in NY, not sure.
  7. what is he asking for them
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It used to be on his old site, I forget now, somewhere over $1000 and less than $1500 probably.
  9. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    As for my website I have lots of work to do so please check back often. I contacted Figjam because I saw that he was in NY and I figured that I'd try and save a bit on shipping and also he is a fellow New Yorker.

    As far as pricing goes, I try to keep prices as fair as possible but some options cost more than others and take a bit more time to construct.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ

    I need to ask, do you do all the work yourself? Bodies? Necks? Etc.? I really like the way they look, and would love to try one sometime soon. Where in Brooklyn are you? I'm from North Jersey, an hour outside of the city and would love to check one out sometime.
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I believe he does build everything himself, unless the customer requests a warmoth neck to cut costs, etc.
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Hey Fig,

    How about a more detailed review? I'd like to hear more about the build/fit/finish and also more of a review on the playability.

    More pics wouldn't hurt either.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I cant take pics right now, my brother has the good camera at college, maybe gary can post some later.

    Ill get back to ya with the more details and stuff sometime tomorow after i play it some more.
  14. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Very nice looking bass!!

    The only thing I don't like about it is the different knobs that's used... for me, I'd prefer identical knobs on all. Can you spell "minor nags"? :D

    EDIT: I see this is a "feature", though... I could get used to that. :) And if that's the only downside... ;)
  15. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    No mistake, black control plate and chrome knobs!

    One thing I immediately like about this bass as well is that while it's Jazz roots are evident, it has that boutique look that doesn't try to be a Fender. If you know what I mean... :cool:
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This tastes awful salty ... is it SPAM?
  17. No
  18. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    Yes I build all of the parts by hand. No Munji it is not spam. Tplyons, I live in Marine Park Brooklyn. Unfortunately I do not have formal shop because everything in NY costs way too much right now.

    Here is a link to some more pics: http://web.mac.com/garyfried/iWeb/Site/Mahogany.html
  19. I would ditch the control plate. It just looks wrong there, it's supposed to hug the curve of the bass, not just hang out wherever.

    The oddball knob is kinda wierd also. Otherwise looks great.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I agree about the knob. It is stacked, while the others are not, but it is a rubbery texture and doesnt match.

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