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Godin BG4? MTD Grendel?

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by BrettAM, Jun 3, 2002.


  1. I'm in need of advice from both Mr. Valentino and Mr. Lawson. I NEED a new electric bass, since i've gotten by Godin A4 about two years ago I've played it almost exclusively, in the pastsix months or so it's become my habit to play almost exclusively Jazz, Metallica (of the Cliff days), and very harmonic, mellow solo bass. The latter being the most prominent.
    I've done all of this on my Godin, after nearly eight months of dissuse, I've been playing every once and a while on my Danelectro Hodad. It is not working, I feel as if my bass simply isn'tcapable of doing what I can. I've elected to find a new electric bass, I thought perhaps the Godin BG4 or MTD Grendel, maybe the Lakland Skyline Deluxe? I thought perhaps you could offer me your thoughts on whatmight be a good choice. I hope to continue my explorations in the world of solo bass so a bassthat is excellent for that style is of paramount importance. So could you help me out a bit?:confused:
     
  2. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Well...lemme invade some of Steve's bandwidth (again)....and I guess you might want to alert the word-count police!

    Firstly....from the tone of your post it seems you have a "searching" sort of disposition. This is, or can be, a good thing (again the allusion to "he who is not busy being born is busy dying"), yet can, as you now undoubtedly realize, be quite a frustration.
    As to gear....it is far to easy for any of us to blame our gear for not getting the job done....for being "inappropriate". What is that old maxim about a lousy carpenter blaming his tools?

    Certainly we all want gear, and/or basses, which have a great deal of utility, but really, IMHO I don't think one bass can "do it all". Jaco said that tone is in the hands, and that is true. But is is also in the heart and the mind of the player. Your creativity, and soul, are what really allow the music to come forth...not the gear.

    Your signal is a chain and any part of that chain is only as strong as the weakest link (i.e. what fx and amp are you using?) Not, that fx can work miracles with your tone, au contraire, for a great example of limited signal chain listen to some of Steve's new CD "Conversations" (Bass and DL4...that's it! Extraordinarily creative and a great tone!)

    Of course, as you know, I think the Godin A4, and the A5, are suberb instruments, but this founded in the fact that this bass is my voice. When I got my first Godin A/E, almost immediately I was struck by the epiphany of hearing the sound which was in my head. I have always heard my music as a mixture of both acoustic and electronic sounds, with the given anomallies inherent to acoustic instruments. This sound never showed itself to me until I stumbled onto the Godin (purely by chance, BTW). Certainly the A/E bass lends itself to more "mellow" tones and playing, but of late I have been working on ways of being more aggressive and experimental with it (ah...the influence of Mr. LaFosse!). And tho the Godin will always retain it's "acoustic": nature, by accepting that I am able to work with the tones. I don't try to get a faux-Jazz Bass, or ersatz MusicMan tone from it, rather I work from the tone it has and then am able to wrangle some unique and interesting from it.

    Any instrument has a "character" of its own, determined by the constuction, materials, electronics, manufacturer's "design", and it 's history of use/misuse. This character, though it can be disguised, cannot be oblitereated nor ignored.
    Your HoDad has such a character...perhaps rather than trying to make it do something else, for which it may or may not be capable, to allowing it to naturally steer you. This alieviates some of the frustration.

    As to suggestions: This is really a personal thing. You should try out several different basses and find what feels comfortable to you. A lot of folks love Warwicks...al ot of folks hate them. This is largely due to the playing comfort the experience. Does it mean Warwicks are great...or they suck? No...neither. Find what is comfortable for YOUR playing, and learn to use (or abuse!) that tool. Truth is no matter what bass you play you will alwys sound like you, and nobody but you, so just find what you can work with.

    I have played a Grendel and thought it was very nice ( I have always liked Mike Tobias' designs), I hear great stuff about Skyline's, but personally have never been comfortable with the Lakland neck (that's just me, tho)....and my pal Mike Dimin raves about the MTD Kingston and Heir ( I have played a Kingston...and it sure was comfy, but did not care for the pickup).
    Oh...my solidbody IS a Godin BG4, but one of the older models with EMGs. The newer ones have Bassline PUs...and really have excellent sound.

    Does that help any?
    Max
     
  3. Of course it helps. There are really no dealers near me except guitar center, there used to be a mars music but they closed down,guitar center carries a plethora of warwicks, ibanez, and fenders, but almost nothing else (a pedulla every once and a while). I'm not very partial to any of these instruments and driving into a different state really isn'tan option. So the advice on the basses was just what i needed, I knew that you played a BG4 so I'm glad you responded to that. Do you have any idea how much they go for? I've found the Grendel's price to be acceptable (the lakland was a bit high i decided), but i haven't heard anything about the godins.

    One more thing, I've found that the tone of my Hodad really isn't the problem(dano's nearly always have great tone IMO), but the physical limitations of it. It is extremely uncomfortable(almost painful, when i use certain techniques) to play... It really isn't something i can describe in text so I think i'll just leave it at that. Anyway, thanks for your feedback, if i get a chance imight look into one of the kingstons, though i never really found them appealing (but beauty is only skin deep of course).
     
  4. Thomathan

    Thomathan

    Apr 17, 2004
    I own a couple of Godin Basses and a Godinguitar and the Godin BG4 is really GREAT. Combined with my Roland DB700 I really need no other gear to perform in different styles.
    Weak point : you need to adjust the trussrod rather often.
    Bass along!
     
  5. Wow! This thread is 3 years old!

    The latest version of the BG (which is soon to be discontinued) features Godin electronics, which are now available in the Freeway basses.