1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Got Another One-Elrick Classic Singlecut Fretless 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I actually got this a couple weeks back, but with the holidays, two computer meltdowns, and with the bass at a week-and-a-half visit to the setup shop, I haven't quite had the time it a good review.

    Here are the specs:
    Elrick Classic Singlecut fretless five-string
    35" scale
    Maple burl top
    Alder body
    3-piece maple neck
    Pink ivorywood fingerboard and nut with maple lines
    Aero pickups with wood covers
    Bart 3-band preamp

    This is Thumper's old Elrick Singlecut fretless five; actually, it belonged to THREE other TB members at some point (jacochops who ordered it, gruuv, and Thumper).

    I'll start out by saying this is an AWESOME fretless. It needed a truss rod tweak and the fretboard needed a bit of a sanding, so I brought it to a local shop that works with a great repair guy, and only $70 later I've got a brand-new fingerboard. It feels wonderful to hold and play, which is probably my biggest concern when purchasing a bass, as it's my belief that getting a good sound on any halfway decent electric bass is pretty easily attained, be it though your hands or just changing out the electronics.

    The body is very light, well-balanced, and comfortable. This is actually Rob Elrick's first singlecut (it was made in '99), so there a few details that different than on my fretted e-Volution model (which is a '03). The bevels aren't quite as rounded on the back of the bass or lower horn. I may send it to Rob Elrick to have this done, but I'm in no hurry. The neck is actually slimmer at the nut than my fretted, and a tad bit thinner, so the neck is incredibly fast yet still comfortable. I like a neck with a little thickness, as I get handcramps when the profile is too thin.

    Acoustically, the bass is loud and beautiful-sounding. Plugged in, it's even better. Great woody tone with lots of mwah. Loundest harmonics I've ever heard on a bass that I've played (second loudest were on Wrong Robot's Fodera). Quite a bit different than my last fretless, a Hill Custom fretless six-string, which was another wonderful fretless. That bass had an incredibly deep and growly low-end (I imagine due to the heavy walnut body) and a bright, zinging top end, although that was adjustable with the preamp. On this bass, the mids are more dominant. The tones don't vary so widely, but it excels at the sounds it gets, if you understand what I mean. I think this has the sounds I'm more interested in at the moment.

    I don't know if I like the pickups or not. I'm not the biggest fan of exposed pole pieces, particularly on a bass where the action is low so the strings aren't far from the pieces and can easily be pressed into them making for unwanted noise. I usually anchor my thumb on the first three strings (floating), and I often press downwards which brings out the noise. I'll be posting a thread in Technique asking if anyone has advice on playing over the exposed poles without causing noise, but feel free to post any advice here as well. Also, the response of the pickups is super-sensitive. I've had Barts on my last three basses, which give a more even response, but the Aero's will pick up on any nuance, so the volume can jump way up if you dig in just a little. This could be a good thing though if I can get my plucking hand to be a little more sensitive. We'll see-I'll give them a few months, and if I don't like them after that I'll have Barts put in. The wooden pickup covers are beautiful, but I'd rather have the Bart black plastic if it sounds better to me in the end.

    Here are a couple of pics. Edit: Video soundclip now on second page of thread.
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
  4. Nice pair!

    This gentleman I once sold a bass to (and later, bought a bass from) had a very nice pair of Elrick Singlecut 5's as well, one fretted and one fretless. Beautiful instruments, and wonderfully light.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

  6. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Ahh....the Elrick!!
    I remember that bass EXTREMELY well. Pure buttah! If it was a 4, I would have kept it. I kept going between 4 and 5 during that period....I've been playing four strings for 26 years, so I decided that 4 was the way for me.
    Congrats on that bass....a pink ivory board on a fretless is, IMO, the ONLY way to go! The only thing I didn't like about the bass was the pickups, particularly the way the B string sounded above the 7th fret...warble city. If I owned it now, I'd have Carey Nordstrand drop in a set of either his Fat Stack pickups under wood covers, or some dual coils. Either one of those would make a HUGE difference in that bass, IMO.

    By the way, we can't see the pics.
  7. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Is he a TB member? If not you should invite him to be :) Fretless singlecuts are hard to come by. I should mention that this bass came at an extraordinary time. I was going to buy a fretted singlecut from a guy to have defretted, then spoke with Rob Elrick who told me it wouldn't be a good idea to defret one, so I had to call off the deal, then was offered a fretless singlecut to buy, but the seller decided to keep the bass. After making some calls, I came to the conclusion that I just wasn't going to be able to find a fretless singlecut, so I decided to purchase the fretted one I had originally went after and use it as a tenor bass. The some bills popped up and I didn't think I would be able to afford it, so I told him to find a new buyer as I didn't want him to lose out on a sale. The money problem thankfully fixed itself, and then I got an offer from Thumper to sell. It was quite the ordeal for a while.

    I also would like to thank TB's Gard who took the time several months back to discuss my inquiry of having a new Elrick built. My other fretless sold for far less than I had originally hoped (it's a buyer's market right now), so I couldn't have afforded a new one, but his time and effort are appreciated.
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I hadn't thought about Nordstrands-how do they compare to the Bart soapbars? Can you see the pics yet? They're just from the TB gallery and the other guys can see them.
  9. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    Gorgeous - love the burl top!
  10. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Sorry...must be on my end. However, if you're interested, I have the ORIGINAL pictures of that bass on paper backing that were taken for use on Aero's website. I can send 'em to you if you give me a PM.
    The Nord Duals (and fatstacks, but especially the duals) really add a clear, growly, and deep element to basses that they're in. Like the quote says, "Talking about sound is like dancing for architecture." It's hard to describe, but in comparison to Barts, it's like taking a blanket off of your sound. Worth every peeny, and then some. You won't regret it, and probablt retrofit your other basses with 'em. All of my basses either have them, or will have them.
  11. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    You got rid of your Hill fretless?
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Hey Dave! Yup, the Hill sold about 1 1/2-2 months ago.

    jacochops, if you don't want them anymore, I'd be happy to take them. Thanks!
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Nice, Bryan. Hope it serves you well. :cool:
  14. I'm not sure - I have seen him on other bass forums, his name is Benjamin Ellis and he does some dep work for a couple of Top 40 bands here in the UK, as well as his own bands.

    They are very nice and I do wish I could afford one - or two. A fretted, singlecut 8-string would be oh-so-nice.
  15. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    No thanks needed Brian, I was happy to help, and happier to see that you've found THE bass for you. That's a smoker of an instrument!!!

    If there's ever anything else I can help you with, just say the word, I'll be happy to chip in again...

    ...I see that you went with the pink ivorywood, good choice!

  16. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    Not to get too far off topic here, but you are consistently one of the nicest, most generous people around. You have a financial stake for swaying something your way due to your relationship with B.C., yet you always take the highest road and choose to serve others, regardless of financial gain....God Bless you, man! We all have to make a profit, but you never do it at the expense of others.
    I'll get those shots out to you!
    MP (aka JC)
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Congrats, Bryan... looks like a killer bass. I was very surprised when you told me you were getting that, then considered the x-factor.

    I've yet to play an Aero-equipped bass that I've liked. I'm sure it could happen but so far no dice. Not a slam against Aero, I just like what I like. OTOH all of my Elricks are Bart-equipped and they all sound amazing. I'd-love-to-catch-you-in-an-alley-and-beat-you-over-the-head-and-take-your-bass amazing according to just about everyone who's played any of them:D. Especially the fretlesses. Clear, open and full-bodied. Mwah for days. I guess everyone hears what they hear;). All I know is it would be damned hard to improve on what came in my basses... I've heard other configurations and they didn't even come close IMO.


    The tihird and fourth basses from the left are fretlesses. The single Bart soap sounds gorgeous (custom semi-hollowbody NJS), the double J setup SC does too AND it slaps like a beast.

    Again, congrats. Rob Elrick makes some of the best fretlesses (and basses in general) I've ever laid hands on. Obviously I'm a big fan:D
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Do they show up used over there? I've come across several baffling deals used here.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Bryan, congrats! She's a looker.:D

    Love that burl maple top. I would love to try pink ivory some time.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    elrick headstocks are teh sexy