SOLD Heartfield DR-5, 1989

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by rojo412, Apr 28, 2014.


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  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Price:
    $450
    Strings:
    5
    Location:
    Ohio
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    This is a bass that I'd been hoping to check out for a long time. People have long sung the praises of the Heartfield basses and I've always been intrigued. Well, I spotted this one and bought it.
    When it arrived, it had been played hard and never really shown the proper love a bass like this needs. In other words, it was a fixer-upper.
    Frets needed leveling, preamp switch was broken, it was filthy, strings dead, etc.

    Long story short, I did everything it needed and the bass turned out great!
    Click here for the good, bad, and ugly pics of the whole process...

    EDIT: I should mention a couple things, due to the fact that the pics don't show them:
    1) There is what looks like "checking" in various spots on the bass, mainly the wear areas. Along the belly curve, on back, edges, etc. It's impossible to photograph, but it's there. You can't see it unless you hit the right light and you're looking for it, but it's there. Remember, it's 25 years old!
    2) I plugged the XLR jack into a PA system and didn't get any signal. It may need a new XLR, it may be the board, I don't know. But I always use the 1/4" jack anyway.

    Here's the long story...

    People refer to these as "The Poor Man's Wal", due to its use of the filter-based element of its preamp. I know most people look at these and say "That looks nothing like a Wal". And they're right, it doesn't. In all honesty, I've never played a Wal. But I have played basses with filter-based preamps, so I see what they're thinking.
    No, this bass doesn't remind me of a Wal. This bass reminds me of a MODULUS more than anything else. I've had a number of Modulii over the years and this is more of a Poor Man's Modulus than a Wal, really:
    -Super-thin and fast neck
    -Graphite reinforcement
    -EMG-made pickups
    -Late 80s technology and engineering

    What this bass feels like and sounds like to me is a Modulus Q5, but with 19mm spacing and 34" scale. Your experience may be different... I'm not saying this is exactly that bass! But it reminds me of it a lot, that's what I'm saying. Clear output, plenty of bass, able to be dialed to your liking with the greatest of ease.

    The preamp was replaced. Like I said, the seller didn't disclose a broken switch (which turns the "filter" on and off), but a wonderfully kind TB'er sent me another preamp to swap into it (Bruce! You rock, man!). The preamp he sent had the switch and functioned great, with one exception: The pan pot isn't perfect. When he had the pre in a bass, it took a hit and broke part of the pot shaft off. I've fixed that and a knob stays on fine, I glued another pot shaft half onto it. But the detent for "center position" is very subtle now.
    It pans fine! You can get it to center. But it doesn't have a super-positive click.
    I'll include the original board, if you want to try desoldering the pan pot and transplanting it.

    What else can I say... it's light (8lbs, 13oz), it sounds fantastic, it's made incredibly well. This one has been around for 25 years and though it has finish flaws, it's pretty damn clean. The frets are level and the action is great. The strings are a brand new set of Status HotWires. Every piece of it was taken off, cleaned up, and put back on, lovingly, by yours truly.
    I'd honestly be happy to keep it, but I have a Status that covers what this does tonally. So it's probably going to sit around if I keep it. And me... well, I'm a GAS slut. I keep seeing things that I wanna buy and the wife insists I need to make room to do that. So, last in, first out rule goes into effect.

    SOLD!!!!!!
    $450 shipped east of the Mississippi w case

    Paypal or MO.
    International will be possible, but PM for a quote.
    I'll consider trades, but have no ideas at the moment. Worst I'd say is no. PM me (or convo me?!?) if you're interested.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  2. bassman28

    bassman28 Bass Pluckers Owner Posting in Talkbass Bazaar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2010
    North Carolina
    Basspluckers.com
    Pmd
     
  3. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    It's 8lbs, 13oz, for those keeping score.
     
  4. bassguyky48

    bassguyky48 Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Central KY./Danville
    What's the width at the nut?
     
  5. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    1-7/8"
     
  6. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward! Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    bump for a funky axe
     
  7. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    Huge endorsing bump. I own several Heartfields. These are hands down some of the coolest basses ever made.

    Is that a bold statement? Yes, very. But I am making it.

    These things are so well made and the electronics so great that I cannot even imagine what these would cost to make today.

    I call these the poor man's Wal because if you chose to engage the filter pre amp on this thing, you will get really close to that sound.

    These are simply amazing and no doubt even more so since rojo412 has given this his TLC.

    Only reason I am not picking this one up is I have the same color.

    Buy this bass!
     
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Thanks for the gushing review Roger! You're one of the reasons I had to try one of these (after I lost out on your other one, too!).
    This is a sweet bass and if I didn't already have another bass that covers the tonal range as this, I'd be more than happy to keep it. But I just hate to let a killer player sit on a stand or in a case.
    Basses should be played!!!
     
  9. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    NYC
    I am guessing th other bass that sounds like this is your status?

    And why did you have to buy this in the finish I already have !?!?!?!
     
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Yup, Status.

    And I bought it in that color to save you from yourself, Rog!
    :wideyed:
    :smug:
     
    handofseven likes this.
  11. Nabor9000

    Nabor9000

    Feb 19, 2011
    PA
    GAS'ing on this one! I have a Fender branded DR-5 that I've had since the early 90's and love it. I've been looking for another for years! Looks like you've done a great job bringing this one back.
     
  12. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    If you want to hear one listen to La Grande Vida by The Texas Tornados (Reprise Records): http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_1920532
    I played the track & Bill Halverson (Clapton's producer) recorded it by splitting the signal with a direct input & a Fender Studio Bass amp. He said Willie Weeks also was using one at the time.
     
  13. DuShauh

    DuShauh

    Aug 29, 2011
    West Michigan
    PM with a long shot offer headed your way :hyper:
     
  14. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Still here. That recording sounded fantastic, by the way, Moe!

    Oh, and I took this to practice tonight, spent the whole time wondering why I'm selling this. This thing plays and sounds incredible.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  15. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'm GAS'n hard for something. Shoot me an offer if you're interested, I may fall for it...
    This thing is a really sweet bass. Call it the poor man's Wal, the budget Modulus, or the thinking man's Ibanez. Call it whatever you want, its impressive for the price!

    I just dropped the price, changed the case situation.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  16. Nabor9000

    Nabor9000

    Feb 19, 2011
    PA
    PM'ed
     
  17. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Back atcha
     
  18. RS

    RS

    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Nice deal, GLWTS.
     
  19. bassman28

    bassman28 Bass Pluckers Owner Posting in Talkbass Bazaar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 31, 2010
    North Carolina
    Basspluckers.com
    Pmd
     
  20. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    And this filly is off the market... SOLD!!!
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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