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How do Czech Spectors compare to US Spectors?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steamboat, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. My longterm bass plan was that my next purchase would be a 4 or 5 string Jazz made from Warmoth parts with a J+MM pu config.. but yesterday I had a divine bass experience which has thrown everything off.

    My two guitarists and I (I call them mine because it's easier that way.. it's not like I possess them or anything ;)) took a trip down to Madison to hit the music stores there. They were both looking for amps but I was mainly just along for the ride, I had nothing better to do and I'm always up to a roadtrip, especially to quality music stores.

    Our first stop was at a store called Edtronics, a fairly small store which is oddly located in the town of Oregon, on the outskirts of Madison. The store owner is probably the coolest music store worker I've ever met.. not only does he encourage you to play loud in the store.. he'll even come over and crank you up. I had only been there once, and while the place did have a nice Aguilar rig and some really nice guitar amps, the bass selection was rather limited.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see a USA bolton 4 string Spector with an all ash body hanging from the wall. I had never played any sort of Spector, and I had always figured that they were probably very well made and I knew I already liked the body shape from Warwick Streamers that I've played. However, I somehow got it into my head that the sound I was looking for was not to be had in a Spector.

    I was dead wrong.

    My first impression was that it was very well constructed, nice looking, and fit my body nicely. I plugged into this little Vox combo with the EQ flat, set the pickup pan to the middle, left the bass EQ knobs where they were.. and was knocked out by the sound. Out came the bass tone that I dreamt of having. Normally I notice nice playability before nice sound, but not with the Spector. After a bit of playing I also came to the conclusion that it was the easiest playing bass I'd ever touched also. Stuff that I cannot do on any other bass came easy on the Spector. I was also pleased with the range of tones present in the bass controls, although the first tone I got is definitely the tone I most desire.

    The bad thing about this story is that the bass's $1700-1800 price range would leave me close to broke. It would be a while before I have enough money to comfortably spend $1700 on a bass.

    The store also had some Korean Spectors which I did not like the feel of, and a nice looking Czech Spector, which was a neck through if I remember. In hindsight I really should have played the Czech Spector. I'm not sure why I didn't.. I don't think my brain was functioning properly after the US Spector experience.

    Used Czech Spectors seem to turn up fairly often and with prices that seem like a reasonable amount for me to spend. How do they compare with their USA made counterparts? The bass I played yesterday had an all ash body, EMG J pickups, Aguilar preamp, and I think a Pau Ferro fretboard.
  2. I feel that Czech Spectors aree comparable to US Spectors. Different pickups(EMG P-J on the 4 strings, EMG DC's on the 5 strings) but neckthru, nice bridge, hardware etc. Same preamp. Not sure in the differences in sound, I've never been able to plug a US Spector in, but the playability are almost the same.

    Czech Spectors retail new at £999($1400). Us Sopectors are around $3000 new. Secondhand Czechs are about £600($850), IME.

    I say, get a Spector. They rule.
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, they're kind of addictive, aren't they??? One thing's for sure: you either like 'em or you don't...there's no in between:D

    Anyway, from what I understand, Stuart actually A/B'd his own creation with the Czech version and was unable to decipher any differences!:eek:

    Czech out (sorry;)) his website at www.ssdbass.com for specific info regarding the basses.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Czech Spectors are truly one of the 3 best bargains on the market, IMHO.

    The craftsmanship is dang near as good as the USA models, and they use the same woods and electronics, except the maple bodies on the Czechs aren't as figured as the USA models.

    The one thing that you might want to do is go back and pick up the Czech Spector.

    Because the body is solid figured(hard) maple, it will be heavier than the ash bodied USA bolton is.

    I would love a Sadowsky, but if I decide not to spend that much on a bass, my next 5 string will probably be a Czech Spector.
  5. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i'm not sure that my post will help you, since i have never played an american made spector. what i have to say is about my SSd ns5cr, the czech spector five string. i paid it used the corrispective of 700 us $ and considering that here in italy everything is more Expensive than in usa, this is a good price. the bass sounds great, with a full sound and big bottom end. it has an incredible attack and for sure it's good not only for heavy metal as someone could think. go back to the shop and try it, you won't be disappointed.
  6. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    I love my Czech Spector 5 string!!! I've even compared it to the USA bolt-on 5 and prefered the tone of the Czech. Seemed to be deeper and fuller. Both sound great though. The playability is the same but the necks do have slightly different feels. Both have really good sounding B strings. The Czech was the heavier of the two basses The Czech Spectors also seem very consistantly good from bass to bass so I'd feel safe about buying used via the net (as long as there was an approval period). That's how I got mine.
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'd personally go with the USA bolt on model. I've played a few & $1700 for a USA Spector is KILLER!!!!

    Neck thru's are a different story. Having owned Czech & USA models @ the same time, I'd say but the Czeck & save some cash for a nice rig or another Czech Spector. The USA Spectors are IMO much better playing & feeling, but the sound is VERY close. They also look EXACTLY the SAME!!!! The addition of the crown inlays was a nice addition to the Czech model.

    <b>Just to clarify,</b> USA neck thru Spectors have a Spector pre-amp (made by Haz-Lab) & the Chech & USA bolt on models have EMG BTS pre-amps in them.

    P.S. The picture avitar is of my USA 5 (top) & Chech 5 (bottom) :p:)
  8. I never thought of that. Good idea Nino!


    Go for it man, that Czech will change your playing forever. There is one word of warning though, after joining the Spector buyers club you must ridicule Warwick at all costs.


    Spector = :eek:
    Warwick = :rolleyes:

  9. Yea I just realized that the bass I had played had the EMG preamp. Don't remember why I thought it had the Aguilar.

    Assuming that the Czech Spector at the store doesn't get sold I should get another opportunity to play it before the end of summer.. my guitarist fell in love with a Vox AC-30 at the store (it was a pretty sweet amp I must say).. odds are he'll be going back down to buy it. One of my friends will also have a vehicle next year at school (the Madison busses don't quite get out to the little town where the store is).

    I guess my battle plan now is to keep saving up money.. try out the Czech Spector as soon as possible.. and eventually buy either the US or the Czech bass at the store unless I find a really good deal elsewhere.

    From what you guys are saying and from other stuff I've read, it would appear that the B strings on Spectors are pretty good eh? I guess I wouldn't mind a fretted 5 if one turned up.
  10. Just realized that I have GAS in the worst way after that Spector experience. :)
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    All the 5 string Spector's I ever had, had great B strings. I had a Korean NS-2000 5Q, 2 Chech NS-5's & USA NS-5.

    P.S. Only the NS-2000 5Q had a 35" scale neck.

  12. Actually, The neck through US Spectors have the option of EMG or Haz Lab preamps.
  13. Wait...I thought the US Neck-through Spectors had Aguilar pre-amps, not Haz-Lab. I believe that they have the Aguilar OBP-1.
  14. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    after joining the Spector buyers club you must ridicule Warwick at all costs.


    Spector =
    Warwick =

    Hey now iam a spector fan and also a warwick fan! I just orderd my 5 string usa bolt on. But trust me i will alwys keep my warwick corvette pro-line that i bought back in 97! I will play mainly jazz on my spector and when i funk i will alwys bring out my warwick!
  15. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Hey i also forgot one of the main reasons i went with the usa instead of the europe spec was the warranty! The usa has a lifetime and the other i think is only 3 years!
  16. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I have 3 USA's & they all had Haz Lab's. I beleive that is what is standard on the USA's. He will put anything you want in it.

    I had a problem with a Czech after the warranty was up & it was fixed free of charge.
  17. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Very cool!
  18. A local dealer has 2 US Spectors in stock. One has the EMG electronics and 1 has the Haz Labs electronics. Most customers prefer the 18 volt Haz Labs preamp so they'll be more common.
  19. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Both neck thru's? Spector offers a 9V & 18V Haz-Lab pre-amp.
  20. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Hope I didn't just buy the Czech Spector you had your eyes on there in Madison. Believe it or not, Edtronics, the very same store you referenced, had two Spectors listed on eBay over the weekend, both 3-day auctions. One was for a natural Ash US bolt-on with an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp. The other was for a Czechtor (my shorthand for the NS4CRFM) in natural oil with a very quilty-looking figured maple body. I bid on and won the latter for a VERY GOOD price (don't want to mention it or you'll cry). The US Spector didn't make the reserve price so it may be relisted. Don't know. But I had a crisis recently and had to sell my Lull Vintage 4, then unexpectedly I came into some cash that more than ended the crisis, so I was starting to look around to see what was available. This bass was bee-utiful, and I love the big mother of pearl crown inlays. Couldn't pass it up, even though I wasn't quite ready to buy my next bass. Again, sorry if that's the one they had on the wall there.

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