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How's Anthony Jackson's Contrabass any different???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, May 24, 2002.


  1. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    Hey all,

    i know anthony jackson uses a Fodera Contrabass, but how's that different from any other bass? is it merely the 36" scale? what else is it? just bein' curious.

    oh and if you havent seen "Calle 54", oi, run out and rent it!
     
  2. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    That's just what Anthony Jackson has always called his 6 string basses. And, since he was instrumental in the design, he could call it 'Sally,' as far as I'm concerned. ;)

    I haven't seen Calle 54 yet, but I will be seeing Anthony Jackson on Monday at the Atlanta Jazz Fest. For free, even!

    I'm sure I'll get online, and order the movie as soon as I get home, too.
     
  3. Everyone order that Calle 54 DVD. I can't get enough of it!
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    "Contrabass" is Jackson's pet name for the instrument that everyone else refers to as a six-string.

    Jackson's gone through multiple design iterations, beginning with Carl Thompson and ending up with Fodera. Apart from the funny aesthetics, a number of his instruments have 28-32 frets.

    The most recent Jackson instrument that I'm aware of is semi-hollow and has no electronics other than a volume pot.
     
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California


    I once saw one of his contrabasses with nothing more than a single pickup wired directly to an output.

    The addition of the volume pot must be an upgrade.:D
     
  6. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
  7. According to Fodera's page the bass does have a single pickup wired directly to the output jack, is chambered and if you opt for the presentation model is setup and "broken in" by Anthony himself.

    The bass looks huge too although quite beautiful.

    I find the lack of electronics interesting. I've been thinking of trying this on the jazz bass I plan to build this year. I was thinking of a Fender '62 jazz pickup wired straight to the jack. Hum be damned.
     
  8. BassistJ

    BassistJ

    Mar 20, 2001
    Hemet, CA USA
    Also, I may be mistaken but I beleive that the Contrabasses AJ uses have no strap buttons because of his preference of playing sitting down. Production models may have them, though.
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It can result in a clearer tone.
     
  10. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Another difference is price. I have seen some priced as high as $18,000.00 bucks!!!!!!!
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    JP,

    thanks soooo much!!! i've never seen soo many beautiful foderas. even more than Vinny's site. :D this one in particular looks like my Elrick's distant cousin. its as if what i would be playing in another life. ;) :D

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    The closest I've come to playing a bass with no controls was a Stambaugh with just two volume pots (one for each pickup) and it was quite possibly the clearest most pure sound I've ever heard. That made me decide on no electronics for my next bass. Single pickup and output jack. It requires a relatively powerful outboard EQ on the amp to get more versatility and dial in a sound. The difference is that once that sound is dialed in, it's more 'pure' sounding than it otherwise would be.
     
  13. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I don't understand that.

    1. pickup -> preamp+EQ -> cable -> amp

    2. pickup -> cable -> preamp+EQ -> amp

    Could be the onboard system is just inferior to the amp pre section. Given the space constraints, maybe.

    I guess if I was going to go the minimalist route I'd still want something like Lane Poor's 2x1 system, just a simple mixer and driver for the cable, supposed to be very accurate.
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    One of my pet peeves is the apparent secret of not turning the volume control down on the bass. Most people don't seem to know that the sound can be much clearer with the volume maxed. Saw it again in a store today. Guy was complaining that the bass he was trying didn't have the bite he wanted when slapping. Turned up the volume on the bass and it magically reappeared.
     
  15. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    I'm guessing that it's just the fact of having less in the signal chain. No tone pot, no volume pots, just straight signal. Maybe the reduction of those few things from the front end results in a clearer tone in the back end.
     
  16. There is the option for more versatility. It's much easier to swap outboard preamps than onboard in many ways.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Adding wire to the signal chain increases capacitance and results in loss of high-end. Getting extraneous pots and electronics out of the way (and using a shorter cable) isn't a bad idea. The guy I've seen who advocates this religiously is (guitarist) Tuck Andress. He uses an L-5, but only one pickup works and all of the controls have been disconnected.
     
  18. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    as mentioned before, anthony's bass is chambered and also has a carved top. joel c. who is a member here has a couple of hybrid a.j. single cuts. one has a carved ribbon striped bubinga top with a solid body and another fretless with a non carved chestnut top and it might be chambered, but i cant remember. maybe he'll come around and post pics of em' because they are both amazing looking.
     
  19. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Here are some pictures of Joel's basses.
     
  20. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    but then without anything to goose your signal arent you limited to the cable you run from the bass to amp? if what most say is true, then its better to be 2 ft. from your amp.

    so there's the rub. a decision between great tone or being able to jump, amp jump, stage dive, and body surf all you want. ;):D