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JJ Helms Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stinsok, Jun 1, 2004.


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  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Followed a link to this website: jjhelms.com. I was wondering if anyone here owns one? Looks better than Wish's basses.
     
  2. fat-J

    fat-J

    Apr 10, 2004
    Salem, Oregon
    Yeah, I've owned a few. They're really the only basses I play anymore, but then again I'm the guy that builds them :eyebrow: I don't know if I should comment on the wishbass comparison or not other than to say I can't even come close to selling a bass for $350, but I also spend a lot more than a day or two building them. I actually kinda dig Wish's ultra handmade aestetic and his totally unique style, but I'd really have to say it sounds like you're comparing apples to oranges here. NUFF SED.
     
  3. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid

    Jun 28, 2002
    Denver, CO, USA
    They look pretty damn nice to me, especially for the price point. I have no experience with them though. That SC fretless fiver on the home page is sexy as a mofo though. :)
     
  4. Audere

    Audere Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 7, 2005
    South Beach, OR
    Owner: Audere Audio
    I own a 6 string experimental bass he built for me but it was a different kind of job in that I supplied routing templates, custom bridge hardware, pickups, electronics etc.

    I have also inspected 4 to 5 other basses he has built - some during construction.

    He did a really good job of making a usable neck on a wide spaced 6 string. Looks like a landing strip but works very nicely.

    Reasonable person to work with, honest about the cost of additions, nice woods, fair pricing, and fast mainly waiting for me.

    His concept is to produce a very good bass at a good price but he is not into building a "perfect" instrument - i.e. he will not fill every last imperfection in the wood etc. So all depends on what you as the buyer want.

    I will answer questions with the info that I would have liked to know about before ordering a bass if anyone wants to PM me with specific questions.
     
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think he's right to be offended at the Wish comparison.

    Without having played one, I will say they appear to be well crafted from the look of the ones on his site. It may not be a MTD or Fbass, but it's also about 1/3rd the price.

    I do note a Thomsonesque and a Ritteresque bass in the bunch.

    I wouldn't think of giving Wish any $$$, but I'd be game to test drive one of these...
     
  6. Audere

    Audere Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 7, 2005
    South Beach, OR
    Owner: Audere Audio
    The 6 string pic
     
  7. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    +1

    These basses look great. How are they in any way comparable to a Wish?
     
  8. Holy crap!!!! Why haven't I heard of this guy?! Those basses are gorgeous. Comparing them to a WISH???!!!!!!

    :eek:
     
  9. form52

    form52

    Mar 17, 2005
    I gotta say.. That 6'er looks mighty tempting. Ok.. most of them do. Especially for the price. The one from the sound clips sound Really good.
     
  10. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Who the **** compared this to a wish bass is an idiot

    [​IMG]


    We must admit that he might get sued sooner or later, i can see some aries bass desings there, and that SC i posted has a desing i have already seen.
     
  11. Dincrest

    Dincrest

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I pretty much have to say "wow" too. I mean, I'm constantly floored every time I hear about a luthier on TalkBass who does quality, handcrafted basses at a price lower than that of many factory basses; oftentimes under $2K.

    A bunch that come to mind are Bud LeCompte (http://www.lecomptebass.com), this gentleman (http://www.jjhelms.com), James basses (http://www.jamesbasses.com),

    or in the slightly higher price bracket you get guys like Nordstrand (http://www.nordstrandguitars.com), Matt Pulcinella (http://www.mpguitars.com), Kinal (http://www.kinal.com), or Scott French (http://www.scottfrench.com).

    So methinks JJ Helms is sitting in very good company.

    You know, some people may be super ultra picky-pants about stuff like that, but I'm not so sure I am. After all, I'm not the most careful with my basses (my headstocks sometimes hit the wall or I get a few klutz dings here and there) and I'm more about the basses that are "players" rather than boutique display pieces that I won't be all distraught if they got dinged (especially at gigs, since I don't exactly play "safe" lite music on raised stages. I play mostly rock at bars.) Most certainly, I wouldn't want a badly constructed bass (i.e. with a twisted neck, rattley neck-joint, and all the other ailments people talk about in "bad" basses) but a good, solid workingman's instrument is always welcome. There are many steps between a Hyundai Accent (basic transportation) and a Maybach (super ultra luxury) and, well, many of us don't need or even want Maybachs and would be sitting pretty in a decent Camry or Accord.
     
  12. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    If i had to choose i would prefer myself a bugatti veyron, but i wont go anywhere with it so i might need a good 4wd to go those not so friendly places.
     
  13. fat-J

    fat-J

    Apr 10, 2004
    Salem, Oregon
    I'd be interested in seeing any pics of designs you think I might have "borrowed", truth is I've really only ever "copied" one design ever and the point was to show that wood always sounds better than plastic(Korean plastic no less) and you can get big tone out of a small package :D . Anyways, I have way too much respect for Aries to try and steal his designs, regardless of anything else that man has a super human wood carving gift and if you've ever seen his work in person you know exactly what I mean :eek:
     
  14. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Quoting myself here...Maybe I should clarify this very old post. The only comparison to Wish is the price point. The price of the bass I saw on ebay at the time of this post was in line with Wish's stuff, and looked a heck of a lot better.

    I just went back to his site. If I remember correctly, he didn't have near the number of examples of his work on there the last time I was there. He has some very nice stuff on there!! Compared to some of those basses, the ebay example I saw the finish seemed a little "rough." That being said, it was light years ahead of Wish's stuff and was in the same price range.
     
  15. fat-J

    fat-J

    Apr 10, 2004
    Salem, Oregon
    Hey Stinsok, sorry if I seemed a little harsh in response to your original post, it's just that Wish does a totally different thing than I do that's all. I'm curious now, what bass it was you saw on ebay. Some time back I used to sell raw bodies and necks on ebay, I wonder if any of those are floating around on ebay now. There's also a handfull of quicky jobs I did and sold cheap on ebay in the past which were good players but not really built to display if you get my drift, they're pretty easy to pick out though, none of them have any identifying marks such as a logo or signature. I did that in hopes that when they eventualy end up in circulation (like all basses do) that the lack of my mark might be a tip off to anyone that thinks they might be getting a real steal. Not that any of those basses have functionality issues, but they don't have as much work put into them as the work I put my mark on. I did see one guy on ebay trying to sell one of those unmarked basses for alot more than he payed for it and it kinda pissed me off, but alot of ebayers that saw it actually asked me about it before bidding so I guess it sorta worked out the way I hoped it would... At least in that case %^).
     
  16. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Is that you? Cool! That bass (and it was a long time ago) may have been one of the quickies. I really liked what I saw and probably would have bought that one if I had the cheese then. I guess I should have phrased the quote something like: "Why buy a Wish when you can get this one for about the same price?" BTW, the basses on your site look wonderful.
     
  17. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    cort-curbow:
    http://www.cort.com/basses/curbow/index.html
    yours:
    [​IMG]

    Benavente:
    [​IMG]

    Yours:[​IMG]

    Carvin:
    [​IMG]

    yours:
    [​IMG]

    And the singlecut has a desing that looks way too much like a Marchlewski.
     
  18. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    You can't remove any wood from a blank without someone saying you copied someone else.
     
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Any time you rely heavily upon your customer's design ideas, you're going to get a number of people who are looking to build an instrument based upon another. I don't think its that big a deal.
     
  20. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Neither do i, but big companies (like rickenbacker against ibanez) or even small ones (spector against warwick, if i can call them small) might care.
     



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