JP's feather tickles my fancy, or 'the Plume has landed!'

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xush, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    This is my preliminary ‘just received it and haven’t had a whole lot of time with it yet’ review.
    Audio samples will hopefully come later.

    JP Plume 5 fretless
    pics on xush site

    JP specs on site
    Body: Black limba
    Neck: J-Neck wenge/wenge
    Fingerboard: unlined macassar ebony
    Pickups: JP by Armstrong
    Controls: E-Pro BTB-01, ebony knobs
    Bridge: ABM
    Tuners: Hipshot ultralite

    Neck: interesting design! Very flat and smooth, nice and thin. I loves me some wenge, that’s for sure! Headstock doesn’t tilt back because of this construction style, but it doesn’t need to.

    Body: Well executed. Very elegant shape. Extremely resonant. Good wood! Tony, the bassist I’m working with (the only other person to play it yet) said he found it much more lively and resonant than his Pedullas. It has a powerful acoustic voice, and this really comes thru in passive mode.

    FB: Nice colorful striations in the ebony, looks good. Side dots at every fret position, takes a little getting used to, but no big deal…

    Passive: Smooth, fat tone. Bridge p’up barks and growls, neck is mellow and woody- very round, downright huge! More on the tone after I’ve gotten to know her better…

    Active circuit: Bass control is insane! Way more lows than you could ever need. I’ve pretty much been running it flat, which is turned all the way down (it’s boost only.) It would definitely make up for any weaknesses in an amp. I hear no need for a mid control on this particular bass, so it’s not missed here…I guess the wenge/ebony/limba combo handles the mids just fine.

    B string: This one ranks up there with my FBB fretless. Surpasses the F BNF5 and Pentabuzz by a small margin.
    This is one of the only B strings I’ve heard that sounds like it fits right in; it doesn’t lack any of the nuances of the other strings. This is critical on a five, and is why I’ve been gravitating back to the 4 lately; I just don’t find many B strings I like. This and my FBB rate at the top of what I’ve found so far.

    Balance is perfect, no neck dive. Stretch to first position: one of the best yet, as far as ergonomics. JP really thought this one out. There is no ‘stretch’ involved, first position is in a very comfortable zone. The upper horn reaching to the 12th fret is no doubt responsible for that.
    Weight: right at 9 lbs. No problems there.

    We’ll see…I find it to be, but we’ll let the audio samples speak for themselves.

    What I love about it:
    Neck profile, now I won’t miss my Pentabuzz at all! This profile is as close as they come, very thin/flat. Quite nice! Tony said it has a Warwick vibe, wood-wise. I guess this would be a Warwick on Adkins then, considering the light weight and svelte neck profile.

    Aesthetics: Simple/elegant. FB/knobs/p’up covers follow the ebony theme. Nice wenge control cover on back. Pink ivory nut catches attention, Tony says it gives the bass a nice artistic flair…
    I’m not known for pursuing the straightforward/basic design ethic (I likes the crazy stuff!!)… But this bass helps me see its appeal. It’s quite unpretentious, in my opinion. In a way I guess it’s not that elaborate or ornate, but it’s definitely sophisticated. It presents the basics, the modest necessities, in a very natural way.

    What I’d spec differently if I customized one:
    I’d probably want a truss rod cover
    Differentiate marker at 7th fret position.
    Side input jack?
    Exotic top? There I go again…

    Very superficial changes at best. It does what you need it to do perfectly; JP’s recipe is definitely spot-on!

    Customer Service:
    Very pleasant to deal with JP. I’d been chatting with him from TB for about a year now, before this deal ever came up. I’m pretty committed to FBB’s, but not averse to trying something different. And this is definitely different. JP and Matt have very divergent styles, but the quality level is very high. I’d definitely recommend checking out a JP!
    He was willing to work with me on the options I had, and conceded to me on the hardware color, which I appreciate. I’m very happy with it, but I know he’d have preferred chrome. I don’t think he’d compromise on a design feature that he felt was fundamental, but he does leave room for preferences.
    He also personalized a little JPG for me explaining the controls, no biggie he claims, but it was a nice extra touch I thought. You get a feeling of personal involvement, and he’s just a great guy to work with. Went the extra mile for sure!

    Overall impression of bass:
    Sleek. Natural. Well-named; ‘feather.’ Huge tone! Solid. Comfortable.
    I am impressed, and quite satisfied. More later, as I get to know her better.
  2. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    AWESOME!!! Thanks... when do I get to play it?
  3. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    jon, friday at the show?
    you show me yours, I'll show ya mine!
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Looks great, Mark. Some people actually get this whole bass building thing.

    Nice work, JP.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

    Congrats Mark!! Cant wait to give it a whirl at BS IV!!

    Very nice!

    Temptation for a JP 7 hollowbody is still kickin...
  6. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA




    checks wallet.


  7. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA

    man, that logo disc is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Looks FINE Mark! Can't wait to get my paws on it!
  9. LizzyD

    LizzyD Chocoholic

    Oct 15, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Sadowsky Artist
    Oh wow! Mark, that is fantastic. I really dig the knobs too! Very classy. Congrats!
  10. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX

    I that's one fine lookin bass you got there, Mark! Only thing I'd do differently myself is add frets. :D

    I think the black limba is a very nice looking wood, and works well with the ebony/wenge motif JP has happining.

    What's the neck like? Thin, a bit chunky, FBB chunky? What bass would you compare it too, feel wise?

    I wish I could make it up to Bass Summit. I might yet, actually...but not likely. :(
  11. This fretless is simply GORGEOUS!
    We're waiting for soundclips...:hyper:
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    mark, looks great. hope it didn't get wet !
  13. JP does it again:bassist:

    His body shapes are soo awsome looking

    He is a great luthier,IMO...

    I dig the pink nut too:)

  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Mark and JP--What a sweet bass! That one looks like a winner! (adding yet another builder to the list of basses I'd like to own...)

  15. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Well first of all, thanks a lot for writting this review Mark!

    I'm really happy you love the bass and I'm sure you'll have more to tell after a couple of days playing it ;)

    A side note about what you'd have change on the bass:

    truss rod cover>>> the truss rod sports a spoke nut (no allen wrench needed) which stands up fom the body face. It would be hard and probably not looking good to hide it behind a cover.

    7th fret marker>>> we could have done something diferent here...

    Side input jack>>> my bodies are a little thinner than most basses and I use a greater radius value for rounding edges. I always had bad luck with "tube" jacks that need to be replaced to often and cat's eye or electrosocket plates do not fit the bodies ! BTW, I'm sending you a black nut and washer combo for the bass cause I just received them :D

    Exotic top>>> for the next one ? ;)

    Peace, JP
  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Thanks Brad!

  17. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    you mean a Plume singlecut hollowbody 7???

    Yeah baby yeah!!!! that wou'd be cool :D

    Peace, JP
  18. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Haha ;)

  19. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Thanks Mike...

    Glad to be part of your list man! Am I at the top of it??? just kidding ;)

    Larry, Don, SCS, Brendan, Lizzy, Osama, thanks for the kind words guys!

    Peace, JP