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Just got a Messenger EUB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by winston, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I just picked up an excellent condition Knutson Messenger DLX EUB a couple of days ago, and I'm digging it. If I close my eyes, it's hard to tell that I'm not playing an acoustic DB. It's set up with Thomastik Superflexibles and it feels and responds like a traditional DB--you can really dig in if you want, and the tone changes accordingly. It has a detachable bout, 41.5" scale, an adjustable endpin, a hollow spruce-topped alder body, ebony FB, and Grover tuners.

    There's a wide range of useful tones in this baby. There's a Barbera transducer in the bridge and a single Messenger piezo under the bridge. John Knutson calls them the arco and pizz pickups, respectively. The Barbera sounds huge--really full from bottom to top, with a strong attack. The Messenger pickup has much more of a typical sort of nasal piezo tone.

    There are 3 controls--volume, pickup blend, and passive tone rolloff--that feed an EMG preamp which has internal gain trimpots for both pickups and a low impedance output. The controls are very interactive--the Messenger website says that the two pickups are essentially out of phase with each other because they pick up vibration in different directions. The Barbera senses more lateral motion while the Messenger senses vertical motion, IIRC.

    The bass is loudest when either of the pickups is soloed. When blending the pickups you get tonal and volume differences caused by the interaction of the phase relationships. I don't know if this is making any sense, but here's an example: I'll solo the Barbera and dial in a really nice fat, clear pizz tone. As I start blending in the Messenger pickup the highs are attenuated and the volume starts to drop (just by using the blend, and not touching the tone or volume controls). What this means is that I can go from a great pizz tone to a great arco tone (reduced volume, scratchy highs filtered out) just by turning one knob

    This thing is super solid (like an old Fender), with really beefy construction, an immaculately shielded interior, classy craftsmanship throughout. I have an indoor jazz gig tonight and an outdoor improv/jam gig on Thursday so I'll be able to put it thrpugh its paces and report back.

    I'll post some some pix soon.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    congrats on the Messenger. i have one of three lefties and i do like it a lot. i'm still trying to get used to it. there are many variations on tone that i really don't know what to do with yet! ;)

    anyway, here's a bump for your thread!