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Larry Kaye /Pulcinella ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ka-tet, Sep 28, 2000.

  1. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    Hey Larry. I saw in the amp threads you picked up a level 5. How is it? How does it compare to the Lakland you used to have or still have? Please give us some details.
  2. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    The bass looks plays and sounds great. I had to work on the setup a little, the strings were actually too close to the neck for me.

    Sound wise it's a real interesting sound. It's not what I would call mellow like a jazz bass. It doesn't have that "scooped" midrange to it. I got mine with the Aero single coil pickups and and Aguilar on board 18 volt pre-amp. The Aguilar preamp I got with it basically boosts only. You can get the most treble bass boosted tone I've ever heard on an instrument yet it doesn't sound brittle/nasty or boomy. It sounds like a little more nasty version and more adjustable version of my Rumblefish which except for the lack of a ton a useable tones outperformed my Lakland hands down. I sold the Lakland via E-bay by the way to a man in Virginia who wanted a 34 inch scale 5 string Lakland. It was sheer luck on my part and his that we found each other in the marketplace. He seems really happy. That bass, with the exception of a quiet b-string did sound excellent but the Reverend in my band and with my finger style and my amp/speakers, sounded much much better to both me and my bandmates, especially on stage. The Reverend and the Pulcinella are much brighter sounding and have a nice "bark" to them without sounding overly like a Warwick as an example where they seem to be very midrangy going into the amp and eq to start with. The Pulcinella makes my old 1/15 Traynor block 80 sound great. The Reverend makes it sound really good. The Lakland sounded good. My good could be your crap or your excellent.

    I'm going to use the Pulcinella indoors Tomorrow night in a very Lively room where the band is traditionally way too loud on 1 if you know what I mean. I feel the tone is very cutting yet can be quite punchy clean and full all at the same time. This will be a very stiff test of versatility as I need to get the punch without the benefit of a hell of a lot of speaker movement. I'll probably only use my new ea208 speaker and bring along the 1/10 EA as a backup, which probably will shake the steaks right of these people's plates before they even get drunk.

    For the money, The MP bass is much nicer than the Lakland, but I had a 34 inch scale one. With a Quilted top (mine is just a figured alder top), it would be killer if cosmetics are your thing. I found the Lakland I had with the quilted top to be a little too ornate for me and I was always conscious of being careful that it could inhibit me. The MP bass is certainly nicer looking than a standard Lakland 5 and just as well built, but the Pulcinella is $8-900 less. It's much "richer" looking than a Music Man or G&L for about the same or even a little less and the the active setting is very hot. I had to watch my pre-amp setting for overloading much earlier on my integrated amp head but with it turned down to 1.5 and the master volume on 3 to 3.5, it was still very loud and didn't lose any of it's edge which has happened to me other times I've had to turn down the pre-amp.

    I highly recommend looking at Matt's basses if you're looking to spend under $1500 for what I feel would be a bass that compares in all aspects to other Fender shaped types of basses of up to double the price.

    Hope all is well and if you have any specific questions please let me know. I'll give you a better evaluation of the bass's tone on Sunday or Monday.

  3. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    Thanks for the very informative reply, Larry. I will definitely look more closely into the Level 5. And please do update us on this weekends performance.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Thanks, Larry, excellent review.
  5. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    The bass performed flawlessly although the owner didn't on this gig!!! I used both the EA110 on the floor and the 208 stacked on top of it. It sounded excellent, cut through nicely. The basic "inefficiency?" of the EA's caused me to turn up to 3 on the preamp and 2.5 on the master, but it sounded great. It did take a little time to get used to hearing all the frequencies, especially the midrange that the EA's put out and I had to slightly cut the attenuation on the cabinet to around 10 o'clock on the mid range and I also cut the high's down to about the same.

    The eq's on both my amp and my outboard graphic slightly boost the 125 slide, slightly cut all midrange and everything else is either on the line or slightly less. I found with the Pulcinella that I could almost eliminate the bass and treble controls from my amp totally and had them both set at only 2, whereas with the Reverend and my Lakland I need boost the treble to 6 or even 7.

    The 208 sounds more midrangy than the 1 10, especially with this bass which just has much more tone for my system to process than the Rumblefish. The one bass tone on the Reverend as I mentioned Friday with my equipment/style/band is the best I've personally played on, but I feel if I work with my graphic to further slightly cut the mid's, the MPG Level 5 will sound even better and and I can dial in a more consistent sound in more rooms. I'm using it again next Saturday at the only bar my band gigs at where there's no rumbling at all. The bass should cut through much better than I did last time here with my Lakland + I'll be carrying 25 less pounds of equipment up a flight and 1/2 of stairs.

    By the way, yesterday we were playing on a totally wood, large permanent dancefloor at a ritzy country club for a 50th high school reunion and no one complained we were too loud. In this type of acoutical setting, I'm usually the first one people start complaining about volume wise!!! By cutting the bottom down and turning up my volume slightly, we got a nice clean sound yet still had enough fullness and bottom to make things happen nicely.

    The bass was easy to play and, per Matt's advertising, felt much lighter on my shoulder that my lakland did, although the Rumblefish is also very light. The bass is weighted nicely so that it sits very naturally from 10:30 to 4:30 on the clock. I found that it doesn't like being parallel to the floor for any periods of time! The Rumblefish's more natural weighting is closer to 9 to 3 o'clock or just slightly more towards 9:30 to 3:30.

    Again I have to give this bass very high marks for versatility, comfort, and tone. Intonation was excellent also and it was extrememly quick and easy to play. The maroon color was stunning and I got several complements on everything but my playing which was not quite up to snuff yesterday!!!

    Try it. You might like one and it could be a way to upgrade from a Fender, G&L, or Music Man for a lot less than some of the others out there. Doesn't mean you shouldn't spend 3K for you beloved Sadowsky's. But if you're a bassist on a budget but want a really nice customized look and feel without spending your year's allowance, this might be a terrific alternative.



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