Levinson Blade B4 Swiss made bass and what about the 4 string Growler?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Partyman, May 27, 2002.

  1. Partyman

    Partyman Guest

    May 23, 2002
    Levinson Blade B4, anyone played or knows anything about this bass made in early 90 I believe.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I re,member reading a review in BP saying it was a very heavy bass. Other than that, it was your basic Jazz bass copy.
  3. The B4 was a very high quality instrument designed in Switzerland by Gary Levinson, but actually made in Japan. It was an active bass with 3 adjustable trim pots located in the battery housing compartment giving a wide range of sounds.
    I never actually managed to own one of these basses (yet), although I had two Strat type Blades, an R3 and R4 which I recording with on 3 albums in the early nineties. These were the best Strat type guitars I had ever used and I searched for a Blade B4 bass for a couple of years without success until I found my Sadowsky.
    Yolanda Charles who played with Paul Weller and Robbie Williams used one for quite some time before she changed to Lakland, and it sounded great live.

    If you manage to get hold of one, let us know what you think.
  4. PartyMan,
    Received your mail.
    Sent a reply and attachment of a pic plus info on the B4 from the 90's.
  5. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    Levinsons are excellent quality instruments.
  6. zbigniew


    Nov 14, 2002
    Northern Iceland
    Hello there, I owned a Levinson Blade B3 bass. It was a white one with an ebony fingerboard. It is by far the best bass I have owned - haven't owned that many though, mainly Fenders.

    It had a very good jazz neck with a satin finish and playd very well. Sounded good, very modern but not so much jazz like. It had two Levinson J-pickups with an active preamp and I think it also had a dummy coil or something like that to keep things ultra quiet.

    The only thing "wrong" with the bass was that it's output was rather weak - that made my (rather bad) performance of Bach's "prelude in G" once at my music school, nearly only heard by me :( I was so focused on getting the notes right that I didn't notice that the volume was so low.

    Unfortunately it got wrecked some time ago (I won't go into the details now) but I basically have been keeping an eye out for one ever since. Did e-mail Gary Levinson about a year ago and he didn't rule out the possibility that Levinson would make basses again. I definately will be one of his first customers. :)
  7. willieG


    Feb 10, 2003
    I have been a Blade bass owner since 1990......these basses were made here in Japan by the TUNE company.....to Gary Levinson exact specs......they were very popular until about 1998.....when the bubble burst here and people were broke.....

    I was alittle dissapointed with the pre amp in both of the basses.....so I swapped the preamps out and put in Sadowsky preamps....also hummbacking pickups....

    They play now like a dream.....the wood in both basses is now 15+ years old and has settled in just right, the necks are perfect......

    The upgrade was like night and day......although the Sadowsky is a bit bright and too in your face....I am adjusting.

  8. freemunga


    Mar 2, 2011
    I;m the owner of a BLADE B4 since 1990
    I've been jazzin, funkin, rocking and even metalin with this bass, and must say, it just keeps getting better and better.

    Treat it right, and pure satisfaction is what you get in return.
  9. BassAgent


    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    I have one of the modern Blades (still designed in Switzerland, built in Japan), a B2. Fantastic bass, but they have a little bit too much treble for me. I installed an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp and Nordstrand NJ4 pickups and it's fantastic now, though still a bit treble-ish.

    Many people say the old Blades are better than the new ones, but my opinion is they're just different. Different feel, different sound, different looks...

    Here's mine:
  10. Bassflute


    Jun 24, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings
    Still around, just not much distribution here in North America.

    Your particular one was heavy - many that I have played weren't - it's just wood. And a 'basic jazz bass copy' made better and with better parts than 98% of the jazz basses out there. Very nice instruments, much nicer than most Fenders.

    I can imagine. All the ones I played were consistently fantastic instrument. Made carefully, and out of consistently good parts.

    Wish they made a 24 fret 6 string, I'd definitely be interested.

  11. BassAgent


    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    Not the B4s. Blade only produces the B2 (the one I have), the B25 (mine as 5-string), the B1 and B15 (passive Jazz basses with active midboost).
  12. bassinstincts


    Jul 7, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Acoustic Image
    I have the abovementioned in sunburst (with a pearlescent pickguard) beautfiful. I replaced the stock PUs with Dimarzios and the sound has a deeper dimension. I tried unsuccessfully to sell it on TB and it currently resides in a local consignment shop. Blade products are great, but they are real sleepers. Just not well known on this side of the pond, which is too bad.