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M Pulcinella bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ErnieD, Jun 15, 2005.


  1. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    emailing with a guy who wants to trade his 3 yr old, MP Level 5 w/ bart x5 pups and 3 band pre, white (meh), w/cocobollo frtbrd, for my 3 yr old, Sray 5 honeyburst, w/HSC. I am looking for a good jazz-style 5 and he wants an sray 5. Both are priced to sell at 9 bills so it would be an even trade. Anybody got any background with the MP basses? Not real familiar with them myself, but looks interesting. Thanks, ernie.
     
  2. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    I own 2 MPG Level 5 basses,and I love them. I switched to these because I couldn't handle the weight of the SR5's. In fact, the first one I had made was done like an SR5. I had the single MM pickup (alnico version) and a bart preamp. So I have the tone of an SR5 in a bass that weighs 8lbs. The neck is about .050 wider than an SR5. So, if you are wanting a jbass tone, it will probably do the trick. I thought I'd regret selling the SR5's, but I don't miss them a bit. You'll see a big difference in comfort and balance. It looks like a good trade to me.
     
  3. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    Man I'm glad to get such knowledgeable/positive feedback, esp from a MPG owner. The seller/trader says that this bass does the J sound well and good growl in passive mode. I am a little concerned about doing a deal on a bass sight unseen cause with the Sray I'm sure most folks would know what they are getting. It's not like I can go to down to my local GC and try an MP off their wall. But there is a local online bass trader who was kind enough to write back to say that the resale on the MPG is not great and he has a MP L-4 that has been on his site for some time. Now he has a Mike Lull 5 that is really nice but he needs another $grand to trade with my Sray 5, too much for me right now. Anyway, thanks again for your info it eases my mind abit more if I do this trade. BTW, I also play my Skyline 55-01 at gigs quite abit. This MPG is not going to give me the same sounds just in a different package is it? Is the maintenance of the neck or anything else a prob with this bass. I'm just north of Houston, very humid here. Thanks for any more info you can toss my way. No chance of pics of your MPG's? Either way thanks again. Peace.
     
  4. Hi Ernie,
    I used to own a Level 5 with the same electronics. Very nice bass with good overall craftsmanship. Mine had an ash body with an all maple neck and board.

    It was a versatile bass - great P bass tone, great Jaco tone, and an okay jazz tone, but with the all-Bart package it did not NAIL the J bass tone. Still, it was a really good bass. The B will be superior on the Level 5 because of the 35" scale. My B was awesome!

    I sold the Level 5 to make room for a Roscoe. Otherwise I was pleased with the instrument. I would go ahead with the trade. I think you're going to end up with a lighter, more versatile instrument.
     
  5. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I own 2 MPG basses, a 5JJ and a Level 5 with bart pickups. Also own a Stingray 5. The Stingray stays in it's case most of the time and I play the 5JJ the most. I just love it's warm sound. The Level 5 plays very well and I love it's balance.
     
  6. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    This MPG is alder with cocobolo fret brd, not real crazy for pearl white body, but I just don't play my Sray 5 much anymore so I figured a trade with no cash is a good deal to try out a new bass, esp a custom bass, unfortunately not custom to my specs, but something new and you all say they are nice basses. Again, I mostly am playing my Skyline 55-01 at gigs right now, just don't want the MPG to be like the 55-01 soundwise. thanks again all, I'm still thinking on it, ernie.
     
  7. Ernie,
    Where is Atascocita? I live in the Dallas area -- I've never heard of Atascocita.

    Do you know about the Dallas bass get together coming up july 30th? If not, look under the "Off Topic" section and you'll see it. Would love to see you there -- with your new Pulcinella! :D
     
  8. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    I am about 25 miles north of Houston, this area is more commonly known as the Humble area. The Eastex Fwy/Hwy 59 North is where the city of Humble is and we are a large subdivision of homes just east of Humble. Hey I'll look that date up to see if I am free, if I can make it, for sure I'll come up. But maybe not with the MPG, I got some real positive feedback on TB and LowDownLowDown on the MPG basses. An area basstrader stated that the resale was not great but he like everyone else thought for an even trade like I was considering it should be an OK deal. Well I was still a little nervous on this deal so I figured who would know best but the builder, Matt himself, so I emailed him last nite and he responded this morning. I meant to paste his reply but here goes. When I told him it was the pearl white w/cocobolo frtbd that is on his sold section of his website, he replied that the electroniics were good on this bass and I would probably like it, BIG BUTT here, he says, "That is a wierd one for me, I won't do a custom again like that where a wierd bass of mine is floating around out there." If you go to his site at MPG.com you can see the bass on Level 5 sold section. First I saw the Arctic white w/ maple frtbrd and I thought Oh yeah sweet bass, but I was the wrong one so I scrolled down some more and found the actual one, I was not as excited to see that one. For one, not real keen on white bodies, and even his description compared to the other sold basses was very short and not detailed. I just don't feel the love in my gut the more I look at those pics of that bass. Not to offend the seller if he sees this thread, but he knows he is getting a like new, cherryburst Sray 5, what to expect soundwise, quality, etc. I don't feel that same reassurance that when I get to see this bass live for the first time that I will be as excited. Really just losing interest now, we have both priced at about 9 bills to sell, so that was cool. And I really want a jazz-style 5 and an even trade means no bass budget dent. But if I don't like the way this bass plays when I get it, that's it my Sray is gone and I'm stuck like chuck, with a white bass and seemingly low resale value, hell even the actual builder is not proud of his own baby. Thats alot of red flags to me, now if I can see anothe MPG that is more appealing and I haev to put some cash on side, I might bite, but this deal is souring quickly I feel. The seller is supposed to email me more closeup pics, that might help but right now no cigar. So my search for a good trade continues I guess. Later, ernie.
     
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Ernie,

    I've been kind of following along with your posts here mostly because I too have always liked the MPG's but don't have much experience with them directly (aside from a few touches here and there). I think your gut is right .... if the builder isn't giving off a good vibe about the bass it's probably best to stay away.

    Had the exact opposite when I bought an FBB from a TBer recently ..... when I contacted Matt Schmill to ask a few questions about the bass, his words were "...I remember there being something special about that bass ..." I now see what he meant, the bass is incredible :D
     
  10. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had a Level 5 a while back and liked the bass a whole lot! It was light and very well balanced and mine had EMG pu's. I wasn't crazy about the EMGs but with the Bart's you should be very happy. Great slap tone and very very playable.
    Good Luck!
     
  11. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    I am going back and forth in my mind on this deal. :meh:
    1) I really don't play the sray anymore, I took it out 2 Fridays ago to our regular gig and both guitar players say afterwards I really sounded good that nite, pissed me off. I usually take me 55-01 to that gig and I feel I play better with that bass. Sray has rosewood; 55-01 has maple neck, maybe the ray cuts thru better or I believe I was really palying the s**t out of the ray that nite to see if I should keep it or move it on, thats my theory, like one last, good boff. I felt better again with my 55-01 this past Friday, to me I can really control the individual notes, very staccato, with this bass better than with the ray.
    2) I am major gassing for a different bass, sound, feel whatever excuse I am trying to use to justify this move. Its that same old adage, I don't need a new bass, but I want a new bass. ( As my wife looks on with with eyebrowed cocked). Hey she never understands when I try to explain just the nuances of a new bass in your hands, back me up here guys right. So I am gassing like an SOB and only a new bass will fix this, but I am trying to be cautious not to make a bad deal. So after all this, I am still considering the trade, even though the builder virtually says the bass is butt-ugly, WOW. But it now feels like an ugly mutt-puppy that needs a loving home and I got 2 actual stray dogs that I took in a few yrs back. Besides my now past on 15 yr old, Basset Hound, RudyT, these 2 guys are great companions. Let me keep shaking this deal and see what fleas fall out. Later, E.
     
  12. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    All below very much IMHO...

    First, I hesitated to post here, 'cause I had kind of a bad experience with an MPG L5, but it was a non-standard model, so I kept quiet... however, now that this seems to have become the case here, maybe it's ok to speak up.

    In my case, the bass was standard woods and such (sunburst, rosewood fb), but "custom" elex. Had all Seymour Duncan stuff (as I recall, against Matt's recommendations to the original customer). Anyway, when I got it, it played and looked fine, sounded fine solo'd in my house, BUT... recording, live, and rehearsing, no guts at all, and missing some real critical growl somewhere in its mids. I was immediately lost in the mix and just could not get a really "workable" tone out of it for my tastes.

    Seriously frustrating. Sold it within a month. The person I sold it to (unfortunately) eventually had the same opinion and also sold it before too long. No idea where it is now. Hopefully in the hands of someone it works ok for, 'cause I do think MPG makes good stuff. It was real light and resonant, and balanced great, as well.

    Here's the bottom line: I think Matt really knows what works and sounds best for his designs, and if you get something "weird" from him, chances are it won't turn out that well.

    Keep in mind, this is a general comment based on my ONE personal experience with an MPG, tho much reading research before and after the fact... especially after... I was really surprised to not have been happy with an MPG.

    BTW, for convenience, I think we're talking about this bass (if I got the right one, please let me know if not):

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    I am getting alot of good feedback on the barts elecs and you can see on Matts site that he uses the Bart. x4, x5 x6 alot on his basses. I'm only familiar with the bart MK-1 pups that are on my 55-01, so don't know what to expect from the above mentioned pups, probably not bad. Even Matt mentioned in his email to me that I should be happy with the sounds of this bass. He just stated " I won't do a custom with weird woods anymore so they won't be floating around out there." He does not elaborate as to any specific problems, so I'm just guessing he did not like the final outcome of the bass' looks. Its really not a bad looking bass, I was more concerned about the overall quality, it being a newly discovered make to me. The feedback he gets on his site are real good, but alot of those basses look to be alot nicer too, so sure. I think this is the second owner and I'm waiting for more recent pics from him. The pics you show are I believe taken by Matt before it went out to the original buyer, bout 3 yrs ago. I know, as do most here, the sray 5 is built like a tank, I just don't want to acquire a bass that will have to go and stay in a repair shop anytime soon as I am getting it sight unseen, cept for pics. So I'll wait n' see what transpires with the newer pics. And if y'all aren' totally sick of my thread, more info if any. thanks all, ernie
    :bassist: "Meet me in St. Louis, meet me in... er Dallas, y'all.
     
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, (via mpguitars.com) "I suggest Bartolini pickups and electronics." He says can use anything, but usually there are reasons builders make these comments... :)

    IMHO, MPG basses are of very high quality. If that's your only concern, you have no concern. Also, the MPG I had for a while needed a bit of cosmetic repair and Matt offered to take care of it quickly and at a very reasonable price. I didn't take him up on it, but the point remains that, IMHO, Matt's got the customer service thing down.
     
  15. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    BTW, here's the one I had. Definitely don't recommend the SD Basslines stuff in these basses, but the build quality, looks, comfort, and playability are all there IMHO...

    [​IMG]