Mad/cool Russian guitars.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Maud, May 5, 2012.

  1. Maud


    Jan 2, 2012
    Down South (UK)
    Firstly I am in no way connected to the seller of these guitars.

    I was just browsing Ebay and came across the Solo bass, I then clicked on his other items and the seller has a small collection of cool guitars and basses. I really like the Orpheus one and am struggling not to buy it, I'm trying sell some basses not buy more but that Orpheus looks so cool. Does anyone know anything about them quality/playability wise?
  2. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I can't vouch for the Orpheus models but I've seen a few Jolana's.
    They are really poorly made. They make bottom line guitars of the 60's seem like custom shop models. High action, bad intonation and extremely microphonic pickups. Noisy pots & switches too!
    Expect to spend a lot of $$$$ to get one playable.If you can at all. Many use non quarter inch cables.
    They are mondo cool lookin' though!
  3. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Played one when I was in the Ukraine in '04. They are heavy and produce a kind of Telecaster bass tone no matter how you dial it up.

    Most of these hail from the Parastroka era, the Gorby days, where western stuff was no longer a threat. They look like copies of Japanese copies....

    Friend of mine makes regular trips to Moscow to sell vintage Fender guitars and is making a good living employing his bi-lingual background and limited 6 string talent.
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I've got a "mad/cool Russian" bass. It's built like a Mig, tone wise it's not very versatile but it's got really rich/intense mids that are ideal for aggressive "dirty" playing(which I never get a chance to do anymore). It's sort of like a Rick's dodgy littly medium scale cousin who's had a questionable upbringing.
    While it's built well, the fretwork is not the most "refined" and the action and intonation is a bit dodgy once you get up the neck. If I was going to play it consistently it would be worthwhile to do a bit work to the frets/neck to make it a bit friendlier in the upper registers. Check out the spacing on the upper most fret...your guess is as good as mine.
    Keep in mind you may have to adapt the output jack from a DIN to a standard 1/4", although it's pretty easy and you can even buy a special adapter chord.
    img2310m. img2312wv. img2314w.
  5. Maud


    Jan 2, 2012
    Down South (UK)
    I assumed they wouldn't be very user friendly :D.
    The seller also has adaptor leads for sale so no probs there. I doubt I will buy it as I will more than likely never be happy with it apart the looks.
    The Solo has onboard fuzz, phaser and autowah, mucho coolio.

    Your bass looks really cool as well lowphatbass, what make is it?

    EDIT: Just seen one like yours, an Ural
  6. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    That would be the one.
  7. Diggin' the onboard toothpick!
  8. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    If somebody started making decent quality remakes of these things, I bet they'd sell like hotcakes.
  9. Greeting from Russia! I've tried a lot of basses that was produced on the area of the former Soviet Bloc (Jolana, Orpheus, Ural, Musima, etc.). All of this guitars was a very poor quality: high action, snuffling sound, very short sustain, problems with tuning( a lot of notes higher then 7th fret was always out of tune), microphonic effect and so on. I think this guitars are good maybe for some freaky musical shows or for a some collectors of antiquarian basses.
  10. I remember about 15 years ago Bass Player Magazine had an article about Soviet era basses. It talked about how the builders behind the Iron Curtain had to machine all the parts by hand. How there was a lot of guess work that went into them because they didn't have western guitars to study. I think the article said they were quirky but not bad.
  11. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    They look rad, but why in mother earth would they use DIN outputs?
  12. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    Because in Soviet Russia, Bass Slap you!

    Id kill for a nice Ural bass. I don't care what it sounds like, it'd be another cool piece of Soviet music stuff between the Ария and Любэ albums.
  13. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    No thanks, Comrades.
  14. Boy these axes sure have a mystique about them dont they? Very Russian. Very interesting.
  15. I don't see anything odd about the 0 fret..
  16. Gaolee

    Gaolee It's all about the polyester

    I saw a really beautiful semi hollow guitar (not bass) in a local shop not too long ago. It was hanging on the wall behind a counter along with some truly funky looking guitars. So, I had to ask about it and was told that was the shop's wall of shame. The semi-hollow was Polish, from about 1980 or 1982, and was unplayable. The shop told me I could have all of 'em for $300. I passed. It might have made a decent decorative lamp or something, but it sure wasn't a guitar you could play.
  17. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Oh, they're definitely bad. Some are usable, but none are really good. The only decent instrument of Communist origin I've ever played was a Fender Jazz clone complete with a Fender logo on the headstock and a b-w-b pickguard which was one black piece of plastic with a thin white line painted around the sides. Whoever made it really put a ton of work into it, but it definitely didn't come from any instrument factory.
  18. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Not the zero fret, but the highest fret.