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Marchlewski Review (pics soon)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mattwells, Oct 27, 2005.


  1. mattwells

    mattwells

    Mar 19, 2003
    GA
    Initial Reaction:

    Aesthetics:
    Jacob really is a craftsman. The fit and finish are superb. There is a lot of artistry put into this instrument, and it shows everywhere. I was worried about the bass, in all honesty, since I had not seen the half-cut body design in person and I questioned my wood choices (of course, as Jacob would tell you, I went back and forth a few times before settling on this one, and was still not sure). But, that is my fear, and Jacob did nothing to cause it. My worries were unnecessary, though, because it turned out gorgeous. The Mesquite Burl top (thanks Larry at Gallery Hardwoods) is great. It plays tricks on your eyes from a distance (looks like a brushed finish to anyone in the audience at a dimly lit club), but when you get up close and see the details of the wood, there is a ton of swirl...beautiful.

    Playability:
    The action arrived a little low for my taste (not a bad problem to have), but could easily be attributed to humidity differences. One sort of odd thing is that my hand perceives the headstock end of the neck as thicker than the body end. In actuality, that is probably not the case. It is probably the same all the way up. That being said, the neck has a great feel. This is my first foray back into the 6-string realm since I had a Warwick Corvette. I sold it to purchase this bass and have been sans-6'er since then (about 18 months). That being said, my transition back into the 6 has been extremely easy. There is nothing it can't do (within my physical realm). The B-string is nice and tight. No idea what I should attribute it too, but it is string-thru on the B and the string goes to the tuner farthest away from the nut to try and add tension. Don't really know if it helped, but the B is awesome.

    Tone:
    This is where the rubber hits the road, and was also the last thing I evaluated. I didn't plug it in for awhile so that I could get an honest reaction to each aspect. The non-electric tone is very clear, somewhat woody, but the notes are really defined (something I was looking for). I think crisp and clear are the best adjectives for the acoustic tone.
    When plugged in (I run an iAMP-500 into a VL-208 ), with the amp flat, the clarity remains, but the tone controls allow me to change the sound to whatever I want. The Aguilar preamp is extremely sensitive (18 volt preamp), with ever few degrees, the tone changes dramatically. It can go from the clear and crisp to big and thumpy (think dub-bass) to bright and flashy (think Vic Wooten) with a few turns of the knobs. No matter what, each note remains well-defined, even when it is huge and bass-y.

    So, after reading this you may be thinking: “Wow, this sounds like the best bass ever” and to me, it is. I have never played anything like it (and I have played almost every boutique maker, except Alembic, which is a major oversight on my part).

    Highly recommend Jacob for all your bass needs.

    Marchlewski Half-cut body
    6 string 35” neck: Birdseye/flame (a little of both) maple and wenge with ebony fingerboard
    Extended B tuner
    Body: mahogany with mesquite burl top and back with matching electronics cover, knobs, pickup covers
    Electronics: Nordstrand Fatstacks running into an Aguilar OBP-3 (18 volt) with Bass/Mid/Treble and a Passive Tone Control
     
  2. Sounds awesome! Looking forward to pics, he sure makes some beautiful basses! :bassist:
     
  3. mike sancho

    mike sancho SANCH

    Feb 10, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    You know the rules......no pics?
    Can't wait to see the bass. I think Jacob is doing some of the best work around!!! Thanks for the review. Enjoy!
     
  4. SharkB8

    SharkB8

    May 29, 2002
    NorCal
    Excellent review. For most people reading, they will never have the chance to play/hear a 'lewski in person since there are so few. Jacob is an absolute artist, and his attention to detail is at the top of the heap. I too have played every (well, most..actually can't think of one I haven't) boutique builder out there....and my 'lewski just feels right. Don't know how to explain it, but I'm sure (from reading your review) you feel the same.

    Anyone seriously looking @ commissioning a bass should really give Jacob a shot. His products are incredible.

    :bassist:

    Oh....and no pics...no bass....ha ha ha
     
  5. Wolfehollow

    Wolfehollow

    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    Awesome review...

    I cant wait to get my 3rd Marchlewski!!! I am wanting it so bad i have been stopping on ebay auctions that look like it with a temptation to buy... (its an ash/black PG, maple neck with black blocks thing)

    There is a good chance Jake may be moving about 5 minutes away from me!!! :) ...that would sure beat the 30 minute drive I have been making.

    The best thing that I have had the oppurtunity to see is the quality of his instruments increase with each one he builds... Im not talking major things... Im talking little things... I eye each one of these basses as if they were mine and question any little thing I see, but I have had trouble finding anything with the last few. Akitos was great with the gloss... SharkB8s looked like butter... the blue buckeye was amazing and now this one...

    :) I wonder how much it would cost to hire him out as my personal luthier???

    Jake? price? :hyper:
     
  6. mattwells

    mattwells

    Mar 19, 2003
    GA
    Jacob says he should have some pics up soon.
     
  7. arock

    arock

    Sep 16, 2005
    Verona, WI
    OK, I think we've waited for pictures through every possible definition of "soon". :) Do you have any pics while we wait for the Marchlewski website gallery photos?
     
  8. Akito

    Akito

    Dec 1, 2003
    Spokane
    Nice! I look forward to seeing some pics! Enjoy it!
     
  9. Wolfehollow

    Wolfehollow

    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    Jake just bought a home and moved into it a few days ago... I think the pics have been sent to be put up on the site... but...

    Id love to see some pics also matt!!!

    I saw the l.e.d.s. on my bass the other day... it was AWESOME!!!

    Hopefully mine will be done soon and I will post some pics...
     
  10. geez wolfe...i still think about that singlecut of yours!
    i can't wait to see pics!