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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fast slapper, Oct 23, 2009.
Has anybody tried one?
Not only have I tried one, but I've also had the distinct pleasure of getting to watch Steve Bailey put one through its paces at NAMM! Granted, Bailey could make a clothesline sound great, but this is one killer little instrument.
To answer the obvious questions:
Oddly enough, the link above does not mention the tuning of this unique instrument. As the name suggests, this instrument is decidedly not in the bass register. Memory fails me, but I think it was tuned DGCF, the same notes you'd get from putting a capo at the tenth fret of a standard four-string. If I recall correctly, they may also have said that it could be tuned in fifths.
In spite of this, the Sopran plays and sounds like a bass, not a guitar. Just like how a bass at the twelfth fret sounds like a bass and not a guitar.
I really liked this instrument, in fact, it was one of my very favorite items at NAMM. Sounded great, played just as nicely, and seemed the perfect instrument to casually noodle away on.
I asked the Marleaux people whether they in fact sold these instruments. At the time, I was told that the answer was no, and that these instruments were created solely for demonstration purposes for shows like NAMM and Musikmesse. Well, I guess a lot of people must have requested these, as it now looks like they are for sale.
I've just emailed the folks at Marleaux a few questions, if they respond I will report back in this thread.
Sure is. Found this link off the Delano website.
It would be fun to show up to practice with this.
Oh wow, that's too cool! Thanks for the link, fast slapper!
Here's another YouTube video with a guy playing some very tasty stuff on a Marleaux Sopran:
I know someone here will probably say "just buy a guitar", but I can't play a guitar, at least not very well... but when I picked up the Sopran at NAMM, I could play it just as well as any other bass in the world and THAT was pretty cool!
I need one of these.
Yowsah... $4,500 list, $3,825 street price. Looks like fun though.
Ok, now THAT'S expensive! I do like it very much and i bet chicks dig it.
I played the Soprans Gerald had a NAMM 2010, very cool "basses". Yes, a bit pricy on this side of the pond, Gerald and talked about that a bit.
Ok... I just couldn't hold out. I just decided to pull the trigger on this NAMM beauty:
Can't wait to hear your impressions.
Absolutely. I'm pretty excited about try this thing. I know it's a lot of money, but from everything I've seen and heard, it should be worth it.
Congrats AJ... I bet it would make a cool solo/lead instrument.
Update... I'm loving this instrument. It isn't a bass, it isn't a guitar, it's in a class all by itself. You can slap, tap, play fingerstyle and every note is well-articulated. Perfect for travel. I also had Glenn Cronkhite (formerly of Reunion Blues) make me a custom leather case for it. Just got it today...
Very cool, I really enjoyed the Sopran, really wished I could afford one.
Yep, I played it at Winter NAMM '10. Fun little instrument, but just didn't have the bass vibe - it IS tuned an octave up afterall. The super-short scale (only 20", IIRC), was also quite cramped - even moreso than a guitar.
Not my thing, but if it's your thing, you can expect the quality of a Marleaux - fantastic pickups, electronics, construction, fit, and finish.
I agree, it's not for everyone, but you are correct about Marleaux's quality being well-represented here. I may have to get a full-sized big brother some day.
FWIW - the scale is actually 25".
I'll meet you halfway - 22.44"
(that's a direct conversion from the 57cm listed on his spec sheet).
LOL - yes, you are correct. I just used the tape measure on it. SOLD!
I remember that "bass", definitely more piccolo guitar like but very cool, nonetheless. Since I play guitar also I had a fun time with the Sopran.