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My odyssey family has a new member! (with soundclips)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by skafetzis, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. skafetzis


    Aug 25, 2003
    Athens, Greece
    After a seemingly endless 15 month wait, my bass family welcomes its newest member:

    flame/burl wild poplar top over swamp ash body, birdseye maple fingerboard, one piece maple neck, bartolini soapbars and custom odyssey preamp, wilkinson bridge and kluson tuners.
    Controls are: volume/volume (push/pull for active/passive and single coil/humbucking mode) 3 band eq.

    Detail of the fingerboard:

    the knobs and pickups are from the same wood as the top:



    and with its older brother, my 2000 odyssey fretless 6:

    About the construction:
    The bass is incredibly light, only 3,5kg (or about 8 pounds according to the scientific method of the bathroom scale) which is actually about the same weight as my guitarist's fender strat, and its playbility is outstanding!
    I prefer a light touch and I can set it up with super low action and a straight neck with no buzzing whatsoever.
    The dead spot at the usual position (D-Db-E on the G string) for bolton basses is nonexistent!
    The neck is asymmetrical in shape and has a very comfortable "D" profile, which I find to be very fast and relaxing even after a 4 hour live gig.
    Fret work is just amazing, without a single high spot, all frets crowned and polished to perfection.
    There's a glossy finish on the body, and a thinner one on the back of the neck. The fingerboard is finished as well, with some kind of oil, that makes it very pleasant to the touch.

    String spacing is 18mm at the bridge, and it's a 34.5 scale.

    My only complaint regarding construction is the the glossy finish turned out a bit greenish rather than the green-blue burst that I specified.

    In a word, phenomenal! Tone is a subjective matter of course, but I have received nothing but compliments from fellow musicians and sound engineers alike whether in live situations or in the studio.
    In hum bucking mode, it sounds hi-fi but not clinical. There's a ton of mids and clear highs, without a dominating low end that tends to sound boomy and gets easily lost in the mix
    Switching the pickups to single coil mode provides a more complex sound in my opinion, which is a bit more "old-school" in tone, and perfect for funkier situations. Of course there's a bit of 60 cycle (50 in Europe) hum in single coil mode, but not to the extent of my passive Jazz.

    In either mode, the string to string balance is excellent, and the B string needs no pampering to be heard loud and clear! It has a very detailed "punchy" sound that cuts through without dominating the mix.

    Here's a short soundclip recorded (hastily!) straight to my Korg D1200 multitrack with just a touch of reverb. The neck pickup was full on, bridge about 50%, in single coil mode, EQ was flat:
    angel song

    Overall I am extremely happy with the bass; construction is top-notch, but it's the sound that really puts a smile on my face every time I play!
  2. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Beautiful bass. You might not be 100% satisfied with the color, but it is beautiful and that top is very unique.

    It definitely has some F Bass influences.

    Nice song, BTW. It sounds almost like it's coming from a hollowbody - the higher notes have a lot of resonance and body to them.

    Do you care to share a little bit a about the builder, Odyssey? Never heard of them.
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    What a cool color--I love it!

    I'd seen ads for Odyssey basses and thought they looked great, but since they're a Greek builder, we're not likely to get too many over here in the States. Glad to hear they sound and play as good as they look...

  4. skafetzis


    Aug 25, 2003
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks for the kind words everyone!

    You were right spotting the F bass influences, it's one of my favorite designs!

    The top is even more 3d and detailed up close! I don't know of any other luthier that uses this kind of figured poplar, but she's a real beauty!

    You are right about the resonance and body of the notes: the whole bass vibrates with sustain and has a loud acoustic tone that the pickups and preamp translate really well!
    I assume that this is in part due to the lightness of the bass, as well as the super-tight neck pocket.

    About the luthier:
    Odyssey basses are made in Greece, and as far as I know is a one man operation. Every aspect of building the bass is handled by the luthier, from the wood selection to sanding, finishing and finally pickup selection and preamp tuning.
    Yannis, the luthier, is a very easygoing person; during the whole process of building my basses I always felt comfortable asking questions and receiving meaningful answers. He always answers personally to any telephone or email inquiries.
    I described the tone I was looking for and he suggested the wood and electronics combination that proved to be spot on!

    Customer support is top notch: 2 years ago I send my fretless 6 for re-oiling the ebony fingerboard. The luthier not only performed the job at no cost, he also payed shipping BOTH ways!

    Of course being a one man show has its negatives as well; I was originally quoted with a waiting time of 6 months that turned out to be more than double!
    Having the final bass at my hands though, I feel that it was definitely worth the wait!

    I believe that European luthiers are just as inventive as their American counterparts, and can truly deliver some outstanding basses!

    It truly is a great time for us bass players, with so many incredible bass builders at both sides of the Atlantic!

    If you have any specific questions regarding the bass I'd be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge.
    xkomo likes this.

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