NBD: Epiphone Allen Woody Rumblekat

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Apr 20, 2014.


  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Who says the Easter Bunny doesn't bring anything to adults?

    I've wanted one of these for a few years and I finally picked one up from Sweetwater.

    So far I really like it. It's nice and wooly sounding and extremely comfortable. The quality control is excellent as well with the plastic nut being the only thing that I think feels cheap about the bass.

    Playability is excellent as well though I'm not 100% sure about my choice in strings. I put on Rotosound Black Nylon and despite being heavy gauge they are looser tension than what I'm using to playing (heavy gauge 55-105 flats). They're also fairly "clacky" and a little noisy to play if I'm not careful. I blame the tension difference compared to what I'm used to. So I may swap them out for Labella Shortscale Regular 49-109 Flats. I remember now that I tried these or at least the D'daddario tapewound a few years ago and didn't like them for the same reasons.

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  2. swamp2

    swamp2

    Feb 27, 2008
    I picked up one from Hello Music a couple months ago when they had 'em. I think it's a really nice instrument, particularly when the price is factored in. Enjoying it greatly.

    I put GHS precision SS flats on mine, light gauge (45-95). They're my go-to short scale string. Cheap and easy to get from juststrings.com. I'm happy with them on the instrument...
     
    fourstringdrums likes this.
  3. I've been intrigued by this bass for some time . The pickup config always confused me, with the position of the "bridge" pickup so far up along the body. Finally played one a few weeks ago in a local music store, and I finally saw what all the hype is about. A great short scale bass, and love the "wildkat" style body. I read somewhere that Allen Woody(RIP) personally worked with Epiphone to design this bass, and the guy was an absolute beast so I'm sure he added some great input for the company.

    Congrats!!
     
    fourstringdrums likes this.
  4. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Those 109 labella flats will have the high tension you want, but the labella Jamerson 110s are a force to be reckoned with despite the only slight increase in gauge. I'm fairly sure they're constructed differently which adds to the tension and stiffness.
     
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Yeah I've used the Jamersons in the past and they were too stiff. I haven't used these Labella's for a few years as I've been using the GHS Precision 55-105's, but this Labella gauge was just right compared to the Jamerson set. I just find the GHS to be thumpier, but unfortunately they don't make that gauge in shortscale. They only make 45-95.
     
  6. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Have you tried the jamersons in shortscale? The longscale ones suspension bridge cables. On shortscale they're great. The 109s are good too though.
     
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    No I haven't. I just placed an order for the 109's. Maybe if I replace the strings a third time.
     
  8. greggster59

    greggster59

    Oct 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    It's a beauty. Wooly is the right word for the growl the Rumblekat makes. Great for any kind of rock.
    This was my first bass and I'm kinda sorry I no longer have it. The only thing I didn't like about it was the bridge.

    I used Curt Mangan Nickel Rounds (45-105) on it and they had perfect tension and great sound.

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I may have to do a shielding job on it though. I didn't notice because of the tapewounds, but I'm getting hum that stops when I touch the jack.
     
  10. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    Nice bass. Had one for a while and I'd have another if not completely full up on short scales. The only downside was the gold hardware on mine wore through to the chrome underneath. It was easy to polish the rest of the gold off the pickups, replace the bridge with a chrome hipshot (nice improvement over the three point). I had planned on changing out the gold tuners but had to sell it to finance an Alembic.

    I used LaBella short scale flats (55-105 IIRC) and was very happy - not too stiff, nice and warm.
     
  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    55-105, was that a custom set? I didn't think they made a 55 G.

    Yeah I'm not a huge fan of gold as far as wear goes. If it wears off that much I'll just swap everything out for chrome or at least gold hipshot which is probably higher quality. I was going to get a hipshot bridge but I think I'll wait.
     
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    nice, i saw a more purple one in palmdale a while ago, i wonder if it was used and somebody refinished it
     
  13. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    So a little update now that I've had it for about a week.

    I changed out the tapewounds for Labella flats. Much better. The tapes were just very loose to what I'm used to and "clacky" sounding. I feel like I'm home again with the flats and they suit the bass very well.

    I changed the bridge out for the Hipshot Supertone (though I have to call Hipshot Monday. One of the intonation screws was cross threaded and rounded out). I am however concerned about the bridge bushings. They were pulling out a little bit, maybe 3/32" of an inch. When I installed the hipshot I heard a cracking noise and the treble side bushing pulled out about 1/4" as I was tightening it so I hammered it back in. But still, I can see under the bridge that they've pulled out ever so slightly again. I did try and remove them so I could glue them in using the method that involves dropping a screw in the hole and tightening one of the bridge screws until the bushing pulls out. They wouldn't budge with this method and I didn't feel confident enough to try anything else. I'm not really set up here to do any real work on any instrument past a setup. So I'll be visiting my tech to have him look at it and determine if they're worth paying to have removed and glued.

    After changing the strings I found a few buzzy frets, so those will get looked at. For a $400 bass I'm not surprised and I consider it almost a given when buying a bass within a certain price range.

    Also after changing the strings I noticed now that since my hands can act as a ground, that the bass is a little noisy when not being touched. Also there seems to be a slight "crackle" in the signal that doesn't go away with different chords and only happens with this bass. I'll have to have the wiring looked at.

    I found a decent sized drip bubble in the clear coat on the binding, but again, $400 bass...

    I was half debating just returning it instead of spending the money to have these issues looked at, but I decided it was still worth it. They're not anything that couldn't happen on another bass in this price range, especially the bridge stud problem given that it's an issue on a lot of epiphone/gibson basses with this bridge design. And lets say after all is said an done if between me replacing the bridge, fixing the frets, the bridge studs and having the wiring looked at I have an additional $300 or so put into it, $700 for this bass is still a pretty good deal. It feels and sounds great and I'd rather have it than not.
     
  14. Tbone76

    Tbone76

    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I had a Rumblekat a while back and it was a solid bass. I had it strung up with DR Legends flats and they sounded great on it. I wanted to do a hardware swap (elephant-ear tuners, swap out to chrome hardware, polish pups chrome) but I ended up trading it away instead. I'll probably pick another one up down the road, as it has a unique tone, and I liked how fast the short scale felt in my hands. Congrats!
     
  15. swamp2

    swamp2

    Feb 27, 2008
    Hmmm... Well, so far all I've done to mine is put the GHS flats on and while I did it - did a home made string extender rod/bridge piece like I did with my SG Supreme to help with set up and intonation. Oh yeah, filed down the nut a little as part of the post-new string setup - it was kinda high. Plays and sounds great now, I have no plans to change anything else with it. The Hello Music price on it was $309 which I think was a great bargain.

    I know a lotta folks don't like the 3 point bridge - other than the too-short distance from the string end to the saddle (easily fixed) I think they're just fine...
     
  16. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I didn't like the lack of individual string adjustment and it was already pulling on the studs.
     
  17. ShonenCello

    ShonenCello

    Sep 21, 2011
    I've been playing mine for three years now and it's never let me down. I plan to play this one for a long time.
    Roundwound strings sound best on this I think. The flats I tried were kinda lifeless.

    The bridge post problem was the only real annoyance. I glued it in and everything has been fine since. No Idea why they don't correct this problem.

    I'm surprised when I hear about other quality control problems some people are having. Mine was really flawless.
     
  18. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I'm becoming a little disenchanted with mine. I think Shone is right about flats being a little lifeless on this bass, though it doesn't help that the Labellas I put on it have a dead E string (which reminds me why I don't play Labella much any more). I'm going to try Sunbeams.

    But I've had an issue with getting vibration on the open E coming from somewhere and pretty much every fretted note on the neck. It's not fret buzz. It sounds like it's either coming from the bridge or from inside the body, but I've tried everything and I can't pinpoint it.
     
  19. howlin

    howlin

    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    I've had this problem with guitars and most likely it's most likely coming from the pickups as they're probably not attached directly to the body - FWIW.
     
  20. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I had a different buzzing associated with the pickups actually. But I no longer have the bass, partially because of the issues I had.
     
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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