NBD: ESP Ltd Bunny Brunel Bass aka "Black Beauty"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Menorahman, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Menorahman

    Menorahman Inactive

    Aug 13, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    Got this bass on a whim because

    1) it uses the Aguilar J/MM set which I wanted to try
    2) I want a bass in every (reasonable) color, and I was lacking black
    3) it was only $825 shipped new (B-stock, though I can't see anything wrong with the finish)

    I've never played an ESP before, so I didn't know what to expect, but I gotta say that I'm pleasantly surprised. Even though it's an LTD model, the Bunny Brunel looks, sounds, and feels great. First, the super sleek looks:

    Bunny1.JPG Bunny2.JPG Bunny3.JPG Bunny5.JPG Bunny6.JPG Bunny7.JPG

    Specs: Alder Body | Quilted Maple Top | Ebony Fretboard | 3pc Maple Neck-Through | Hipshot A Bridge | Hipshot Drop D Extender

    Electronics: Aguilar J/MM Pickups | Aguilar OBP-3 Preamp | Active/Passive push-pull | Mid Selector push-pull

    In terms of sound, the noiseless Aguilar pickups deliver. This is the only bass where I actually like a solo'd pickup as much (or possibly more) than the center position. Of course, I'm talking about the Aguilar MM bridge. I'm pretty sure this is now my favorite MM pickup. It's got this really nice tone that is modern, thick, spongey, and sweet all at once. I was never big into the "sponge" sound, but this bass makes it perfect. The center position is a very rad "J on steroids" sound with plenty of punch. Not much to say other than it sounds real good. I do find the neck solo'd to be kinda weird...almost like it sounds out of phase or something. Maybe once I spend more time with the bass and start using the preamp I'll figure it out. Btw, the sounds I'm describing all come from the bass in passive mode. I haven't even popped a battery in to use the Aguilar OBP-3 preamp yet because the passive tones are so awesome.

    The playability is hard to judge accurately right now since the action is too high (bass needs a setup). As far as I can tell the BB is comfortable and relatively easy to play. It balances nicely with a strap, and both my fretting and plucking hands got used to things fairly quickly. The neck-through provides easy access to the upper frets, all the way to the 24th. One thing that's kinda neat is that I can feel the bass vibrating on my chest when I play. I've played neck-throughs before, but this is the first one of mine that really does that.

    Overall, this is a fantastic bass, especially considering it cost me only $825. Normal retail is $1300, which means it costs about $100 less than a new Am Std. I'm not really an advocate of buying new anyway, especially at retail prices, but in my opinion the Bunny Brunel offers a lot more than a standard Fender. Now I just gotta get the thing set up.
    ZX10, kcolyar, Aaron Mc and 18 others like this.
  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I really want to hear clips of this bass.
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Nice looking bass! I love that "thrum" coming into my chest , always felt that with a Ric neck through too. That kind of acoustic resonance unplugged is a reliable indicator of a good electric sound too in my experience. Call me a tonewood agnostic, I think it has some effect.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    That's really nice, well done.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    I really hate that Bunny quit working with Carvin, as that design is one of the best I've ever played. As much as I love the Carvin Bunnies, I'd like to try the LTD Bunny as it seems to use much higher quality parts than other LTD stuff. But I can't stand the total lack of options. Not even a color choice. But it looks great and those Aguilar pickups are spectacular like you said. In fact I'd say the LTD electronics are the one major upgrade over the Carvin model.
    jim777 likes this.
  6. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Same here, I'll never give up my BB75 but I LOVE the OBP3 pre, so these are tempting.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    I put a Bart pre and Delano pickups in my Carvin Bunny. Incredible upgrade. I knew it would be an upgrade, but not not THAT much.
    wmhill and Brother Goose like this.
  8. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Do you have the J/MM? I've got the 2 soap model. I can't really decide if I want to touch it or get another and mess with that one.
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I don't understand why the five only comes as a fretless and four only as fretless?
  10. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Apr 16, 2001
    Good looking bass. I like the refinements that have been made since the Carvin model.

    Does the fretless version come with a coated FB? From the ads I've seen it appears as much.
  11. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    Dayton, Ohio
    Nice! Would also love to hear this.
  12. I would totally get the fretless if I had any money...
  13. GreatScott91


    Apr 14, 2010
    NE OH
    Nice score!!
  14. GreatScott91


    Apr 14, 2010
    NE OH
    Dude, MOST of my comments about musical equipment end with "...if I had the money". :laugh:
    VerryBerry and Dr. Cheese like this.
  15. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward!

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    I'm a big fan of the Carvin BB series and these look McNasty! Also disappointed with a lack of a fretted 5...

    These should come with a D-tuner (or some other options)

    Don't own a 34" scale bass these days- find them WAY easier to play than my 35s- and these are on my list of potential secondary market deals in the coming years.

    I'd also be extra tickled to find a good deal on a BB75 and gut the electronics. (passive baby!)

    Congrats on your new funk-machine!
  16. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward!

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    That sounds super tasty- I'm a huge fan of Delano pups and the ergonomics of this design. Bunny is a really thoughtful dude who figured out some great ways to ease physical strain and enable him to play chops intensive music for decades.

    I'd love to hear samples or see a video of your bass in action!
  17. vanderbrook

    vanderbrook Heretic Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2001
    Denver, CO, USA
    Very purty. Congrats!
  18. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Looks very nice. The component list is top notch! I had no idea Bunny had moved on from Carvin, and it certainly has quite a few similarities. The electronics are probably better on the LTD, though I understand Carvin has improved things over the years.

    I think more folks would play ESP/LTD instruments if they can shed some of the perception that they only making "Metal" instruments. I love my p-clone "Vintage 214" and every ESP I've ever held has seemed to be at the top of it's price point in terms of construction.
  19. JEBassman


    Jun 25, 2008
    What a nice looking bass. Enjoy it :)
  20. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle

    Jul 14, 2007
    West Columbia, SC
    Probably the first non-traditional LTD I've ever been attracted to, its a very cool instrument!