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NBD! MGBass Extreman 4 (warning: single-cut conent)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Real Soon, Nov 17, 2018.


  1. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    As much fun as extended range is, I still spend a good bit of gig time on 4-string basses. So I've been saving and looking around, and thinking maybe I'm ready for my first actual boutique bass. Now, I didn't have nearly the $ for a new one of that quality, so I thought, so I was looking on Reverb at some very cool preowned custom builds, things like Beardly and Simonetti pieces, though I was leaning more toward active since I've got my passive tones pretty well covered.

    Well, out of nowhere I saw an MGBass Extreman. Never heard of them, went to the site, and...mind blown by the custom options for some incredibly beautiful modern instruments. It'd take some months to have a build done, so I mulled it over while looking at the Extreman on sale (at a discount, no less).

    Brand new, a custom build for one J. Baptiste, who ended up not purchasing this one. Custom add-ons were a wenge ramp, active EMG 35DC pickups, and a Vol/Vol wiring instead of Vol/Blend for the EMG BQC preamp.

    Style-wise, it's tame compared to some of the wood & finish options available, but hey--if I'm gigging, I don't want to look like a peacock all the time. And I think it's still pretty freakin' striking.

    I asked Mauricio a dozen questions and he answered all of them readily, and I discovered the spacings, radius, neck, etc were all right up my alley, as if the bass had been custom made for ME. He was just great, super cool guy, upgraded my shipping for no charge due to the holiday, checked in to ensure it arrived safely, everything.

    It technically arrived yesterday, but after letting it acclimate in its hard case, most of the play time on it happened in the wee hours today (luckily, downstairs neighbor was out of town!).

    I'm now the proud owner of one incredibly bold and punchy sounding, beautifully built and finished, Extreman 4-string.

    One day I'm going to do a full custom build with Mauricio, I can feel it. THAT one is going to be one wild animal.

    20181117_152458. 20181117_152236. 20181117_152148. 20181117_152214.
     
  2. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    As an owner of several "unique" basses, I applaud you and love this single cut. That is one unique bird. Play it in good health.
     
    Real Soon likes this.
  3. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Illinois
    That is one striking looking bass. I hope it is as comfortable to play as it is easy to look at.

    Emg pickups are at their best in a wood sandwich type of bass IMHO. I’m sure it sounds great! There are 2 dip switches on the treble pot which will alter the Q of your control. Could be fun to mess with if you are somehow bored of playing that thang.

    Congrats! :bassist:
     
    Real Soon likes this.
  4. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Thankya! I'm feeling great about it, have checked it out in the mirror, only get more enamored with each note played on it. I think I did good with this one. Hopefully the first of several one-of-a-kind instruments in years to come.


    Thankya! It has this feeling of being hefty and light at the same time, and the neck feels like the gas pedal of a sportscar, daring me to play a little faster. haha...and the tone is the kind I hear on live recordings of guys who wreck the house effortlessly, which is already encouraging me to double up on practice sessions. & I'm a tweaker, so good tip on the preamp control settings! I haven't popped open the back yet, but that's happening later today I think.
     
  5. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    One gripe: the knobs.

    EMG made such a nice preamp that went into this bass, and the stacked knobs are poorly made cheap plastic affairs with little hanging chads on them, making the mids sweep and level grab each other. I was able to lift the treble knob so it and the bass don't move each other around, but it looks like a run for medium sandpaper is in order to get the mids working right.

    I'm kind of a sucker for cool knobs, though...so if I can find some nice custom wood ones or something, I may just go for that.

    The bass itself sang at rehearsal today, though. It took some adjustment after last night's gig on my P, but I can get a punchy boom on this thing, so maybe I'll sub it in with the P-bass band and see how it works.
     
  6. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Ebony wood knobs would be my first choice.
     
    Real Soon likes this.
  7. As one of the few (I believe) 4-string SC players, I say:

    NICE BASS!
    I recently looked at MG's site; pretty sweet builds.

    Yours is one of them for sure, that fretboard-Wow!

    Nice touch to show it by your music stand too!:cool:
     
    Real Soon likes this.
  8. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I've seen one or two stacked knob sets in, turns out, ebony. They look mighty nice! Different measurements from the sizes I need, though.

    I'm also a pretty huge sucker for zebrawood, and wouldn't mind mahogany to match the body either.

    Either way, it looks like if I want any full-wood stacked knobs, I'll have to find a wood specialist for some custom work, or try to fit together a hybrid set.

    Thankya! Yeah, the fretboard makes my mouth water every time I look at it haha...and the neck in general is stunning to look at from player POV. Gonna be putting that music stand to work a lot to justify owning this thing!
     
  9. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    For the knobs, I hit Mauricio up, and he said he'll put me in touch Monday with a guy set up to make custom wood knobs. We'll see how that goes, and in the meantime, I'm getting the relief just right.

    Interestingly, the frets seem to round off a bit more on the low and high strings (most noticeable on the G string), so I've had to use a bit more care to avoid slipping off the fretboard. It's not enough to make me have to compensate, but I think it's exposing a bit of technical issue on my part.
     
  10. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Got a bit of a problem....

    I can't stop playing this bass.

    I love my Washburn Taurus. But...its cutaway doesn't give me nearly the same amount of high fret access, its neck doesn't feel nearly as perfectly "dense"-yet-handleable, its shape doesn't give me nearly the same hand position comfort, and its tone, even with mods for flexibility, doesn't give me nearly the amount of sonic character I can dial in.

    I told myself I'd only break this out for occasional use, let it be the deus ex machina fairy princess plot twist, but I've only been on the Washburn for slap practice. Everything else, I keep picking up the MGBass.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    @Real Soon, how are you liking your MGBasses? I'm a 5'er and looking at his 5 string basses.
     
  12. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Tell you what, I'm gonna be lazy and link you to my reaction in another thread here. Spoiler alert: it's really good. Haha

    Oh wait, I just spotted you in that thread! That opinion's holding up.


    Last night I had my first full-rig stage gig on it, going thru a pedalboard capped with a Two Notes Le Bass set to channel B, pretty decent amount of overdrive, out of an Ampeg 2x10. I fed it some extra lows from the MGBass preamp (plus a small lower mids boost to taste) to get a fatter pre-EQ drive sound, and the sound man fed me back a big fat chunky monitor, topped with crispness from balanced pickups, fresh strings, and tube drive.

    Needless to say, I was in tone heaven. drooldrooldrool

    Also, the photographer at the show kept pointing her camera my way...muahaha
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
    Nightman likes this.
  13. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I opened 'er up a couple weeks ago after doing some research on the EMG preamp switches, and verified that they were already in the position I'd want them.

    And also...discovered that this puppy is wired up for 18V. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of that (what, gotta buy two batteries every time!?), but then did some actual research on what it means to have a preamp running at 18V, and now I think I'd be fine with all future active basses running that way. Heh
     
  14. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    On 1/29, I played my first gig with a new outfit, a modern rock group with desert/stoner vibes and ambient rock sounds, plus a bluesy jammy cut. Ran the full stack, pedalboard with Le Bass preamp going to Quilter Bass Block 800 into one Hartke 210XL and one Ampeg SVT-210AV. The pedalboard included fuzz/envelope/compressor, phaser/chorus/octave, delay, mixes of the above with the Le Bass at A/B/Hot Fusion at points.

    The Extreman went balanced pickups and output fitted to how I wanted the pedals and BB800 to respond. EMG active pre + active pickups, man...I just felt like whatever the setting, there was a bit of edge in the sense of clarity in the sound, even when I dialed down the highs for the bluesier joints. And the neck just didn't care if I went gentle into that good night or pulled on it some for extra grip on runs or weird riffs.

    This is really a top end handmade boutique bass, and I paid less than a lot of premium assembly line basses ask.

    I still have to do a bit of fret dressing to make it completely speedster super-low action ready, but to me, playing it with incredible result at low action for months now, that's a specialty thing. Doesn't make the neck any less perfect to grip while rocking out, y'know?
     
    gebass6 likes this.

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