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NBD! Paradigm Shift

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by P. Aaron, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I say paradigm shift because I have gone non-Fender and I bought used! From right here thru the Talk Bass Classifieds.

    First off, thanks to Duke 2004 for deciding to part with this lovely bass. Thanks also for the careful packing, inclusion of the hang tags and available literature, and...shipping to me a bass in superb condition. A 9.99997 out of possible 10.

    My 2002 American Standard and 2010 Precision V are very fine basses. Especially the P-5. It is very light, its tone fits almost any playing situation I am in and can maintain incredibly low action but, curiosity keeps us discovering.

    I wanted a non-Fender bass because my arthritis is not getting better, and this plays easier than the P-5. Both basses really are great instruments, but the Big Al owns the low B. Thunder, definition and clarity. The P-5 does well and it is a tone, vibe, mojo machine all its own.

    I expect both basses to be very busy. To keep things interesting, I have my ever reliable 2002 P-Bass to remind me to be simple & solid.

    Anyhow, no pics no bass right?


    The matching head stock was the clincher.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    A few more pics:

    I'm so confused! After playing a P-Bass for over a decade...knobs! Tons of 'em! What to do?


  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Nice score! Those things are cool looking, and you don't see them too often, which to me is a plus, because I like something distinctive. I mean this as a compliment: the Big Al has always made me think of what Judy Jetson might rock if she were in a punk band. :bassist:
  4. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    that is awesome! I played one of those this past weekend and I swear, I don't think that there is a tone that you can't get with that bass. Very, very, very nice.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Playing impressions are thus so far: Very easy to fret anywhere up & down the neck. The Big Al takes a very light touch to get sound. The P-5 can take some major digging but requires a gentler touch up high on the neck and when plucking & fretting the B string.

    The G string will slide off on the Big Al but, this is also part of the learning curve because the Precision(s) can be handled with a much heavier hand without really altering pitch and the differences in neck width.

    Weight-wise, I can't really tell vs either P-Bass. I know it's a bit heavier but it sits well when standing and I got no gripes.

    I also like the 3-pickup option. If the 'Ray had this, I may have bought one years ago but then again, it wouldn't be a 'Ray.

    I like the passive tone(s). The middle pickup is real close to a Precision tone. Neck gets JB type growls. Front PU is fat. This bass also has tonal options that remind me of a Bongo I borrowed for a few weeks.

    Have not really explored the active side of this bass much yet. Many rehearsals coming up where I'll be able to find the sweet spots.
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Thanks. I like the shape too. Vanity, maker and then, is the instrument any good? I am so shallow.
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    After having the Big Al for about 2 weeks I have started to work it over a bit.

    Any PU selection was very bass heavy and low output from the D & G strings up the neck so, I adjusted the PU height overall and it easily balanced out the sound-tone vs attack across the board.

    I also adjusted the saddle height on the A, D, & G strings because their buzzing was killing sustain and bloom. The neck is nice & straight. This bass was well cared for by its previous owner.

    The strings are almost new but I am thinking that the DR Low Rider Nickels will tame the exuberance when switching to active. When active, it becomes a completely different bass. I have yet to play it with the band but I am working it through my rig to determine what to adjust.

    It faces tough competition from the Precision V which with DR Sunbeams (nickel plated) has really tamed and refined the P-V's B string! These strings may work for you P-V players that have similar 'nice try Fender' feelings about the B string. Much nicer B definition open and up & down the neck.

    On the passive side, the middle PU is the closest to the P-Bass sound that I can get. I realize I am working a completely different bass than the Fender but, there's a great bass in here...with the right strings and tweaks, I'll have it working great for the R & B band and for Young Country.

    The playability, feel, and vibe, the neck and the ergonomics are terrific. Having tried out a number of Stingray's, & a Bongo, and not really being enthused by other available basses in this prince range, I think I have found a great addition, a keeper. :hyper:
  8. They still make Sanka?
  9. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    As many comments about that stinkin' can as about the new and awesome bass I bought.
  10. That's one crazy looking bass. First time I've really seen one of these, as they're not that common around where I am, I've only seen one Bongo but this makes that look a sane machine.

    Seems though it's a cracking instrument and it's definitely one that would attract some attention, and the added info makes it something I'll be keeping an eye out for down the line to see if I can get some hands on time with one.
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Great score, my impression of Big Al basses - from playing them in stores - has generally been positive, they seem to be very, very versatile machines.
  12. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    With new, improved flavor!

    I go back and forth on the whole Jetsons look of this thing, but I love the electronics concept going on here. On paper, it should be the best EBMM has to offer. I've never seen one in person, though.
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    It's a mahogany body underneath. A two-piece. I figured weight would be a factor but, it seems to be in the 8-9lbs range as my other 2 Precisions.

    I got over the looks right away. Especially in the white w/rosewood. It's a nice graphic for onstage playing and sounds & plays quite nicely. Very comfortable to play.

    It was the only MM 5 string product I was interested in. Tried to like the 'Rays I played but they did not get to me like this one has.
  14. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Very nice.

    I am seriously considering a Big Al 5 myself very soon.
  15. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    I named my BA5-H after Judy's little brother "Elroy" when I bought it new 3+ yrs ago. I think it's what Elroy would have played if he was in a rock band.


  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Nice score, nice pics, and thanks for the rundown on your cool new bass. I still avoid narrow-spaced fivers, but I think I'm in your age bracket and some arthritis is definitely settling in :(, so I should never say never (sigh).
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I can concur though I still play through the pain on my P-V. The sound & feel is just too good.

    After further discovery, I switched out the strings for DR Low Rider Nickels and suddenly this thing has character at every turn. The nickel strings seems to have tamed the honk that the stainless strings had and have brought some serious growl all around.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    As I'm sure you were already aware, one of the most overlooked factors in tone is strings. IME, a string set that sounds good on one bass might not work well on another. This is especially true when switching from passive to active or v/v, but regardless, each time I get a new bass I try her out with different string sets before passing final judgment on tone.