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NBD/Review: Jericho Alpha 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PJ4, May 23, 2018.


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  1. PJ4

    PJ4

    Apr 21, 2015
    Wisconsin
    NBD/Review: Jericho Alpha 5

    I haven't seen many reviews on this bass so I thought I'd try to contribute. Also, this is my first post, so be kind ;-D

    I'd been wanting a 5-string PJ bass when I saw the Jericho Alpha 5. I sent a couple of emails about string spacing and weight. I never received a reply but thought it might be worth rolling the dice for the specs: 35" scale, Macassar fretboard, Hipshot hardware, and StewMac pickups for $799.

    PACKAGING:
    No case or gig-bag, but packaging was great. Box with-in a box and lots of bubble wrap. Was detuned for shipping, about a whole step flat out of the box. Came with 2 allen wrenches. Graphtech Black Tusq XL nut, Ernie Ball strings (not sure the model but they feel rougher like stainless steel).

    SET-UP:
    I use the John Carruthers method with a 0.015 feeler gauge at the 7th fret, the relief was just about perfect out of the box. The nut slots are also just about perfect, practically no movement when I fret at 3 and press on the first fret. B string is 3/32 above the 20th fret, G string is 2/32. Adjustable bridge, came set at 17.5 mm string spacing. Fit and finish are very good: tight neck pocket, smooth fret ends, no buzzing or dead spots yet, one spot near the bridge where the edge of the body binding shows through the flat black finish. The flat black finish is smooth and even while the binding and 3-ply pickguard give some definition to the shape. The string retainer seems solid and clean. I'll probably smooth over the tall edge of the nut near the G string. Time will tell if the finish is a fingerprint magnet.

    SOUND:
    This bass is passive and set up Volume Volume Tone. I really like the sound of the StewMac pickups both soloed and together. [My main bass is an Ibanez fanned fret 5-string that I play in passive mode with D'addario ProSteels. It feels great, plays great, records great, but the Bartolini BH1 pickups have, for my tastes, always seemed to lack midrange character. I use a Sansamp or Aguilar ToneHammer to add some character to the midrange and end up with a tone that I'm happy with.] To my ear, the StewMac pickups sound like a PJ set should and seem very even string to string without using my compressor. Going straight into my amp, the midrange is a lot more articulate than the BH1s. I haven't used it with the Sansamp or ToneHammer yet, but I'm definitely pleased with the versatility this gives me.

    CONS:
    Weight. I did request a lighter bass "under 10 lbs. if possible" in the comments section when I placed my order but knew that I ran the risk of getting a heavy bass. My digital scale errored out when trying to weigh this bass. The bathroom scale method puts it at 11.2 lbs. I usually play 30 minute sets at church, so I might be able to adjust to the weight.
    Alpha 5 specs. IMG_20180523_161103049. IMG_20180523_161131342. IMG_20180523_161142811. IMG_20180523_161218009. IMG_20180523_161206013.
     
    TonyP- likes this.
  2. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass Electronics
    I was curious to hear about these basses.
     
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    great looking ax! hope the weight thing works out for you. congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
     
  4. PJ4

    PJ4

    Apr 21, 2015
    Wisconsin
    Thanks guys! I am really enjoying this bass. I debated whether to just deal with the weight or try to lighten the bass. I finally decided to just go for it and try to reduce the weight. I was able to cut about 1 lb. by routing under the pickguard and adding a rear control cavity. It balances well and I am happy with the results. I've included some of the details in another post here. Here's a pic of me getting started: IMG_20180608_205140567.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
    Daniel Piper likes this.
  5. Hal Truitt

    Hal Truitt

    Nov 14, 2018
     

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