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NBD - Roscoe Beck V - Long Time Coming Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EtoBb, Sep 27, 2017.


  1. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    20170927_095414.jpg I purchased this bass in Feb of 2016, but it's still my newest bass and I think by now I can give a pretty objective impression of it.

    This is my second 5 string bass. The first was a Lakland Skyline 55-01 that I couldn't get to sound good in rehearsal and I ended up selling it pretty quickly. In retrospect that was probably my shortcoming, not the bass. When I decided to go for another 5er, it was between this, another Skyline 55-01, and a Fender Dimension V H Deluxe. I ended up with this because it felt the most like my previous main bass, a Fender Marcus Miller 4, and having to choose between an always active or always passive bass, I'd rather always passive.

    I wanted to give a fair shake at becoming a natural sounding 5 string player, so I decided to put up the 4 strings and play this bass exclusively. Within a few weeks of purchase I had a few 3 and 5 hour gigs, and that really helped/forced me to find my footing. Since then I have logged a lot of hours practicing, rehearsing, recording, and gigging on this guy.

    It certainly has a lot of tonal options, but I find myself mostly using the pickups in single coil mode and switching between bridge, neck, and both. The other options are good and have their place, but those singles just sound GOOD, ya know? When I play in church I go bass>DI>PA, and I'll usually use the front pickup with the tone rolled off, so I'll put it in parallel hum-bucking mode to buck that humming.

    The neck is pretty rad. No dead notes, the asymmetrical profile is comfy. I ran some steel wool and a sanding pad across the back to get rid of some of that clear coat. I like it a lot now. I also added string retainers to the B and E strings. It seems to have helped tension and seems to make the low notes on the B ring better.

    I lowered the neck pickup on the bass side a little because I found that the B string would sometimes touch. Overall I'm pretty happy with the bass, but I do find the B string to have a little flop when I'm slapping and thumping. I've been applying a lighter touch and really improving my technique, but it's hard to get solid iconic slap sounds past the 3rd or 4th fret. Luckily I can switch to the E string.

    Here are some recordings I made with the bass:
    MorLove
    Every studio I have taken this to, the engineers have made some approving comment when they get signal from the bass.

    I don't know what it's strung with because honestly, I haven't changed the strings or set it up since purchase. I'd like to experiment with through body stringing whenever I get around to changing the strings. 20170927_095449.jpg

    This last pic is actually a dog.
    20170927_094046.jpg
     
  2. Happy bass/dog day!
     
    lowdownthump and EtoBb like this.
  3. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks! I'm pretty satisfied with both of 'em.
     
    lowdownthump likes this.
  4. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Nice score!

    Congrats and enjoy!

    :bassist:
     
    EtoBb likes this.
  5. tat2clod

    tat2clod

    Nov 19, 2011
    Bloomington IN
    Nice score man, love the color on the guitar and dog.
     
    lowdownthump and EtoBb like this.
  6. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks! I periodically want to change the pick guard but I'm the kind of person who can't even be bothered to change the strings, so who knows! Maybe gold anodized aluminum? red?

    I'm pretty fond of the dog's color too
     
  7. Bass_Thumper

    Bass_Thumper

    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    Looks great. Maybe one day Fender will put these back into production so we could all get one.
     
    EtoBb likes this.
  8. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I wonder if these would sell better if they were branded differently and not associated with a player a lot of musicians might not know.

    The roscoe beck bass has a lot of extra features that gear geeks and players like, but still retains that classic fender image that traditionalists demand. It just looks more fender than a lot of their other designs that didn't catch on.

    I'd be interested in a new one if they kept the same pups. Some of fender's modern construction quality might give this a run for its money.
     
  9. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    It's probably worth mentioning that the dog's name is Roscoe.
     
  10. bassmangreg

    bassmangreg

    Jun 20, 2001
    Warrenton, NC
    17051.jpg

    yes.. these are nice basses!
     
  11. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    lowdownthump and EtoBb like this.
  12. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL

    We need to know!
     
  13. bassmangreg

    bassmangreg

    Jun 20, 2001
    Warrenton, NC
    yes
     
    lowdownthump likes this.
  14. bassmangreg

    bassmangreg

    Jun 20, 2001
    Warrenton, NC
    yes.. all of them
     
    lowdownthump likes this.
  15. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    That's a whole lotta Roscoe. Which is your favorite? Least favorite?
     
  16. bassmangreg

    bassmangreg

    Jun 20, 2001
    Warrenton, NC
    I like the shoreline gold bass the best.. it was the first of the Roscoe basses that I got and it the neck is the easiest fit for my hands, the others are about equal as far as favorite. I bought the red bass twice because the first one I got had different hardware and the asymmetrical neck was pretty weird. That's an old picture, I have since changed the pickguard on the sunburst bass to tortoise shell. I have the original cases for all of them. I bought two of these twice and I was lucky enough to go back to Samash and Guitar Center to find them hangin on the wall after I ventured off trading for some basses like Pedullas, Zon, Spectors and an Alembic and RBasses and things like that. I dont play them much anymore and thinking about selling them one day to one person. I mainly play fender 5 US p basses now.
     
  17. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Do you remember what was different about the hardware?

    I thought all of them had asymmetrical necks? Was that first red just poorly cut?

    We probably need an updated pic.
     
    krimo likes this.
  18. EtoBb

    EtoBb

    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I’d like to know when that day comes!
     
  19. Mvilmany

    Mvilmany

    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Changing non-Tort to Tort always makes the world a better place.
     
  20. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I was talking with Bill Lawrence's wife on the phone some years back. I owned an RBV at the time and wanted to add one of those pickups to the bridge position of my 5 string P bass. Knowing that Bill designed them with Roscoe I figured I would go to the source.

    According to her.... again her version was that..... "Roscoe is a sweet person and Fender did him wrong". It was "out of respect for Roscoe" that Bill would not make those pickups anymore.

    So, clearly, negotiations between Roscoe and Fender went south.

    This conversation happened several years ago and I admit I am passing on second-hand info.

    I really enjoyed my time with my RBV. I have stated in several threads that it is such an important piece that I think (much like an SVT and fridge) every bass player show own one at least once. It allows you to explore passive bass tone like few others can.

    It heavily influenced the decisions I made regarding the design of my Hammersmith.

    The bridge pickup is dual coil and has a series/single/parallel switch. Master volume and tone with neck/both/bridge selector for pickups. These design elements were ripped directly from the RBV I owned. Oddly enough, the Bill Lawrence from the RBV and the Seymour Duncan NYC aren't miles apart in tone and response. @MarkoYYZ actually suggested the mini switches (also similar to the RBV coil switches) and I'm glad he did. They stay out of the way and have a solid "click" when switching positions.

    @EtoBb Great review, great looking RBV, and one really sharp looking dog.
    20171202_084310.jpg
     
    EtoBb, bassmangreg and Bass_Thumper like this.

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