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New Bass Day - Custom Build ACG 5-String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jonathan Couper, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Jonathan Couper

    Jonathan Couper

    Feb 10, 2019
    Hey, it's new bass day here in New Zealand. This was a custom build from Alan Cringean Guitars (ACG) in Scotland. I thought I'd share my thoughts in case any of you were considering a similar journey.

    I didn't have any particular reason to get a custom. But I wanted a "good" flexible, gigging 5 string in a natural wood finish with a clean look and I was prepared to take a gamble (and wait some time).

    Did You Receive What You Expected? Yes. The finish came out perfect, and the lines are great. I chose no front-dots, and I'm glad with that call. A pair of humbuckers, and lots of knobs. A clear look with only touches of darker highlight on the front. Plain light wood on the three-piece neck.

    How Long Did It Take? I made first contact in mid May 2019, agreed specs and paid a deposit quickly. The guitar shipped early January, and arrived (after sitting in customs and bio-security for a week) today. So 8 months elapsed. Perfectly reasonable when you see the final product.

    How Good Is The Bass? Visually delicious. Beautiful to hold and play. Set up perfectly out of the case. The promise of a lovely sound (still very bright with brand new strings of course, waiting for it to settle in). The attention to detail is meticulous.

    What Pleases You Most? What I most love about this bass is the knowledge that this was made by a caring, human, skilled craftsman, specifically for a caring, human, semi-skilled musician. Sure, I appreciate any bass when I'm playing it, and I'm thankful for what we do together. But sheesh, this is some next-level poopie altogether. This bass is sex on a shaging stick.

    What Could I Have Choosen? The fancier the options, the more you pay of course. I was trying to stay within "basic" spec. Alan sent me photos of wood samples to choose from, and I liked one of the three. If I didn't, I'm quite sure that he would have dug up more options. Bass makers are patient people. I didn't stretch his skills, maybe next time I'll get a 38" 7-string with 22mm spacing and triple humbuckers. Left handed headless.

    Was It Value For Money? How can you even ask that question, you mercenary bastard! This is about love! But yes, I think it most definitely was. I have a Godin A5 and an Ibanez GWB-205 that are in that exact same price range. Both are well-made, but it's not really fair to compare them to a completely hand-made one-off bass like this, which is in a different class altogether.

    Do I Have Any Complaints? Only one. They are incredibly more-ish. I think I'm gonna do a six-string Krell.

    Do I Recommend ACG? Yes. Without hesitation.

    Attached Files:

  2. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    Very cool, I do like his designs.
    Passinwind likes this.
  3. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    It's a good looking bass, and I'm glad you're happy with it as ordering a custom from the far side of the world must be a little worrying. I mean what if you don't like it? Enjoy.

    My only concern is that once it starts to pick up a local accent on top of it's Scottish brogue, no one on earth is going to be able to tell what it's saying.

    That made me laugh. I use the expression often, but usually get tilty head dog looks. Never seen it before on a forum.
    Jonathan Couper likes this.
  4. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Nice! I think his basses are some of the nicest affordable customs going. Headless next time tho eh bro.
    Jonathan Couper likes this.
  5. Yummy Notes

    Yummy Notes

    Dec 20, 2019
    Very nice bass, amp, and 115. I'm happy that you were rewarded for taking such a gamble.
    Jonathan Couper likes this.
  6. Jonathan Couper

    Jonathan Couper

    Feb 10, 2019
    Yeah, running it through the Mesa definitely helps get the best out of any bass!

    The amp/cab were also a leap of faith. Living in New Zealand, that was also a six-month wait, sight-unseen (sound-unheard) gamble. But as with the ACG, the research seemed to indicate that it was a pretty safe bet for a good result.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I’ve loved every ACG bass I’ve ever seen. Alan is apparently some kind of Wood Wizard.
  8. eude


    Apr 13, 2006
    That's one gorgeous bass, to wondered where it was off to when I saw it pop up on the ACG site.
    I was lucky enough to take delivery of a RetroB too, towards the end of last year.
    Needless to say, all my Jazz Bass requirements and so much more have been well and truly met.


    Enjoy your new bass mate, it's bloody gorgeous!

    wraub and kittywithabanjo like this.
  9. Jonathan Couper

    Jonathan Couper

    Feb 10, 2019
    Heh. I already have ideas. I'm thinking about a 4-string with really wide string spacing, built especially for slap. With just one pickup, and with no knobs at all (I find they get in the way sometimes). And with maybe the RH area routed out by a couple of millimeters just to give a bit more space...
    eude likes this.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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