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New Bass - Pete Hilton 4 (32" scale)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cosmicevan, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    So I've had this bass for a little bit now, but just got around to photos. Here's a quick and dirty review on it (detailed specs/measurements to follow).

    Craftsmanship: Have to start here, since this is what blows me away more than anything else. I found out about Pete Hilton via Carl Thompson (pete works in Carl's shop and has for a few years now). Everything that I love about a Carl Thompson bass, this bass has...but with Pete's design. The balance is perfect, construction flawless and well thought out, and the wood working is 2nd to none. Pete's wood working chops are a big reason why such gorgeous basses are coming out of Carl's shop the past few years...and this bass is no exception.

    I REALLY love how pete exposes the Walnut body wood in the top by carving in 2 slits in the Cocobolo. And the way he signs his headstocks by carving his last name in the top wood...also...unique and classy. The curves on this baby are smooth and everything feels right.

    Playability: When I found out that Pete was building his own basses, I knew I'd eventually have to have one, but with only a shorter scale bass available at the time that I had funds made me a bit nervous. After speaking with Pete a bit (SUPER cool guy and easy to get ahold of) my nerves were eased knowing that all of the subtle design concepts that Carl had taught him were carefully integrated into this bass. With some recent joint pains I figured a shorter scale bass might be just what the doctor ordered so I took the plunge. BOY was this worth it!!!

    The neck is slim fast and you can tell that no detail was overlooked to make this bass play with ultimate ease. The famous neck angle, strap button placement, and carefully carved neck that makes Carl's basses so natural feeling is all there. That with the light weight and extra frets 5 frets on the fretboard make every note you'd want easily accessible. That's right...not 24 frets, but 29...making this 4 string go all the way up to the High C. The 29th fret is also easily accessible without any acrobatics which means that the 24th fret is even easier to get to. Really really well done. But what would you expect from a current apprentice to the master?

    Tone: The passive circuit on this bass is a bit tamer than what I was used to on my old No Frills CT, but you can't coax a bad sound out of the Hilton. With a 3 way toggle switch that switches between muted, normal, and treble defeat, you can get a wide range of tones out of the Armstrong pickup. 2 knobs...volume and tone...does it all.

    So in a nutshell, it actually plays better than it looks and she's a BEAUT!!! I really can't say enough good things about this bass and Pete in general. The Cocobolo top/Walnut body/Bocote back are just mesmerizing and create a chocolate monster bass. I'm definitely into the quirky looks of Pete's reverse scroll body type, but for the uninitiated, I'd have to recommend this body type. Pictures really don't do it justice...but here they are anyway:























  2. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    Gorgeous bass man. You lucky dog....:)
  3. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
  4. Cool! I especially like the headstock logo. :)
  5. Dat's purdy. :bassist:
  6. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    This is the biggest deal for me, that sounds very impressive.
    What kind of pickup is used in your bass?
  7. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    This bass has Kent Armstrong. Pretty much same stuff used on Carl's basses. But a full frills bass at the price of a no frills Carl Thompson.

    I'm extremely impressed with this bass and at this point, I think it's edged itself into the favorite category over the Pavel. Probably the shorter scale and light weight make it the choice instrument for around the house. SUPER happy.

    also, after watching a ton of new CT youtube vids (http://www.youtube.com/user/oconnordc#play/uploads) today, hearing Carl praise Pete over and over and watching Pete finalize some CTs...i feel like picking up this bass may even be somewhat of an investment and not just an amazing instrument?
  8. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    That bass is just sweet, loving the shape.
  9. Very amazing looking bass, just friggen wow! :bassist:
  10. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    you should hear it (and play it).

    book yer tix now for the international talkbass get together next year in NY. this baby will be there.
  11. I could;)

    Great looking bass, and I agree about all the things you've said about Pete Hilton. Stand up guy and excellent woodworker. His body designs are new and fantastic. I could not recommend him more highly.

    Congrats on the bass, and play in good health.
  12. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    maybe if you could coax some bad sounds out of your CTs, you might be able to get a bad sound out of the Hilton...but I've tried...it's hard..the bass sounds SICK!
  13. scottm

    scottm Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Man, I stared at this bass a bunch of times and was so tempted to buy it.
    .... I need to order one :bag:

  14. Ha!!I was just cruising thru CT's website today!!My first thought when seeing this (your new) bass was:Your bass reminds me of "THE WEAPON",and that "Football" Jack Plate!"That's GOTTA BE a CT-inspired bass!"
    Which btw,is what CT called his mid-70's era basses (pre-scroll),due to the shape of the upper and lower horn on the body.
    Boy,Pete sure is a lucky dude,having the rare privilege to work with a (or,should I say "THE") master such as Mr.Thompson.

    Beautiful,beautiful bass,BTW.

    Is it super-light in weight,like CT Basses???
  15. PatO


    May 21, 2006
    Colchester VT
    wow... beautiful bass man!
  16. conundrum


    May 10, 2008
    If I have to ask, I can't afford it, but how much?
  17. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    Thanks for all the kind words. The bass blows my mind every time I play it.

    SUPER light just like CT basses. I'd be surprised if the bass weighs more than 6lbs.

    as for the pricing...she wasn't cheap, but worth every penny. put it this way...i picked up this and a 2nd hand Pavel after selling my Fodera and Acacia. This was the most I ever spent on a single instrument (and one of the few basses that I didn't buy second hand). Same price as a No Frills CT, but you get the frills.

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