New Rick Turner Renaissance Electroline

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AaronS, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. For the past couple months I have been looking for a new bass in the $1000 and under range. It was down to a Geddy Lee or a Skyline Joe Osborn when the owner of my favorite shop brought back the Turner Electroline that he had been using in his home studio. When I picked it up, the body and the neck felt perfect for me. It only weighs about 8.5 pounds and (3.9 kg for JMX)and the wood is supposed to be swamp ash salvaged from the old Dodger Stadium. It is so resonant that people could hear me playing lightly while unplugged from 25 feet away. It has two Turner soapbar pickups and his "Reference" piezo system. While a fretted solid body will never duplicate the sound of an upright, this comes closer than any other guitar I've heard. With the piezo on and the magnetics turned down I timed the sustain for the 12 fret D string at 2 minutes! The range of tones on this guitar is amazing. I never thought I would own a bass this fine. This goes with my Santa Cruz D and my 1952 Fender D8 steel guitar in the NEVER SELL category.
  2. I'll try to post a photo again.
  3. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    Ooooo.... that is nice. How much did that set you back?
  4. I think the list price on the bass is probably close to $2,000. I left the shop with the bass and an Ashdown Mag 200 combo w/ 115 for $1500. I was the first customer when the shop opened, I always pay cash and Dave, the owner, got a super deal on the amp due delivery delays caused by the West Coast dock workers strike last fall.
  5. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

    We don't want the prices of Electrolines going through the roof! My main bass is a EL535 fretless with the same piezo/soapbars configuration and it is definitely in the "do not sell" category. I've seen a lot of different finishes and options on these basses and I still like the plain jane natural finish on those gorgeous swamp ash bodies. I gotta admit that the burst on that bass is killer. My Electroline sounds like the bass sound that I hear in my head, and what it won't do on its own it does with the help of a SansAmp BDDI.

    Yeah, the sound, the sustain, the neck, the hardware... geez, I want to blow outta work and go home and play in the worst way now...

  6. Avs


    Feb 19, 2001
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I bought mine one or two years ago from ebay and had it shipped to Taiwan. Tung oil/natural finish, very nice feeling for body and neck. The sound is very "woody", that's the first word I can think of. I found it sound good when I practice alone but I have difficulty to have it blend well in a jam session. So I bring it out less and less. Recently I put a set of Thomasik-Infeld nylon string and use piezo only. The sound is between classical guitar and acoustic bass. Wonderful! I will try bring it to jam again.

    I am not good at blending a good tone. Can you let me know which setting you prefer when playing jazz with normal strings on this model (I might not use the nylon ones later because they are so expensive)?

    The only cosmetic complain I have on this bass is its plastic headstock cover. I believe it wraps (i mean, not attach very well) due to humidity or improper glue process. I prefer the wooden cap with lion logo.
  7. This is sweet Aaron!


  8. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Oh yes!! That was the one David told me about. David's shop use to be here in Arkansas. I still buy all of my gear from him even though his is in CO!! Great bass!! I love the Turners!!
  9. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    A natural-finish Electroline fretted 4 w/ his Diamond pup & piezo bridge is in my "want-to-buy
    along with about 1/2 dozen other basses list."

    I owned a fretless 4 Turner Renaissance, and I know he is one of the best no -BS nothin'-extra
    pure bass-tone builders in the universe.

    Enjoy & play the hell outta your beautiful Sunburst/Rosewood piece of art. It's a GREAT bass.
  10. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Like THIS:
  11. xyllion

    xyllion Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I agree totally. My Electroline is in the do not sell category. The sound of it is just what I'd hope for out of a fretless.

    I bought mine brand-new from Dude at the beginning of this year. I kept drooling every time I saw pics of it and finally broke down and bought it. Here's a pic, click on the pic to see more pics:

  12. Gee, for the first couple of months after my initial post I was starting to feel a little lonely. Not many people wanted to comment on my new baby. All of a sudden, it has lots of interest. After 2 months I like it even more than I did at first. It fits me so well and the tone is so close to what I hear in my head that lots of other basses just don't interest me any more. And at least twice a week my wife tells me how much she likes the tone and the appearance.
  13. Mine:

  14. Avs


    Feb 19, 2001
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Wow, that's a beatiful one, very similar to mine :bassist:

    Is it a customized one? What does the switch do?

    I want to order a customized one from Rick. Do you guys know how much % off list we can get if we order directly from Rick?
  15. wow, that is a good catch! The switch was added for a previous owner by Rick. It is a low cut (high pass) switch that only cuts the piezo lows. It is helpful in eliminating some of the rumble since the piezos will make some really heavy low end. The controls are master vol, blend, piezo blend, high cut.
  16. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX

    Beautiful bass! I know: I play not one, but two, Electrolines 5's that are 100% identical to yours... one fretted, one fretless. Amen about the tone.

    One thing Rick did on my fretless 5 was add a concentric tone control, so I can roll off the highs of the piezo independently of the mags... I usually roll off the piezo and keep the mags less-attentuated. Sounds great!

    I totally agree about the natural sound... one thing I also like is that the Electrolines are very responsive, which is not common for a 5-string in my experience. I generally find that 4's are more responsive than 5's, but 'm quite happy with the Electroline in this regard. A well-kept secret, in some ways.

  17. Wow, the Turner faithful are out there, you just need to know how to smoke 'em out, I guess.

    That is cool about having matching fretted and fretlesses. I recently had a chance to pick up a fretted up that was a dead ringer for my fretless but I didn't have the cash, or the desire to sell off another bass. I've seen a few other Electroline 5's but most are either burst or solid color, and all have had a heavy built up finish. Mine feels almost like bare wood. It has a very sloght sealer coat and that is about it.

    The concentric tone for mag/piezo sounds very interesting. That is the cool thing about Rick. He will work with you to get what you want. I've seen a lot of different configurations and it reflects his ability and imagination, and the imaginations of his customers.

    It really is an amazing instrument. Mine is strung with TI Jazz Rounds and they sound great on it.
  18. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I'm thinking of ordering the acoustic version in 5 string fretless; anyone have experience with these ?
  19. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    You mean the piezo only Ren 5? I have one. I also keep it in the "don't sell" category. Contrary to what a lot of people say, the tone of the Ren is nowhere close to an upright tone IMO, so don't buy it for that. The basic sound is "stringy" and nasal, with some acoustic detail, though the passive tone control lets you dial out that detail if you want. It's not hollow and thumpy, like an upright.

    Considering who the maker is, the Rens (and Electrolines) are underpriced sleepers. Their build quality is impeccable.
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This may be an old thread, but it's quite appropriate for me right now, as I recently picked up a natural finish fretted EL-535 in a trade. I am really thrilled with it so far, but I am thinking about having Rick mod the preamp to add a second tone control, or something, as I feel like I'd like to tweak the tone a bit more. It goes from very clear and bright to very full, thick, and a bit muted rather quickly with just the one tone control. I do need to spend some more time blending the magnetic and piezo pickups, though.

    All in all, I am really happy with this bass! It's a great player, and it does indeed resonate quite well.

    Pics to follow!

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