Not another New Standard...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Uncletoad, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Just picked up a Cleveland from the fabulous Nnick LLoyd in the land of chili coneys. Outstanding bass. I played it while hanging out over a baseball game and some work he was doing for me. Immediate GAS. Had to sell a bunch of stuff to get it. She'll take her maiden voyage on tomorrow nights gig. I'll have some pics and a report after.
  2. Chili Coneys give a lot of people immediate gas.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    So you had no intention of buying a bass when you went to Nnick's?
  4. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    No actually I was there to have him recut my fingerboard and he said "hey have you played one of those Cleveland basses?"


    What's more interesting than that is that I expected my next DB to be some $10K carved whatever made way before I was born. I am a vintage instrument guy. I've bought new amps and such before but never a "new" instrument. I prefer to have them seasoned already. Moreover I was on the fence about another laminate instrument. This one just spoke to me though.

    This guy's sound just fit all the gigs I play now really well. It played evenly across the neck in all the positions I spend time in. Fat and rich but also clear. It's larger upper bout and thicker neck forced me to play in balance better with a more open stance. My other DB has hot and dead spots I have to work around and I tend to draw inward when I play it adding to my tendency towards downward pull.

    In the end I knew if I spent all that bread on some fabulous old thing I'd have a tough time justifying dragging it into all the dumps and funky spots I play in. I realized this bass is just a really efficient gig bass that I imagine myself beating the sh*t out of on doorways and hanging overhead lamps while it gets old.

    The chili was fabulous, Nnick is completely generous with his time. I now fart in your general direction.

    More later...
  5. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Played the maiden voyage gig with the new bass last night. Fantastic.

    I struggled a bit in the beginning as the band was playing pretty loudly and I needed to tweak my bass and volume knobs to get louder without feeding back. I was initially disturbed by the front end of my notes not having enough definition. The attack was lacking in immediacy and my groove was harder to define. I suspect that is mostly a new Spirocore thing than anything else. The midrange was a bit weak as well, again a new spiro thing I suspect. I've got to give the whole thing more time. I hate breaking in strings.

    What I liked was the even response across the bass. I found I was trying stuff that I normal don't because every note I played was there and sounded good. I didn't have to avoid certain things here or there and noticed the beginnings of being freer to express my own voice rather than being dictated by the instrument's idiosyncrasies.

    But that's not the best part. I noticed most of all that my hands didn't hurt when I was done with two 1.5 hours sets. They usually do. I've been working way to hard on that other bass to make it sound like something musical. This thing is a true pro instrument. Making music on this guy is easy.
  6. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Welcome to Cleveland, UncleToad! I've got #110, a big-shouldered blonde beauty. Mine was a year old when I got her from Arnold and had spent some time on display at David Gage's so I feel like she was already broken in.

    My Cleveland responds quickly both plugged and un- so I think a little playing time will take care of the attack issue. Mine came with some well-worn Spiro Mittels and I'm currently using Pirastro Jazzers which are similar to Spiro Weichs. I associate Spiros with midrange and strong attack so I'm not entirely sure the strings are the problem. I find myself plucking closer to the bridge than I would on smaller basses to get a more defined sound.

    I had a chance to A-B the Cleveland with a laminated LaScala at Arnold's shop. The smaller LaScala has a growl in the upper midrange that the Cleveland just can't match, but the Cleveland has an incredibly deep, full voice that's just a thing of beauty. As you mentioned, its playability and evenness of tone are impressive.

    I do feel that this bass has so much bottom end that it works best with pickups that emphasize the mids and highs. I see you're using the Full Circle but I don't have any experience with that pickup. Mine came with a Realist which (IMO) was not a good match for this bass--big bottom and no note definition.

    For playing in loud situations I've had good results with the Schertler Stat-B and the Underwood. The BassMax is a bit more forgiving but doesn't quite have the attack of the Stat or the Underwood. The Revolution Solo seems to have the definition of the Underwood with some of the BassMax's warmth but I haven't worked it into the gigging rotation yet. Dunno if you want to mess with pickups but it might be worth a try.
  7. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Hey Phil, Congrats on the new bass! My Cleveland (#170) has spiros back on it and I'm totally diggin' the sound. The strings are about eight months old and are starting to sound really good. Once the initial twang wears off I really like that big thunk at the front of note. Ditto on the happy hands. I've been playing in a bar band that wants to be SRV+DT and even at that volume the fourth set is cake. My current set-up is solo rev. into a GK mb150+ext. speaker(sometimes). This pickup is a little unnatural at high volumes, but I can take it off completely for practice and other projects, the details are lost at that volume anyway. These basses are killers sans pickups, huge sound, lots of presence. The love affair is neverending.

  8. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Yea. Spent time playing both acoustic and plugged in practice this afternoon. I'm pretty sure that I just need to play this thing more. I think that the tone thing I was struggling with last night has more to do with me getting familiar with a new tool. Read that as User Error.

    I'm a sucker for the big low end and would trade that for mids and highs any day. The deep big sound of that bass is what was killing me from the beginning. Its what I hear in my head when I think about bass. With my rig this bass was rattling the walls. It was huge sounding last night and my band mates loved it.

    Uggh. I was hoping not to have to go through pickups and strings again. I've considered the Stat-B before, maybe worth a try but I'm not buying another thing for at least 6 months.

    For now I'm going to just play this thing through the winter and into the spring without changing a thing and see what happens.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yup, that's Nnick, all right. On the other hand, it also serves to describe YOU now as well. Next time I'm up that way, I'd love to get my mitts on your bass for a minute. Congrats!
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Yeah, I hate those high pressure sales situations.
  11. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I now have a handful of gigs and some practice time under my belt. The Spiros are starting to mellow a bit. I have to say this bass is a monster. I couldn't resist trying some of the strings I had laying around the house on it just to see, but I keep going back to the spiro reds. THE modern Jazz DB tone. Sustain for days, bright big round punchy growly sound. A pretty good distance from the bluegrass tone of the old German plywood I've been playing. Super easy to play. Easy to amplify. I'm using nothing around the tailpiece or afterlength and it gets plenty loud and huge sounding.

    Here's a pic of the big boy.
  12. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    'Tis a fine-looking instrument ya got there, Matey!
  13. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Schweet! I'm a couple 3 months behind you.
  14. I played that bass at Nick's when I was down there a few months ago having some fingerboard work done and just about wet myself. Congrats - and it's nice to at least know it dodn't go far!
  15. M Ramsey

    M Ramsey

    Mar 12, 2005
    North Carolina
    Morning all,

    I finally got to check out a New Standard in Nashville last week. This was a blonde (maybe medium light brown) bass that was located at Dustin Williams booth. It also was strung with the Lyons set of gut strings from Gamut Strings. Nice combination.

    I was really impressed with this new bass. I own 2 American Standards (#731 & #2753) and I didn't get to AB #2753 with the New Standard (since I wasn't going to go back to the room to get it). The NS did have that big, thunderous tone I'm accustomed to with my basses.

    The NS neck did seem to be a bit bigger than either of mine, but I have large hands and could get adjusted. I'd love to have one, but with the differences in the scale length, I doubt I would trade over....unless...

    Someone would consider buying my 2 American Standards so I could turn around and buy 2 New Standards.

    I do know one lucky young man from the Eastern Tennessee area who traded in a Meisel (maybe a Kay) on 2 older American Standards while in Nashville last week. One of them was formerly owned by Barry Bales (bassman for Alison Krauss) and it was setup by Dustin Williams.

    Man, now I understand what the hoopla has been about in regards to the New Standards.
  16. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    I played a NS in Dustin's shop the other day that may be the same one you referred to. It's got a monster sound. I'm thinking of a hybrid in my future one day. Got to have a little more edge. I've played the carved at ISB, but I like the punch of the ply back, plus not having to worry about a maple back swelling on me in the summertime making the action higher. I've got the old AS to schlepp on the road in the meantime. It works.
  17. uncletoad,
    Awesome ax! I can identify with your addiction to that Cleveland low end and sustain. Just to tempt you try Spiro starks for your A and E strings and then hold on to your shorts.Beautiful bass Uncletoad.