NTM Zon Custom came home

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Well I finally found the means to get my first Zon and she's a beauty.

    If you've been to the Bass NW site recenty then you've already seen the bass. I'll post a photo anyway since I snapped a few.

    It's a really cool looking myrtle top. Mytle is usually kinda swirly but this is real straight almost like zebrawood. It reminds me of a tigereye ring that I had many years ago.

    It's in immaculate condition for a 7 year old bass. A bit on the heavy side but not bad. When I tested it out I wasn't impressed with the piezo (how do you pronounce "piezo, anyway?). But through my gear at home it sounded real nice when it is mixed. The magnetic pups sound great with no issues at all. I'll have to read through the book to figure out how to work the adjustments on the preamp. If anyone has tips on setting the midrange and high pots that would be appreciated. ;)

    The bass plays like butter and the 34" scale suits me to a "T". The B string sounds and feels solid. The setup seems fine for me and there isn't a string buzz that I can find at any of the 24 frets. I really like the look of the phenowood and I just work better with a dark board than I do with maple.

    I'm a happy camper here. Evan and Aaron, at BassNW, treated me real well yesterday. The place wasn't that busy so that was nice. Just a real positive experience.

    I truely believe that Joe builds some very nice basses and I've wanted a Zon Custom for several years now. It's just not been the time until now. :hyper:
  2. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Wow...that's a sweet top! It does look like tigers eye. Bet it sounds great too.




    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Congrats & "Welcome to the club!" Nice!

    Kudo's to Joe, he is a master...

  4. pistoleroace


    Sep 13, 2002
    Very nice!

    I admired that bass every time I was on their Web site. I have always wanted to try one out but have never had the chance. I too thought that that top kind of resembled Zebrawood in a way except much nicer.
  5. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Jerry, congradulations, that's a beauty! :)

    And, welcome to the club! :cool:
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  7. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Awesome bass.
  8. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    My first Zon had the piezo, and it was definately for taste. It worked well for fretless, and I'm sure would add interesting stuff to a fretted bass.

    actually, it was this bass, my custom ordered amethyst.

  9. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Congrats, the top is really nice.

    oh yea, +1
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  11. widjajar


    Apr 21, 2003
    Congrats Jerry!!!.....you have too much wonderful basses/amps/cabinets. You should take pictures of your 'family' and post it here...:p
  12. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    nice bass!! wooo! congrats.

    And "piezo" is pronounced 1. pee-AY-zoh, or less commonly 2. pie-EE-zoh.

    It kills me to hear anybody in the biz say "PIE-zo" - considering that in most latin-based languages, the vowels get pronounced individually and I believe that "piezo" is Italian (but I could be wrong). Then again, here in good-ol' Merka we butcher the pronunciation of about everything.

    Anyways, back on topic - that Zon should serve you well. I'm just about to put new strings on mine this morning....
  13. Beautiful bass. There is nothing like dreaming of getting a really beautiful bass and then getting it and finding the wait was worth it!

    I am in the process of ordering one for myself. Mine will be rather stripped down - with only one pick-up, passive electronics, and without those irritating fret things.
  14. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Thanks guys.

    I must say that after spending about 5-6 hours playing her, that this is one very fine instrument. Very first class lutherie. I can't find a single issue. Hey, even the smooth finish on the neck is of no concern. I don't even give it a second thought as my first bass was a '73 P Bass with the smooth stuff. And the phenowood looks like a nicely mottled maccassar ebony.

    People like Brad with his Legacy, Gard, Josh, embellisher, Neptoon swear by their Zon's. People who's opinion I highly respect, always spoke with the highest regard for Joe's basses. This kinda stuff kept the GAS-o-meter running. I just had to wait until the right one, at the right moment, came along.

    Just some observations:
    - For a 9 volt system the Zon seems to put out almost as much signal as my Monarch. And for some reason more than my 535.

    - This bass can come very close to the sound of my '69 Jazz. It has the best J tone of any non-J bass I've played.

    - Harmonics ring like crazy all over the place.

    - Sustain is as good if not better than any of the basses I have. Maybe not as good as my old Lakland, which was almost rediculous.

    - There has been some discussion about relief in the older Zon's being too much. I measured mine at the 7th fret and it's 0.016" which is about as flat as I like it. I don't know what the new ones are like but I don't have an issue at all here.

    - Joe Zon proves again that you can get a GREAT B string on a 34" scale bass. Clarity all the way down to the open B and solid feel.

    - Joe Zon proves that even a bass with a composite neck can sound organic. Which confirms that the pickups and electronics play a, if not the most significant role in the tone. (if you read Matt's (FBB bass) interview last month he confirmed this).

    - I can just only imagine that as a fretless the Zon's would be pretty tought to beat. Coupled with the fact that the neck doesn't shift you would incredible consistancy of fretlessness. (Ah crap, I can feel another case of GAS starting to build. :eek: )

    I guess I could go on but I don't want to bore you guys.

    pee-eh-zooos, huh? cool thanks!