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Okay... call me stupid.... what's the deal with Alleva Coppolo?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pablomigraine, May 17, 2011.

  1. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    This has been bothering me for a long time.... I have played some nice basses, and I've played some REALLY nice basses.... I've owned 90's Warwicks, Zons, USA Spectors, USA Laklands, MTD 535's, Smith basses, USA Fenders etc etc.... and I've spent time with Sadowskys, Foderas, Vigier, Kubicki, Alembic, Modulus and many many others.......

    Sooooo...... what the deal with $6,000.00 passive, bolt-on, J-bass copies lacking exhibition tops or crazy electronics??

    I just KNOW I'm gonna get flamed over this but I see guys going absolutely BANANAS over these things.... I like to think I have a pretty wide basis for comparison, and I like to think that I've seen a reasonable cross-section of what's available in terms extremely high quality basses.... to the point where everything in terms of the construction of a stringed instrument is PERFECT and everything else (such as woods) is personal preference.... so imagining that everything on these basses is perfectly constructed and the quality of the materials / parts is top-shelf.... what makes these worth DOUBLE the other "perfect" fender clones available from a half dozen makers?

    I'm not bashing.... I really wanna know!
  2. I don't know but one trip to their site gave me some GAS!
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Like Fodera, they are a great deal if you have the money!:D
  4. WMV2


    Feb 19, 2007
    It's what the player wants. A bass is only worth as much as the buyer is willing to pay.

    For some people, the hefty price tag is worth it.
  5. Labi


    Jun 14, 2006
    Thank God you asked. This was bugging me as well but never had the courage to ask.
  6. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    You're stupid.;)
  7. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Agreed.... but what exactly makes it that much better than the half dozen other makers that offer very much the same thing for many many thousands of dollars less?

    RIGHT!?!? I've seen grown men double over and PUKE with semi-religious seizure at the mere sight of one of these.... one fears being stoned to death for raising a question amidst the slavish grovelling I've witnessed here and elsewhere....

  8. MonkeyBass


    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I hear ya. Go buy a Mexican P-Bass.

    OK not quite the same but... yeah, I don't see why you'd spend that kind of dough on a passive, no-frills, bolt on.
  9. KingCrimson


    Oct 6, 2008
    I agree, get a sadowsky and get something without a Buttass ugly padle headstock.

    I almost feel that some guy saw the amount of shmos willing to spend a fortune on a solidbody instrument and thought "hey i bet if i charge 6 grand people will think it ACTUALLY makes a difference"

    4 grand covers the price for a good aged piece of alder, great pickups and handmade quality with an expensive finish. At a certain point the air gets quite thin with these boutique instruments.
  10. Spike-


    Aug 28, 2010
    Are people really still under the misconception that bolt-on = bad?
  11. MonkeyBass


    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO

    No I think you missed the point. I love bolt-on basses. But they're easier to manufacture than a set neck.
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    With a boutique, you typically get customized features, better build quality, and superior materials than a production instrument. Some players feel these are worth a significant upcharge, but for other players a stock Fender is perfect. Who's right? Both.
  13. chris lykins

    chris lykins Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    phoenix az
    So I guess Ill answer since Ive never posted in the site and I own one. Ive played and own alot of great basses also and traded away one to buy a used AC LG5. Mine, like all the newer ones has a two band pre with passive tone control.

    Its made well and feels solid. It plays well but mainly it sounds really good! It occupies alot of sonic space and has a real richness to its midrange that I love. Its neck is kinda interesting as its wide but no too thick so its definitely a different carve than some of the other fender takeoffs. I like it.

    Would I pay pay big bucks for any of the upgrades like blocks/fancy fretboards/etc...no. Would I say buy a no frills version on the used market for three grand..yes (if you have the cash).

    Is it my main player..no. For that magical compromise combo of tone and playability I grab my Sadowsky PJ or my Nordy when Im going to a gig, I just like their neck profile a bit better.

    I agree that come of the comments like "check out that Oly white" get a bit ridiculous (its white guys) but it is a good product for a price that is getting met. Its like the Fodera sites but less expensive and less beautiful. I mean some of those basses do look amazing. But I played a bunch at Bass NW when I lived in Seattle and none of them had enough resonance with me at that pricepoint to justify a purchase. Ultimately thats what it comes down to. Is it magical enough for you to weather that luxury cost.
  14. Coop Soup

    Coop Soup

    Aug 24, 2005
    It's the law of diminishing returns.

    The difference between a $200 bass and a $1000 bass is typically pretty large. At 5 times the cost a lot of folks would say the $1000 bass is probably 5 times better (obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but I think you catch my drift). It's the difference between an entry level instrument and a pro instrument (again, open to interpretation). I'd say that I could likely get everything I need from a bass in the $1k to $1500 range. I'm a no frills kind of guy and I do largely sound like me on most basses (with obvious tonal differences inherent on different woods/pickups et al).

    Now is the difference between a 1K bass and a 5k bass as large as the first example? Probably not. Is there more attention to detail at the 5K mark? Absolutely. For people with the cash, a 5K bass is worth it. For people that cannot afford the price tag it certainly isn't.
  15. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    a high quality handmade bass costs a lot to make and ya gotta keep the doors open.
  16. dj5


    Sep 17, 2009
    It's this year's "must have".
    They look and sound great, (apart from the headstock), but $1500 for a dalbergia nigra board? $1000 for nitro?.
    It's called charging what the market will bear.
    Just don't try crticising anything about the basses or Jimmy on the thread, or you'll be torn to pieces. I saw one guy who asked a perfectly reasonable question told that the thread was for "people who appreciate the finer points of the basses, and maybe you shouldn't be on the thread." (or words to that effect). The knowledgable disciple went on to say to someone "put some foam under the p/ups - it makes all the difference." It turned out that he had just discovered that adjusting p/up height affects the sound - and he'd got rid of three of them before he discovered that!
    So much for cognoscenti - a good few of them are just fanboys boasting about how chocolatey the brazilian rosewood makes their's sound, etc. Having said that, a lot of excellent pro's have them, but I've heard some laughable clips by others.
  17. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    That's not the point.....

    Right I agree.... but all of the above... top-shelf woods, hi-grade parts, world-class craftsmanship... all available in J-Basses from at least 5 other makers for under $4k TOPS. I'm looking to find out what the AC offers than none of those others do.....

    True enough.... but when you look at what goes into making say a Roscoe SKB or a Brubaker.... compared to what goes into making one of these.... the carving etc, I would say that all bases are covered.
  18. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    You're saying it's $6000 for a passive AC? Where did you get that price?

    I was thinking it was much closer to HALF that, WITH a preamp, unless you start spec'ing a bunch of upgrades such as blocks and binding and especially that brazilian rosewood.

    I echo pretty much what others say here. It's a premium instrument, and it costs a lot to build. Same reason you'll spend over 3 large on a Sadowsky... even if you don't add fancy woods.

    This is why instrument selection is such a personal event. You never know where you'll find the magic, but when you do, you'll pay whatever it takes to get it. If that weren't true, all the high end luthiers would be out of business.

    The folks who buy fancy instruments simply because they have that kind of money to blow on whatever they want is a very small minority of the total market for high end instruments. The vast majority are sold to folks who use and truly love them, and are comfortable with what they paid for them.

    IMHO anyway.
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, I was responding to someone else in a general way, not specific to AC.

    You've asked an excellent question, actually. Above, chris lykins mentioned resonance. From what I've read here @TB, the AC basses strive for that resonant vintage Fender vibe, whereas, say, a Sadowsky has the Sadowsky vibe (Roger has said all along that he never intended to clone the Fender tone). But I've never played an AC, so take that FWIW.
  20. I hear its because the pope blesses the basses with holy carrot juice before sending them out of the shop..

    at least thats the word on the street

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