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Pensa Suhr (Or just Pensa now)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Funkzfly, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Funkzfly


    Jun 15, 2005
    Just wondering if any people across the pond can advise/help out here. I'm after a Pensa fretless at the moment real bad after hearing Christian McBride and Richard Bona's sound...seriously GASing for one. I've had absolutely NO experience with any of 'em though, because you can't pick them up in the U.K anywhere.

    I'm really digging the Fralins in them as well, but what's Pensa's onboard preamp like?

    Cheers everyone
  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Not to derail anything... but I thought Bona was a Fodera player?
  3. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Pensa basses can be purchased at "Rudy's" on 48st in NYC.
    The Pensa Suhr basses are no longer made, they where a collabaration between Rudy pensa and John Suhr when Suhr worked for Rudy in the 90's just before he worked for Fender in R&D. Suhr basses are still available at Guitar boutique or 50th st guitars. Jimmy C. is the owner and also worked at Rudy's in the 90's when John was there. As far as the pre in the bass that's a hard one, if it's a Pensa Suhr bass I would say it's definately a Suhr pre.
    If it was a Pensa bass it contains a custom pre built by (or for) Pensa.
  4. Mike McGibney

    Mike McGibney Not impossible ... Inevitable

    Apr 13, 2005
    Essex, UK.
    He is, but he plays a stunning blue pensa four string lined fretless as well as his regular Fodera five string.
  5. Funkzfly


    Jun 15, 2005
    ^^ Yeh, Bona used an original Pensa Suhr...lovely bass.

    The Pensa I'm after has a Pensa pre in it, I knew that, just wondering what it's like in conjunction with the Fralins.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Victor Bailey played a Pensa-Suhr for 10 years or so before Fender came out with the VB model.

    I think it's the bass he uses on his first record, Bottoms Up.
  7. Funkzfly


    Jun 15, 2005
    Yeh...more mesmorised by Chritian McBride more than anything though playing his black Pensa fretless, with Maple fingerboard...
  8. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    This one, right? I snapped this photo at... I think it was Bass Day 2001 in NYC. Christian said it was the first time he had ever done a masterclass.

    Attached Files:

  9. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    They've got this awesome fretless 4. . . a good ways out of my price range though

  10. cat_saltnpepper


    Aug 15, 2004
    after John Shur(?) left, Japanese luthier Mas Hino did most of custom jobs. Victor's bass was from 'pensa-shur' era I think but Christian Mcbride and Richard bona's basses are definitely from Mas hino who is now living back in Japan, working with Atelier Z.
    Richard bona actually talks about Mas Hino in his website and gear forum so you might wanna check it out. Pensa's bit overpriced thesedays I think.
  11. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    What's the connection between the Alleva-Coppola (NY Guitar Bass Boutique) stuff and the Pensa/Rudy's stuff? It seems like practically the same stuff....both use the Suhr pre.

  12. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Jimmy Coppola worked for Rudy's in the 90's at the same time John Suhr did. I would think like minds would build things alike. The Pensa stuff is Rudy Pensa (owner of Rudy's) and the Alleva-Coppola is Jimmy's pre-amp. I think the years of being around Suhr and other pre-amp builders that pre designs come from tried tested and true pre's on the market. Jimmy builds his own pre (I almost bought one but he had none in stock) and sells them as he makes them. From what he told me his pre is voiced simular to the Aggie DB924 pre. I actually got my DB924 from him. He is a real nice guy, a gentleman in every sense of the word. A class act!
  13. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Can you post a link to his gear stuff? I must not have looked hard enough on his website, I couldn't find it.
  14. Funkzfly


    Jun 15, 2005
    Yes, that one. Amazing sound, amazing player.
  15. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I remember that bass, they had it in the window. Iirc the price was a tad steep! :(
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I have to say that you're best bet is to find yourself an amazing playing jazz bass, throw some Fralin's in it and contact John Suhr to get a 2 band pre from him. Otherwise wait untill you can find an old Pensa-Suhr.
  17. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Bona's new signature is actually from New York Bassworks.
  18. Bona is holding a Zon fretless on the inside cover of the CD jacket (do you call those things jackets?). I assume (and assumptions are of course dangerous) that he uses a Zon on that CD. No?
  19. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Yes, He uses a zon with a lightwave system also.
  20. I actually like the Suhr bass better than the Pensa. Suhr makes a great preamp and I have seen it start showing up in other basses. Attention to detail is great with the Suhr!