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Played A New Geddy Lee Yesterday ---------

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SurferJoe46, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. It was a 'pleasant' experience and now I can say I actually played one - but I'm not terrifically impressed.

    1) Soft, unimpressive tone/volume - it should have actives in it for some real kick butt.
    2) Decent-enough balance and feeling the weight was what I'd expect since I have Fenders and Squiers now.
    3) Finish was great but rather uninspiring.
    4) No problem with the MiJ label; it just wasn't all that great and I really expected more/better/greater differences.
    5) Set up was very good and 7250 NPS Non-silks were as close to right for it as Fender seems to think it needs. They are wrong though.
    6) Generally, a nice - no nonsense bass that is prolly overpriced with the 'Signature" on it.
    7) I think with 600+ Watts at 13 o'clock and some powerful EQ'ing, it might be useful though...................
    8) You can turn it DOWN, but UP just doesn't seem to exist.
    9) Does Mr. Lee know these are not what I would expect of him - and with his signed endorsement on the head?
    10) If someone gave me one - I'd prolly keep it if not just for the braggin' rights.

    I played it on an Ampeg 810 and then on an Acoustic B-450 for an A/B. It gently fails on both I'm afraid.

    Perhaps I'm spoiled by the Actives in a couple of my basses or the heat in my VM-Jaguar, but this G/L edition was just 'not there' power-wise.

    The TONE knob seemed to not do much of anything but instantly roll off the Highs or Lows, more like a light switch than a blend or progressive taper.

    I don't see one of these in my stable in the future. I'm really looking for more diversity and power in a bass.

    I think the p'ups are too mellow for me and if one were to add some deeper strings, then the whole bass would be less useful.

    It seems to cry for brighter strings and hotter p'ups, but that's not my musical style. Poppers and slappers may like it - but then again you'd need some really bright strings to make it really talk.

    What I need to do is find another new G/L to compare this to, 'cause I don't buy used/modded gear if I can possibly help it. This new one may have been a fluke and not really indicative of the whole G/L line - so I'll keep an open mind at this point.

    That's ONE!

    G/L, you have TWO more chances - then it's THREE STRIKES, YOU'RE OUT!
  2. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I ilke the sound and the look but two things keep me away from the Geddy Lee bass.

    a) The price , when Fender was selling it at $700 was ok, but $ 1000 not sure.

    b) The neck, too thin for me, although I am sure the neck is one of the main reasons this bass sell too well.
  3. Dub56

    Dub56 Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    The pickups are somewhat of lower output compared to other jazzes, but RAISE THEM! It makes a difference.

    I'd argue that going active in a Geddy wouldn't be the right way to go.. I personally don't like active basses and I think it would take the tone down the wrong track. There is always the Marcus Miller sig if you wanted a similar active Jazz.

    My Geddy has very responsive knobs, they do a great job of blending the two pickups with a bias toward one. The tone knob has never given me any problems, I'm not sure why the one you played just rolled off immediately like that.

    I personally think the Geddy has some of the best sounding Jazz pickups out there in that price range. While they are a bit lower output.. (a BIT) I just turn up my amp a bit more than I do with some other basses. I have a Mesa M-Pulse 600,and I don't have to turn it up to "13", and I pretty much set the EQ flat.

    And I think the real draw for me is the playability and feel of it. The neck is great, and plays very well. It isn't for everyone, but it works for me.

    I would definitely argue that the Geddy's (at least the two I've owned) have beat out any Fender Jazz I've played anywhere near that price range. They can definitely stand up with the good MIA models, from my experience.
  4. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    I have to agree with you on most of those points SurferJoe, although I myself am a huge Rush fan.
    I played a G/L sig bass about a year ago and I also was very unimpressed by its sound, it's an attractive looking easy playing bass non the less.
    Geddy's live and studio bass tone is very "spunky, animated, and sometimes clanky, these attributes are what I like to hear in bass tone and I think this sound meshes well in Rush's music.
    When I plugged in and played the bass into most of the amps at a local shop, the G/L didn't have one thing about it's tone that was different than the passive MIA maple fretboard Jazz bass hanging next to it. The feel was slightly different given its glossy finished neck, (which adds to the sharp looks but ended up slowing down my left hand action).
    I think Geddy is one of those players that chooses to tweak his EQ at the rack instead of on the axe. Although I have no doubt that an active bass could get you to Geddy's tone just the same.
  5. Jjango


    Nov 16, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    A few points:

    It's a signature bass. Geddy's bass is passive. If Fender sold them with active electronics, it would defeat the whole purpose of releasing a signature instrument.

    "Great" but "uninspiring"? I don't know what a finish can possibly do, beyond being great. And if you don't like the color scheme, I again remind you that this is a signature bass.

    I don't think you understand what passive electronics do.

    How could Geddy possibly know what you expect of his bass? And Geddy actually does tour with his signature models.

    With all respect, it seems clear by now that you don't know what a passive tone control actually does. The only thing they do is roll off highs. They do not roll off lows, nor do they boost them.
  6. I realize that - but all the hype had me expecting a lot more in color and voice than it had. Since only two of my basses are active, what I'm really saying is that the passives on my VM-Jaguar are much more acceptable to me. Just MY opinion - but a sig-model should show me something great and not mediocre I feel.
    Again - I was just all jazzed on getting to play one and found it not to be a drink of cool water in the middle of the desert. My expectations may have been high - but so is the price.
    Yes I do - as all but two of my basses ARE passive. I can expect low output from an Affinity Squier P, but as a sig-model, the G/L's an Edsel under the Lincoln nameplate.

    But c'mon, calling the electrical parts inside a G/L 'electronics' imputes something that is active anyway - so just on terms, I'm not too sure you understand 'electrical' verses 'electronic' either.

    For edification: a light switch is not electronic. It's electrical. A G/L has no electronics - it's an electrical device. There are NO solid state devices in a G/L - it's really a wooden crystal radio with strings for all intents and purposes.
    A signature on an instrument would mean to me that it is the pinnacle of quality and must have more going for it than a litho'd hand scrawl on the headstock and an attitude. It has to speak and speak well. This one didn't. Perhaps the next one will be better, as I have not entirely given up on the G/L sig'd models yet.

    Now - if it was sig'd by Alred E. Neuman, then I'd not be complaining since I'd then know what to expect. My personal icons may not be YOUR personal icons, however.
    Again --- I DO! Established in my mind is that fact that my measly ol' VM-Jag or even my VM-Jazz can eat a G/L for a snack makes me wonder what all the hype about a sig'd bass guitar with just 'niceness' going for it is so valuable and highly touted.

    The big problem was the instantaneous and abrupt transition from one condition to a total 180º change in effect when I moved the tone pot from either end of it's travel.

    One degree turned from max, either way - brought instant and total change and there was no linear or even parabolic change in the tone value. it was all or nutthin'.

    But - OK, I'll be the devil's advocate here and list the good things I found in the G/L:::

    1) It's nice
    2) It's a Fender
    3) It's black
    4) It has a nice round-y place to plug it into an amplifier
    5) It has a signature
    6) The strings and/or the neck didn't fall off.
    7) You get a "Free Bragging Rights" wallet-sized Owner's ID Card with it in the form of the price tag to show to all your hedonistic friends.
    8) Did I mention it's nice? I thought so.

    Oh yeah - I love the glossy neck too - that's my one big potential buying point. Come to think of it, maybe I'll buy one of those G/L necks - scrub off the sig - and put it on my Affinity P bass. That'll teach Mr. Lee about autographing a bass!

    Anybody got a 10/10 G/L neck they want to sell?

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