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PRS bass -4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by uptowndirt, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. uptowndirt

    uptowndirt Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2008
    hi, have just been offered paul reed smith bass 4, 1897
    this is a rare breed to me......friends brother is offering....says it
    has 4 pup's....one in the back ? anyone know or own one of these or have info....makes me interested.....did a google and found an image that shows 3 pup's ...... all info appreciated. :meh:
  2. Hi.

    I have no info other than the obvious Google searches, but AFAIK PRS has always been willing to do custom modifications to their instruments. At least to the guitars.

    I'd guess the fourth "pickup" on the back is the battery cavity cover.

  3. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    I think PRS also used a dummy coil to reduce hum. looks like a pickup but it's just for hum cancelling.
  4. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    I used to own one, a 1986 model. The pickup on the back is indeed a hum-cancelling dummy coil. It must work, I never had any hum. :)

    Have you played it? I'd recommend making sure that it's right for you. It's a perfectly adequate instrument but it never really got me excited and I eventually sold it. There's a reason PRS is not known for their basses. The workmanship was fine, it's just a very "vanilla" bass IMHO. The 5-way rotary switch will get you five (more or less) distinct sounds to start with and the "deep" and "clear" tone controls let you tweak from there. The neck-only setting gives you a pretty killer dub tone. Beyond that... I reached for another bass.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I have a later series PRS bass. Mine plays like a mofo...a really nice feeling bass that's very fast and comfortable. Unfortunately it's got some tonal difficulties that will make it never my first bass, or one that I play regularly.

  6. 1897? wow....leo had nothing on paul.... :)
  7. I read somewhere Robbie Shakespeare plays a PRS
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    He did for a while, but no longer does. I have a bass player article that's pretty funny as he says "Tell Paul Reed Smith to keep making those basses" which is followed by an editor's note stating that PRS is no longer making basses!
  9. I have a five-string PRS with a bolt-on neck that was made in '88 or '89. I love mine, but not everyone agrees with me.
    The newer basses were basically tweaked Jazz Basses, but the original PRS design was just tweaked. :D Three single coil pickups in the front, a humcanceller in the back, five-way pickup selector, bass and treble controls, preamp defeat switch...truly weird.
    PRS made 800 or so of the original design, half of which had bolt-on necks and half with set necks. Some had fancy maple tops, most did not. They also made a few five-strings and a very few fretless basses. If you can tell us more about your friend's brother's bass we might be ablke to better tell you what to expect.
  10. uptowndirt

    uptowndirt Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2008
    he is bringing the bass to town on week end (1987 prs ) i will play it then, however it already sounds sterile from the comments......i do like a duby sound though. main bass right now and for a while alembic eplc.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I would have never thought sterile. Big fat and washy describes the later ones, with or without the pre engaged (more-so, with).

    As I've pointed out in practice and on stage and others have agreed, this is the 'loudest bass that you can't hear', if that makes sense.
  12. MikeyB


    Aug 16, 2006
    Sykesville, MD
    I have a couple of PRS's. That's the bird inlay on the 12th fret up there in my avatar.

    Mine doesn't get gigged. I got it back in '86 and it was my first "real" bass. I special ordered it because the band we opened for had one and I thought it sounded great. Looking back, I think his 70s SVT stack had a lot to do with the "great" sound!

    I concur with the comments above; it's kinda "vanilla" and I think plenty of other basses will work better for the OP. The only reason I keep mine is sentimental value and possibly investment value.

    The 3rd pickup is in the back and indeed supposed to be hum cancelling, though mine can be pretty noisy in active mode depending on environment.

  13. Strange to hear the tone called 'vanilla.' Maybe mine's a freak.
  14. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Robbie Shakespeare still plays his, at least in the studio. i saw some recent clips on YT with him recording the latest Horace Andy album (great documentary, BTW, with guest artists coming and going to record their vocals and overdubs).

    I hardly play mine, but there are a few cool tones in there. Before I had a big rig it allowed me to get a huge clean and warm tone through less ampage. Mine is blue, too.

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