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Pulled the trigger on a custom Veillette...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PlayTheBass, May 26, 2005.

  1. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    So, I pulled the trigger on my first-ever singlecut bass last week -- a Veillette. (You know, a Veillette kinda sounds like it could be a gun... I guess it would be a good match for my Glock!)

    I've got a bit of custom-bass-order-nervousness, since I've only briefly checked out a Veillette in the flesh one time at a NAMM Show a few years ago. But the guy there who helped me (Martin) has been great through the whole process of nailing down a design. I'm getting a 5-string fretless Singlecut, with an unlined pau ferro fingerboard. They're going to send me pictures of possible pau ferro pieces, and I'm going to choose one (I want kind of a uniform piece).

    The body will be poplar, and the top will be the sister piece to the one that was reviewed in the June '03 BP:


    I didn't want a quilted maple top, and didn't want flame, but wanted sort of a more natural figuring with elements of both. I told them I liked the look of the BP one, and when I found out they still had the piece of wood where that top came from, that was that!

    Finish-wise I'm planning on going with a medium, chocolate-y, brownish tone, even though it's not one of their standard color options. Their "smoke" color is nice (formerly called "stone" as in the BP review), but they said it gets a little greenish as it ages and I didn't want that. I want kind of a subdued, not flashy, look for this bass. Something that gets more interesting as you get closer, you know?

    In case you're curious, there were several things that led me to Veillette (besides just liking their looks and wanting to try something new!). One was the ability to get the classic Jazz tones in passive mode (a la their Retro model), and another was their experience with piezo design, as I wanted to have a piezo option. What ultimately tipped me to Veillette's favor was the fact that they actually recommended a 34" scale, when I asked which they preferred for their 5-strings. All my basses are 34's, and I want the consistency.

    Now, the electronics are going to be interesting. I wanted to retain a true passive magnetic mode, being the passive guy I am, but of course there's no way to do that with a piezo as well, unless you have redundant tone and volume controls. So what we've worked out is a four-knob configuration: magnetic blend, magnetic tone, piezo/magnetic blend, and master volume. I still wanted some tone control for the piezo, but I didn't need to be tweaking it much, so I went with Veillette's suggestion of a trim pot on the control board for piezo tone. I asked if they could make it accessible through a hole in the back control cavity cover, so that's the way it will be. (I might consider upgrading to get a custom screwdriver holder mounted on the side of the bass... wouldn't that be sweet?! :cool: )

    Anyhow, I just thought I'd share the start of another bass adventure!
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Sounds really cool-they make very pretty instruments. Good luck! Any idea on the wait time?
  3. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Thanks, man! They said 3 months turnaround. I told them I was way more concerned with getting it right than getting it quick. Having the top already picked out definitely saves some time, so I just want to make sure I get a fingerboard piece I'm happy with now.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    3 months is a nice short wait-be thankful. I remember having a custom built that should have taken about 3-4 months. I got it 8 months later :meh:
  5. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz!

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    There is something about the look of his basses that I really like. When I first started to look at and notice custom basses (about a year ago), a red "retro" like the one on his site was one of the first that I lusted after. I'd like to see more info "out there" about them, keep us in the loop!
  6. I met Joe when I used to live near Woodstock; great guy who happens to make great basses. Ask him to take a pic of his shop and send it to you...it looks like a 19th Century sawmill with basses and guit@rs in various stages of completion hanging from the walls and ceiling.
  7. Yeah man,
    I used to have a great Veillette-Citron from years ago, I'd still have it if I could play a 4 string.
    I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
    Post pics when you get her.
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Does anyone else LOVE the bridge piece? Just freakin' beautiful.

    Great lookin' basses, I'd love to own one.
  9. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Beautiful bass. It has very natural looking lines; is that the sound you are going for also?
  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Wow. Not only the first singlecut I've ever seen that didn't make me want to barf, but a really classy, excellent looking instrument to boot.

    Congrats. Looking forward to the pix when you get it.
  11. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Thanks for all the great comments, everyone! It's nice to hear the feedback, especially since there just isn't a whole lot "out there" on these basses.

    I'll post pics as soon as I get it, and maybe even some before if I can get them to send me pics of it being built. From KUNGfuSHERIFF, it sounds like shots of the shop would be pretty interesting.

    You're absolutely right! My Turner fretless took a full year, and it nearly drove me crazy with all the delays.

    My vote is probably obvious ;), but I love it too.

    I'd say so -- yes! I think even my choice of finish is leaning in that "natural" direction.

    :) Thanks, Dharma!!! It's funny, I'm the same way about singlecuts -- I'm really not a fan of them, and certainly didn't expect to end up buying one, but this one just works for me for some reason.
  12. Wow! great choice, i love the Veillette Sc shape. It looks like a shark for me: aggressive but really classy.
  13. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Hey! Cut Rob E. some slack. :D :D :D
  14. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    I had to comment on this thread as I am in the process of trying to figure out specs for a 7 string version of the semi-acustic model Veillette makes. So far the email exchanges have been very helpful and Mike seems very nice. He has put up with some really stupid questions so far and is very polite about not making me feel stupid for asking. Let us know how your order progresses so that those of us behind you have some idea how our's might go. Good luck with your new baby!
  15. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Sounds very cool! You'll have to keep us updated on yours as well. :) And it sounds like your good experience with their guys has been similar to mine.
  16. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Here's my crude Photoshop mock-up of this bass, for what it's worth! (I didn't spend too much time on details -- it was more just to play around with colors.) It will be interesting to see how the real deal turns out compared to my Photoshop "vision". :) At the very least, it should look more realistic...


    Another small note on this: I asked if they could do their logo in black on the headstock, and they said "no problem!". Sweet! :cool:
  17. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I think my teacher has a Veillette 6 in the hollowbody format. The thing sounds killer-i thought it was an upright before i saw it [just from hearing it while walking into the venue]. If i had the money...... :bassist:
  18. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I think the Veillette instruments look great, and I like the natural acoustic-like sound of those that I've heard in the sound clips.

    I've been having slight GAS spasms for one like this:

    The idea of having an acoustic bass and an acoustic guitar sound in the same instrument has me facinated.
  19. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ

    :eek: Gaaahhhhhhhh..... :bag:

  20. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Yep. That's the picture that got me started. Not that I intended to copy someone else's bass but my spec for the new one includes using the same top and finish color. I am going with an ebony fretboard, banjo frets, midi setup from piezo bridge, black ultra light tuners, and an extra output from the magnetic pickup.

    Everytime I look at that picture I get more excited about my ordering the thing. I think it will be early next week when I finally pull my trigger. Hopefully the build time will be close to the same as your's so the wait won't be too long. I will post my progress as well so that we can share this experience together.

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