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R Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by salsjag, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. Has anyone tried playing an R Bass? What did you think?
  2. FWIW - I've only played one, (a friend's in LA). It is still the best-sounding, best-playing, bass I've ever had the pleasure to lay a hand on. The only other basses I've played that were in the same league were an F bass and an MTD custom...IMO.

    I'll temper that with the fact that I haven't tried a score of high-end customs like a Fodera, Vigier, or a Sadowsky.

    Before he went out on his own, Rogers was building basses in Carl Thompson's shop. So, if you dig Thompson's approach, you may love love Ray Roger's approach (without Thompson's curly-q upper horn).

    Unfortunately, all the online pics of R Basses I've seen aren't very good. They don't convey his attention to wood and meticulous detail.

    My personal bugaboos with what I've seen of his work are;

    - they don't have control cavity covers that are identical to the specie and figure of the lower body wood, (underside), even though the backside of the headstock and truss rod cover matches one of the body woods :confused:

    - the gorgeous top woods are insulted by the black plastic covers of the Bartolini pups and those ubiquitous, sorry, black, rubbery control knobs (durable as they may be).

    Those are really petty gripes. And what I've seen may just be what the client spec'd - he may do matching cavity covers, wooden pup covers, and knobs if someone spec'd them.

    I think the prices of used R Basses are great, probably due to the fact that they aren't widely known....... yet. ;)
  3. I saw Adrian mentioned that he is going to carry R-basses at access-bass.com (his online store). You should give him a buzz if you are interested in possibly buying one.

  4. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I agree with rickbass.

    The R basses are right on par with Elrick and Fodera and, in my opinion, far superior to MTD.
  5. Bass7755


    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    Far superior to MTD...Yeah right!! Okay YOU are just pulling our leg????

  6. geshel

    geshel Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Yeah, they may have the same fancy construction (which I like) that Elricks and Foderas have, but from everything I've heard, for a bass to be "far superior" to an MTD American would be . . . like . . . impossible. :)
  7. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I have to put my 2 cents in one this. I do sell some Rbasses although not many to the lack of reliability and trust in the luthier.

    Ray Roger's is a wonderfull builder and great craftsmen. He's not the best when it comes to business, watch your back! His basses are a fodera from his idea's to his preamp. Ray has tried to change the image of the bass over the past year to not look so much like the fodera, but all his inspiration does come from fodera. Joey and Vinny will tell you how they feel....ask

    But I know this is about his basses and yes they are superior to MTD, well a different class I guess is a better term. More in the line with fodera, smith(neck-through), Benavente, Acacia, Bebensee, etc.

    I would say MTD isn't quite in that category, more in line with the Elrick, Fbass, Lakland, etc. Different approach to building and different feel.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This superior thing is pretty deep. Oh well... MMDV
  9. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Word! I think that Mike puts out a world class intrument. Better at the point of Fodera, Smith, MTD, R, ect. is purely a personal preference.
  10. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Cane Ridge, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I did explain further in my reply that it was not really a matter of superior, but of different theory in building. Mike Tobias we all know has the ability, but his desire and approach to building has changed. I'm sorry but the basses he builds today aren't what he use to build, thats obvious. I'm not downing his basses (MTD) but they are not the same as a fodera and nor did he mean them to be. The level of craftsmen ship is totally different. The MTD's are a basic theory to building where fodera, benavente, smith, bebensee, etc approach construction on a different ideal theory.

    Everyone has there own desires.

    My only fault with the MTD is that when MT went from neck-through tobias's to MTD it was becuase he said he believed in the attack of a bolt-on and the response it provided. He also had built neck-through's for so long he was ready for a different approach, WHICH IS COOL. Further he said to me that WENGE was his choice in neck wood because of its stability and it was regid enough to not be multi-lm. like maple and many other woods.

    WELL, how things change!!! When wenge became more and more scares maple popped up on his basses, only instead of them being multi-lam for structural stregth they where still a sold piece neck.

    While I totally respect Mike Tobias and believe he brought electric bass an extremely long way I find it hard to believe a theory behind structural stregth changes that quick. I believe it had to do with money and anyone can tell that the MTD's are a basic instrument, not complex or not any more then a fender.

    I'm sorry I might really bother some people with this, but I would say examin yourself before lashing back at me.

    I am not putting the man down, I hold what he has down in the past in the highest reguards!

    When I made the refference to fender it was intend to be inreference the the sold peice neck. I probably should have used sadowsky since a sadowsky is held in higher reguards as is the MTD.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  12. Well, hell, Brad....you once told me that was where you make your sweetest music.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I wasn't talking bou-tique, more like bou-doir;)
  14. tummage


    Apr 23, 2002
    New Orleans, La
    Hey guys I think there is some confusion.

    R basses and Roscoe basses both have an R on the headstock but are very different instruments.
    Keith Roscoe(roscoe basses) is the one Adrian has and sells, he may sell R basses also. The Roscoes are touted to have the best low B in the biz.

    R basses-Ray Rogers of Carl Thompson fame is also a very fine luthier.

    I think because they both have "R" on the headstock they are often confused.

    So when taking advice on these, beware that either you and the advisor may be inadvertantly talking about two very different instruments.

    Hope it helps,


    Dec 21, 2001
    Boise, ID
    my r-bass is the best bass i have ever played. i have never played a new fodera to compare it to (only used), and it plays better. the sound is about the same (they have the same preamp). you can call it a fodera copy, like sadowsky is making jazz bass copies. what it's all about is finding the right bass, with the right vibe for each player. i know guys who don't like to play fodera, r-bass,benavente or other wide spacing basses. it's all about personal preference. if you're only playing a bass because of the way it looks, you're missing out on alot.
  16. Matt Power

    Matt Power

    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    I have an R Bass for sale...7 1/2 lbs...alder body, amboyna burl top, maple board, Haz Lab, Bart 9W4Js, etc. Contact me off the board..
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    4 string?
  18. tummage - Good point! It could get worse - check out my recent thread about Roi Basses :D
  19. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    You can probably trade it for 2 MTD's.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Heck you could probably trade it for 4 MTDs...

    MTD Kingstons, that is. I doubt you'd find someone brilliant enought to trade two US MTDs for an R Bass... no matter how much you don't like MTDs.

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