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READ Custom basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Taustin Powers, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. I just stumbled upon this website.



    It looks very interesting. Any opinions/experiences on this guy?

    Thanks, T
  2. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
  3. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    GHS Strings
    I just recently sold a 35" scale 5 string neck thru that I had custom built by him. Here are some comments....

    He is extremely easy to deal with,super friendly, and is absolutely top notch when it comes to customer service. Always replies in less than a day to e-mail. I had to have repairs done to the pre-amp (not Jack's fault at all...he even warned me about this problem arising when he was installing it) and he paid for the shipping whenever he sent it back. I can't say enough good things about his customer service and his overall professionalism.

    I consider his instruments extremely high quality although the neck profile was somewhat awkward towards the lower frets (he just used his standard neck size for a 5 string ,which I don't have measurements for). Also, the bass did not balance very well as the body was super heavy. This may be different with other body styles because this was the first 5 string bass he had built with the body style you have pictured. The body wood was korina (approximately the same density as mahogany) with a maple/purpleheart thru neck. The body was quite thick and the large pieces of maple and purpleheart running through the body really added some weight.

    He has long waiting periods. It took about 8 months to get my bass. He did send me pictures once he got started and even sent me a photo of the block of buckeye and asked me what part I wanted for the top.

    His basses have no resale value. I paid almost $3000 for mine and could not find a buyer to even pay half that.

    I'm sad to say this becuase Jack was so cool to me, but I don't think the bass was worth waiting 8 months for. There were several aspects, as far as craftsmanship goes, that were as good as anything I've seen (and I've seen almost everything). Other things such as the balance and weird neck profile in the lower register could be improved. The bass does sound phenomenal though.

    I was in absolute awe whenever I first got the bass because of how well it was built but I decided that it wasn't for me after close to a year of owning it. The new owner says he is extremely happy with everything except for the neck profile. I wouldn't mind working with Jack again but I would find a bass with a really great neck and have him take the measurements of it (which he told me he would do). All the other Read owners I have spoken with totally love them. He must be satisfying alot of people because he does this for a living and keeps himself back ordered 8 months plus you almost never see used Read basses (I've seen 2 others besides mine in 4 years of selling/trading over the net). Also, this will probably be the only review of a Read bass with negative comments in it that you will see as I have never seen a bad review of a Read bass anywhere on the net.

    Hope this helps.
  4. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Who was it? The guy that builds the R Basses learning from the guy from READ, Matt Schmill used to work for R Bass too
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Matt (FBB Custom) acknowledges Read's help and influence on his web page.

    I'm pretty sure it was Carl Thompson that Ray Rogers (R Bass guy) worked for / studied under.
  6. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Looks great to me.. i wonder how she sounds..
  7. Great review, thanks!
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Although I've never seen him here, there's another site where Jack Read is a fairly frequent poster and has been very helpful to the subscribers on many occasions. I have never seen one of his instruments in person, though.
  9. He sounds like a great guy. I will email and tell him about the ideas I have for my bass so far. (I have the basics narrowed down, but there's a lot of details that I still need advice on). Hopefully he can give me some pointers.
  10. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    I don't have one of his basses, but he did some *major* electronics surgery to my Ripley bass, and I can't say enough good things about him.

    It's a long story, but he went beyond the extra mile to get the bass to sound the way I wanted it to - from spending time on the phone with Bartolini, ordering several different Bart pickups, trying different combinations, coil tap switches, etc.

    The first set of pickups I *thought* I wanted didn't sound good with my wood/neck combination, but Jack had no problem re-doing everything just to make the customer happy.

    I also got to play a few of his basses that he had completed and they were all top notch! You can't go wrong with him.
  11. I emailed him tonight, with all the specifications I have narrowed down so far, and he replied with a detailed and helpful email within less than an hour. Very cool. I think I might have finally found the guy who's gonna build my next bass...
  12. UPDATE:

    I sent Jack an email about my ideas for my next custom bass on Saturday night, and within less than an hour, I received a very detailed and helpful reply. Since then he has been really nice about answering all my follow-up questions, always replying within less than a day. He really does seem like an excellent guy, and it sounds like he really knows his stuff.

    I will probably finalize my order within the next two months. Looking forward to working with this guy.

    fykozonisz, do you have any pics of the bass he built for you?


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