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Read Model J - Gig Report

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fretlessrock, Apr 18, 2005.


  1. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I picked up a Read Customs Model J (as seen in TB For Sale area) and had Jack Read give it an inspection, cleaning, and setup before I took posession of it. I've been a big fan of Jack's work and his open-mindedness since I met him a few years back. He assembled a fretless Jazz for me based on a MIJ body and a Moses neck that I had, and when he was done it was way beyond the sum of the parts. I also own a Purity that I use mostly for recording, but have used live. The guy has great ears, great skills as an electronics designer, and he builds a heck of a bass. I've played a bunch of his basses and no matter the profile he shapes they are all very comfortable. You can tell that he plays because the stuff is not wall-art, it is made to get a job done, and in style.

    So the day after I got home with the bass I had a coffeehouse gig and I brought this bass. The fact that I didn't bring a backup means that I am either insane, very trusting in Jack's work, or both. Probably both. My lil' rig as of late is an Ashdown Electric Blue 12-130 and I used that since I am very familiar and comfortable with it. The verdict is that the bass has a great voice, plays great, and is very comfortable. I've been through a bunch of J basses in the past few years and this is a step up from any of them including a Skyline Darry Jones, Fender Noel Redding, Fender American, and it is a better fit for me than the 3 USA Lakland JOs that I have played.

    The sound is very muscular, and my first reaction through Jack's demo rig (another story in itself) was that it has a "Marcus" kind of sound. Very meaty and not suffering from the hollow midrange that some j-style basses have. In the coffeehouse it sounded like a big full bass, and didn't seem out of place with small kit and a telecaster. I like a bass to react when I change my technique, from say a dark thumb pluck but the neck joint to snapping fingerstyle by the bridge. This bass definitely reacts, but it isn't a massive reaction. The timbral and percussive elements come through but the overall character of the bass doesn't go away.

    Deets: This bass is ash bodied with a candy apple red finish, rosewood board, hipshot hardware, Bartolini CB humbuckers, and a passive V-V-T tine stack. The neck is flatsawn maple with nice birdseye.

    Some Pics Here

    Pete
     
  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I love everything that Jack does. These Jazz basses are no exception. They are so comfortable to play and always sound great. My suggestion to you is to go one step further and put that little rocket of a bass through a Pensa two band preamp. It'd make that beauty sound giant.
     
  3. rusty

    rusty

    Mar 29, 2004
    Singapore
    Nice review pete! I've yet to hear something negative about anything that Jack does :)
     
  4. Congratulations, Pete. I played that bass at Jack's home last year. The hand-finished neck felt amazing.