Review of LowDown Bass Guitars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gearhead17, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Recently attended a Bass GTG at Music Garage in Chicago, IL, on June 25, 2017. Got to try out a few of the models from LowDown Bass Guitars. Tim Seisser is the builder of these basses.

    First off, I am not being paid by Tim, I do not own any of Tim’s basses, and I have not been offered a free bass for this review on talkbass. I met Tim recently at the get-together and wanted to help him reach more bass players. Tim is making some IMPRESSIVE looking and SOUNDING basses and I believe he deserves your attention.

    I spent the most time playing Tim’s “Prototype Ray”. Tim had a prototype with him of his take on a Stingray. (See the picture) It had a Jazz bass style neck, laminated body (Maple and Cherry wood) Nordstrand MM Pickup. It reminded me of the Tobias Growler in the overall shape except Tim’s prototype had a much thinner neck combined to the Tobias. The biggest surprise was the tone. There is MUCH MORE midrange between 200hz and 600hz in the tone when compared to the Growler or any other Stingray. The placement of the pickup has a bit to do with that. Definitely closer to the neck rather than the bridge. It definitely has the String Ray characteristics in the tone (bright, snappy, barky, strong low end), but the added midrange made this bass VERY ATTRACTIVE to me. I want midrange and low midrange content in my tone and this bass was delivering it. As a four string, the string spacing was closer to what my Spector 5’s are spaced to – I was able to play this bass comfortably. The balance of the body and neck were fantastic. It was very light, but felt comfortable to play.

    For the other models: Hip Shot Ultra Lites on all basses – can’t go wrong there! The weight of these basses, even the exotic looking ones, were all on the light side. Definitely lighter than my Spector and well-balanced. Back-problems? Want to play something that looks good, sounds different, and does not weigh a ton? LowDown has you covered. The woods were amazing to look at, the cuts and shaping on some of the basses was just…I don’t have words for it. How about WOW! The attention to detail, the curves you can feel, it just screamed QUALITY.

    All of the models had great access to the higher notes and the higher fret notes were clear sounding on all strings. I have heard too many basses sound strange on the highest frets – really boomy tones, too brittle, sounding good only in a few spots - LowDown’s basses did NOT suffer from that. While many bass companies seem to ignore upper fret access, LowDown focused on making all notes reachable and playable. Special cuts near the neck joints make it easy to reach those high notes. A nice-touch.

    Overall – Tim’s basses featured many different types of wood, looked amazing, and all sounded unique. The only bass that sounded like something familiar was his “Prototype Ray”. You owe it to yourself to at least start talking to Tim about what he can offer you. Did I mention he was easy to talk to?

    Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to play his basses longer, but I felt the tones produced by them were purely different and unique compared to so many other basses I have played. If I had spent more time with them, I definitely would have heard a more individual voice with each bass. If you want something beautiful AND comfortable to play along with a "different tone", you need to check out more from LowDown.

    LowDown is also working on a 5 string Prototype “Ray”……I am hoping to try this one day.
    Prototype Ray1.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
    citizenchris099 and JGbassman like this.
  2. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 12, 2007
    LowDown Bass Guitars
    Thanks for the review and for coming by the get together. It was a great hang!
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    I looked at Tim's website.
    Seem to have VERY reasonable prices.
    Mike Arnopol is very complimentary of Tim's work.
    There's a youtube clip(s) of Tim playing one of his Customs at NAMM through Mike's cabs.
    Sounds really good & he's a heck of a player!
    Check him & them out!
    I'll have to find the video & post it here.
  4. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Funny to see this pop up right now as I just picked up my Jazz from Tim today.
    It's like a NBD! Low Down Bass overhauls my Jazz!
    Tim built a 1.75", shallow profile, 35" conversion neck (based off my Carlo) for my parts jazz, corrected the neck pocket with laminate, put on a maple veneer pickguard and added threaded inserts.

    I'm taking it on a gig tonight but after messing about with it a bit this afternoon I can say that the man knows how to make a neck!
    lo-freq and Fred312b like this.
  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    Here is the video I mentioned above [Lowdown Custom 5 -> Sonic Farms Tantra -> MAS Bodai 112]:
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    As there doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to Lowdown I'm going to revive this thread and add the NBD thread for my Lowdown Dual Darkstar Telebass.
    NBD: Lowdown Dual Darkstar Telebass!
    Most of what Tim makes is much more modern styled, but clearly the man can do vintage-inspired. The 35" conversion neck and other work (maple pickguard, repaired pocket, etc) he did on my Jazz convinced me to have him make this one and it has not disappointed me. These two Lowdown's have been my weekly gigging duo for the last few months since it arrived.
    Tim is a great builder whose instruments are also quite a good value also. I'm very surprised more folks here don't seem to own one.
    LowDown Bass Guitars
    Lowdown Bass Guitars (@lowdownbassguitars) • Instagram photos and videos
  7. i've been thinking about picking up a LowDown actually
    Gearhead17 likes this.