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Rob Allen Vs Godin

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheTurtle, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    Hi! I'm interest in a fretless bass, but I need an acoustic sound to play jazz swing. I know that Rob Allen M2 and Godin are two great fretless that sound similar to double bass. What do you think is the best ad wich are the differences between this two bass?

    Thanks :)
  2. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Hi! Try doing a search. I think there's already a thread or two about those particular models.

    I never played a Rob Allen, but I played the Godin A4 (fretted and fretless) and A5 (fretless). They have a very nice, versatile tone, very hot output, and the fretless version do have plenty of that sweet "mwah"... I only heard good things about the Allen, too. I guess you can't go wrong with any of these.
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    I have a MB-2 and have only played a fretted A4. Here's my 2 cents.

    The MB-2 has a slightly wider neck 1 5/8" vs. the A4's 1 1/2". The woods are different. The A4 is a maple body with a cedar top. The MB-2 can be had with a variety of combinations, their "standard" model being ash body, maple top. The A4 uses a Baggs ribbon transducer, the MB-2 uses a Fishman Piezo. The body of the A4 is finished, the MB-2 is oil finish only. With the A4 you have low-mid-high and volume. The MB-2 has only volume. The MB-2 weighs about 6.5 lbs., the A4 considerably more.

    Now the A4 I played was fretted, but just taking a 1 note tone comparison and trying to allow for the metal railroad track, the MB-2 sounds better to my ear. (Of course a fair easement would have involved the same strings, which it didn't.) I guess I would say the MB-2 had more resonance, a woodier tone.

    The A4 sounds great for the money. The Allen costs way more. Besides workmanship and woods there is a sound difference, IMHO. Is it worth the cost difference? IMHO it is.

    As far as feel, that is a very individual thing. The A4 felt pretty good, the MB-2 feels great. It fits me like it was made specifically for *me*.

    Bottom line, I don't think you'll be disappointed with either. I think most will agree though, the MB-2 is the better of the two, even at more than twice the price.

    Now just to throw a wrench in things there's the Rob Allen Deep 4 that supposed to be even nicer (but a lot more costly than the MB-2.)
  4. TheTurtle

    TheTurtle Guest

    Nov 13, 2003
    Thanks for the info, I'm Italian I've only tried A4 and A5 fretless and they play very well, similar to an acoustic upright, but I think that the Rob Allen is the same thing but better feeling for my playing. The A5 I've tried had a B strings absolutely no good! Do you think that the B strings may sound good on acoustic fretless bass? What about your Rob Allen?

    I'm interested in this one, Alder Body, Koa top, great looking and I think warm tone. It's #401 serial number, It's an old one or it's a new bass?!


    or there is another with koa neck on


  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Jazz? Swing? Acoustic? Fretless?
    There's only one way to go
  6. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    The Turtle,

    My MB-2 is a 4-string. As far as a 5'er goes I'd contact Rob himself and ask his opinion of it vs. 4-string. One thing is with the Allen you're going 35" scale on a 5-string. I believe Godin is still a 34".

    That wood combo should be very warm and very good sounding. As a matter of fact, that's the wood combo used in the Deep 4 or 5.

    BTW, you can order any combo direct from Rob. The wood choice is yours and the pricing is the same whether from him or a dealer.

    Rob Allen

    BTW, Rick I agree the MB-2 doesn't have quite the same attack or decay of a good solid URB being
    mic'ed in the studio. But it sounds better than almost every *amped* laminated URB I've heard in clubs at loud volume. I can only think of one that sounded better in local clubs. I'm pretty sure it was an expensive solid one though.

    Plus, there is the size/portability issue...

    But yes, for the ultimate in good rooms a URB can't be beat.

    But, the Allen is *my* sound. Not a true well mic'ed URB tone, but a better than the average EUB tone IMO and also most loudly amped URB's.
  7. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Yup, that's right.
  8. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Well said, Rob B.
    I agree.
    I have big GAS for Rob Allen
  9. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    It may be FAR off the subject but it must be said.

    Ombudsman, your avatar stirs very un-bass like feelings in me........
  10. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    You big p|mp!!! :D
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i STILL want to replace my RA MB2.

    Rob's choice of woods are some of the best in the biz, in my op.

  12. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    My two primary basses are both Godins: a fretted A4 and fretless A5. Besides being a Godin endorsee (check their catalog under A series basses and there is my pic!) I am also an afficianado of semi-acoustics....and have a few, and have plyed a few more.

    Of the bunch, IMHO, three stand out above the rest: Rick Turner's Renaissance, The Godin A series, and Rob Allen.
    Of these three, all are quite different personalities. Personally I prefer the Godins. Their necks are quite comfy for my hands...and their sound simply fits my style like a glove.
    RA's give a more woody, up-right-ish tone, but I get more versatilty from the Godins. In fact, I have done quite a few sessions on everything from hip-hop to country on those Godins. I can get a very RA-like upright simulation from Godins just thru hand placement and pressure (right strings helps too...) as well as some "modern" bass tones.

    The electronics in the Godins are great...dead quite and really versatile

    In my solo work, the Godins excel. They give a rich and warm sound which greatly enhances my sometimes chord-intensive solo bass stuff.

    I own several basses, incl. a mint '67 P bass and '74 Jazz...but hardly play anything other than my Godins (alright..lately I have been diggin' my Jack Casady Signature...)

    Incredibly, these basses are still quite reasonably priced. Definitely worth more than just a second glance.

  13. Like Max said, the other one to check out would be the Rick Turner. I own one, and it's probobly the most unique and best sounding fretless basses I've played. I've played the Godin as well, and while it's a very good bass, and nicely constructed, (especially for the money) I didn't think it was in the same league as the Rick Turner. Of course that's just my own impression. I haven't played a Rob Allen, so I can't comment, but they're supposed to be as nice as the Rick Turners.
  14. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i've played all 3.

    owned an MB2.

    here's my grading:

    1. rob allen
    2. turner ren
    3. godin

    just my op.

  15. FritzM

    FritzM Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2001
    Madison, MS
    I have owned and gigged with all three. IMO you can't compare them as they are all different beasts. For my purposes, the Godin strung with TI Jazz Rounds fits the bill. The Godin simply doesn't get lost in the mix, and its even from low to high register. The Rob Allen is the most comfortable to play and sounds the most URBish of the group (by itself), but in a group situation, the Godin sounds better to my ears. I play straight ahead jazz most of the time, so my needs may be different than yours. The Turner sounds great too, but I had problems with the upper register cutting through on solos.
    I like the Godin at 1/3 of the price! And yes, ABG's can swing and swing hard.

    Listen to Max, he rules!

  16. markr


    Mar 1, 2002
    Has anyone tried the Carvin AC-40 or 50? I am looking for something along these lines for jazz.Though the Rob Allen had a nice uprightish sound, I liked the Godin A4 I tried a little more, especially for the money. The Carvin costs a little more than the Godin, but has good reviews. -mark

  17. I agree but with the turner on top.
  18. Yup. In a group situation.

    I had an early MB2 (s/n 048!) with the best neck I have ever seen on a bass in this world. I could NOT get a useable in-group sound out of it live, but the bass was so beautiful, it took me 18 months to bring myself to sell it...

    In the studio, it was fine, but not, for me, as a gigging bass. The sound just got lost. It wasn't real.
  19. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    i think the Rob Allen basses sound closest to an Upright and are the best acoustic/electric fretless basses that are made right now
  20. Wasn't the Godin A4 & A5 discontinued? I thought I looked for them on the Godin website and found out that the whole line had been cancelled.

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