Rumblefish vs. Epiphone Jack Casady

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by craigb, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Y'all,

    Here's an interesting pair for comparison. I've read a lot of the threads on both individually but how do they compare? I'm not keeping my abg and am thinking that one of these semi-hollows would be the way to go for a replacement. I'm working a local trade on my abg for a solid-body that I'd feel comfortable shipping so I could ebay it if it's not a keeper itself. So for my hypothetical, bench-based window shopping for that eternal "next bass" these are the two to compare.

    They are both semi-hollow. The JC is a set-neck with partial body block, the Rumblefish is bolt-on with a full-length mahogany tone block. The JC is a single pickup with multiple settings, the Rumblefish has a pair of jazz single coils with a selector switch (I'd probably go for an XL or wire it up as an XL). Both are passive only. Both look good, in different ways.

    So - has anybody played both? Opinions, preferences, info? I like wider necks and my favorite tone to date comes from the neck pickup of my G&L L-2000 in series with active boost on (kind of a turbo-P kind of sound).

    I know, I know, a Hodad can do it all ;) but I missed out on the $99 sale (actually couldn't bring myself to buy a bass that I'd have to take the neck off the body to adjust the truss rod). At least I could afford a Hodad at one point - on usenet I'd be told that only a Zon could meet my needs, regardless of what they are.
  2. Craig,
    I've never played a Jack Casady, but from what I've read, if you're going for a true semi-acoustic or ABG vibe, you'd prefer it over the Reverend. The Rumblefish is semi-hollow, but it doesn't sound that way. It sounds like a great Jazz bass, and you can get a lot of other good rock tones out of it. But it is not subtle.. Reverend pickups are very hot.
  3. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Hey Dave,

    I know you'd contribute some good Rumblefish info. My problem is I'm not sure exactly what I want - there are so many good instruments and sounds out there and I can't have them all (at least not right away). I'm still very happy with my L-2000 so I though maybe a semi-hollow would be a way to get tones that I can't get out of the G&L. Then again although I've always shyed away from Jazz-style basses (for no real reason) I thought it might be time to seriously try out what appears to be one of the all-time greats.

    So here's a side question for you - how would you compare and contrast your Rumblefish vs. the hot-rodded J-bass you got from the Dude? I'm curious which you prefer and why? Does one give you a better representation of the "ultimate j-bass sound"? I meant to email you to ask you to do a comparison after you got it but never got around to it.

    Thanks, Craig
  4. Hey Craig,
    Well, first let me say that as great as Rumblefish are, you won't get any tones out of one that you can't get from your L2000. The Rumblefish's basic tones are different from the G&L, but with the L2000 you've got two big humbuckers with all those switches, active/passive, etc. Pretty versatile.
    As far as the Rumblefish vs. my Jazz, I haven't been able to do a fair comparison yet. The 'Fish currently has TI Jazz Flats on it, which I plan to keep on there for a long time. I think the Jazz has a bit more meat because of the solid body and the Badass II bridge, plus the DiMarzio pickups are smokin'! Playability-wise, they are both great.. super-fast necks and low action. I'm digging the tone I'm getting from the Jazz.. it's a little bigger than the traditional J-bass tone, because with the J-Retro preamp, I can set it so both pickups are on full, with no blend. It sounds enormous. The 'Fish is the same way.. more full and cutting than the traditional bridge-pickup J sound.
    BTW, the 'Fish with flats sounds incredible!
  5. Hey Craig, I'm a Jack Casady owner and can't say enough good things about this bass. Let me also say that I've never played a Rumblefish, so I can't
    comment on them except to say that I've heard some good things about them. I also wrote a review on the Casady which you can access using the search feature. Without repeating myself too much, let me try to persuade you in favour of the Casady.

    The neck is wide, but not as wide as a Musicman's.
    I think it's 1.625" which would put it just about the same width as a modern P-bass, although it's flatter in the same way a Les Paul's neck is flatter than a Strat's.

    True, it's only got one pickup, but what a pickup!
    I've said it before; this is a hard sound to describe,
    but, it does fall into the P-bass type sound category. It sounds kind of like a good balanced pre-CBS Precision, but it also has a more "open" acoustic sound, and IMHO it's more focused than a P-bass' sound. It's also connected to a 3 way varitone switch which increases the sound from very mellow to, as you've said, "kind of a turbo -P kind of sound." One unbelievable sound I've discovered is to turn all the midrange off on your amp, and put the varitone switch on the highest setting. You get a sound that #1 is very close to an upright sound, and #2 is surprising to hear coming from a passive bass. I wouldn't worry that its only got one pickup; this bass makes your fingering style come through. One last word on the neck is that it is the most balanced sounding neck I've come across. There's no dead/hot spots.
    If you're looking for an acoustic type sound you must check this bass out. I haven't played them all, but, I honestly can't imagine anyone not liking this bass.

    This is just my pair o'pennies on this bass. Believe me, it's fantastic. To sum this bass up in one word:


    Mike J.
  6. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Thanks Dave and Mike,

    Yeah, the L2000 is very versatile. I'm still (after a year) very happy with it - I didn't keep any of my previous basses this long without becoming disatisfied. It pretty much satisfies my solid-body sound needs with the exception that I can't get a "Stingray" sound that makes me happy. I'm starting to think my "dream bass stable" would have 3 basses in it - the L2000, a Stingray-type bass (a G&L L1500 would fit that requirement) and a semi-hollow. And it sounds like the Epi Casady would be the right semi-hollow for me now.

    Now all I have to do is raise the cash. I'm working a trade of my abg for an Ibanez Musician which I'm at least willing to ship so I can sell it via the internet. I'm bummed that I missed the cheap (refurb and blem) Casady's at MF in the last couple of weeks.

    Again, thanks for the info guys.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have a Rumblefish 5 (has the XL wiring) and a G&L L-2500. The neck on the Rumblefish is more like a vintage J-bass as is the tone. It sounds less compressed and more lively than the G&L, probably due to the hollow body.

    The series wiring mode is what I use most of the time as I'm not really nuts about the normal parallel J-bass sound. You can still get that, but you don't have the option of blending pickups to taste (choices are both on series, both on parallel, bridge only).

    Factory second Epis are easy to find,a lot of dealers have them. Victor Litz, Daddy's Junky, MF are three online sources to watch. Just keep your eyes open. I've seen a number of Casady 2nds offered, you'd almost think that all the factory can turn out is seconds :eek:

    I'd be surprised if you noticed much difference between the 1500 and 2000 set to the bridge pickup. I never use the neck pickup on my 2500. Sounds like a StingRay to me! (waiting to be flamed by StingRay afficianados) :)
  8. bootyquake


    Mar 29, 2001
    Washington, DC
    If I played rock, there would be no other bass to own. The Casady bass has the richest tone I've heard in a long time. Perhaps not the bass to bring on a Limp Bizkit-type gig, but wonderful for good ol' rock songs. I should probably spring the $450 to get one used.
  9. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    I've owned the Casady bass and think it's wonderful. However, it has a slighly round back, which may or may not be a problem for you. What this mean is depending on how high or how low you wear the bass, when your not holding it, it will lean out slightly. This wasn't a problem for me, but someone who needs/likes to look at the fretboard may have to adjust their playing style slightly.
  10. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    I've seen you post this before and I keep trying out my bridge pickup without a lot of satisfaction. The sound is always too "nasal" for me and ends up "annoying" me (probably a personal problem). Lately I've been using the neck pickup only and that pretty much gives the sound I like best. Only if practice is at too high a volume and I start having trouble distinguishing myself as my ears tire do I start trying to get more cut/bite. Then again with a real Stingray-type bass I might have the same problem with my band's practice setup. I've never been able to directly compare my L2000 to a Stingray-style bass.

    The desire for a Stingray-style bass was sparked (re-sparked, really) by trying out an MTD K4 in a store. It was kind of lacking in the bottom department but with some low boost on the amp it sounded very nice. I also like the concept (this is where things get off in la-la land) of a single pickup for sound (using either pickup alone on my L2000 sounds better to me due to the lack of phase cancellation (I think that's the proper term)), simplicity (starting to get out there) and less magnetic pull on the strings (really out there). Then again if I only get one pickup on one bass I'd want an L-1000.

    I'll keep watching for the Epi seconds (is that an oxymoron?) - I've seen them at MF a couple of times. Then again I may just go for a second L2000 and leave it at that - there's enough subtle variety in there to be uncovered to keep me busy for a long time. Wanting 2 basses is to have one at home and one in the office (I really like having an office with a door). I vacillate between wanting the same thing both places and wanting variety. 3 basses would let me leave one at home, one at the office and one at the drummers where we hold practice and I wouldn't have to cart anything around except for gigs (what decadence that would be).

    So many choices, so little money.
  11. You tell 'em Bootyquake, rich tone! I never thought
    of using that word; very appropriate, describes it well. I'd also add that the Casady sounds really good on old Motown tunes. Originally I had thoughts
    of de-fretting mine because of its natural open sound, but, couldn't bring myself to do it because the fret work is so good on mine. I'd love to get another one and do this; it would sound so good fretless being used for Jazz. But, a five string is next on my list.

    I was watching VH1 the other night, and they had a show on about The Jefferson Airplane, whose original bass player was... Jack Casady! He was sitting there with his namesake under his arm recounting some of the band's early days, but didn't play a note! Disappointment here. They really should have called it "The Grace Slick Show." Every
    other minute they'd go back to Grace and she'd say
    "Oh I slept with Jack, I slept with Paul Kantner, I was so stoned in Germany that we had to cancel the show, then they wrecked the stage."

    Sorry for going off topic, but I just had to vent.

    Welcome to talkbass BootyQ and Jonathan B.

    Mike J.
  12. Jonathan Block

    Jonathan Block

    Mar 24, 2000
    CT, USA
    >>Welcome to talkbass BootyQ and Jonathan B. >>

    Thanks. I've been here over a year, but post infrequently.
  13. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    I got my Jack Casady at I do love it so. It certainly does have a wide range of tones. I have heard of finish problems but mine was just right. Now I did have a little problem with the volume pot. It didn't work but was easily replaced and Digibid even gave me credit.
  15. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    I think you should get yourself a Casady bass.Ive never tried a RR but doubt it can come close to the rich,warm,powerfull tone of the JCS.My small claim to fame was being the first here and at the FDP to own one.Ive been raving about these ever since for a long time.Not as much recently just because i thought folks were getting tired of it.But now and then i chime in again.Its a SUPERB bass!!!You do have to be selective with Epi's as quality does vary a bit but these seem to be more consistent than their other models.Due in no small part to their agreements with Jack.Ive yet to try it through an amp that it didnt sound good thru cept maybe the GK 400 but i dont like anything thru that amp.You should hear it thru an all tube rig like ive got.Incredible!!!Also great thru my Ampeg BA-115.Ive played MANY different bass's and theres nothing else quite like it.Truly one of the all time greatest ever.I wouldnt sell this bass if i was starving and living in a cardboard box.Good luck!
  16. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    ;) Yeah? You'd eat it! :D
  17. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the great input everyone. You've reinforced my desire for a Casady bass. My planned bass stable:

    1 bass - L2000
    2 basses - L2000 & JC Sig
    3 basses?

    Maybe I can "just say no" and stop at 2. Probably not.

    Now all I have to do is trade my abg for the "vintage" ibanez, sell the ibanez and find an inexpensive (used or second) JC. Anybody interested in an '8x Ibanez Musician (provided the trade goes through later today)? Neck-through, 24 frets, active/passive, from Ibanez' "golden period".

    Also I don't know where my brain was the other day "Epi second" wouldn't be a possible oxymoron but rather possibly redundant ;) (doesn't sound as good but the meaning is there).
  18. Hey Craig, which model Ibanez do you have? A Musician? That's one of my other basses! Seriously,
    no kidding. Mine is a 1979 model, which I bought brand new. I think it's a 920 not a 924. It's got 22 frets. It was just like the bass Sting used in the early 80s, only his was fretless. What a small world.
    I'll post some pictures as soon as I get a chance. Someone said that these basses are starting to become valuable. Does anyone know if this is true?

    To Bernie: I couldn't agree with you more about everything you've said about the Casady. I think Epiphone blew it when they marketed this bass. Why does everyone who comes near one go crazy about them, and then there are all these rumors of it being discontinued. They slept.

    Mike J.
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That was a sad day, on that tour guitarist Craig Chaquico (sp?) was using a wall of vintage blonde Bassman heads and cabs (five or six in all) and they were destroyed :eek:
  20. wagdog


    Mar 20, 2000
    Cold and dark
    A G&L L2000 and JC Sig would be a great combination. My main two are an L1500 and a JC Sig and between the two they just about cover everything I'd want to do. Everything said so far about the JC is true. Out of the 12 basses I own if I had to choose just one it would be the JC. Of course, it's a big-ass hollowbody so YMMV as it takes some getting used to.