S.D. Curlee Funk And Grind Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringgirl, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. I don't see one anywhere. I know there are a few of us on here. Sound off if you've got a pair! Or even just one...but show us your photos!

    I'll be #1

  2. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    Very nice! I always wish I'd gotten one when they were available back in the early 80s. Fascinated by the "almost-neck-through-bolt-on" construction. Thanks for sharing!
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  3. Mine is like the left one, without the writing, but with a heavy brass bridge.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  4. Eldo


    Mar 3, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    I picked up an early one off Craigslist for a buddy and had it for a few months before I shipped it off to him. I really wish I'd seen it before he did because it was one of the best sounding basses I've ever played. It was the model before those pictured with the single big DiMarzio pup under a brass cover.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  5. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    I had one in the early 80's. Experienced my first defret job with it. Like most of the basses I had then, I must of traded it at one point for another bass, but I can't remember.
    The name on the headstock (witch I think was burnt in) was uneven. The SD was paler than the Curlee. If anyone has a defretted one with that particular default, I shure would love to see it. BTW, all this happened around Montreal.
    fourstringgirl likes this.

  6. Scott sent the original neck for the one on the right back to me. It is interesting looking at it all by itself. I'll snap a pic of it later and post.
  7. bottomend!


    Oct 23, 2007
    I've got a Yankee model. I bought it from a TB member two months ago that was in pieces - guts torn out, no frets, finish spotty and gooched. I sanded the body down, watched a bunch of vids on re-fretting, found a schematic and drank a bottle whisky the night I played Dr. Frankenbass.

    A couple weeks after receiving this orphan in the mail, I was playing a recording session on 24 tr 2" tape less than 12 hours after I had soldered the last bit of wiring together - and it's been a torrid love affair ever since.

    I'll have to post some pics now I guess, huh?
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  8. Yes bottomend! pics would be fantastic! Is it a USA model?
  9. Dluxe

    Dluxe Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I bought this Summit a few months ago.

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  10. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Not completely clear on the history of these interesting instruments, but my headstock is sans "S.D." and is simply a "Curlee".


    Since the above photo was taken, I received a replacement control cavity cover, NOS from Birdsong. They procured a garage full of NOS when they obtained the rights to make Curlee's again. Also bought an output jack and a cleaner neck plate.


    Something I just discovered recently, these electronics, (passive) seem to be very influenced by the resistance of the amps input. Most of my basses sound the same, whether plugged into the active or passive input of my Acoustic 260. The only difference being the level. But the overall tone is unchanged. My Curlee sounds MUCH BETTER when plugged into the passive input. The active input diminishes the frequency extension on the top and the bottom, and makes the different mini toggle positions almost imperceptible in their effect on the sound. The passive input yields a huge improvement. I wonder what gives………… Still, an awesome find at my local used shop.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  11. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    they're back in bidness -> click :)
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  12. The Eristic

    The Eristic Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Cartersville, GA
    There's a double P at one of the stores where I teach. It's a peculiar instrument. Lotta personality!
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  13. bottomend!


    Oct 23, 2007
    jbybj>>> I've got the same bass as you except for the bird poop infested fingerboard... what on earth happened there???

    I've haven't seen too many others with the 'backwards' pickup configuration but I'm loving mine so far. Truly loving this little guy!

    With some elbow grease and determination you can get that body (and fingerboard) looking amazing in short order. I stripped mine down to bare wood in a few hours and was amazed at how beautiful the original walnut ended up looking with just a couple light coats of hand applied/wipe on polyurethane.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  14. bottomend!


    Oct 23, 2007
    yip. "curlee" logo. It's a Yankee model which is perfect cause I'm a Yankee from New Hampshire.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  15. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I'm sitting about a mile away from where their factory was in the '70s. You can find them used all over the place. In the summer I've even seen them at yard sales for under $75.
    1973 and '74 were their best quality years.
    In the early '80, J.C. Pennys Outlet closed out the import models for $29.
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  16. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I have always wanted one of the early single pup USA models.
  17. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles

    When I found my bass, the fretboard had the finish worn away in those spots and had been stained by years of oily hand grime. Hard earned player wear. I took some 0000 steel wool to the board. It removed the remaining finish and took off all the surface grime, lightening the dirty spots by about 50% It became obvious that the discoloration was worn into the wood. Not wanting to leave the fretboard exposed, I gave it a couple of coats of tru oil, which darkened up the dirty areas quite nicely :)

    When i went to smooth out the dings in the back of the neck, I was surprised at how easily the finish came completely off. So I now know that the body will strip easily as well. Now that the neck feels great and the bass plays well, I am not so motivated to break it down and refinish it. Some day.
  18. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    A Curlee Club? I'm in!

    Here's my rare 1980 lefty Curbeck bass. I've only seen 1 other lefty.


    I remember Curlee ads in Guitar Player(?) magazines back in the early 80's. The first guy I ever saw playing one was Jack Blades of Night Ranger. And yes, they're back in busniess making custom instruments again:

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  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I no longer own this bass -- in fact, I haven't for nearly 30 years -- but it was my main bass for my last year at Berklee; this pic is from my senior recital there in 1982.

    Note the pennies in lieu of pots. The previous owner was a "purist" who ripped out all the passive electronics and wired that DiMarzio Model 1 pickup directly to the output jack.

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  20. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Is there a bass in that stache pic?
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