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S.D. Curlee owners past and present

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Godfather, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. Godfather

    Godfather

    Feb 4, 2001
    I just got an original S.D. Curlee bass and was hoping to find other TB members who might be able to share insights and experience with this powerful beast ....please let me know who you are !
     
  2. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    TalkBass has another thread about Curlee basses- do you have any photos?

    I have a Model 1- the kind with the big pickup cover, not the newer model with the P-Bass style pickup. What kind of bridge is on yours? The original ones had a bridge that was described to me as "something made in a home workshop".

    If your truss rod doesn't do anything and your neck is warped away from the strings, it's a known issue. I have one of these and will post the results when I'm confident that it's fixed.
     
  3. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    I bought my Curlee brand new in '77. I still have it.
    Mine too has the single brass DiMarzio pick up in it. Brass nut, Grover tuners, strung with Roto Swing 66's.
    The ser # stamped on the bridge is 695. Mine developed a slight neck twist over the decades.
    If i didnt love it, i would'nt have kept it all these years.
    Very nice bass. Great piano-like tones.
     
  4. Godfather

    Godfather

    Feb 4, 2001
  5. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I had two of them (though not concurrently). Both were the original ones with the brass-covered DiMarzio Model 1 pickup and the totally ghetto homemade brass bridge. The weird thing is, they sounded totally different from one another! Completely inexplicable.
     
  6. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Definitely a newer version. The original ones didn't have the cove routing and the upper cutaway was so tight that big hands don't fit in it very well. It's also the maple body, split pickups and Badass bridge, which were later changes. If you can post the serial number (I didn't see it), I can talk to someone (Denny Rauen, mentioned in the History Of SD Curlee) who worked his way up to production manager- he has a shop here in MKE.
     
  7. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    Pulling up on the low side, right? Mine has that as well as the bow, due to the truss rod not staying in place. If my fix for the truss rod movement works, I'm going to look for/create a set of strings with thinner core at the bottom and heavier at the top. Otherwise, I may try to have it steamed and twisted, to correct it.

    I like mine. Sounds great, comfortable to play and fast.
     
  8. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    Yep.. The twist is slight, but it throws intonation off a bit.
    The neck is otherwise straight as far as bowing is concerned. I was told a steam treatment/straightening would cure the problem too. I never did it. The thing still plays great. It's just a little off
     
  9. Godfather

    Godfather

    Feb 4, 2001
    Too bad about all the neck problems....mine appears straight and the action is currently quiet usable without touching the truss rod adjustment...
     
  10. 1958Bassman

    1958Bassman

    Oct 20, 2007
    I'd bet that yours was made after Denny re-designed the truss rod. The other main thing that he saw as a problem is the depth of the slot for the rod- if it's deeper, it requires a different amount of tension and it works a lot better than if it's shallow, like mine.
     
  11. That's what she said.
     
  12. Dluxe

    Dluxe

    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I also have one of the old ones. Neck is nice and stable on mine but the bridge is like the original poster said, "homemade" looking. Works well though and the early ones were string through body. I use Rotosound Swingbass medium scale strings. The serial numbers on the early basses were stamped on the bridge.

    sl71pe.
     

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