Serek Owners/Fan Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by remcult, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Sweet! What are the specs?
    ric4682 and Ibanezer83 like this.
  2. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I just happened to pop onto Sylvan Music today and encountered a Sacramento in denim blue, pearl binding, and dual Bisonics. What a stunning instrument!! It has an amazing short scale neck and tone to die for. Although smitten, the price tag was a terrible reality check. Never contemplated a second career in bank robbery before.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  3. Ibanezer83


    Jul 27, 2020

    Wowza! She's a BEAUT, true rock machine congrats man! Is it 32 or 30.5?

    I was wondering..Does the Lazen manage to keep up output-wise or do you need to bring it up/bring down the Novak to balance them? Neck PUs have always seemed so much louder with my basses..

    Didn't you have a Sacramento? I imagine the two basses are very different but how would you describe the differences between the Novak vs the Lazen in the "bridge"/ how they blend w neck pup?
    Y'know, output, growl, bite, extension..etc.. Or just the two Basses in general.

    I have a walnut Sacramento coming due March but your Midwesterner is practically exactly like the other build I had considered but I've always wanted a Ricky, so the Sac edged out.. any shared experience would be awesome! Rock on!
  4. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Vintage Lefty Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Southern DE
    Older than dirt ;)
    My specs are Mahogany body and neck w natural finish, ebony fingerboard, Guild Bisonic Pickups, VVT controls, lefty, 32" scale. When I ordered it in Dec he estimated July completion. Seems like that will happen. Excited!
  5. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    30.5"! Love it, feels like an old EB-0 I used to have that I loved the feel of but hated the unusable muddiness of.

    I did have a Sacramento — the MW and Sac are very different instruments. The necks are very similar, although the Sacramento was perhaps a bit thinner, but by no means thin. The Sacramento had the Rickenbacker vibe going on with the body shape, but it still felt like its own thing to me. And the pickups didn't have a particularly Rickenbacker-like tone about them; I suspect if you got the Serek Singles they would, since he modeled those a little after Ric pickups. Bisonics/Darkstars are their own things; very high output, lots of lows, lots of highs, noticeably scooped mids. And kind of a hollow woodiness to them, which I like a lot. If you're wanting a Rickenbacker kind of sound, I'd get the Serek Singles. If you want a bigger P Bass kinda sound, Guild or Novak.

    The Novak and LZN-B90 blend fairly well, but I've noticed I have to back the volume of the Novak a tiny bit to hit equilibrium. It sounds good in the middle, and you can play with the BS-DS coil split and the LNZ-B90 series/parallel switch and hear some differences, but in general I just favor single pickups rather than blends. And I think both the darkstar and the LZN-B90 excel when they're solo'd, personally.

    Hope that helps, do holler if you have any other questions.
    Relsom, Midwesterner, GregC and 3 others like this.
  6. mixedmeter


    Mar 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm considering a 34" with single Novak BS-DS and am curious to know if anyone who has one with the Novak or the Guild Bisonic wouldn't mind describing how they compare to, say, a P bass. I'm not looking for something to do exactly the P bass thing, but it's a known quantity and has the same scale and roughly same pickup placement so it seems like a decent basis for comparison. Maybe @Deano Destructo ?

    mobeme23 likes this.
  7. Thumper02

    Thumper02 Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2021
    Dallas, TX
    +1 on this! I’m considering ordering a warmoth body with a routing for one of those to go with a neck I have.
  8. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Probably videos out there of an Armitage with one of those pickups in it.
  9. kazuhank

    kazuhank Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR

    Here's a demo with the Guild BS-1.
    GregC, Rezdog and Thumper02 like this.
  10. mixedmeter


    Mar 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've already seen all the relevant YouTube videos I could find. Still curious for some first-hand experiences if anyone cares to share.

    brennanmcnally likes this.
  11. kazuhank

    kazuhank Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    No firsthand with a Bisonic on 34" but can say it gets that huge p-bass vibe on the 30.5" scale and imagine it wouldn't lose much in a 34" scale. Count me in as curious for anyone that has experience with it in a 34" bass.
  12. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    They sound great on jazz basses, Lakland used them in that format. Juan Alderete has played those on some Mars Volta stuff.
    GregC and kazuhank like this.
  13. kazuhank

    kazuhank Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I think those were Fred Hammond Darkstars. Killer tone for sure.
    GregC likes this.

  14. my MW2 has both a Guild Bosonic (neck) and Novak BD-DS (bridge).
    while much for the tone is derived from their respective locations (neither in the true "P" location), it seems that most folks, myself included, see the Guild Bisonic having a looser tone with lots of lows and highs, and scooped mids. The Darkstar is more punchy and throaty, but also has plenty of low end on tap.

    with my Guild at the neck, i can get a really fat and wolly tone with the tone and volume knobs dimed.
    with the Novak at the bridge, i can get a really tight and punchy jazz-like tone with more volume and tone, and with the tone knob rolled off, i can get something a bit more hefty and thumpy (maybe closer to a P?).

    if i were using a Serek to try to get close to a P-bass tone, i might choose the Novak as it seems to have more variability with various tone setting. Also, the Novak absolutely crushes with my effects pedals! i've been playing around with the Novak/ tone rolled all the way off going through various dirt pedals going through, and it's the bee's knees!!
  15. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    +1 for rolling the tone all the way off on the Novaks — they turn into almost sub frequency, like using an OC-2 with the dry signal off. Super rad with fuzz (and octave fuzz if you feel like getting real weird).
    J_Bass likes this.
  16. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    @Midwesterner - a while back you mentioned using 500K pots instead of 250K with the Novak BS/DS pickups. Did you do that, and were you satisfied with the results? And the .1uf cap? I'm getting on well with the 32" Sacramento. Very punchy, though I'd like it to lean a little more towards a RIC tone without sending it home for singles. I don't want to lose the gut punch in the process. It's wonderful in a live setting.
  17. Midwesterner


    Mar 5, 2020
    My build was supposed to be done this month, but got pushed back until late August/early September so I don't know yet, but will certainly be happy to let you know when it arrives.

    My initial thoughts on going 500K on the pots was I think all the basses I heard coming out of Jake's shop are great, but on the dark side. I felt like swapping the pots out could give it a little more top end without taking away from the tone as is as I like most of what I hear.

    Sonically, I was kind of torn between the Novak and the Guild. I feel like the Guild gets the best of both the BS & DS modes, but I love the versatility of the Novak coil tap option. I was slightly concerned that the 500K pots might make things a bit too bright, so I had Jake add a 250K & 750K resistor on a selector. That way I can get 250K total wide open (sum of the 2 500K pots/the brightest), 187.5 K total wide open (sum of the 2 500K pots w/the 750K resistor in line/the middle) and 125K total wide open (sum of the 2 500K pots w/ the 250K resistor in line/the darkest/Jake's standard configuration) and everything in the middle with the tone knob.

    Truth be told, a lot of it will probably be subtle, especially using the 750K resistor, but I had the space on the selector and resistors are around a $1, so I figured I'd do it and see what it does. It's probably not a very wide tonal range, but I really like all those tones, so I am happy to hang out in that small tonal neighborhood.

    On caps, I have done a lot of listening and comparing and I find that .1uF just sounds right for bass, so I didn't want to mess with that. That said, I do LOVE the tone of a Ric and I know that they come with 330K pots and .047uF caps in their modern configuration. I had a 2010 4003 for 10 years and I found the "vintage" tone option, which is just a .033uF cap, just neutered the tone on that bass. On my wife's 330, which I had modded to do the vintage tone thing, sounds great as it has that chime/jangle I love out of Ric guitars.

    Hope that wasn't too much nerding out for you. I enjoyed writing and hoped it helped. I will keep you updated on things. Now off to work!
    Ibanezer83, Thumper02 and Relsom like this.
  18. Relsom

    Relsom Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    Not at all. Information is a good thing. And besides, my posts can ramble on........ forever. I'd love to hear from you when it arrives, and that it is all you are hoping for.
    Midwesterner likes this.
  19. Kendescending

    Kendescending Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2020
    I changed my volume pot to 1M, the tone control at 250k and added a resistor with a switch to bring the resistance vale back to original specs. It gave a noticeable amount of brightness to the bass (just in the very high end) and keeps all of the heftiness of the Novak BS/DS. My Orange 4 stroke amp is dark sounding, so I needed the extra "bite" from the 1M pot. My friends Traynor YBA-1 is very bright sounding, so I do need to use the resistor mod when using that amp.

    I also bought a Serek single bridge pickup and tried it in my Lincoln. Sounds somewhat similar to my ric, but my ric has more mids to it. I feel like the Novak in coil tap mode is fairly similar to the Serek single bridge. I've been tempted to buy the Serek single neck and route the body cavity myself, but I think I'd still like the Novak better in the end. Since the single are pick guard mount, one could route out the body cavity for these, and with a spare pick guard, you could swap out pickups in a matter of minutes. I currently have a "bullet" connector on my bridge ground wire, so no soldering is required.

    Here's the single in the original tort pick guard routed for the Novak. I now have a black PG as I really hate most torts.

    Screen Shot 2021-02-20 at 10.02.12 PM copy.png
    Ibanezer83 and Midwesterner like this.
  20. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Anyone know what a B90 bridge pickup is wound to?
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