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Shen Willow for me.

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jmpiwonka, Sep 26, 2005.


  1. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    Just acquired a shen willow 3/4. I'm ready to play it but just to be on the safe side I'm gonna take a few days to tune it all the way up to pitch. I strung it up and took a few pics since I know everyone would want to see some.

    It looks like there is one small crack on the side where the previous owner may have layed it down on something. Not sure, hopefully it won't move.

    pics:
    http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1459882
     
  2. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I have the 7/8s willow flatback, and it looks very similar--same tuners, looks like the same bridge material--mine has the same dark brown flecks and the same wooden adjuster wheels--though the adjusters are metal, only the visible part of wood. Mine has a tailpiece of boxwood or something chocolate brown with black stripes.

    I absolutely love the bass, though I'm very nervous about this coming winter and the heating season

    Hope you love yours as much as i love mine
     
  3. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    oh yeah, i had to take the tuners off to tighten those screws on the back side a little because there was some play in the top mounting point on a few of the shafts that you turn.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    purdiful! How does my old bow sound with that baby? :D
     
  5. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    i'll tell you tomorrow :D
     
  6. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Wow that is a beautiful bass! I have always wanted to see some good high rez images of a willow. That wood is fairly distinct. Congrats on the new beauty. :hyper:

    az
     
  7. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I just recently got a Willow 3/4 myself and I couldn't be happier. I tried a bunch of basses in all different price ranges and this bass just spoke to me. It seems to be a very well built instrument. My only beef is with the endpin, the hardwear is kinda' wimpy. Other than that it is great.

    I did have to do some experimenting with strings. It is a very bright bass at this point. It came with D'Addarios. Hated them. The overtones were outta control. Then I put Spiros on it (which I use on my other bass) more focus but still pretty nuts. I currently have Obligatos on it and, once settled in, they really seem to bring this bass to life. Nice warm low-end. Crisp highs. Great with a bow.

    Enjoy.
     
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Looks great!

    A new bridge will probably help you out on that with string choices. The heart looks awfully close to the top of the bridge, which, in my experience, can make a bass feel and sound tight, bright and mean.

    Good grab!
     
  9. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    PB+J- have you purchased a warm-air room humidifier yet? Or does your hot-air furnace have an inline humidifier? You shouldn't worry; just have the right setup in your home before the heat starts blastin'.

    +1 on getting a new bridge for that Willa. The bridge crown is too close to the heart.

    g/l.
     
  10. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002

    yeah, i already ordered a bridge blank from upton.

    I also want to extend a very large THANK YOU to DZ for being patient with me while we worked out the details of the whoe transaction. SO, once again, THANK YOU DZ, ;)

    it has dominants on it now and while the D and G strings sound pretty good, the A and E do sound kinda weak and tight, i'm thinking it will open up some after its been strung up for a week or so, and i'm sure a new bridge will help with that too. I'm gonna have to start some string experiments, not sure where to go with that yet.
     
  11. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    NickLloyd, I'm worried--where it lives in the house there's a woodstove about twenty feet away. I described the deal to John Sprague (big pot of water on the woodstove at all times) and he said it should be ok. I have a warm air humidifier but we'll also have a baby in the house by then, a girl adopted from China (ironic, eh?!) and my wife is frowning about the humidifier. Any advice welcome!

    Here are some pictures, for them what's interested

    shen 7/8 willow flatback

    I just love this bass, can't stop playing it. The bridge looks normal to me--am I right?
     
  12. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    PB+J your bridge looks better. the deal with mine is that it was cut too short so the adjusters are raised up real high and the top of my bridge might have a whole inch less wood from the heart up to where the strings meet it, its pretty thick up there too. I don't like the adjuster wheels being so screwed out and the overall thickness. i'll try a different bridge (without adjusters since i kinda like high action) and see what that will do for it, it might get a different tailpiece too (a lighter one, perhaps a pecanic) but i'm gonna do bridge and strings first and probably take it to a luthier and have him check out the soundpost.
     
  13. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    AZ,

    Take a look at Nick Lloyd's web site under "Inventory". There are some very good pix of a Shen Willow (and other basses).
    http://www.nicklloydbasses.com/
     
  14. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If you haven't already, you should purchase humidistadt. They are usually $30-$50, just hang them on a wall near your bass... doesn't require batteries or electricity. You need to know what the room humidity is in the winter time.

    Congratulations on the new baby girl. Why is your wife concerned about the humdifier? It isn't going to hurt anybody... :eyebrow:

    Woodstove heat isn't nearly as risky as central-air heat. Central-air has damaged more instruments in the past 50 years than any other kind of heating, except of course open flames. ;)
     
  15. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Yes--thank you, I've got one right next to the bass

    Thank you again--we're going to china in about three weeks. I've already raised a son to 14, not sure i can go back to diapers.

    As to the humidifier, I'm guessing you're not married! My wife, a wonderful person, is concerned about A: mold allegedly produced by warm mist, and B: a crawling baby somehow contacting the hot element that makes the warm mist. Irrational, you say? so is playing the bass, she says, especially when so many smaller, cheaper instruments are readily available

    I'll watch the humidistat closely and if it goes to low, I'll move the bass to annother room. Thank you again for the advice
     
  16. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    well i just dropped the bass off at a local luthier, should have a much better playing bass in a few days, he's going to fit a new bridge i ordered from upton, he's gonna check the soundpost make sure it fits nice, add a little more scoop to the bass side of the fingerboard as well as make the FB a little flatter, nut will be worked a little, put some glue in that little crack to seal it up. he said he'd adjust the lenth of the tail gut too as it looked a little long. needless to say i'm sure the difference will be like night and day. I think everybass should be setup to the owners personal preferences so this is an expected cost for me :D

    on a side note i played a bass he made himself that had an adjustable and removable neck. sounded really nice. it had helicore arco strings on it....and he had a mechanical extension on it but i forgot to play with the E string with it opened up to different tunings :meh:
     
  17. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    oh yeah, he was real impressed with the build quality of the shen as i expected him to be. he liked the idea of the X brace. said it had more overstand than most basses, and i think he kinda liked the fact that they used willow on the back and sides. he said its a real light and resonant wood and actually showed me a cut of it that he had so i could feel how light it was.
    thumbs up to the Shen guys.
     
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    My luthier was also very impressed with the Shen Willow. He thought it could go for as much at $10K if it was made in Germany, Italy, etc. The guys I play with as been really impressed too. Again though, I had to do some experimenting with strings. The D'Addarios it came with were horrible. I tried Weichs and Obligatos on it and ended up using the Obligatos. They really warmed up the tone a bunch. It is a pretty bright bass.
     
  19. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka

    Jun 11, 2002
    the bass had dominants when i got it and they were actually pretty dark but i think the bridge was a factor in that. i'm gonna see what the dominants sound like after the setup changes, then its on to weich's and if i don't like them i'm not sure where i'll go.
    i can't wait to play it :hyper:
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Not that it matters now that the cold war is over, but I think you just blew your cover. Don't worry, I won't tell Natasha. :ninja: