Show Your SOVIET Basses - also, some GAS advice needed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matt O, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. DA

  2. Nyet

  3. морковь

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. gfen


    Aug 21, 2014
    lehigh valley
    stayed at a holiday inn, once...
    Soviet cameras were usually junk, but their lenses were phenomenal value and exceedingly well built. Why? Because the lenses were a product that could be used by the military, and thus built to work. The cameras were built for civilians, and thus garbage.

    I've had several Kiev branded lenses, and they were nothing to sneeze at. Same with Combloc weapons, which are all simple, stout, and dependable designs.

    As for Zeiss Jena, when the Soviets got East Germany, they took most of the Zeiss manufacturing equipment other than what the Americans could spirit away. But, they were essentially all the proper Carl Zeiss designs made on the same Carl Zeiss equipment, just with inferior optical coatings.
  2. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Update on my quest: The acquisition phase has commenced. I have submitted an offer on the Roden Axe Bass shown below. The offer was much lower than the BIN price, however I think it is in line with the actual value. Hope they accept. I also hope they include the fabulous wallpaper also on display there. I would actually love a swatch of it on the wall behind the bass when I display it in my home for greater authenticity and pure visual madness reasons.

    Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 1.19.50 PM.png
  3. Duplo42


    Jan 23, 2007
    You can put such a wallpaper inside a case - you open the case and voila, instant display lol. I really like the shape of the bass - pickups on such beasts are usually ok/old-school, the rest of the gear sucks thou.
    Camaro likes this.
  4. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Haha, brilliant!
  5. So I got a nice Jolana Rubin bass. I love the sound! It sounds like McCartney's Hofner bass, even when directly plugged into a Zoom H4n, with no processing. I love how full and resonant it is, maybe due to the hallow body. But I have a problem which I hope can be solved with the help of the experienced guys here.

    This bass is noisy but, strangely enough, the moment I touch the strings or any metal part of the body, the noise stops. I understand this might be grounding issue. But how can I fix it? What kind of contact does grounding require other then being connected to the metal parts of the instrument. What else does it need to get grounded? Anybody willing to help?
  6. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    I'm probably not able to help with the grounding problem as it could be a number of things, maybe even more than one problem simultaneously. Possibly a bad ground wire from pots to bridge, may be your house's power or a dimmer switch, maybe the pickup is fritzing.

    That said, I would sure like to see a pic of your new Jolana!
  7. OP, I have had great success with the Stew Mac shielding paint. A little goes a long way and I did three layers on 3 or 4 basses with the little can and it's only half empty. My basses are dead quiet, noise wise. I hit every interior wood area 3x and underlaid all covers with aluminum tape (cheap from lowes )..I put some extra tape on all screw holes.
    Look out for any short outs, like the metal back of pots touching your shield, open wires, etc… If you have a simple meter, just make sure all the different cavities show contact with one another. You might need to use a pipe cleaner stick to get the paint in the connecting drill holes between cavities for them it to work (the shield). I also stuck some tape under the bridge where the wire touches.
    I did all that and came out with basses that are 100% silent until I pluck the strings.
    saved my sanity,
  8. Thanks, fnordlyone. I'm going to open it up and see what's wrong. Hopefully it's an easier fix and I won't have to do all that. Some wire might be loose or something.

    Matt, I'll put up a few nice pictures of this Czechoslovakian beauty here soon.
    Matt O likes this.
  9. Jolana diamant bass
    pacojas, Santol and Matt O like this.
  10. Here's my Jolana Rubin. The dark blue room light in the studio is all I had at the time. The pictures aren't as flattering. But what a bass this is! Other than the noise issue, which I hope to be able to fix, this thing sounds exactly like McCartney's bass, even through DI. Not sure one can get this sound out of a Jazz Bass or a Precision.

    Attached Files:

    pacojas and Matt O like this.
  11. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Since the "noise" (hum) goes away when you touch ground (strings) it means the bass needs shielding. Most old basses need it to be quiet. If you really intend to play it rather than display it I'd suggest doing the copper foil shield on it per standard instructions on internet.

    I had to shield my '60s Welson. You have to decide how important "authentic hum" is to you.
  12. Thanks for that, bassbenj! I definitely want to use this as a playing/recording bass. Its special sound is going to turn out great in recordings.

    I had no idea what shielding was all about... Gonna go to the kitchen to find some aluminum foil now...
  13. Dynacord


    Jan 1, 2005
    Shielding wouldn't hurt but I think the real issue is most of these basses aren't grounded at all. I have an Orfeus and will probably do this once I figure out what lug to solder the wire to (I'd run the other end under the metal tailpiece - easy to drill a hole for the wire from that to the control cavity).

    I like those Jolana hollowbodies -- same as with any hollowbody, I don't think it will ever sound like a solidbody Fender though. I'm in Poland in the same town where the Defil guitars/basses were made and still see them at the flea markets from time to time.
  14. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    I could not in any universe own many of these Russian basses.
    Awful,awful old world style.

    Except for these.

    Handy Pepper basses. Handy Pepper.jpe Handy Pepper2.png HP-3[1].jpg
  15. Dynacord


    Jan 1, 2005
    The contemporary stuff is a whole other topic. Many great builders in the former Soviet Bloc/East Bloc/ Warsaw Pact (or whatever one cares to call them) countries. I have a bass on order with Padalka in Russia who is as good or better than one can find anywhere.

    The Soviet era stuff is high on kitsch/novelty and pretty low on function. Still, fun toys.
  16. Morrighan

    Morrighan La Contessa Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    As a fountain pen collector / enthusiast, it's widely agreed in the fountain pen community that Soviet era pens come up short in execution and design. To imagine the same for basses is not a great leap of faith. Americans developed the Fisher Space Pen. Soviet cosmonauts used pencils. QED.
    Matt O likes this.
  17. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Pencils work really well. though. Soviet basses, not so much.

    Though since I make sample libraries, I thought about getting some crap Commie bass or guitar and recording samples of it - it would get around all the tuning, playability etc. problems since it would work as well as any sampled guitar, and keep the sonic character. Plus they generally don't have long sustain, which cuts down on the amount of time needed to record a few hundred samples. Acoustic guitars are plentiful around here, but I'm keeping my eye out for something more interesting.
  18. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Ah, but the pencil worked just fine in zero g, didn't it? I know you're talking about manufacturing quality east v. west, but didn't that space pen cost a lot of dough to develop? Your's is also a good example of economic system east v. west.

    Another example of Soviets in space is the camera given to cosmonauts to photograph some of the most important moments in history was a Kiev or Pentacon, neither of which would be considered reliable. Many missions came home with little or no documentation. I have a Kiev 88 that froze up on me once, when I opened the back, springs and gears came flying out like those joke snakes in the peanut brittle can.
  19. Dynacord


    Jan 1, 2005
    I think one has to compare these to other 1960s or so cheap off brands or even some of the American ones like Valco, National, Kay, etc. I played a few songs at a club using their wall hanger decoration Defil hollowbody and it seemed just as good as a lot of other basses of that era from the lesser companies. I liked that bass a lot and with better strings, pots, etc, it could be a cool and cheap vintage 'character' instrument. Same with the Jolana hollowbodies.
    Iristone likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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