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Skjold Lion's Pride P5, My custom experience

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Smallequestrian, Mar 14, 2008.


  1. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Disclosures:
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    So I have had my Lion's Pride P for about a month now, and it is awesome! Not that anybody would have expected otherwise. I feel very fortunate to have received the first bass from this new batch and a little guilty because I jumped a few people who had been waiting longer. Its just a whole lot of fun to play and I really dig the sound of all 4 positions even if I can't tell you exactly what the sound differences are doing. This is the bass for me and after intently listening to some of my favorite music recently, it totally pairs better with my preferences. This is the second bass I have ordered custom to my specs and this one was great success in comparison.

    The genesis of this bass was last March when I picked up a cheap Fender Highway One pbass and fell in love with the whole idea of the simplicity and general sound, which for some reason I had previously shunned. The main reason I didn't keep it was that I had really started getting into 5 strings. Pete had discussed the LP J concept with me over the previous months, but at that point it was really all about the 'J' idea. At some point right after I got the Highway One Pete/TomBowlus mentioned a 5 string 'P' concept with a switchable reversible 'P' pickup and I became interested.

    At this point, we hypothetically discussed body woods but no money had really been put down. We continued to discuss the 'P' concept until one day Pete calls me and tells me he has just glued up a body that he thinks would be great for me. It was primavera that he had bought and wanted to use for a one piece body. Unfortunately it wasn't quite wide enough so be put three flame maple center stripes with ebony veneers in between the two sides. Didn't know much about primavera, so I did a little research and it seemed to be something I would dig.

    When I went to the shop that weekend I saw the body and ended up giving him a deposit, even though I really hadn't been 100% sure I was even going to order anything. The rest of the specs just kind of evolve naturally after that. I asked Pete about a 12th fret inlay and he seemed to think it was a good idea, so he cut some extra inlays in case anybody else had the idea.

    I wanted to keep this bass fairly basic and classy, so I didn't splurge with the exception of the ebony board. I asked Pete for the most figured ebony board he had and he delivered. I asked him once on the phone about 4 months before the necks were glued up and he remembered even though it was more of a suggestion I made in passing. We talked about a variety of finishes, but in the end I thought the amber tint would work the best.

    Two things that strike me as interesting about this bass. First, it is the most resonant bass I have owned. After talking to Pete, he seems to think this is a combination of the body size and the Primavera body wood. This bass will ring all day long and so will all the other strings if you don't watch your muting technique ;)

    Secondly, this is a very even sounding bass. Basically, until this point, almost every bass I have owned has heavily emphasized Mids (i.e. The Mahogany Skjold, Stingrays, Bongos, etc). This bass seems to my ears to be very neutral throughout the range. You would think a bass with an ebony board would have a brighter top end, but it seems as though the primavera, the ebony, and the electronics have combined to make for a bass that doesn't seem to emphasize any frequency.

    I have gone through some major personal changes over the last month and about the only two things I am sure about are my job and this bass.

    Anyways, I am really excited to see the rest of the batch roll out, if my bass is any indication, you will all be very pleased.

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  2. Congratulations on the beautiful Skjold. Pete's work is always beautiful. I'm glad to hear this bass is treating you well, though I'm not surprised. Play it in good health. :)
     
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. Wonderful! Pete is just a joy to know and do business with. I hope mine comes out as nice as yours. Congrats! That seems to be a special instrument.. I haven't seen others like it at all!
     
  5. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    That is freaking beautiful. It looks like it's on fire! You've GOT to post sound clips.
     
  6. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    That P5 is gorgeous. Congratulations!

    I think I'm probably in the minority of people who find Skjold's designs to be aesthetically unpleasing, but there's no denying that his craftsmanship is superb. They are certainly fun basses to play. I'd love to play that one.
     
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I finally got to play a Skjold last month, and i loved the way it felt. Those big four way pickups that Pete Skjold uses have me really interested. I would like one with the pickup closer to the Stingray position.:)
     
  8. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Congratulations! it sounds like you'll get years of pleasure playing that mother.
     
  9. arjune

    arjune

    Oct 8, 2006
    SF, CA
    Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of P-Bass lovers' jaws dropping everywhere.
     
  10. post some soundclips please ASAP!!!!!
     
  11. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Disclosures:
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    So yesterday I took the bass over to Kindness' house where he has a couple of nice Pbasses. A Lakland USA Bob Glaub rosewood board and some kind of Fender MIA RI with a maple board.

    Both are very nice basses that sound and play very well. While my bass is in the same tonal family, it is much more aggressive sounding. Part of it might be the strings (the two basses had Lakland rounds on them), but for the most part the Skjold seemed more complex and present in the mids and treble. Rolling off the tone a bit gets you more into a traditional pbass range.

    The B string through Kindness' tube rig was something to behold and overall that amp was doing a lot for the bass.
     
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Disclosures:
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 to all of the above, and congrats on a phenomenal instrument! :hyper:

    When I first dreamed up my 'P-bass concept' with Pete, I just knew that it was going to hit the particular nail I was after right on the head, and boy has it! :bassist: :bassist: :bassist:

    I am so glad to see that this format has worked out so well for you as well! :)
     
  13. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    My evaluation = this is a truly fantastic bass.

    I've had about countless basses in my hands over the past years and have had no fewer than 100 in the last year on my work bench. Each one of those basses gets a run through in a live setting in addition to time spent with me and my amps in a more peaceful setting. I've spent considerable time with basses valued at $100 or less up to 10k+. Although Smallequestrian only brought his bass over for a short time on Sunday night, and I was mostly occupied restoring a 1965 Pro Reverb at the time (I whooped it back into shape eventually), I was immediately struck with the beauty of this bass. I've had the pleasure of playing 5 Skjold basses in the past 4 years and have watched his workmanship continue to improve from a very lofty starting point. I told Smallequestrian that night and I will say it again, this bass is without a doubt the highest quality custom made bass I've ever seen. Perfect in fit and finish in every respect. Incredible electronics. A beauty in tone, appearance and playability. To pick any nits, I'd have to say that the headstock could be made wider on the bass side such that the B string does not have to break horizontally to get to the tuning peg and the G string tuner could be located further into the centerline to avoid that horizontal break as well, but that is honestly the most offensive aspect of the design and execution and that says it all. Pete's basses are without a doubt in the top tier of instruments and deserve all of the praise they receive and more.
     
  14. stretch80

    stretch80

    Jan 31, 2005
    Can you comment on the pickups and electronics, for those of us who don't know what's going on under the hood? Looks beautiful!
     
  15. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    According to Smallequestrian, the pickup includes 4 single coils arranged as two pairs of split coils, much like a P and a reverse P in one housing. The three knobs are Vol/Tone/4 way switch controlling the wiring. To my ears, the 4-way knob appeared to go (1) P - (2) 4 coils in series - (3) 2 pair of coils in parallel - (4) reverse P. But I didn't get a chance to look under the hood, that is based just on what I was hearing. Let me tell you, what I heard was fantastic. It is a very flexible setup that would satisfy my needs in nearly every playing context. For me, the pickup itself is the highlight of an impeccable design.
     
  16. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    It is 2 single coil pickups like Kindness says kinda like this -

    AAAA - BBBB

    BBBB - AAAA

    A's are wired together, B's are wired together. Wired this way, the 4-way switch is P, Both in Series, Both in Parallel, Reverse P, for the B-Style Lion's Prides that is.

    In the normal C4 Pickup, it's wired like this instead -

    AAAA - AAAA

    BBBB - BBBB

    In which case the 4-way switch is then Neck Pickup, Both in Series, Both in Parallel, Bridge Pickup. This is the Standard C4 that is used on his other basses as an option.
     
  17. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    :bassist:

    As much as I trust my ears and experience, it was nerve wracking to throw out an unvetted answer. What is not nerve wracking is calling this pickup design sublime - it takes 2 minutes with the bass to know that the design hit its mark in the bullseye.
     
  18. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Must.....resist.....temptation.
     
  19. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Disclosures:
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard you. I tried to record some clips a couple of weeks ago, but my muting was horrible and they weren't shareable. I'll try again tonight and see if I can do any better, but I am not promising anything.
     
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Disclosures:
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yup. I had asked Pete if he could wire me up a pickup that was switchable between 'regular P' and 'reverse P' by selecting different sets of coils, and this implementation takes that idea one step further. It works great! The 'regular P' configuration ends up being a bit wider, as the neck and bridge coils are further apart, but it sounds great. The 'reverse P' configuration is right about spot on where it would be if you had just one P-pickup (in the reverse position, of course).

    Tom.