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Spector USA 6.. MTD 635....what to do ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Paul Secondino, Jul 28, 2005.


  1. I've been without a 6 string bass since I sold my Roscoe SKB 6 close to 4 years ago. Bass sounded pretty great except for a over agressive Low B string. And then there's the factor of the bass ergonomics. It just hangs in a strap in a super uncomfortable position and hangs neck heavy.

    I'd buy a Zon 6 string, and almost did except that i have 3 Zons already....fretted and fretless single and dual coil basses covered.

    Time and time again, I play MTD USA basses and think they're dynamite.I don't like hte headstock design but the sound is perfectly balanced and has a crisp and clear vibe that I look for in a bass. So in short, I'd love to own one. But the price tag.....aarrgghhh . My Roscoe SKB6 new was 2599.00 And it seems that a new MTD 635 can't be had for less than $3400.00 and I've gotten quotes up to 4 grand depending on wood options.

    So my first question is ...how much should a reatiler be selling a new MTD 635 for ?


    Next item.I used to own a Spector USA 5 string bolt on. Pretty nice bass. The 6 string version sells for 2 grand. The only thing tht bugs me about the bass besides the black headstock is that there's no midrange EQ control. That's so important when I'm recording.

    So how about buying the Spector NS-JH6 and adding the EMG midrange boost ? Is the MTD worth $1500.00 more to you guys? I think it might be but it would be good to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I have the JH5 and many other Spectors and the first thing I do is put an EMG BQC system in them. That makes all the difference. Happy hunting.
     
  3. How about buying used? I think a 635 could be had in the $2500 range.
     
  4. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    If i were you i go for a used MTD,you cand find one of them used like new,almost mint in good price,you say,i don,t like MTD headstock,i imagine a MTD with all Tobias headstock,i imagine Michael can reproduce one in a special order,is good to seen this headstock in a MTD :cool:
     
  5. If I could find a MTD 635 used for $2500.00 , I would jump on it. In fact , I could have sworn thta 4 years ago when I bought my Roscoe 6 that the MTD 635 started at under $3100.00 I wonder if there has been a large price increase in the last 4 years ?
     
  6. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Brian has a 635 on his site right now, www.thelowend.net. Great guy to deal with and I'll bet it's somewhere in your price range.

    W
     
  7. It's hard to find guys that have experience with modding bass electronics. I'd love to know what upgrading your spectors costed you and what the basic prodedure is like. If you dont' mind that is. Thanks
     
  8. Great link.Thanks. THe deal breaker though is Mahogony body. I wouldn't buy a mahogony MTD unless I played it first.All the MTD's I played so far were ash bodies or tulipwood and sounded stellar.

    But I've got this guy saved in my favorites folder now.Thanks again.
     
  9. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Hey, no sweat. I also tend to stay away from mahogany bodies...A little too mushy sounding for my tastes. You might also keep checking with Glenn at austinbasstraders.com, who is pretty much the MTD man. If you keep him posted on what you're looking for he might come through with something used on trade. Good luck.

    Will
     
  10. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    It takes about 20 minutes. It's 3 solder joints, 4 if you go to 18V and it's done. The instructions are super simple and the tech support is great. I have a deal with EMG so my prices are undisclosable. But that preamp can be had for a little of $100 and it's available in the 4 and 5 knob configurations.
     
  11. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Man, forgive me for saying this, but I find funny that you would consider buying or not buying a bass based on the headstock design. . .

    Anyhow, consider string spacing at the bridge. I know the MTD is 18mm, I don't know what the Spectors have.

    And I think all these basses, MTD, Roscoe and Spector have one fatal design flaw: the upper horn is too short, making playing them standing up a potential ergonomic problem (first position feels too far away). If you don't play long sets standing up, this is not a problem, otherwise, a bass with a longer uuper horn (especially in a 6-string) would always be more comfortable.

    Also, all these basses are 35" scale, and Zons are 34" -- that is also something to consider.

    Lastly, regarding the Spector's lack of midrange control, I don't see why you couldn't use an outboard EQ when recording (but BTW, EQ'ing when recording is not a very good idea -- it's always better to EQ the bass when mixing so the sound will be "in-tune" with the rest of the instruments).

    Knowing that you already have 3 Zons, I would go for a Ken Smith BSR 6-strings (which are 34" scale) and there are usually some good deal on Ebay.

    My 2 cents. :cool:
     
  12. I never said that. I said:

    .I don't like the headstock design but the sound is perfectly balanced and has a crisp and clear vibe that I look for in a bass. So in short, I'd love to own one.

    Or in other words I am hoping through osmosis that my thoughts will get to Mike Tobias and he will change his headstock design.It looks like a chunk is missing and ended up on the other side.Maybe someday....
     
  13. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    MTD 635 would be my pick. A Spector USA 6 is going to run you quite a bit or change too. Several months ago I was quoted $3,800 for a new MTD 6 (I couldn't afford it so I didn't get it). I'm sure you could find one that you like in your price range. If you see a MTD you like in the following thread, there's a good chance that it came from a website where it is for sale. To find out where the image came from; right click on the image, go to properties and look at the URL. Happy hunting. If you buy one, please consider posting it in the following thread.

    Check out this MTD Gas Pics thread and there will be no turning back...
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=188640

    Joe
     
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm pretty sure they're a more typical 17mm, so it'd be narrower.

    ???? :confused:
    Do you own one or have you played one a lot? I've never heard anyone say this before about an MTD, and as an owner, really don't agree at all. I play mine on a regular basis and have no ergonomic reach issues whatsoever, and I'm not tall nor do I have long arms or large hands.
     
  15. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    You can get the JH6 with the BQC system installed for WAY less than $3,800! Just another nudge, nudge.
     
  16. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    vics:

    yes, I did have 2 MTDs for a few month and played them regularly. I loved everything about them, but the ergonomics. The upper horn is a tad too short and playing long sets became a chore. . .

    My experience, though. ;)
     
  17. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Still interesting. I had several of my basses lined up in one of those warwick multi stands and all but the Roscoe were pretty much the same. Interestingly, even the 34" Zon the nut was roughly oriented the same w/ref to the upper horn button. Anyway, thanks for the info.
     
  18. lefty007

    lefty007

    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I forgot to mention that the MTDs I had happen to be a little on the heavy side (at least for me), so just the extra weight alone was a slight problem for me. Also the longer 35" scale had to do with it.

    And mind you that all of this is because I play at least three 1-hour sets at least 3 nights a week, so unless I have a super light bass (9 lbs or less) things start getting uncomfortable.

    For other folks not playing standing up as much, this is not an issue at all, and I fully recommend MTDs, which are one of the finest basses out there.

    To me, for a bass to be really comfortable, the tip of the upper horn should be at the same position or reach the 12th fret, so:

    -MTDs have it between the 13th and 12th, but the 35" scale makes the neck feel longer.

    -Zons have it at the 12th fret.

    -Warwicks (Streamer) have it at the 14th fret -- not good.

    -Warwicks Thumb have it between the at the 15th fret -- even worst.

    -Spectors: between 14th and 15th -- not good.

    -Roscoe: between 12th and 13th -- not bad (never played one, though).

    -Fenders have it almost touching the 11th fret -- hence why they are so comfortable.

    Anyhow, the old rule always aplies: try them yourself and see what is for you.
     
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, ditto that, my body is ash, but he makes a lot of tulipwood bodies, and those basses are supposed to be pretty light. I got ash because I wanted that density for the tone. I'm now sorta' rethinkin' that as I'm considering one of his chambered designs. In the mean time, it's not bad, 'cause I have some good straps, but you have a point there.

    I think this is only on the LG, tho. The top horn on an SKB is a bit longer, and I think that one's right at the 12th as I recall. I have an LG now, but had an SKB for a while, as well. I will say tho, that I don't have any comfort problems on the LG, but that might also be because it's a fairly light bass due to the small and rather thin body.

    The really odd part (tho good), is that you'd think it'd have bad neck dive, but it doesn't at all, or if it does, it's so slight I don't notice it, and I'm pretty sensitive to that particular thing.
     
  20. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I've never had this problem with MTD's. As a matter of fact, I think that Mike makes one of the most comfortable and balanced six string basses out there. I love the 18mm spacing on the 635's and have always found them to be quite easy to play.