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Spector USA vs. Czech Euro 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sleevey, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. sleevey


    Dec 23, 2007
    Billings Montana
    Bought a Euro 5 string and love it, but can anyone tell me the differences between the two? Is the Euro "junk" compared to the usa model. Just wondering if anyone can fill me in on these?
  2. I can't speak for the Newer Euros but the older Czech Spectors with maple wings are at least 90% of what a USA Spector is. I'm sure the New Euro's are still top notch but I think the maple/alder combo would even up the tone a bit making it a bit less snappy but more full sounding overall.

    My USA NT is the nicest bass I own and my absolute favorite but my Euro sounds and feels almost identical. IMO unless you have to coin to drop for aesthetics get a Euro.
  3. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    The Euro has an alder body while the US' is maple.
    The US has nicer tops
    Same neck
    Same electronics

    Like ben said, go with the Euro unless you want to drop the cash for a nicer top.
  4. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Don't worry, you got a hell of a bass.
    US spectors are more expensive cos they are better (mostly) aesthetically, and because they are made over there in the US.
    Only drawback of euros is the tonepump (for some people).
    But since YOU love it... ;)
  5. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    I thought the pre-amps were different?

    Different inlays I believe. Mother of Pearl (Euro), Abalone (US NT's). I have an older (98) US NT and it has the MOP inlays which I think look a lot better anyways.

    The Euro's are great. Sound good. Not as pretty.
  6. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    That's not accurate - the US bolt-ons come standard with an Aguilar OBP-3 pre and the neckthrus have the Spector US (Hazlab) circuit (or a couple of other options). The Euro basses come with a TonePump pre.

    I own a US bolt-on and recently owned 2 Euros (solid maple, not the current LX line) and was very impressed at the quality and tone' I found the US to be more "my sound", which was the only real reason I sold the Euros. They felt incredibly solid and the attention to detail was definitely there. Do not discount them - the Euros are hella-nice basses.
  7. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    The EURO is not junk, but the USA is quite better IME, and I'm mostly speaking of the overall playability, feeling and vibe of the instrument, not exactly how it sounds...
  8. JPSBassist


    Feb 10, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I work for Spector. And I own three Euros and two USA models.

    The Euro models are excellent. True production versions of our hand-made USA basses.
    Euro Series Neck-Thru models have the same USA Rock Maple Necks (we ship the blanks to our Czech shop from our NY shop), truss rods and extruded graphite supports. The fingerboards are different. The USA has a higher-grade Pau-Ferro. But the heart of our USA and Euro Neck-thru basses are the same.

    The main difference is the body (wing) wood quality, the electronics and the finishing.

    90% of the USA models are done by hand. Whereas the Euro models, while some aspects of the construction are done by hand, most is done with computer assisted routers, etc...

    The USA materials are higher quality. The wood used in the wings (unless an EX - Exotic Wood Model) are made of solid AAAA Quilt Maple. The wings of the current Euro Models are a mix of Walnut, Alder and Flame Maple. All of it European in origin.

    The person who said the tone circuits are the same unfortunately doesn't know what they are talking about. Not trying to be ugly. But they didn't bother to educate themselves before speaking.

    Our USA 9v tone circuit is a solid-state board-type circuit that hasn't changed in design since 1979. It is the core of "the Spector Sound". That growly low tone the NS-2 is known for. Made for us by HazLabs... these are truly unique. The 18v is basically the same core components but on a different board and with slightly different controls.

    Our USA Bolt-On models have the very clean and powerful Aguilar OBP-3 circuit in them.

    The Euro Tone Circuits are all 9v and use modern processors/circuitry that were specifically designed to emulate the 9v USA Solid State circuit. It's called a TonePump and whereas the tone is similar to the USA circuit, it's not a perfect match. But very, very close. As opposed to the OBP circuits, the TonePump sounds dirtier, grittier. They are usually very hot and have an on-board trim pot for output. I always recommend that this be adjusted when you first get a Euro Series Spector. Set this at a little over 50%. This is the sweet spot (at least to my ears) for this circuit.

    The USA Models have active EMG P/J for the NS-2... the same as the Euro4LX Classic model. But the NS-4, NS-5XL and NS-6XL have EMG DC pups, the Euro4LX-TW, Euro5-LX and Euro6-LX have the single/dual coil switching EMG TW pups. I have a Euro4LX Classic and a Euro4LX-TW-35 as well as a USA NS-4. And all three guitars are very different tonally. Which is awesome because I have a lot of tonal choices.

    I can tell you from a personal standpoint... because I was a Spector owner and player before I started working for Stuart... The nicest guitar I'd ever touched was my Euro Spector... Until I got my USA. And the difference is really quite notable. And not that the Euro is anything other than the nicest bass you're likely to come across... the USA models are just that much more perfect. If that makes any since. They are heavier, more solid feeling, the necks are just about the same in feel, but the USA Bridge is massive and solid compared to the Euro... which again is not a cheap bridge by any means.

    The turning ratio on the 14K gold Gotoh G7 tuners are more precise... tuning a USA is so much easier than tuning a Euro. The shaft of the G7 tuner is much thicker than the Schaller. And the Schaller is a good tuner. But the Gotoh G7 is the nicest tuner I've ever used. And they do not lose tune.

    The bodies are nearly identical. The differences are where the necks meet the headstock and the necks meet the body. That's it. The fingerboards are shaped differently where they meet the body.

    The Abalone inlays are really pretty, but I think I like the MOP better... they create more contrast and are easier to see.

    So how about this. On a scale of 1 to 10... the Euro Spector is a solid 9 on my scale. And the USA is a 14.
    Yeah... that works.

    I was thinking about a 5-string... because I needed a B string bass. And I wasn't going to shell out the extra $$ for a USA NS-5XL... I wanted a Euro. I ended up getting the Euro4LX-TW-35 in BEAD... And for a bass I'll use 10% of the time, I actually would have been happy with a Korean-Made Legend Classic Spector. They are nice basses. I have a 22 year old Korean Made NS-2A and I love that bass.

    But my next will be a USA NS-2. I won't get rid of my Euro4LX Classic... it was a gift from my wife. But when my new USA NS-2 arrives, the Euro will probably collect dust.

    They all pretty much collect dust now... I play my USA NS-4 70% of the time now. It's just an amazing instrument.

    I say for most people, the Euro is a perfect solution. It's a lot of guitar for the dollar. Like someone handing you the keys to a new Porsche... It was a free car. Right... so are you going to be unhappy with it and want a Lamborghini instead? Most people would be perfectly happy with the Porsche. You know?

    Lastly, I have a simple philosophy... When talking about the Korean-Made, Czech-Made or USA-made Spectors... I really haven't found one that I wouldn't own in the place of any other bass on the market in the same class.
    ROY PENNON likes this.
  9. JPSBassist


    Feb 10, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    I disagree a little. I say the older solid maple Euro models were 70% of what the USA models are in construction, 50% in finishing and materials and about 70% in sound/tone.

    The new LX models are 80% in the quality of the construction, about 70% in finish and about 80% in sound.

    And yes, everyone tries to say that the sandwich wood wing mixes are not as "nice" or lacks the quality of solid wings... but here's the issue. The Euro models have always used Euro wood for the wings. And Europe Maple can't compare... not even in the same league much less ball park as the USA AAAA Grade Maple we use in the NY shop.

    Stuart developed the sandwich wings to better match the Euro models tone to the USA models. And overall, the Czech shop keeps getting better and better with their construction and finishing. So add the fact that the LX Sandwich wings SOUND more like the USA models and I think you have a better overall product.

    Here's the kicker... people have acted like we went to the sandwich wings to save money... those wings cost more to make. There more time involved in the construction and prep as well as the grades of wood we are using are better.

    Lastly... if sandwiched wings/bodies are not as good as solid bodies... that's just not true. EVERY USA Bolt-On model is a sandwich bodied bass. Maple on top (or other exotic woods) and Mahogany bodies. The same goes for my ARC6 USA Electric Guitar. And it's the best sounding electric guitar I've ever owned.

    Anyway, not trying to be ugly. But I thought I'd offer my opinion. As you can see from the attached photo... I've played/had access to more than one or two. At any given time I can have a dozen USA/Euro models in my office.
    :) I love my job!!!


  10. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I played a euro...and it was prolly the best feeling/ playing bass I ever touched.
    I went thru quite a spector fetish for awhile...then before I could save up enough...I got suttin else.
    I feel it comin back around though.
  11. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    Fixed ;) :)
  12. JPSBassist


    Feb 10, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Thanks... I've had the Coda and Forte on the brain lately. They have the OBP-2... You're correct about the OBP-3 in the usa bolts.

    I need some coffee. :)
  13. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    JPS Bassist,

    Thanks, your post answers the question from all angles.

    Love my US NT 6. Can't believe it is over 12 years old at this point.
  14. sleevey


    Dec 23, 2007
    Billings Montana
    Hey, thanks to all for the info people!! I picked up the bass with the ohsc for $980.00 shipped. Its black cherry in color with the gold hardware and it was advertised as mint and it is just as he said. Looking at the ones that sell on Ebay, I think the price was a great deal, as I've seen them go for 1200 to 1600 depending on shape, and usually without a case. This thing could easily be sold for new, and no one would ever know. Thanks again!!!
  15. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    ....huh. Could have sworn some of the Euros used Aguilar pres as well.
  16. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    Pretty sure it's an option if you order one custom.

    Also, early euros came with the OBP-1 before the Tonepump was created.
  17. Can anyone tell if the frets in the USA's get any more attention to detail than in the Euro's??
  18. Kooter92


    Oct 10, 2010
    You take alotta pride in your basses JPSbassist.. But I love my Spector too.. Dont have a USA model or Euro but the Legend and enjoy it's company ALoT.. Real good.. Can't wait to upgrade to a USA model. Spector has a great feel and don't really get that from many basses out there.
  19. SevenReasons


    Nov 18, 2005
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall Guitars, Ashdown Amps
    Man I want one of those with the maple FB!!! Are spectors very heavy?? I had one forever ago but I had no back issues then. I can only really play stuff around 8Lbs.
  20. I just plunked down a good bit of money for A Spector USA bolt on Ns-4 QM...the bass seems like such a high quality it freeaks me out...the neck is pretty thick but when i first played it it just felt soooooo good. Now that Ive been playing it for 4 months i'm starting to think I got myself a bass too big for my fingers...Idk i guess it just depends on how you play. But the instrument itself is AWESOME. and I'd put it up against a Fodera of the same price range.

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