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Suhr Classic Jazz Build

Discussion in 'Rocket Music' started by coyoteboy, May 4, 2010.


  1. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Hi Greg and all.

    My future Classic Jazz won't get out of my head, so for theraputic reasons, I'm going to lay out my build here and post a few questions.

    Basic build:

    Ash body- 1pc nice grain if available.
    'brownburst' finish*
    Maple neck/board- vulcanized. (so, brown)
    brown tortiose guard
    3-knob passive**
    humphreys***
    Hipshot B bridge****
    SS frets medium

    * I'd feel bad if I just linked to another buiders site here, so what I'm referring to here is the look of the standard brownburst on ash found on the F Bass site. I dig it, especially if its grain-enhanced first. I'd like the brown shade of that neck to matchup with the trans-brown tint in the burst. Likely a custom color upcharge here?

    ** My lack of vintage Jazz exp. will now show. Did the original stack knob jazzes have two tone controls, one for each pup? Would vol/vol/tone/tone be practical or useful? I hardly ever used the active eq in the active basses I've owned, so I thought it give passive a try.

    *** the Suhr site says the noiseless humphreys were designed for use with the active preamp. Would they therefore be not the best choice for a passive setup? Especially when Suhr himself says they sound identical?

    **** I prefer a top loading bridge. Would the B bridge be available? Oher options?

    That's a start anyways.
     
  2. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2007
    Blacksburg, VA
    Owner, Rocket Music
    Here are some quick answers for ya:

    1) Yep, that color would be the $150 custom color charge. No biggie, we just need to provide a sample picture for them to match.

    2) Yep, the stacked controls have vol & tone for each pickup, but vol/vol/tone is probably the more common & familiar setup on jazz basses.

    3) Yep, you can use the Humphreys without a preamp, they're just humbucking passive pickups.

    4) Suhr tends to be particular about the bridges they work with. They used to have two choices (both top loading): the Badass and a Gotoh vintage style. The Badass is no longer available, so Suhr is looking for an alternative. I'll check with them to see where that stands.

    And one note on pricing. The Internet price on Suhr basses is 70% of the List Price, and I'll do even better than that for TBers and special orders.
     
  3. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Thanks a bunch Greg. I'm sure more questions will be forthcoming, but for now the pennies are a clinkin'.
     
  4. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2007
    Blacksburg, VA
    Owner, Rocket Music
    Clink, clink. Don't forget to check the couch! :D
     
  5. Ok, please pardon me butting in here, and Greg, if this is out of line please don't hesitate to edit/yank as you see fit.

    Disclaimer aside, the OP above made me think of this:

    [​IMG]

    Different brand, different store, one extra string, but same ballpark. (The bridge offers top-loading, with optional thru-body for the low-B.) It's the 3TB 'standard' finish, and the tint on the board is just amazing. Ordinarily, this is just way, way out of my wheelhouse in terms of aesthetics...but in the flesh even I have to admit it looks wicked-cool. I can only imagine Suhr's take on an instrument like this, both terms of looks and sound. Good luck with everything!
     
  6. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    We're I to find a genie in a bottle, a Suhr bass would be in my immediate future. But, alas...

    That Bengal burst and the fretless on the Rocket Music site give me goosebumps.
     
  7. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2007
    Blacksburg, VA
    Owner, Rocket Music
    Ooooh - that's purty!
     
  8. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    Finishes: I've got to get a pic up of my buds strat. It is the best burst I've ever seen. It's subtle and the grain of the ash superb. I can't recall the model just now, but it has the fancy push button volume knob.

    Greg, could you tell a difference in feel or sound with the ss frets on the "Rocket Suhr"?
     
  9. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2007
    Blacksburg, VA
    Owner, Rocket Music
    I haven't noticed a difference in sound or feel in nickel vs stainless steel frets, but I'm not the sort of guy who would. Super subtle differences like that are lost on me :rollno:

    I guess from a playability perspective, SS might feel a little more slippery than nickel over the long haul? The SS frets just look more polished than nickel frets (not initially, but over time the nickel scratches and tarnishes) So I imagine vibrato and bends might be a hair easier on SS frets, but that's really just me wishing I had an opinion...

    What I really like about SS is the added durability. Part of what you're paying John Suhr for is his impeccable fretjob. He pleks every instrument, and they play like nobody's bizness. I'd want that playability to last as long as possible, so I'd go SS if/when I order my own Suhr.
     
  10. brianh

    brianh

    Aug 19, 2005
    NYC
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    Regarding the Suhr Humphrey pickups-

    In the next month or so, I am actually going to have Mas Hino wire my active Suhr (with Humphreys) to have a passive switch. In addition I'll have it rewired from vol - blend to vol - vol (one vol being a passive pul and the other being a passive tone control).

    Should be pretty slick, although for some reason Suhr advised against it. However, I really need this bass to have the option of being active as it definitely can sound a bit bright for certain situations.

    Has anyone played an active Suhr bass with a passive switch? Greg, have you heard the active Humphreys without a preamp?
     
  11. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2007
    Blacksburg, VA
    Owner, Rocket Music
    Are the Humphreys active? I didn't think so. They're certainly interchangeable with the vintage single coils as far as the Suhr preamp goes. We've taken a Suhr bass with the vintage single coils and swapped in the Humphreys without a hitch.

    But, no, I've never heard the Humphreys without a preamp. What was Suhr advising against? Using them passively? Or installing an active/passive switch?
     
  12. brianh

    brianh

    Aug 19, 2005
    NYC
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    You know, to be honest I haven't gotten a clear answer about Suhr's pickups. I have 2 Suhrs, both active, which I bought used. One has "Humphrey" pickups...dead quiet, though a bit more bright sounding than I'd ideally want. The other has "vintage" pickups...has a bit of noise but IMO are more open sounding.

    I'm going to have Mas Hino rewire the Humphrey bass to switch passive and just see how I like it. The guys at Suhr said that rewiring it vol/vol would create an unbuffered signal but I'm still curious as I really want to have a passive option with tone switch.

    Love the way the Suhr plays. It's definitely with me for the long haul...so along come the modifications!
     
  13. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    I wonder if one could get the pre with just vol, active blend, and passive tone?
     
  14. brianh

    brianh

    Aug 19, 2005
    NYC
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    Ok, so I had my Suhr's preamp modified this week. I have it rewired vol/vol stack, passive tone control push pull...in place of the original master vol. blend.

    And it is killing. The bass sounds so good passive and the Humphrey's work great. However, Mas replaced the volume pot with I think a 250k (was 25k, I think). The bass has a bit less output now but the sound is better...more fender now, less zingy. Actually, quite a dramatic change and so far I think for the better.
     

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