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The longer I have my Spector...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gastambide, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Gastambide


    Mar 4, 2005
    The longer I have my Euro 4, the more I appreciate how well my modified Fender Precision plays. I have had serious gas for a Spector for a long time. Their necks are a bit beefier than ideal (Heck, I love the skinny little neck on my Ric, if that tells you anything!), but the styling and those EMG's....Oh, baby! I finally ordered a Black Cherry Euro 4 last spring. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

    When the bass finally arrived, I had trouble getting it setup to my liking. I couldn't get a low action without the clicks and buzzes. I kept comparing it to my '80 Fender Precision (refinished in burgundy, Hipshot D-tuner, Badass 2 bridge, SD Quarter pounder jazz bridge pickup), and in the playability department, the Spector kept coming up short. Now to be fair, that Precision had the entire neck planed, refretted, and refinished by my luthier a few years back - so it is flawless! (I've never played a P-bass with such an incredibly low, buzz-free action.) I finally had the same guy take a look at the Spector, and it had an initial problem with the neck not being "true" (uneven bow from side to side). I had him dress the frets, but he warned me that the only way to make it perfect would be to pull the frets, plane the board, then re-fret. He also said it would be a waste of time, since the bass is new, and the wood hasn't likely "cured" into it's eventual set shape yet.

    Anyway, although I love the looks and sound of the Spector, it was a bit of a disappointment to discover I already had a better playing bass hanging on the wall. Sure, it's big, heavy, and doesn't have the EMG sound, but it just feels "solid", for lack of a better word.

    Have any of you experienced a similar let down after purchasing the bass you THOUGHT would be "it", only to find you like your old standby just as well for other reasons? Don't get me wrong, I love the Spector. I only wish I could get it to feel like my old friend!
  2. e-money


    Apr 20, 2005
    i got one a few years back. i just didnt like it as an all around bass. nothing about it made me want to keep it so on day 29 of the 30 day trial i took it back and got a fender jazz.
  3. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    I have had several letdowns, A Geddy Lee Jazz, American Precision,
    Rickenbacker 4001, Stingray5. Not bad basses at all IMHO, just not for me. The Spector Euro, Peavey Cirrus and Fender ProphecyIII work great for me. I also wouldn't mind having a Warwick.
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I've had a US Spector NS-4 since new in 1995. It was professionally setup by Lakland, complete with pulling frets, planing and leveling the fretboard, etc. After the $300 I've got in that work, it's still only okay. Good sound, decent feel, VERY low action, but still not exactly "me".

    The only reason I haven't gotten rid of it is because their resale value or trade-in value.
  5. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Oh yea, I had quite a few basses that just weren't cutting it and I actually wound up grabbing my old Ibanez SR400 more often than not, which played great.
  6. phogchris

    phogchris www.scarsoflife.com

    May 27, 2000
    Boca Raton, FL
    I was completely disappointed in the Spector Rebop 4 that I owned a few years ago....just couldn't dial in the sound I wanted...it played well enough, just lacked the sound I needed. The best bass I have EVER owned was an old Ibanez SR, one of the higher end models...was better than my Modulus Q5, which was my second favorite, and better than my ZON. Another bass that I hated was the Lakland 55-94 in quilt blue that was an amazing looking bass, but woah, no good for rockin' at all...
  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Yeah, I had an SR800 from 1990 that was killer. If I ever find out who stole it I'll track them down and (due to the possibility of self-incrimination, this threat will be truncated abruptly) until I can't wash it out anymore.

    Recent disappointments were a Ric 4003 (Geddy played one, I should love it, right?) a Geddy Lee Jazz (Geddy played one, I should love it, right?) and a Warwick Thumb 5, which I still record with, but only because I don't own another 5 string yet. I have an old Steinberger M (Geddy didn't play one), and for my purposes I haven't yet found a better bass.
  8. yeah, i am stll trying to find a set up for my bass. and how long does that take because i am picking up my bass from repair tommarow probly and might ask if the can take a look at the set up, or should i leave that up to a store that i normally go to the actually sells spectors.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yeah, I've played Spectors, love the sound, and would certainly record with them, but I can't afford to have basses just for recording. Live use is most certainly the work of a P-bass for me. Just have to get a cheaper one to keep my vintage baby babied.
  10. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Sounds liek you are an oddity- Euro's ahve always been teh cream for me. Mine is amazing. if you got it new, then why the heck didn't you talkto Spector about it?? They are VERY good about cooperating and often do out-of warranty or second-hand buyer service for free.
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    WOW! That's a heck of a lot better than the service I got for my US Spector, for which I *am* the original owner! :eyebrow:
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Do tell.
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Sadowsky and Fodera. Nothing there for me at all. Zip.
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The fretboard on my Spector was shaped like an "S". It was diagnosed by a local, competent luthier who exlained he couldn't make the action as low as I want without de-fretting, planing the fretboard, then refretting. This would cost me between $250 and $300.

    Figuring I had a US Spector, which has a lifetime warranty to the original owner (and I still have the receipt showing I bought it new, even after 10 years), I called PJ Rubal who recommended I send it back. Ideally, this would have been perfect for me, as this should not only be covered under warranty, but also performed "by the master himself". 2 weeks later, Stuart called me "with the bass in his hands", telling me he could see NOTHING wrong with it. He made a minor adjustment to the intonation and sent it back to me.

    Frustrated, I lived with it for 2 or 3 years, until I read an ad saying Lakland was now taking non-Lakland basses for setups and repair. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I took it to Lakland. Carl Pedigo, head setup guru, put it on his bench *in front of my very eyes* to show me "the sins committed", as he calls the shape of the fretboard.

    Before he began any work, I called Spector (I may have spoken with PJ again, but don't recall), and he told me Spector wouldn't pay Lakland for their work, which meant it had to come out of my pocket. In other words, they denied there were problems with my bass, and wouldn't pay when *other* luthiers, all competent, diagnosed my bass as problematic. That's the mark of poor service, in my eyes.

    Carl did his magic, and I got my bass back in about a month (he explained in advance it would take that long due to travel committments, etc). It's FAR better than it had ever been before. The action is so low I almost get dizzy, and yet zero fretbuzz.

    Carl's a genius. Stuart is not. That's my opinion, and I stand behind it, based on my experiences.

    BTW: I was never a fan of Lakland prior to my visit to the Lakland shop, but now I'm a HUGE fan. I'd rank Lakland in my top 3, right up there with MTD and Jerzy Drozd...but that's another thread...
  15. Gastambide


    Mar 4, 2005
    I did contact PJ Rubal at Spector about the problem, and he advised me to send them the bass. However, I knew I could have my luthier (Who I have more faith in) do the leveling job for not much more than it would cost to ship the bass - plus, I wouldn't be without it for an indefinite period of time. I also was afraid to receive a similar response as the other guy who got the "This bass is perfect, what's your problem?" treatment from the factory. My luthier even said that the bass was probably considered "passable' by many manufacturer's standards, although not nearly good enough to allow a really low, trouble-free action. Unfortunately, a lot of average Joe's are not as particular about action as some of us might be. Just look at some of the awful setups on instruments (some very expensive) in showrooms of typical music stores. They usually set the action higher to hide any buzzes that might be present if the bass has a slight imperfection in the neck. I think many manufacturers simply don't set their standards as high as they should, especially on non-entry level instruments. Just my 2 cents!

    By the way, RAM, how much did Lakland charge you, and what was the turnaround time?
  16. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    Never had a problem with my 83 Spector or my 98 Euro. Both have super low action and play like a dream. The one bass I was really dissapointed with was the Warwick Fortress P/J I bught new in around 91. It had a wonderful neck, but the sound was never there. I found the D and G strings dropped seriously in volume (pickups were checked out, it was just the bass itself). I also found teh MEC electronics terrible. I had to get the preamp replaced when it crapped out, then get them fixed again when I traded it and they crapped out again. It would have been better with different electronics.
  17. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    IIRC, they charged me $300. And, because Carl was travelling, I think he promised about a month. It took exactly as long as he promised.

    I hated being without the bass that long, but when I showed up to pick it up, he spent plenty of time making minor tweaks until I was a happy camper. And, Dan even handed me a bottle of some kind of beer-type beverage while we talked about how he got started, 'n stuff.

    It was a fun afternoon, and Dan's a really nice guy!:D

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