The Multi-Course Bass Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BAG, Oct 9, 2018.


  1. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Edit: It turns out that there have been a few 8-string, 12-string etc clubs formed here on TB in the past but for some reason they don't like to show up on searches very well at all. Using the "Search Titles Only" tick box tends to get them to show up but still after many other results. I'm going to leave this thread here with the links to the multi-course clubs I've since been directed to.

    The official 8-string (octave course) bass club

    Eight String Club - 8 string Octave - Post 'em

    Twelve String Club - 12 String Octave - Post em'



    I've searched and couldn't find anything so thought i'd start a thread on the chance that owners of multi-course basses, 8-string, 10-string, 12-string and, 15-string, might get involved.

    I can say that prior to buying my 8-string last week i'd have liked to somehow get more info about them but it is pretty thin on the ground..... just like our strange basses. It entirely possible that this "Club" will not attract more than a handful of members due to the rarity of our chosen instruments but it's worth a try.

    So to start, here's my latest addition.

    It's an LTD FB-208 Frank Bello 8 string. I'd been looking for some time in Australia for a relatively cheap 8 string but definitely wanted the full 8 separate bridge saddles. All my enquiries about the B-208FM came back that they only had four saddles. I'm now not so sure as this Frank Bello model that I found when I moved here to NZ earlier in the year (which isn't available in Oz) is essentially the same, in the same price bracket, but has the eight saddles.

    I've done a little bit of set-up work as the action was a bit high from the 9th upwards. The bridge was on the deck already so I did a shim and immediately copped some fret rattle on the low F, F# and G. A touch of extra relief (it was, and still is, almost flat) with a touch of height at the bridge and it plays pretty well. It's still a LOT more work on the finger muscles than any of my four-strings but ESP say that the 8 needs a bit higher action. I'll keep playing around with relief and height until i'm as happy as i can be. I probably should check the frets are all level too. Anyway, I've got plenty of time to play with it and get it right because unless I win the lottery and get some custom basses made i'll have this one for a long time.

    20181005_141633.jpg 20181005_141248.jpg 20181005_141535.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Does a Hammersmith PJ with an EHX Pitch Fork count? :D

    I used to own a Dean Rhapsody 8 and I liked it quite well, but dang, I had so little use for one and hated to bring a second bass on my gigs that I just use the Pitch Fork now. I know it's not quite the same, but you'd be surprised how close it can get if you know what you're doing and don't make the upper octave too loud.
     
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  3. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I hear ya Jimmy. If i was in your shoes i'd probably do something similar for gigs where you only need it for one or two tunes. I was able to get a pretty good 8 sound with a cheapo Zoom B1-on until it died. I recently got a Boss Me-50b and its octave up isn't quite as good and neither of them are as good as the Pitch Fork. This guy also gets a very good sound with a Sub'n'Up.

    In saying that, while the emulations are definitely close enough for gigs they just do not get that BIG sound that the 8 gives me. Even playing quietly it sounds BIG. I took it to a jam with a rock/punk band on Monday night and used it on around 5 tunes and it was HUGE! I've also found if it use it fingerstyle I can also make it very subtle to add just a bit of the octave to fill in some sonic space with acoustic duo/trio stuff.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  4. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I thought I'd also add a photo of a 12 string triple-course that I've played but will probably never own due its price tag being over the $12,000 mark. The builder offered to lend it to me for a month or so to gig it but i just couldn't do it....... but dang it was the most amazing sound and piece of artwork I've ever played.

    If you've got money to burn he's currently got plans drawn up, and may even be into the build, of a monster 15 string triple-course.

    12-1.JPG 12-2.JPG

    12-5.JPG


    12-4.JPG
     
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  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
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  6. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks for that. I thought there was one and vaguely remember reading that at some time.

    I searched the terms "8-string" and "club" and only got a few different threads but not that one. Funnily enough when I try that search now that page still doesn't show but this one does.

    Edit: It turns out that there have been a few 8-string, 12-string etc clubs formed here on TB in the past but for some reason they don't like to show up on searches very well at all. Using the "Search Titles Only" tick box tends to get them to show up but still after many other results. I'm going to leave this thread here with the links to the multi-course clubs I've since been directed to. Thanks to Bob Ross for the heads-up.

    The official 8-string (octave course) bass club

    Eight String Club - 8 string Octave - Post 'em

    Twelve String Club - 12 String Octave - Post em'
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  7. 4StringsEnough

    4StringsEnough

    Mar 9, 2008
    Here's me with my band, Pearl Jamm, playing 'Jeremy' on my Spector 8-string. You can really hear it on the outro.
     
    RodRy likes this.
  8. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    That's a real beauty, alright. And must sound like a beast!

    Back in the 60s a music store owner let my garage rock band into his back "gold room" where he had something that looked a lot like this one. But, IIRC, it had large, medium and small tuners for, I believe, large, medium and small strings. Does that sound possible? That's my recollection. Much easier, seems to me, to keep straight than just two sizes of strings and tuners in 3-courses.

    Our bass player (I played rhythm) wouldn't touch it but, then, he couldn't handle the 4-string his daddy bought him. I played it a bit, without amp but with pick, and just marveled at the perfectly tuned octaves hugely ringing in that hallowed hallway. It made "Day Tripper", in the Fever Tree style, a solo piece, easily! What fun!! :smug:

    That's been quite awhile, and I've never owned any multi-course guitar, not even a folky acoustic 12. But I do like the octave effects sound, very much. A few years ago, or several, my Variax wielding lead guitarist said I should get a Variax bass but, while I liked his versatility, I didn't think it would apply so well to bass. Then I saw the 8-string and 12-string settings on it and remembered that sound all those decades ago! Plugging it in brought back those memories and I was hooked!!

    So, like JimmyM and his Pitch Fork, I'd like to participate here with my Variax 705 bass.

    20181021_112258.jpg

    I'm sure I overused the 8 &12 settings for several months, if not longer, when new. But my lead player knew better than to complain since he instigated it. It seemed to help tremendously whenever our rhythm player was absent.

    :)
     
  9. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I've wondered about those Variax basses as I've read some poetry negative reports one them however that may be only a very small percentage. How well do they do the 8 and 12 settings and the tuning change effects?
     
  10. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    :roflmao: Autocorrect is your worst enema! :smug: But, yeah, the TB Variax Club has a fair sampling of electronic problems but, I don't get the idea it's any more than similar discontinued products where support dries up. Although, many bass builders have successfully transplanted the electronic guts into their own wood.

    I think they do all the sampled models very well. I was shocked at how different each one feels and sounds. (Ok, not actual fretboard feel but, you know.) I'm not at all familiar with the specific 8- and 12-String basses modeled but I get some very harmonically rich sounds out of them. The tone controls provide a very wide range of settings, which are not limited to those of the actual bass modeled. Plus, I like saving my current favorite tone settings for most models so they are right there when switching between models!

    The tuning change effects, at that time, were only part of the special downloadable computer software supported by only certain Variax guitars and not the basses, IIRC.

    Here's a few pix in lieu of a few thousand more words:
    Screenshot_20181021-174000.png
    Screenshot_20181021-175038.png Screenshot_20181021-175118.png Screenshot_20181021-175345.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  11. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I knew Tom Peterson played a 12 string but didn't realise he was actually THE innovator of it.
     
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  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yep. Hamer thought he was nuts and refused to do one for him until he talked them into doing a 10-string and it worked.
     
    G-Dog likes this.
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
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  14. Basvarken

    Basvarken Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2010
    Velp Rockcity
    Amateur Luthier / Gibson Bass Book
    Here's a twelve string bass that I've just built for Rob van der Loo (bass player of Epica)
    Building bass guitars is a hobby of mine. This is the first twelve string bass I have ever built.
    It was quite a challenge :cool:

    brooks-exb-12-q-full1500_3_orig.jpg
    brooks-exb-12-q-body1500_orig.jpg
    brooks-exb-12-q-headstock1500_orig.jpg

    Check here for more pics and the build process:
    Brooks EXB-12-Q
     
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  15. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    That looks great..... although the neck dive would be too much for me.
     
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  16. Basvarken

    Basvarken Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2010
    Velp Rockcity
    Amateur Luthier / Gibson Bass Book
    Well, I have news for you; it doesn't!
    The machine heads are super lightweight.
    The bass tuners are Gotoh res-o-lite GB350.
    And the octave string tuners are Gotoh Stealth ST31. They weigh only 11.9 grams!

    Plus I placed the lower strap button a little bit above the center line.
    The bass weighs a total of 5.3 kilograms

    So no neck dive for this monster! :thumbsup:
     
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  17. BritBass 2

    BritBass 2

    Jan 20, 2014
    F3B98399-A8D2-4ABF-9080-76588871C75E.jpeg Built back in the 80’s..
     
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  18. RodRy

    RodRy

    Jul 1, 2018
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Wow, beautiful. I really dig that blue over quilt body. It's certainly a magnificent work of art.
     
  19. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    My Dean Edge Hammer 10 String
    IMG_1653.JPG
     
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  20. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Nice!
    You might want to slack off those strings and get all the ball-ends seated properly.
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 14, 2021

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