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Thoughts on Tyler Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by berklee46, Feb 25, 2003.


  1. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    Anyone here play a James Tyler bass? I'm interested in hearing any comments, both pro- and con- about them. Sound, feel, stability, etc.

    I did a thread on this about 1 1/2 years ago, but got mostly comments about the look of the headstocks. I'm hoping there may be some people who've played (or bought) one since that time.

    Thanks!
     
  2. BassWizard55

    BassWizard55 Guest

    Dec 21, 2002
    Rome, Ga
    That's the craziest headstock I've ever seen.




    there....There you go, there's a thought.




    haha:p
     
  3. BassWizard55

    BassWizard55 Guest

    Dec 21, 2002
    Rome, Ga
    But seriously, I would also like to see what people think of these basses.
     
  4. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    Berklee,
    I told you recently that I finally got a Tyler 5. It may be the best bass I've ever owned, and as you know, I own a store!!!!!!!! I get to play LOTS of great basses, but this is the bomb.
    The Tyler-spec Demeter preamp is the most "open" and natural sounding I've heard. As for playability, it's taken me a little while to "make peace" with the asymmetrical neck shape, but now I'm fine. I've put 3 different types of strings on it, and have not had to touch the trussrod! My only beef is the Wilkinson bridge. My bass is about 8 years old, and that's what they used then. Now they use Hipshots.
    Just an interesting note.....this bass was built for Hugh MacDonald of Bon Jovi originally. There's a GREAT story that goes with why he sold it, but I won't go into it here. I bought it from Kenny Ames.......the bassist for Jason and the Scorcher's, who happens to be a SUPER guy!
    Hope this helped, and don't forget my standing offer to stop by and play it anytime you like. Somerville is only 6 miles away from you!!!!!!!!!!!:D
    GEEK
     
  5. kenny ames

    kenny ames Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN.
    Cory, I'd have to say your description of me is damn spot on!!! Glad your groovin on the Tyler, it served me well for quite awhile. To the guy posting the thread, the Tylers are truly great insturments. P bass on steroids. The cover alot of ground. If a P would work in a situation then a Tyler would eat it up too. There not the most user friendly basses, necks are a handful, the quality control varies from bass to bass. Alot of folks tend to think the older Bart's sound better etc... but if you find a good one...there mothers. I've just been playing Sadowsky's now for too long and the Tylers no longer feel like home. If your a Fender (tone) type of guy, if you can find a good Tyler, you'll be in heaven. Good luck...Kenny
     
  6. hmm.
    Can anyone post a pic or link?

    I'm just curious
     
  7. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I thank Tyler’s look great, very unique. However every Tyler I have played (5) they have awful action. They neck is set to deep to drop the action on and getting any type of low or medium action. I think they sound great, but that's always bothered me, and the round neck never interested me either. I’m always on the look out for Tyler's, because I would love to have one for my self. Just haven’t found one that did it yet.

    From what I understand, the one at bass palace sounds great. Hopefully this weekend I can check it out at the guitar show and update you all.
     
  8. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    Well........my bass' action is about 1/8" at the 12th fret. I could go even lower, to the point of the strings sitting on the board! Maybe you needed to have a pro setup on the ones you had. I also have a friend/customer who just got one that's a year or so old, and it is SUPER low as well. Also, James Tyler may just do the best fretwork I've EVER seen!
    GEEK
     
  9. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    You very well could be right.
    A couple of the Tyler’s have been new and at Corner Music. Corner’s known for not setting up they’re basses and have high action :)
    I have played a few used ones that belong to people and found the same. I’m sure there not all like that other wise I wouldn’t bother keeping my eyes open for one! I think their very nice sounding and Unique!
     
  10. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    the only thing i was goin to say earlier was that there seemed to be a quality control issue. some were frekin stellar. others...well weren't so hot. the demeter preamp freakin rocks! just make sure you play the one you are looking at first.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    A friend of mine, who owns a ton of high end basses (he's waiting on his 7th F bass, a 7 string) was just raving about his last week. I got a chance to check it out unplugged, the action was very low and it had a very lively acoustic sound. The only problem I've had with them was the headstock. My friend said it sounds so nice you don't even notice it:). I understand where he's coming from... my NJS fretless' headstock isn't exactly "normal" either;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Here's another "sales prevention" headstock. Otherwise a very nice bass.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Ever since I saw a picture of Abe Laboriel playing a Tyler, I've wanted one. Just so I could stick a "Bryan" sticker on the headstock :)
     
  14. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    COOL NAME DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GEEK
     
  15. mcdonap

    mcdonap

    Sep 25, 2001
    I've owned 4 Tylers. I bought them all secondhand, but none of them had any quality control issues. In fact, I'd put them right up at the top of anything I've owned. (That includes Status Graphite, Sadowsky, F Basses, Curbow...) I am currently waiting for a new Tyler 4 string to be finished up.

    I've noticed that I couldn't get the action super low, but I just figured I'm a little spoiled by the graphite and Rockwood necks of the Status and Curbow. It's equal to the action I could get on the Sadowsky's, so I was thinking it was probably built that way on purpose. (The F's can get lower - the necks don't seem to be set quite as deep.) The necks are also SUPER stable - I've never had to make seasonal adjustments. (I can't say that about any of my other wooden necked basses.)

    While I am super impressed by the quality of the F's and Sadowsky's, I feel Tyler is a notch above. On 3 of the Tylers, the fingerboard edges weren't just rolled, they were sculpted out a little. The fretwork was better. Where the neck joins the body is much more comfortable - especially on the 5's, the 4's have a block, but it is sculpted. The neck pockets are tighter as well. Now, I'm not saying that the Tylers are "better", I'm just saying that the ones I've owned have fit and finish details that I believe shows a little (probably a lot) extra time and effort. I still own F and Sadowsky basses, so I'm not trying to start a flame war!

    One other thing, for the folks who are really hung up on the whole "parts bass" issue... Tylers are completely built in house, by hand. No sourced necks or bodies, no CNC machines. They may not make the bridges/tuners/electronics, but I do know they even make their own truss rods.

    :)
     
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I played Gibsongeek's bass a couple of days ago and it was one of the best basses I've ever played. I believe it gets the award for most usable tones from one instrument. The preamp is amazing and the pickups were voiced perfectly for the bass. I was extremely impressed, and jealous.....

    As for issues with the action, this one didn't have any. Tip: if a neck is set too low on a bass, loosen the neck and stick a business card in there. It should lower the action just enough and you'll be the only one to know that it was set up with a business card.
     
  17. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    I played a few a few years ago at NAMM and was very impressed. I believe that Neil Stubenhaus owns and plays several of them.

    Anyone have a link to Tyler's website?
     
  18. mcdonap

    mcdonap

    Sep 25, 2001
  19. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Thanks! Interesting that he makes both a 34" and 35" 5 string. Anyone compare the B strings on both?

    Is the headstock so large for a reason; eg: to prevent deadspots or just a cosmetic thing?
     
  20. mcdonap

    mcdonap

    Sep 25, 2001
    Steve,

    I've only played the 35" scale 5's. Awesome B, and because of the body shape/design, it doesn't feel like a 35" scale bass. (Well, maybe the frets feel a little farther apart.) The reach to first position is great - first position on a Spector 4 feels further away to me.

    I've heard that the headstocks are large to get rid of deadspots. Seems to have worked on all the ones I've played.