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Try saying this 3x fast: Marchlewski Singlecut Headless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Akito, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    My Marchlewski bass arrived Wednesday! this could be a long post so for those with no patience or real interest here is the lead. I really like the bass. Jacob came very close to making the complete embodiment of the bass in my imagination. It plays, sounds, and looks great.
    Before I post anything else, just want to thank Wolfehollow for the body shape and his gracious permission to make my own version, as well as all of his efforts in sending me pics etc. Also thanks to Jacob for being willing to take this idea on in the first place. Believe it or not there were not many luthiers that I could track down that were either capable or willing to do some of the things I wanted for this bass. I will not go into price etc. but let's just say Jacob was willing to try to make my idea reality, and I wasn't forced to take out a second mortgage or even worse, sell another instrument to finance this one.
    I sent my downpayment for this bass in mid march and received it on Nov. 16th. I am sure we are all aware of this, but it bears repeating- if you are going to order a custom bass be prepared to wait! From the beginning I put no real time frame for the completion of this bass, and I am glad I took that approach mentally. It wasn't until this last week that the anticipation became tough to bear.
    Several things delayed the completion of the instrument, but Jacob always kept in good communication with me. I started to think this bass was snakebit, sort of the instrument equivalent of Macbeth,but it seems to have finally made it past the curse none the worse for wear.
    Here is a quick recount of the various thoughts, inspiration that went into this instrument.
    I have wanted a trans black headless instrument for some time. Over the past two years the various singlecut basses from Benavente, Elrick, Nordstrand etc. (and of course Fodera) have grown on me, and I decided that when I finally put some money down on my headless, it would be an SC.
    At that time I hadn't seen any of the Sei headless SCs so I wasn't aware that there were any others out there. I came across Wolfehollow's fretless Stambaugh SC on Chris' site...
    and I thought I had found the body shape that had been lurking in the back of my head.
    Another bit of inspiration for this bass comes from an old favorite book series. The Elric saga by Michael Moorcock.
    I wanted a bass that would have a Stormbringer vibe to it- Elric's soulstealing, evil black sword...
    This ended up being ironic since hurricanes mercilessly pounded Florida as the bass neared completion. Stormbringer indeed.
    One of my favorite bassists is John Entwistle, and the last couple of times I saw him on tour I really liked the side marker leds on his status buzzards, so that got thrown into the mix.
    I decided to go with a 4 string with a drop D tuner.
    Here are a couple of pics of the actual bass taken with digital cameras. Jacob should have some nice quality pictures up soon in his gallery.
    The eight arrows of chaos on the 12th fret is also backlit with leds. The leds have their own control switch. Since the publishing of the Elric novels and subsequent works by the author in the 60s and 70s, it seems the eight arrows have been used as an occult symbol by some people who probably need to get a life. I have no such connotations for it. I just always thought it was cool. But then, I probably need to get a life too hehe You may notice the M inlay on the volume knob. Nice touch. I actually didn't order or pay for wood knobs, Jacob did those on the sly.
    Below is a link to some pics of the bass in it's case when I first opened it. It was still perfectly in tune after the 3 day trip from Florida to Tennessee. Also there is a pic in there of a photoshopped modulus that I did just for fun well before I commissioned the Marchlewski.
    The bass looks very different depending on the lighting, which I think is pretty cool. Sometimes it appears to only have a slight grain showing through the finish, and other times the grain is deep and beautiful.
    After receiving the bass I went to a jam session with some friends and had a chance to crank up my SWR rig. I was very impressed with the sound and playability of this instrument. I barely got a chance to play around with the Bart pre so I wasn't familiar yet with all of the controls. It took no effort at all to find several great sounding and fun settings. The intonation was right on the money, and the tone and volume were very even from string to string. The electronics were dead quiet even when boosting treble and the horn on my cab. I'm going to be playing it in a couple of different band settings this weekend. I'm going to have a few more things to say, as if this post wasn't long enough already, but for now I need some sleep. I know there are a few people on these boards waiting on instruments from Jacob. I wish you the best, and hope you are as pleased with your instruments as I am. If you took the time to read all of this here is a piece of candy [​IMG]
  2. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Congrats!! :)
  3. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    It's beautiful, Akito...and I read the whole thing :) I can't wait for mine!
  4. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    AWESOME!!! Akito gave me permission to test it before it left and I loved it... it had a wonderful "springy" feel and round tone... plus the lights were killer!
  5. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    your pics are much better than mine... :eyebrow:

    maybe I should get picture lessons... :)
  6. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Thanks guys! Those of you waiting on the current batch of Marchlewski's shouldn't have too much longer to hold out. When I called Jacob the other day he was working on pickup covers for your basses. Yeah I interrupted his work :spit: lol
    As for the other pics, I didn't actually take them, my girlfriend did with her office digital camera which is a nice one. It was still point and shoot though. I'm looking forward to seeing the gallery pics of it.
    The leds look beautiful in person, and much brighter than I anticipated from fiber optics. Jacob did a great job with those. Even though they were a real pain for him, he told me now he feels confident in offering them as an option on future basses. Don't know how much he will charge for them though, I know a couple of luthiers who despise the process and charge accordingly. BTW I forgot to mention in the pictures taken by Jon the bass was waiting on straplocks and a mid selector switch. I'm looking forward to playing it some more with musicians this weekend. Maybe I can get a sound clip or two.
  7. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    Big Congrats. That bass looks killer! I'm glad it came out to your expectations....it's hard to order any bass sight unseen (and unplayed) and have it turn out good. I hope all of us on the M-list are as lucky (somehow I know we will be).
  8. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    That bass is as evil as YOU are!!! :eyebrow:


    Congrats!! It looks great! Give us a post-honeymoon period report along with those sound clips!
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Wow, thats a hot bass!

    Those pictures are awesome. I love the deep figuring on that top and the LEDs!

    If Im ever in the market for a more modern bass, I know who Im going to look up.
  10. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Thanks, I am still waiting on the 2 mandatory posts that always seem to crop up in threads about new SCs:
    1. I never was a fan of single cuts but I like that one
    2. Ugly
    I'm not sure that I had a honeymoon period with this bass. I don't think I could afford the honeymoon after the cost of the wedding. I am so far very pleased and just happy to finally have it in hand. Tonight I might get bold enough to pop open the control cavity and have a look. If a bunch of sawdust falls out I'll let you know. I really like the way the batteries for the preamp pop out. Beats the heck out of taking the control cover plate off everytime you need to switch batteries for your pre.
    Hey btw, this is the first 18volt pre I have used with my rig, and I noticed a really big difference in volume and presence from my other 9 volt equipped basses. I guess it's to be expected, but I was a bit shocked at how big the difference is. Anyone else have experience with this?
  11. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Alright, so who's gonna pony up for Mournblade?

    sweet bass, dude.
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm really digging the SC/Black/Headless thing. Can you get a closeup of the detuner? I'm interested to see what the mechanism looks like for a headless bass.

    Other than that, sweet bass. Between your, DRCs, and Ben Strange's headlesses, I'm actually starting to GAS for a headless. How odd.
  13. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Mournblade is going to be an 8 string fretless... and I will be the one in mourning trying to figure out how to play it.
    I seriously thought about having red runes somewhere on the bass, but I was already a bit over the top, and I wanted it to at least have a shot at elegance. I think the glowing inlay is great, gets the vibe I wanted and is small enough not to be too flash. Not to mention I can turn the lights off when feeling humble.
    The D tuner is a langley. It's basically a small wheel or knob. Give it a twist and you drop to whatever preset note you have selected. I would have preferred a switch on the bridge like my old steinbergers, but I am giving it a chance to grow on me. If I decide to ditch it, it's an easy fix.
  14. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................

    Congrats on the bass.
    Also to wolfehollow(for his design), and to Jacob.

    Also....one of the best threads I have read in awhile!

    Enjoy the bass.
  15. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Huh. Could more than one fit on the head cap thing? Or just on the one string?

    Also, what kind of bridge is that? Doesn't look like an ABM, and I'm not familiar with anyone else who does headless tuners.
  16. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Marchlewski and Modulus
    1589992_7b237e0b7c_m. 1589876_68281d36df_m.
  17. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    So, is this 8-string fretless going to be octave pairs, or a landing strip :D ? I really love my 8 string octave pair Curbow, and there aren't many of us crazies out there. :ninja:

    Your bass reminds me of a stealth bomber. It's beautiful!

    EDIT: It makes me sad that the http://www.marchlewskiguitars.com/ server has exceeded it's bandwidth. :(
  18. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Rut Roh Too much gawking at the new stuff.
    I used to own a Hamer octave 8 string that I used quite a bit in a trio. Awesome bass, but I eventually sold it to someone who really wanted to use it quite a bit more than I was at the time. I don't know if the situation at Hamer has changed, but when I sold mine they were out of production. It had a terrific sound in the studio.
  19. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    Got a few more pics to upload. Been on a dial up for a few days.
    1645828_186cbab35d_m. 1645831_1ce0e341c5_m.
  20. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    That looks killer!!! Now I have to get a "none-more-black" bass!