Turner Renaissance Electroline

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Does anyone play one of these basses? I picked one up off eBay, a few weeks back, and I haven't really had a chance to play it much (been pretty sick lately), but it's one of the most amazing playing (and feeling, and sounding) basses I've touched in quite a while. Mine has a set of TI rounds on it, and they feel great. They have a really "acoustic-y" sound, I can get that jazz upright thing going with no problem at all. And then, I can switch over into a Jaco solo sound, with hardly any effort. It's really an amazing bass. Superb craftsmanship, precise tolerances, and the thing I really appreciate most, is that it came set up pretty much "bottomed out", meaning with the lowest possible action (and it still sounded pretty good that way). All I had to do was raise the saddles a little, and get the strings to where they pluck right, and that took me all of thirty minutes. It was just about the most painless least effortful setup ever. I've owned probably several hundred basses in my life, but this is definitely one of the best. I'm really looking forward to playing it on stage. Jaco look out, here I come. :D
  2. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I've liked the few that I've played and have always secretly wanted a Turner or Allen. I love the feeling of those TI strings rolling under your fingers. :p
  3. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Was it a five? I saw that bass and almost jumped on it. Good catch! The only thing that mildly annoys me about them is that curved neck pocket. Other than that I'd love to own one.
  4. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    There is an "apples and oranges" thing going on here.

    We make several models of basses that are all quite radically different from one another. There's the best known...the Renaissance acoustic-electrics, usually done as a fretless with the T-I Acousticore strings; then there's the Electroline solid bodied bolt-ons with magnetic and piezo pickups; and lastly, there is the bass version of the Model 1 guitar, a 32" scale instrument, also with magnetic and piezo pickups. Both the Electroline and Model 1 styles have been "under-represented" in stores over the past few years, but we're starting to do something about that.

    I do greatly appreciate the kind words, though!
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Rick, I haven't played a Model 1, but I will say that the Electroline and Renaissance basses are wonderful sounding, a joy to play, and visually stunning.
  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Get 'em on the shelves, Rick! :D
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Agreed, fully agreed. And fully agreed that Rick's a creative genius. Rick, keep up the good work buddy. I wish you the best of success in your endeavors! :)
  8. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    Thanks, guys!

    I am building several M-1 basses this year for Steve "Dude" Barr and most likely another one or more for Bass Northwest, so they will be around. Bit by bit I'm getting more Electrolines built as well, and we just shipped a Ferrari red five string to a new store near Sacramento called "Basses, Acoustic and Electric"; the store is run by a great gent named Juan Ortiz who came by at NAMM.
  9. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Count me in on the Electroline club! I've got a 34" scale Electroline 5 that Rick built for me, gosh, it must have been maybe five years or so ago. Great playability, tone, and finish (a deep, wine-red).

    +1 It is brilliant at that with the piezo.

    Rick, I actually need to get it back to you as it needs the fingerboard resurfaced. And a bad ding in the body fixed if possible (my most embarrassing bass ding ever: didn't get it on a gig, or anything cool like that -- instead I knocked an iron off the shelf above it in the closet where it was hanging and CRACK -- DOH!! :()

    Sean Mc
  10. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    BTW, FWIW, I use roundwounds on mine. I just can't handle the roly TI thing!

    I stop by Juan's shop regularly these days, so I'll have to check out the Ferrari red one, Rick. Is it a fretless?
  11. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    I love my rennaissance fretless! Awesome instrument, great sound, simply put: fun to play! It records like a champ!
    Thanks for a great product! (Any ideas for a thumb rest for it?)
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, the "thumb rest". I have a big humongous long one on mine, that I'd like to give up. It doesn't really do anything for me. Is there any way I can remove it? And make someone up here on TB a happy camper? That might benefit both of us. :)
  13. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    We do have thumb rests, and they can be taken off, but there will be a visible place where it used to be as the top wood will darken with light exposure and the thumb rest will mask the cedar from getting the "sun tan." Also, some were put on with a couple of tiny dowels into the top. Anyway, superglue remover will break the glue bond but not attack the polyester finish.

    The thumbrests we have can be cut to length. They're rosewood or ebony fingerboard cutoffs...
  14. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Is that something I could order from your website?
  15. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm lovin' my Electroline 5 fretless... best fretless five I've ever played. IMO, most fretless basses tend to be more suited for either the 'upright' or the 'Jaco' type of sound, but not both... while the Electroline can excel at both, which is rare. I've had TI Jazz Rounds and Jazz Flats on there, and am currently likin' the TI Powerbass strings the best.

    Definitely not as well known as it should be, as you noted it's a high quality instrument. Makes me wish my current playing situations called for more fretless!
  16. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    The red EL 535 PMM going to Juan is a fretted one.

    For whatever reasons, we make about 19 to 1 fretless with the Renaissances and about 15 to 1 fretted with the Electrolines. It's almost all the same to me; I like building them either way.

    re. thumb rests, email Barry Pearlman @ barry@renaissanceguitars.com

    I'll tell you all what: I'll make more Electrolines this year if you tell your favorite bass stores they ought to handle them! That is truly the way it works in "the industry." With some exceptions...stores where dedicated owners seek out unusual gear...most stores only bring in new products when they hear customers complain about not being able to see, play, hear them. Said stores really sit up and take notice when you come in with a bass you got elsewhere because said store didn't stock it!
  17. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I have been using an Electroline 4-string, fretted with piezos and the Diamond pickup as my main bass for awhile.

    The diamond pickup is not working so I have been using it with the piezos only. In a band context it's pretty amazing. Either live or recording, these basses have a presence unmatched by anything I have played (which includes many high-end basses). The frequencies it produces have like their own space, so you are not competing with either the kick drum nor the guitars/keyboards, so it fills up the band spectrum with clear and incredibly punchy bass.

    It's hard to describe. I hate the sound of it by itself, as piezos tend to create a clanky sound against frets (I have it strung with TI flats, which minimizes this), but with the band, the effect it's just impossible to match with any other bass. I assume that a fretlles will sound equally sweet by itself and in a band context. I get inquiries and compliment from pretty much any musician and engineer that hears it (and I have had the luck and honor to work with some recognized engineers). They just never heard anything like it. My bandmates hate when I bring any other bass.

    Also to agree with the original post, you can go from a Jaco-like sound to an upright-like sound by simply picking the strings near the bridge or near the neck. For a P-bass sound, well, pick in the middle.

    I'm guessing the Electrolines remain unpopular because RT is a small company and it takes a lot of $$$ to get your presence out there. Also, unless you are prepared to mass-produce an instrument, there is no point in marketing if you can't fill the orders. Word-to-mouth will keep you busy enough.

    Finally, I believe that Rick's secret for making piezos sound so good is the propietary preamp and because the use of resonant bodies. I have played StingRays and Carvins with piezos and they are unusable to me.
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Excellent. Thanks Rick. I'm just going to leave mine on there. It's not like it really "interferes" or anything. And, it actually looks pretty cool. :D

    But I'm glad to hear there are options for my fellow TB'ers. :)

    I fully agree with the previous post, there's something special about the frequencies that come out of that bass. It just sounds "so darn good"!

    If I can recover my health here, I'm going to take it into the studio first chance I get. :):):)
  19. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I bought a Electroline bass two years ago.
    This was a custom order bass. was told 3 months to complete. It took 7 months.
    When I received bass, after waiting extra 4 months.
    I was sent the wrong bass, not what I ordered.
    I believe, someone who worked for Ric, keep the bass I ordered.
    After many phone calls, and e-mails to Turner, I was told this was my bass.
    I live on the east coast, so I could not go to his shop.
    I was never able to talk to Ric, alway delt with co-worker.
    I believe this person had my bass and covered it up. from Ric.
    Alway told me Ric was not around. this went on for over two weeks.
    On top of this the bass I did recieve, did not play well, I took it to my repair person and he could not set bass up right.
    Finaly, I sold bass for half of what I payed,
    I'm not trying to slam Ric, or his company.
    He was going through so personal problems, the death of his father inlaw.
    I do not think Ric had any knowledge of this. But this was the only bad experence I've ever had when ordering a custom bass. This happend two years ago, and is the first time I ever told this publicly.
  20. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner

    Jul 14, 2004
    My apologies, MojoMan. If there's a way I can make it right for you, just email me at rick@renaissanceguitars.com

    That is the time frame when my father-in-law took a header, literally, down a flight of concrete stairs in a Chicago train station, and passed away a number of days later with massive head injuries. To say that it threw a curve at me and my family is an understatement. I'm still dealing with the fallout of changed family circumstances and an increased level of responsibility for extended family.

    So just write. I'd be interested in knowing what about the bass didn't work for you. That's at least as interesting to me as a builder as whatever is right about it.