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Valenti #008 has Arrived... Review Inside

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Brown, Mar 6, 2005.


  1. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    Background

    Perusing the Sadowsky website one day, which some can attest to the fact that this can be dangerous to the wallet, I stumbled across this Corisca Blue RV5, which I believe a fellow TBer owns today. I fell in love with this color combo (the Corsica Blue with White Pearl pickguard) and wondered what it would take to have one in the stable. I wasn't too familiar with Sadowsky's models or options at the time, only hearing about their quality, tone, fit, and finish. I quickly found out that my most desirable spec would most likely cost me just north of $3500. After an extended period of begging, pleading, bribing, wining and dining the wife, I just couldn't close the deal for the funds for this one. Probably because I was a little overextended in the bass gear area.

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    Thinking about my options, I decided to get a quote from Nino (Anthony) Valenti. I was well acquainted with Warmoth parts quality, having built a couple myself, and having heard about Nino's high bar of quality, I was sold. After a couple of months, I've finally received my ideal Jazz bass.

    Specifications

    Valenti Jazz 5-String
    34" Scale
    24-fret
    Warmoth Alder Deluxe 5 Jazz Body - Lake Placid Blue
    Warmoth "AAA" Birdseye Maple Neck/Fingerboard
    6105 Stainless Steel Fretwire
    White Pearloid pickguard (custom template by Nino)
    Nordstrand NJ5 Pickups
    Aguilar OBP-3 Preamp
    Controls:
    * Volume (push/pull for Active/Passive)
    * Blend
    * Mids
    * Mids selector Toggle
    * Bass/Treble boost/cut (stacked)
    Hipshot "B" style bridge (19mm spacing)
    Hipshot Ultralite Tuning Machines

    First Impressions

    Seeing this bass from construction through completion in pics on Photobucket, I realized just how much pictures don't do justice. Opening the case for the first time was like finding out there was an $5000 error on your tax return - in your favor. Seeing this bass in person, it looked more inviting, more comfortable, more attractive than ever. All nervousness about going with Lake Placid Blue versus Sadowsky Cosica Blue went away. The LPB with the white pearl and birdseye maple, to me, is a combo that is really tough to beat for a classic looking Jazz bass. After letting it come to room temp (ok, I couldn't wait that long) I had to take it for a spin.

    Unplugged, the first notes seemed to flow 'like butta'. The bass feels really solid all the way around having no movement in the pocket whatsoever. The strings were perfectly and evenly aligned down and across the neck. The only 'compliant' I had, if you can call it a complaint, is that the high "G" felt a little too close to the lower edge of the fingerboard than I'm used to. I've since made adjustments, including lowering the action 1mm, and it's no longer an issue. This bass is extremely comfortable to play. Even though I've got about 7 other basses in my small collection, I can't really compare the feel of the Valenti to my Modulus, Zon, Peavey, Stambaugh, etc, because they are all different. The Valenti indeed has it's own personality. Up and down the neck, there are no dead-spots or buzzes (not even on the low-B). One can tell the neck is extremely stable contrary to some opinions that using birdseye maple for the neck and fingerboard aren't stable. Also, I love the fact that Nino routs an 'access slot' to the neck bolt to make future adjustments very easy.

    It is Alive!

    Plugging the Valenti into my rig (GK MB150E-III/112 + Bag End S15-D) was a very satisfying experience. After going through the standard excercises before playing, I started with scales, moved to some slap excercises, tap arpeggios, and other miscellaneous/diverse phrases. Everything seemed to 'be at home' on this bass. As far as tone, I always keep the eq on the amp flat and let the bass control it. The Nordstrands are everything they are hyped to be. From deep, almost P-like tones to Highs/Lows boosted slap sound, they handle all with extreme grace. The Aggie preamp seems to be perfect match for these pickups. Running my MP3 player through my PA, and playing along with tunes from Rush, Dream Theater, Steely Dan, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, EW&F, it seemed like there was nothing this bass couldn't handle. I must have played it for about 3 hours straight without the slightest bit of fatigue. BTW - the 5-string Warmouth necks seem to be a lot more comfortable profile-wise than the respective 4-string counterparts.

    The Real Test

    In a stroke of luck, I happened to have practice the night I received it, which would be the final test for me. I mean, there was no doubt I was to keep this bass. The question was how it would fit into the 'mix'. I play in a three-piece casual get-together band at the moment, and the 'mix' is us adjusting volumes so we don't go deaf while still being able to hear each other. Let me tell you, the Valenti performed like a champ. The guys, who are mainly into their own respective instruments immediately noticed the difference between this bass and my Modulus, which has a whole other tone palette altogther. The best suprise of all is when I pulled up on the volume to go into passive mode. The Valenti turned into an angry, fire breathing beast, in a very good way. The low-B was incredibly clear and even knocked a few things off my walls. Whatever it is about this woods/pickup/electronics/hardware combination, it's working.

    Conclusion

    "To each his own" is the mantra among musicians who can appreciate a fellow musician's instrument choice, even if that choice is not right for themselves. This is the way it should be. I'm not going to say that Valenti basses are the best basses in the world. I'm only going to tell you (Nino) Valenti has met and exceeded my every expectation from a fit, form, finish, and most importantly, business/service/person perspective. If anyone asks me if they should give Nino a shot at building their dream Jazz/P-bass, I would say do it immediately.



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    Milo gives the Valenti his stamp (er, paw) of approval!
     
  2. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Excellent!, glad to here it works for you :) .How would you describe the neck profile and shape, can you compare/contrast to a Sadowsky 5 string neck?. :bassist:
     
  3. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    PS that is a well written review, thank you. :)
     
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Congrats on the new bass! :D
     
  5. Very, very nice! Congrats, AJ!
     
  6. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    Thanks. Unfortunately, I can't compare to a Sadowsky. Maybe someday. ;)

    -AJ
     
  7. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    Thanks guys!

    -AJ
     
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Well I cant really compare it to Sadowsky either but I thought Id mention that it is an asymetrical neck thats thinner under the high strings and thicker on the lower strings.

    I like it a lot. It helps be keep my thumb in the right spot behind the neck and is really comfortable.
     
  9. Nadav

    Nadav

    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Great review for this beast of a bass. :bassist:
     
  10. sal paradise

    sal paradise

    Aug 12, 2004
    NJ
    congrats, i much prefer your choice of birds eye maple to the rosewood of the sadowsky.
     
  11. Funkize-You

    Funkize-You Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    Very Nice :)
     
  12. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Imagine my surprise, A.J. when the first thread on talk bass this mourning had a picture of my bass!! Anyway A.J. looks like you did real good!, My bass (namm 3 0f 10) does get lonely at times and I'll deffinently have to keep Mr. Valenti's products as an option for providing companionship! Congrats, Jazz basses on steroids are good things!
     
  13. Akito

    Akito

    Dec 1, 2003
    Spokane
    Sweet! Looks immaculate! Enjoy it a while and then give us some sounds.
     
  14. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    So how are you enjoying that bass? I almost pulled the trigger on it. In way I'm glad I didn't. :D That bass must be killer.
     
  15. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
    I hope to get some sounds later this week. Thanks!
    -AJ
     
  16. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España

    How does that avalon (u5 maybe??) sound with no pre-amp???
     
  17. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Personally I like the Valenti looks more than the Sadowsky, IMO you got the better end of the deal :bassist:
     
  18. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    A.J. Mine was a Metro so it didn't quite come to that 3500 plateau you hit but I'm sure you had something else in options that kicked you up. I love mine, I've has Alembic,Kubicki.Warwick,Tobias and Pedulla but no bass I've owned gives me the combo of Bottom and Deffinition that the Metro does, And by the way, the stuff I had wasn't the bottom of the line GC stuff from those makers. I still like my Pedulla frettless but the Metro is "the one". It looks like you did real good yourself, by the way if you think the corsica blue looks good in pictures you should see it live! I played a 70's Jazz saturday(Mikebass), with Barts, Bad Ass and the Agular pre it deffinently hit the sound. Vene, I don't use the front end of the eden and the U5 rocks with the Metro I rarely adjust anything but finger position. If I need to "tweek" it's usually the VTC or pickup blend. I'm finding if you have a good tone, thats all you need!
     
  19. Niskamies

    Niskamies

    Jan 13, 2004
    Do you personally think that the 24 fret incresement makes popping harder? And how solid is the B-string? Maybe someday I'll get a friend for my Sad from Nino;)
     
  20. WOW !!! That's a stunning bass ! Great review btw...

    Never thought about a GAS warning so people are prepared when they open this thread :D