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Valenti #18, Five String J Bass aka 'Geddy Vee'

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by David Wilson, Mar 19, 2006.


  1. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Valenti 5 string Jazz Bass (aka Geddy Vee)

    Specs:
    ash body
    maple neck w/ black blocks and matching headstock
    Nordstrand Big Single pickups
    Aguilar obp-2 preamp
    tone control, active/passive
    weight: 9lbs

    build time (deposit to receipt): just under 4 months

    After seeing / playing Nino's Geddy Vee at the NY GTG last September, it was love at first sight :)
    I placed a deposit within a day or two of that, and received this bass in mid January just before going on vacation. Didn't have any gigs between then and last Friday, hence long time between receipt and review. As we all know, something that sounds great at home doesn't always sound great live.

    I'd played a few of Nino's basses before so I was expecting a quality, well put together instrument. That's exactly what I got. Nino was fastidious in his setup work, and delayed delivery for a day or two while he sorted out an errant piece of fretwork. Wiring in the cavity is incredibly neat. The only real piece of work I did was to slightly raise the neck pickup, Nino typically plays with both pickups on full while I favor the bridge pickup slightly so I wanted to get some more of the neck sound in there. The bass came with Sadowsky strings, which I don't really like so I swapped them out (it's currently strung with Ken Smith Rock Masters - .040 to .125, Taper B). I also replaced the Schaller straplocks with Duncans.

    The neck is very comfy and easy to play. Being ash, it's a naturally sounding bright bass. The tone control comes in very handy here for taming that high end. I debated whether to go for 3 band mid control instead of bass/treble/tone, but I think in the end I made the right decision. In the past, I used to use a lot of house rigs so I appreciated having onboard mid available. But these days I'm mainly using my own rig so I can set my sound on my amp and adjust necessary on the bass. As with all Aguilar onboard preamps, a little goes a long way with the bass boost - it's like it goes from 0/10 to 4/10, with nothing in between - it would be nice for it to be a bit more granular in it's control. But that's nothing to do with Nino's work.

    I used the bass for 2 out of 3 sets this prior Friday night. We were playing in a pretty awkward space in a bar / restaurant in Larchmont, NY. I was playing through my Thunderfunk amp into Epifani UL-112. The sound was just about everything I was looking for - fat low end, but articulate over full frequency range. I left the preamp flat pretty much all the time, using the tone control and pickup blend control to go between my chosen pick/fingerstyle/slap sounds. I had a bassist friend in the audience, he said the bass sound projected really nicely and was prominent in the mix without being dominating. At times I did wish for a little bit more in the mids, but that was easy to dial in with the amp.

    Overall: I was looking for a reasonable cost, high quality instrument that I could take on bar gigs and get a great sound without being paranoid about maybe getting a ding or two in it. That's what I got :)

    I've attached some hastily recorded clip samples, playing quality not as good as could be
    Recording setup: bass->Tascam US-122 interface -> Cubasis
    All clips were recorded with preamp flat, each lick is played in first half with tone on full and then in second half with tone rolled off a little


    [​IMG]
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  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    clips
     

    Attached Files:

  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    one more clip
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Fingerstyle tone is burpy as hell, very cool.
     
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Me=jealous. The matching headstock looks really nice on it as well.
     
  6. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
  7. KayCee

    KayCee

    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    Congrats, David! Thanks for taking the time to post the review and sound clips...great job!
     
  8. Pity of the matching headstock and ugly pickups. The rest is sure nice :)
     
  9. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The pickups are the best part about that bass.
     
  10. Oxblood

    Oxblood Banned

    Apr 17, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    +1. This bass sorta reminds me of a Lakland meeting a Valenti. I love it. Great playing too btw.
     
  11. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Wow. That is gorgeous in every way, and the sound clips sound fantastic! What a bass. Congratulations on that fine instrument. I'm starting to have dreams of one day joining the Valenti club. Wow.
     
  12. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    Incredible bass! Sounds as good as it looks! Congrats.

    Cheers,
    Jim
     
  13. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Powerful but retains the Jazz character. I like how it sounds.:hyper:
     
  14. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Geez Louise! This is simply gorgeous!
    Nino, that same bass in copper with 4 strings with a rosewood board! Expect an email soon.
     
  15. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    Does anyone else see a "great bass - ugly carpet" trend here in talk bass?? :D

    Great bass. If Uncle Sam wouldn't have taken all my $$ I'd be in the Valenti club by now :(.
     
  16. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    David, I'm glad you got the matching headstock, that way I know I'm stealing from you, and not Nino :p

    Looks great, sounds great, cant wait to get my own Valenti.
     
  17. Grooveminister

    Grooveminister

    Jul 12, 2005
    Germany
    The bass look fantastic and sounds great, but I wouldn't say that it is very much a Jazz-Bass sound...
     
  18. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Looks great. Sounds great.
     
  19. jbasso

    jbasso

    Mar 1, 2006
    Hugo, MN
    I love it, may I ask how much it set you back?

    Great looking instrument
     
  20. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very Nice Dave , Congrats ! :) :bassist: