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Veillette-Citron ~ I finally stepped into the vintage bass world!, sort of....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MoonDoggy, Apr 25, 2010.


  1. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA
    I found this beauty on my local Craigslist and couldn't pass it up. It's a 1980 Veillette-Citron. I don't know a lot about it, but from what I gather, early Veillette-Citrons were right on par with Alembics as far as quality and construction. They used top notch woods and made their own pickups much like Alembic. These basses are among those that started the whole boutique trend!

    I've only seen a handful of them come up for sale. The last one I saw was a single-pickup version here on TB. The seller I got mine from told me they made 300 of these. I know Joe Veillette and Harvey Citron split ways not too long after this, so that may be true, but I'm not sure.

    The tone is fairly modern for a vintage passive instrument. The harmonics are lacking, but a fresh set of strings should take care of that and add some more punch/clarity. The feel is amazing and the neck has zero issues that you'd expect from some older basses. It has the wide very flat frets like you'd see on Rics and from what I've heard, on older Alembics too. The top, I'm guessing is crotch walnut, and body is the nicest grade flamed maple I've ever seen. And the neck has light birdseyes. And something I thought was cool (from an engineer's standpoint) is the pots. They're Allen Bradley (A-B) pots, which is a company best known for motor drives, servos, PLCs, switches, etc mainly for the industrial controls/automation world. I never knew they made pots and certainly never expected to see A-B parts in a musical instrument!

    The condition is great for its age. There are some clear coat cracks (or checking?) at the neck heel and several clear coat dimples. The bottom inside corners of the pickup covers are worn through, and the bridge is heavily tarnished, but the rest of the bass is amazing. It came with the original case, but it's about as beat up as I've ever seen. And....it came with the original warranty card with Harvey's signature. Kinda cool!


    Veillette-Citron1980_FRCL4.

    Veillette-Citron1980_BKCL.

    Veillette-Citron1980_HDFR.

    Veillette-Citron1980_TAIL1.

    More pics:

    http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c154/moondoggy3/Veillette-Citron 1980/


    I haven't been this impressed with a bass in a long time. And I've never owned a bass older than myself! I felt this needed to be showed off!

    I'd also like to see if anybody has any other information about these that they could share? I've yet to contact Joe and Harvey, but will do so shortly.
     
  2. Bassflute

    Bassflute

    Jun 24, 2006
    Vancouver
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    They were some of the early pioneers of boutique basserie. I remember lusting after one in the late 70's. Very cool. Hang on to it - will be worth a lot someday.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

     
  3. Nice! I played an almost identical bass, purchased on the floor of NAMM around 1981 or so. Wonderful bass. I forgot about the cool 'round' strap buttons. Really beautiful attention to design, with all the rounding, body, pickups, strap buttons... everything very though out. Great basses at the time.... one of the first boutiques other than Alembic at that time.

    I remember I got a 'NAMM floor wholesale price of $800 at the time, which was a boat load of money back then!
     
  4. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA
    Cool! The seller of this one said he first saw one at the NAMM show and that's what inspired him to buy one! You may have played this very bass!
     
  5. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    Gorgeous!
     
  6. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    It is probably one of the best made basses on the planet. You won't find workmanship in many basses made these days. THis is one of those instruments that you could have for the rest of your life. BRAVO!!

    G
     
  7. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Very nice. Congrats.
     
  8. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
  9. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    Wow - what a beauty! Congratulations. I perved on these big time back in the day. Handcrafted here in upstate New York as I recall. These were real bass candy and WAY out of reach for me $$-wise. That's a magnificent specimen - you're very fortunate to find it.

    BTW, I did a bass build-over in the early 80's - I wanted the best components I could get so that meant getting Allen-Bradley pots. I still have them.
     
  10. gypsy moth

    gypsy moth

    May 24, 2004
    you might get the punch/clarity you are after by utilizing the push/pull pots.
    my apologies if you have already utilized them.
    it is lovely - if I didn't have VC's already ...
     
  11. Beautiful bass!

    The name sounds like an antique French car with an early version of hydraulic suspension.
     
  12. Basshappi

    Basshappi

    Feb 12, 2007
    Tucson,AZ
    Congrats!
    I always loved looking at the ads for those in the old Guitar Player mags back in the day. I even sent away for a catalog, wish I still had it.
     
  13. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    grats! Veillette's work always gives me GAS
     
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I would love to hear one. I always loved their ads in Guitar Player.
     
  15. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA

    I like how your neck pickup is much closer to the neck. I'd bet yours can get a much thicker fatter sound.

    I guess not much has changed. A-B is still the industry standard for a lot of their stuff. I don't know if it's the 'best', but the 'standard' nonetheless!

    And I had no idea they were push-pull pots. I feel kinda dumb now. I thought, 'gee those are bulky pots', but now it makes sense! Cool!



    Thanks everyone for the info and kind words.
     
  16. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Totally: a huge fat very plush sound. A producer I work with often used to refer to my V-C as "the sofa bass" because he said it sounded like thick comfy cushions.

    (I actually no longer have that instrument.)
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Lusted after one of these for quite a while back in the late 70's IIRC. They were one of the very few alternatives to Alembic (Ken Smith was another). Contacted them, got the info, think I even called. If I hadn't stumbled upon my 78 Tobias I probably would've bought one.

    congrats. very cool find.
    :cool:
     
  18. gypsy moth

    gypsy moth

    May 24, 2004
    "would love to hear one"

    lots here: www.myspace.com/gmothmusic

    prominent 4 string on track one, track two is an 8, farther down is mujer mulvada which is the 8 string only with a fun slide solo:bassist: ending

    some tracks are a vox custom or an alembic 5 string, but lotsa V-C use.
     

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