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Vigier 5-string: Need info please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xnewyorka, Nov 9, 2017.


  1. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Hi guys,
    Until yesterday I had not heard of Vigier basses. What a difference a day makes. I've watched a few YouTube videos and been very impressed with what I heard. Of course, those were pros and they probably sound good on anything.

    I just learned that someone fairly near me (but too far to drive for just a tire-kicking trip) is selling this 1986 "custom" Vigier 5-string. He doesn't know much about it, apparently it was a gift. He is not playing it and wants to convert it into cash.

    Wondering if anyone out in TB land can tell:
    Is this a production model or a custom one-off?
    What model is it, or what model is it based on? (Update: Just found an ad on ebay for an Arpege - looks pretty similar to that except for the bridge. The Vigier Arpege Bass + Watkins Circuit 4 electric guitar 6 x 8 article | eBay)
    Would I be safe to make a purchase decision without getting to play it first?
    (I would really prefer to play it first, but that is probably not going to be possible. For argument's sake, let's assume it would cost me $500 to go see it if I didn't buy it.)
    How smooth and easy are these to play?
    Is it easy to achieve low action (which I like) without buzzing? I'm not sure if this one has a truss rod or not. If there's no truss rod, I don't quite understand how one would dial in the setup. I'm fairly spoiled by my Foderas and Warriors in the low action category.
    With something so hard to find, how can I determine its fair value?

    I already have a Dingwall NG-2 5-string and a Warrior Dran Michael 5-string, and an old EBMM SR5 that is awesome, although I have never bonded with that one because of the color. I have to admit I don't need, nor can I justify another bass. Yet I am intrigued by owning something rare and cool and exotic, if it also happens to be a really good bass. I really dig the looks of this one.

    Thanks in advance for any info or advice! Body.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    murphy likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    No idea but that's sexy as he!!.
     
  3. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    My sentiments exactly!
     
  4. Vigier Aperge were the top of a very high range. Older ones had Carbon or delta metal necks.All the hardware is high spec, that fella's got a Kahler bridge on it. In France they rarely come up for sale,mostly folks just want to trade for another Vigier. In the UK you'd be looking at £1700 ($2200US) anyway for one. Probably more :D

    Can it acheive a low action ? I heard last week from a Vigier player with his action set to 1mm. These are seriously good basses.Owning one is the last thing on my bucket list so I read every thread I see about them.Just this week there were threads started in both the UK and Germany. There's plenty I want to say but here's a link to Vigier instead.

    Vigier Guitars
     
    xnewyorka likes this.
  5. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Thanks for the info!! I have learned that this is a very early one - serial number in the low 40's. The owner received it as a gift from the bassist of the band War at some point in the late 80's or early 90's, and it has sat virtually unplayed since then, so it's in very nice shape, just a few tiny cosmetic imperfections. I got a video demo, and it's currently strung EADGC, which was interesting to hear. It takes two 9V batteries - seems like each pickup has its own preamp and tone controls. I had him try and measure the relief using some pieces of paper, and it seems like it's between 0.015" and 0.020". I wonder if the relief would be any different if strung BEADG. He has no amp, so had no way to demonstrate that the electronics are intact. So if I buy it, I'm taking a chance that everything is working. I gather the pickups are Benedetti single coils from what I've read. I wonder how RF quiet it is, given that it doesn't look like there is any shielding in the cavity. Pondering it - what to do - what to do....

    Meanwhile, in doing research on Vigier, I learned that they make a fretless guitar with a metal fretboard. That looks just too cool! I really might have to get one of those!
     

    Attached Files:

    bholder likes this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I have a fretless guitar (an SX, but still) ... it's hard. really hard. :)
     
  7. biguglyman

    biguglyman

    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    That battery connector looks crushed...
     
  8. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    in the 80s Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover used vigier....and still is

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
     
  10. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
     
  11. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    Wow - thanks for posting that! That tone is so cool - it completely made my decision! Just agreed upon a price and in a few days I will have the bass - very excited!!!
    By the way - how do you think that was recorded - DI or mic? To my amateur ears, it sounds like a DI, just the bass straight into the board. But I'd love to get some expert opinions on that.
     
    kodiakblair, murphy and bholder like this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I had completely forgotten having read that on here - knew there was "something more" to Vigier, thanks, couldn't remember. And OP - SCORE! :thumbsup::cool:
     
    murphy likes this.
  13. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I tried them out in London in the 80s and 90s...Loved them . but a bit out of my price range at the time
     
  14. murphy

    murphy

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Also go on basschat UK to learn more about Vigier basses...i remember the Vigier Passion model
     
  15. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I have one I picked up here . The pre was swapped for a Glockenklang . This bass is a bit of mystery to me as it has the unique ability to have perfect action no matter what strings I use . It's as low as you could ever imagine and perfect . I just the other day put La Bella low tension flats on it and they are simply fantastic . The bass can cover a Ric vibe to ballsy P tones to solid power J's . It's impressive . It's getting a lot of play right now \m/
    s84a41N.

    VrKVBeh.

    pD9fJrl.

    YiPTdX2.
     
    murphy likes this.
  16. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    WOW - awesome - that is gorgeous!! Would love to hear a recording if you have one.
     
    fretno likes this.
  17. Geezer Butler played a Vigier in the late 90's, live and in studio on Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer.
    That song's intro could help you hear the sound of it:
     
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  18. xnewyorka

    xnewyorka Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    NYC Area
    I love that big fat single coil growl! Sort of like a Ric on steroids. Makes me wonder why Geddy Lee didn't play one!
     
  19. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Thanks ! I might , it's still kinda new to me so I haven't used it that much , but if not I do have some tracking coming up and the V will be the bass for those . Cheers
     
  20. motoman

    motoman

    May 8, 2008
    Ontario canada
    That,s one hot lookin bass!!
     
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