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Vigier passion

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chris h, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Hi everyone,

    As you may know I bought a new bass for myself to celebrate the momentous occasion of my 21st last friday. Well due to a mess up with City-link it has only just arrived.

    I am over the moon with this bass. It is my first fretless and am really enjoying it, it is almost like playing a new instrument and is an amazing sound. I can definitely see it becoming 'my' sound soon (after a bit of practice!!)

    The bass itself is damn sexy as you can see.. the fingerboard is like a mirror with a gold tint to it so you can see yourself in it perfectly. Absolutely stunning. The neck is graphite (10%) and french maple (90%), vigier call this the 10/90 system (imaginatively) which gives the neck the benefits of graphite and the feel of wood, rather than their old solid graphite necks. The pickups are in an interesting position, right infront of the bridge. this gives a deep and focused tonewhich the graphite seems to really animate. Full specs acn be found here: http://www.vigierguitars.com/BCatalog/BFCVP4.htm

    The bridge is Kahler and interestingly, Vigier offer a trem as standard. The pickup control are a little unusual also, details on that link but basically you have a frequency selector dial and a boost/flat/cut switch to affect the chosen frequency. the passive tone control is only wired to the back pickup which sounds funny but really brings out the girth of the notes when cut.

    What amazed me is the slap sound of this bass. I have tried slapping fretless basses before but because of the normally flatwound strings I found it difficult and did not want to risk damage to the neck. However as the neck on this is almost like a big fret you can use roundwound strings without any problems. It sounds really punchy and mellow..Its hard to describe but I am just so pleased with it!!!

    Well happy!!!!!

  2. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    That's a beautiful bass Chris. Welcome to the Vigier Club!
    I was getting a bit lonely being the only member!

  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The guy who produced our CD, (and is jumping on stage with us for a couple of songs tonight at our release party) Bumblefoot, endorses their guitars. they've made a few custom guitars for him, one fretless with some kind of metal fretboard that kicks butt. We did some stuff on the song abducted in the link below with it. Great guitars. They're not too popular here in the states. If I could get my hands on a bass to check out, I think I'd consider getting one.

    Gongratulations - it looks great.


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    Vigiers are cool! I have an Arpege fretless. Don't feel lonely guys!
  5. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    where did you get it? how much did it cost you? sorry if it sounds rude :D , im interested in a passion 4 fretted but cant afford a new one (€3000)
  6. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Thanks for the comments everyone it is indeed a beautiful bass.. got it second hand privately here in the UK. Although it could be new from looking at it.

  7. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    so 3 members in the Vigier club so far.. anyone else?!

  8. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> That fretless guitar is called the "Surfreter" fretless
  9. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Here's my take on Vigier basses, and I've owned many, many
    basses: The sound comes from a combination of the woods, AND the electronics; they're single coil Benedettis. I've always been a single coil player, my first real bass was a Rickebacker. The Vigier basses CUT like a knife thru butter,
    and don't derive their sound purely from the electronics..
    The range of these basses are a MILE wide, without being
    brittle or harsh. The playability of Vigiers is on a par with
    anything including Sadowsky, Alembic, Benevente, Fodera,
    etc..The action and feel of the neck is as good as anything
    I've ever played, and these basses are LIGHT!!! Perfect
    for 5 hour gigs. The comfort and playability is almost effortless! The fretwork is absolutely first class, as are the fit and finish. I LOVE the satin finish on the neck of the Excess basses. I can get a HUGE variety of tones out of them, including most of the sounds which remind me of some old
    friends, but with a modern, elegant twist. Unfortunatley,
    these basses are not very well known in the US, and are
    very expensive due to the relationship between the dollar
    and the Euro, and that they are low production instruments
    made in a small factory in France. If you want something unique, different, and ultra-high quality, they're worth seeking out. The US distributor is Salwender www.salwender.com they are a first class operation as is Patrice and his team at Vigier; service is world class. Check them out at www.vigierguitars.com

  10. Congratulations, your bass is wonderful, my favourite colour, ( but I prefer natural wood ;)! ).

    My teacher owns an early Vigier Passion fretless with Arpège electronics, and the singing sound from metal fretboard is unique among fretless and awesome. Serial 009! Early ones were whole wood Mapple/Walnut neck though ones, amazing craftsmanship!

    Mine is an early fretted Arpège serial 129 with phenolic fretboard. :D

    With my teacher, we collect information upon Vigier basses ( early ones whole wood neck though with only trussrod :p indeed )
    (This website has links towards talkbass.com)
    We just started 2 months ago, but we improve all the time.
    We would like to welcome on this forum, bassists with such instrument. Please tell in English, we will translate. Thanks.
  11. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Thanks very much Nanook I will check that out later as I have work to do at the moment. Certainly sounds intetesting.

    Slugworth; spot on mate. I have myself owned many other basses and would rate this among the top unquestionably. It is amazing the range of sounds you can produce with the very unusual pickup placement and electronics. The only thing I have found is that the pickups can be quite noisy?

    Lets see pics of your vigiers!

    I remember the first time I saw a Vigier; it was on the Gov't Mule deepest end DVD with Roger Glover, I remember thinking it just sang even on dvd. Will be using it with my band tonoght so will let you know how I get on!

  12. Hello Chris,
    For the noisy thing.

    I found this advice on a nice TB topic : Vigier Excess , from fhodshon, make research for it.

    At a point, dkmonroe said :
    The pickups are noisy, but I contacted Vigier about it, and they said basically that under normal circumstances, you shouldn't adjust the bass or treble over the middle mark. They say it's an extreme setup, which I guess means that you would add extra bass or treble sparingly, and only with a big amp rig. I keep my tone controls dead in the middle, and it sounds fantastic.

    It has a hum-cancelling curcuit, and it helps considerably with the noise.

    Bénedetti Pu are among the best, and Vigier electronics too.
    Hope that helps, thanks TB.
  13. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    Hey Chris,

    Congratulations! That's a lovely bass :bassist:

    I like the look of that fingerboard.... and the electronics sound very cool! :)

  14. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Here's a pic of my Excess 2. Limited Edition clear black finish
    on flamed Alder. Rare...
  15. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Remember, these are single coils. They are noisier than their humbucking counterparts, but there are some things you can do. First, go easy on the Treble pot! You'll find you almost never have to boost the treble all the way;
    these basses are bright enough without cranking the
    Treble pot. If your speaker cabs have horns, turn them off or almost all the way off; I've found I don't need them...Make sure you have a good instrument cable. Monster Cable works for me. As Nanook said above, adjust the hum cancelling trim pot to reduce the noise. Using these techniques, my Excess 1
    is 99.9999% noise free, and my Excess2 is dead quiet.

  16. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Thanks guys.. Slug, love the look of your bass. The matching headstock looks the biz! did you custom order it or get it used?

    Re: pickups,

    I have been experimenting all day and have found the tone pot best cranked half way as you say, with a little rear pickup bias. Sounds amazing, everyone should own one!!!

  17. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> Thanks Chris... I got the bass direct from the US distributor, Salwender. It was actually in stock, part of
    a shipment of a few basses that came over from the factory.
    I've never seen another one like it. The matching headstock is very unusual for a Vigier bass, and flamed Alder is almost impossible to find.

  18. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    Aah yes I recall you talking about that distributor actually. Something about that neck/body join on your bass catches my eye, it looks so smooth! I really want a fretted Vigier passion now to put alongside my marleaux,bossa and of course vigier basses..

    And I thought getting a fretless would cure my G.A.S!!

    Cheers mate
  19. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Yes....The Excess2 has the "scalloped" lower bout to improve
    access to the higher frets, and the neck/body join is impeccable..Don't overlook the bolt on Excess basses, even the Excess1; I love mine, but it needs some fretwork..I've
    really played it a lot and string it up with stainless Rotosounds. If you come across an Excess1 for less than
    E1000 in good condition grab it, they're fantastic..I'm kinda gassing for an Arpege fretted; I might order one without the
    ROM thing; I prefer the more traditional pickup placement
    and the body shape of the Arpege, but I like the Passion
    electronics more. Vigier says they can do it!!!...Maybe next year after I see how the taxman treats me....

  20. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Vigier basses are excellent, but I find them to be way too expensive.

    I mean, for a similar price, even in Europe, one can get so many other things, such as F-Bass, Ken Smith, Lakland, Sadowsky (NYC), Wal, high-end Warwick, etc... And all these basses can be sold more easily and at higher prices when you decide to let them go.

    But once again, Vigier are great basses, and Patrice Vigier is a very nice guy.