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Visit to the house of Brubaker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brad Johnson, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I stopped by Kevin Brubaker's shop in Westminster, MD on Tuesday with a friend who's going to have a bass built. Got a chance to check out several more of his basses including a couple of his new K4B singlecut designs. Easily the most versatile bass I've come across with a ton of greats sounds at your fingertips. The Mahogany w/Purpleheart accents K4B 4 string prototype was stunning.

    Time to clear out some gear and make room for a new bass (or two);). I'm tentatively looking at a K4B 5 string with the same electronics as my Custom. Pics of both a K4B and my Bluegreen Custom are here:



  2. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    hung out with him at namm. man what fine basses. i will be posting some pics of this black badd a** fretless. got some beaut's there.
  3. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Brad any idea on the price range on these(K4B). I would email them but I didnt see a email address.

    very nice
  4. As the former (and first) owner of the Blueburst Brubaker, I can attest to the coolness of both Mr. Brubaker and his designs. Also, his workmanship is awe-inspiring.

    I traded that bass away just because I "needed" a fretless at the time, and couldn't afford to keep everything I had. . . .

    . . . Still, buying a Brubaker is a good idea, IMO.
  5. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I get first dibbs on the F-Studio:D
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Here ya go, odie:

    Contact data
    Brubaker Guitars, Inc.
    900-A Leidy Road
    Westminster, MD 21157
    phone: 410 857 7600
    email: brubakerguitars@erols.com

    Brubaker website
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I hope that day never comes;)
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Jeez, Brad, when I saw the thread title - "House of Brubaker" - I thought you were going to tell us about a cocktail dress you bought!

    Seriously, those are gorgeous, and that split fretboard with the ebony for the lower strings is most cool!

    Do you know if they will build with something other than Bartolini???
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Absolutely. He's done basses with Duncan Basslines, Lane Poor and Lindy Fralin pu's plus others I'm not aware of. He's flexible as far as preamps go too... as a matter of fact he's just come up with something that will probably blow people who are looking for tonal versatility away but it hasn't been introduced yet AFAIK. Very cool.

    That split fingerboard seems to work very well (probably not for the "the tone isn't in the wood" folks ;))
  10. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Brad - do you know the intent with the split woods on the fretboard?

  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Besides asthetics there's supposed to be a tonal difference. From what I've seen he usually splits them between the B+E strings and the rest. The idea is that you'll get a different tone for example playing a B on the E string vs. a B on the A string. I don't know if the intention is to address that issue or exaggerate it. I didn't spend any time checking that aspect out though I will on my next visit if a bass is available. What I can say is that they sounded great to me. Here's what's on the website re: splitboards:

    "Our Splitboard combines the punch and snap of an ebony fretboard on the bass strings and the brightness and clarity of maple for the high strings."

    On another note: When I first got mine (used), I almost sold it... it was a great deal and I figured I'd just turn it over. Even put in in a store on consignment for a week. Then it dawned on me that I hadn't tried it live (I liked it initially but I wasn't blown away... I won't make a snap judgement like that again). Took it on a gig and literally could not believe how great it sounded and played. Completely blew me away. Effortless toplay. It cut through perfectly. It's one of those basses that really lets me exploit the subtle nuances of it.

    Then I started playing with the controls. I got a ridiculous Jaco sound by soloing the bridge quad coil, pulling the mid control up and bumping it a touch... punchy as heck. For slap I set everything flat and it smokes. Switch the coil tap and it gets super articulate. The only config I didn't like was neck pickup soloed, so I don't do that.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As I said previously, I think the split fretboard is a cool idea, mainly because they're thinking outside the box.

    But here's what raises a question in my mind about it;

    - being that such small amounts/thicknesses of woods are being used in such close proximity, the resonances/tonal attributes of each may just meld together without any distinction or display the tonal attributes of either wood.

    In other words, it may just be a "gimmick. We see John Turner's fretboard flames made of different woods, yet I don't hear any claims about tonal variations.

    I don't pretend to know enough about lutherie to say one way or the other. I'm just suspicious but, visually, it's cool.
  13. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    This might be like the MOP inlays on a 60/70 jazz imparting a tone signature. You gotta think that there is quite a bit of stuff other than rosewood or maple there. ;)
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  15. drjudd


    Mar 5, 2002
    Kevin Brubaker is making headways with his new line of guitars and basses.
    He is in the final thrawls of creating me a 'sister' bass to the 'nine yards' guitar featured on his website. I have given him a free hand in creating whatever mix he wants, just require the tigers eye 5A top with split fretboard and 5 strings.
    I will be posting a pic of it as soon as it arrives but have been assured by Kevin that it will hold an honorary spot on his webpage right beside it's guitar relative.
    I had a 6 string from Kevin and it caused so much uproar on this tiny island that I eventually HAD to trade it off. Everyone and their mothers wanted it, and I didn't want to sell, but I was thinking a new 5 string would be nice so I forked it over for about 5 guitars and amps. *godin,strat,gibson,dc5,recifier,etc*
    I got quantity, but lost quality. I am anxious to share this new bass with the forum, please be patient and I will post again when I recieve it.
    If any of you drop by Guam, give me heads up so you can check it out.
    Dr. Judd
  16. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I played the K4B at Guitar Center Friday night. I was very impressed with the sound. The feel of the neck was alittle weird. They had a K5B also but I didn't play it. The only thing I didn't like was that the frets were sharp. I felt the fretboard edge on the K5B & it was the same.

    Also, the control layout was weird. instead on the std Vol, blend, trebble/bass, mid it was Blend, Mid, Trebble/Bass, Volume. Took a minute for me to figure out. :)

    I'm not too fond of basses equipped with Bart's but this was REALLY nice. <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif">

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