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WARNING: Oscar Prat Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by benjobass, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. I think Roger Sadowsky said the same thing, that figured maple is not suitable for a bass neck. Don`t blame yourself, how are you supposed to know? There are figured necks out there and it`s easy to assume that it must be OK.
  2. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    It certainly can be. I own an EBMM Classic Sabre with a flame maple neck, and it’s stellar.
    muggsy likes this.
  3. If the builder has any sense of ethics, and knowledge, they should let a buyer know if their "dream bass" can be built. I don't have a clue about what woods or other materials are the "best" I know what I know from how Fenders or Ricks or other basses are constructed. If I go to a boutique luthier and ask for a certain wood that is not good for a bass or guitar, they need to tell me that, not build it just because I ask for it.
  4. I’d be OK with buying a figured maple neck from Warmoth since I know they use steel reinforcement bars in their bass necks.
    MobileHolmes and Garret Graves like this.
  5. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    There's certainly exceptions to the rule. And I know there's some great instruments out there with highly figured maple necks.

    I agree with @Rob Martinez that a "professional" builder/luthier should know when an idea is feasible or not. Prat seems to have a history of just saying yes without regard to outcome, which has resulted in an inferior product and production issues.
    Rob Martinez likes this.
  6. benjobass

    benjobass Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2001
    Thanks for bringing us back on topic again @Chace90.

    Rob Martinez likes this.
  7. WakaW


    Nov 27, 2018
    Oscar warned me against some woods that I had chosen. So for me, he looked honest on that.
    But it does not change that I still do not have my bass, or news about it.

    I will still try to contact him, and will keep you updated on developments if there are any.
  8. FingerDub

    FingerDub SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    I went to winter namm in 2017 and met Oscar there. His bass were are super nice and played great and he seemed like a nice guy himself. Not sure what his problem is but this is a shame.
  9. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Just curious, what woods was he warning against?
  10. WakaW


    Nov 27, 2018
    Royal ebony for a 12-string bass fingerboard. Because of too much difference in density.

    He told me the following quote.

  11. Well, there ya go! Buyer beware.
    Hope it all works out.
  12. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Seems that Adrian Maruszczyk is reputable.
  13. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Then those group of people who sing his praises get what they deserve !
    Garret Graves and lowendmafia like this.
  14. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Oscar Pratt is Darrin Huff
    The Robman and Rob Martinez like this.
  15. S1M0N


    Aug 5, 2018
    He definitely is
    TonyRo and songwriter21 like this.
  16. lowendmafia

    lowendmafia Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Sacramento, California
    The lengths some dudes will go to to try to get an endorsement (from anyone) is insane.

  17. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Going slightly off track, here's the flame on the maple neck of my newly acquire Bacchus. Neck is dead straight. I was once warned off by a guy at one OEM neck supplier of using a flamed maple neck on a bass; he said it wouldn't be strong enough

  18. benjobass

    benjobass Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2001
    Getting us back on track - the purpose of this thread is to warn people about the behavior of this luthier - Oscar continues to ignore my emails/invoices for the remaining money he owes me.
  19. eottjake


    Jan 30, 2009
    Fairborn, Ohio
    prat. @benjobass sorry to hear that you got hit by all this.

    For my $.02, I ordered an M-BSV6 in January 2016.
    34" scale
    Padouk Neck
    Ziricote fingerboard
    28 fret, side markers only
    Walnut body
    Buckeye Burl Top "with matching headstock and knobs"
    Matching wood pup covers
    Noll 4 band pre-amp with a/p push pull and series/single/parallel switches
    Nordstrand DC pickups
    17 mm spacing hipshot A
    ultra-lite tuners
    wood cavity covers

    I was told 6 months for the build time. I didn't pick it up until May 2017, after months of hounding him.
    He was still in Tennessee when I ordered it, and I don't remember exactly when he moved overseas.
    The finish was done by a company in Tennessee, and final assembly/setup by a shop in Akron.

    As for what was actually delivered:
    • Plastic cavity covers instead of wood
    • "Ebony" knobs (best guess, obviously not matching any other wood on the bass) that were cut poorly. I'm not sure if he made these or another shop did, but the Akron shop had to sand down the stacked volume/tone knobs since turning the volume would catch on the tone and change it everytime
    • Finish on the bass was tru oil as I had requested. Nothing much to say about it. Nothing great, but it's functional, and I didn't want to deal with gloss
    • Fit and finish was a much bigger issue--
      • The fretboard has glue residue from the frets all over it. It's hard to see the figuring in the ziricote because of this
      • There were gouges in the side of the board that had been hastily filled in with sawdust and/or scraps. I know this is fairly common practice, but it looks like *I* did it, not a professional
      • 3 band eq instead of 4
      • Absolutely no single/series/parallel switching at all. After I received the bass and messaged him about this, he said "There is no way to install series single parallel in the big splits you choose, these pickups doent have this possibilitie." I understand if this is the case with my pickup selection, but let the customer know that there is a conflict--don't promise what you claim is impossible (and what you say you've done on other builds)
      • No straplocks. He offered to order them for me but never did.
      • He offered to pay for another luthier to do the wood covers, but I didn't try to press this.
      • Pup covers are ok, but lots of gouging where the screws were drilled in
      • Very sloppy resin jobs to fill in the holes in the buckeye top. Again, not sure if this was him or the finishing company
      • Completely dead e-string. I should've made the shop I picked it up from fix this, but I was hung over that morning, shocked and pissed at the state of the bass, and just wanted to leave

    All in all, it wasn't the great experience I was hoping for in buying my first custom. I've gotten used to it in the past year and a half, and I sold my MTD to recoup some cost and force me to grow into this bass.
    I like it now, but I had a very similar experience to most people here with regards to communication, timeliness, and broken promises.
    I haven't had any of the neck warping issues mentioned above, but it sounds like I got lucky with the Padouk recommendation.

    I was very lucky in that I was able to get him to communicate with me eventually, and he even gave me a partial refund at the end.

    So if any of you actually end up getting your bass, give yourselves time to cool off and it should (hopefully) be ok. If you choose to offload it, you have my sympathy and understanding. I was on the verge of doing so as well, especially considering there was a nice Roscoe 6er on the forums here being sold at the same time for the same price.

    I got lucky and hounded him nicely. Got my bass after 3x the quoted build time. Bass was ok at first, it's grown on me. Lots of broken promises, I've moved on.

    I would NOT choose to go through this ordeal again. I'd rather be told "there is a waitlist of 30 instruments. Yours will not be ready for at least a year and a half. Your choices for x, y, and z aren't possible, so here are our recommendations". If any of you are looking at custom builds, do your research.
    I thought I'd done enough research, but it looks like I was too blinded by the possibilities to see the warning signs.

    Edit 2:
    Just found a post on his FB page listing the exact electronics specs that I ordered on a different bass that was clearly delivered:

    So he lies and says it's not available, when it clearly is, and is something he had already done before. Fun stuff.
    Also, looks like his domain expired with Wix, so no idea if he's quit altogether or not.

    If you can find one used for cheap, go for it. Otherwise, steer clear.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  20. Chace90

    Chace90 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for this!

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