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What do Elrick Basses sound like?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rodan, Sep 3, 2002.

  1. Elrick basses look amazing, but I have no idea how they sound. By the end of the year I might have some money coming my way and am thinking about getting a nice boutique bass. (There's an awesome NJS at Bass Alone right now)

    Could someone describe the Elrick sound to me, and maybe tell me about what the differences in sound are between the regular bolt-on models and the New Jazz standard bolt-on models?

    Also, this may be asking for a bit much, but I would be curious to know how Elrick compares to other high-end luthiers such as MTD.

    Any comments are welcome.
  2. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Ah, Rodan-
    Always a pleasure to talk about Rob's basses. I've got a Gold Standard 5 bolt on. First of all, the bass is beautifully made. Rob's attention to detail is second to none. Second, my bass, as are all of his basses, is very lightweight...about 7.5lbs and it balances perfectly so playing long hours is no problem. Third, Rob puts top end pu's and electronics in all of his basses. Where my bass really shines is in the studio. Perfect rich, creamy tone right into the board. Last, Rob's customer service is excellent. I had a question a few weeks ago so I called, left a message, and go a return call within 10 minutes. What's most amazing is that his basses are way less expensive than any other similar quality high end bass.
  3. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I guess I am elected having recently A-Bed the Gold vs. the NJS. Ditto on the well made factor. Exquisitely handmade both. Now that that is out of the way, the sound.

    The Gold with two J's was very lively, jazzy, crunch and honky. Almost a fretless sound with all bridge, very fat clear sound all neck. The passive tones were great without the preamp. The model I had was the classic Elrick design with no top (all swamp ash). Wenge neck. The best I can describe it was lively and bright. A very light bass with some neck dive. Great electronics and tweakable with the 3-way midrange frequency selector.

    The NJS with 21-frets was rich, warm, oozing with savory Marcus tones, yet had alot of punch with the mids bumped up. The fretboard I had was out of rosewood which seemed to tame the brightness quilted maple and swamp ash. This is a jazz player's Holy Grail bass. Besides, a jazz resides within the bass with the active off. Hardly any adjustments are necessary when you flip the switch.

    The NJS is available on ebay right now. See http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=904003338&rd=1
  4. Thanks for the comments. Anyone else have any insights on Elricks?
  5. I've played three Elricks.

    The first, a thru neck mahogany body with a zebra top and cocobolo fingerboard sounded wonderful, it was very warm but could also be very hot due to the Lane Poor pickups used.

    The second, a maple bolt on fretless 4 with a spalted maple top and a pink ivory fingerboard was very nice as well. Beauuutiful and very punch and hot, which was rounded off well with a couple of bart soapbar pups.

    The last, a 7 string thru neck with a bocote fingerboard, pummele bubinga top, and maple body was very purty and sounded wonderful as well, all around a very versatile bass with, once again, bart pups.

    Elrick basses are wonderful basses, and I was considering buying myself a custom not too long ago, but I tend to decide whether I'd like to buy a boutique bass after I meet the luthier himself, and that is a big player in whether I decide to buy. Mr. Elrick is a very smart, talented person. But that cat is trippin, I'd talk to him and it was like every other word he was being very disrespectful to other luthiers like Stuart Spector, or Scott Surine here in denver, and it's just like; "Cat, why do you have to be this way?", he's just too arrogant, and no matter how hard I tried, and how many times I talked to him, I just didn't want to buy his basses anymore. So you wont be dissapointed if you buy an elrick, but really, I would try not to talk to Robert himself too much.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've talked to Rob too. He's opinionated. In the conversation I had with him (a little over an hour) I got some insight into what he does and why he does it. We did discuss the current affairs of bass building but he never singled anyone out.

    The guy builds excellent basses and after talking to him I can see why. They're definitely not flukes... he knows what he's doing. The custom NJS fretless 5 I bought secondhand is stunning in it's simplicity and performance. I'd buy one again.
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I had a VERY similar experience with Rob. I used to own one of his basses and it was great. Can't say I liked him very much though. I'm no saint but he should not have cursed so much over the phone to a complete stranger.
  8. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Well. I have only had my elrick alittle over a month now. But it is one of the best basses I've ever played on.... I chose My Elrick over a fodera I was wanting.

    The price is extremely reasonable.... The design is beautiful. My bass is just plain swamp ash with maple neck and bubingo fretboard.. but it is just good to look at.. and light weight too

    The sound is unbelievable. You can get so many tones out of this bass... and thats mainly why I bought it

    The detail is on Rob's basses are great.. He is a one man show. He builds all of these basses himself....

    I highly.HIGHLY recommend Elrick basses. I don't think you would be dissapointed in the least
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've found that most people will stop if you mention it. I agree that profanity with a stranger isn't cool, especially a potential customer.
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I've owned 2 Elrick basses. The "Elrick sound" probably depends on which woods you get--the tulipwood/burl top with wenge neck was rather darker and "woodier", while the ash/quilted maple one with the maple neck and macassar rosewood board was more "hi-fi" and ratehr Fodera-ish (IMHO). Both were exceptional basses, and I haven't even tried one of the neck-through models yet.

    I've already given my thoughts on how the Elricks compared to MTDs, but since that kind of thing tends to raise some disagreements, it's probably better to just do a search on that one.

    I talked to Rob on the phone couple of times a few years ago about some work on one of my basses, and exchanged a few emails. He was very responsive to my questions and concerns, and great to deal with on a problem with one of the frets. I never really discussed any subjects with him that would lend themselves to opinionated or arrogant outbursts, though, so if he has that side to his personality, I didn't get a chance to see it.

  11. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Would an Elrick work for metal????
  12. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I approached Rob about building a midi bass for me and he just didn't want to do it. I didn't have a problem with him not wanting to build the bass but it was his attitude that turned me off. He then did offer to build the bass but said it would take him a long time and couldn't guarantee that it would even work. He just had a very bad attitude during that conversation and once when I talked to him in person. I would own of his basses again though. I absolutely loved everything about the one I had and everyone I've played since. Jerk or not he builds some of the best out there.
  13. Word.
  14. Funny...I've talked to Rob several times, never got the idea he was a bad guy in any way. Very friendly, very informative, and very open to working with new ideas. We even discussed several different builders, and he was quite complimentary to each of them.

    Maybe y'all caught him on a bad day? Or I caught him on a good one??? :confused:

    That said, every one of his basses I've had the pleasure of playing was astounding in appearance, playability, and tone.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Could be, Gard. I called him to get advice on an issue with the Fishman piezo in the fretless I bought second hand... my first time talking to him. Over an hour later I suggested I let him get back to work;). Very personable, knowledgeable, talkative.
  16. Yeah, when I call him I gotta make sure the boss ain't around - he will talk your ear off if given the chance! :D (Beav - understandably cuz he's payin' me - don't like that...:eek: )

    Had the same experience with Vinnie Fodera when I was in his shop a few weeks back. He talked to myself and a good friend for almost two hours, excused himself because he had an errand he had to run, said "I hope you're here when I get back!". We had to gracefully sneak out, because we were feeling guilty, he wasn't working! ;)

    I've found that every builder I speak with (and in my job, I happily get to speak with a lot of them :cool: ) has been exceptionally friendly, informative, and talkative about the subject of basses - not just the ones they build, but all of them. They really love what they do, respect the work of others that build them, and love to talk about it.
  17. With the right choices of wood: Certainly.

    Dirty Road Cola, who works with me at BC is getting a Gold Standard 5, and he plays in a pretty heavy outfit.
  18. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I actually grabbed a pick the other day just to see how it sounded.. now I can't play with a pick for crap.. but If I did play with a pick.. this bass certainly has a good Pick tone..

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