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What's that Zon sound like?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Feb 2, 2002.


  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Well after reading that long thread on Zon's and seeing all those great photos they have piqued my interest.

    I've never played on or heard one to my knowledge. In looking at Joe's website I'd lean more toward a Sonus Custom 5. Would someone be able to characterize the tones that I'd be able to get from this bass? Would it be a more modern tone like you would expect from a regular Bartolini soapbar or more toward a J bass tone like I get from my Sadowsky Vintage 5?
     
  2. Jerry,

    I had a Sonus Custom 5 and now have a Sadowsky Vintage 5. They sound nothing alike. As you know, the Sadowsky is much closer to the best vintage Fender J-bass tone while my Sonus Custom was much more the "hi-fi" tone and didn't have the punch and articulation of the Sadowsky in live situations. I did record with the Zon and it sounded great. But, while both are very good, they sound nothing alike. If you're looking for contrast, it would be good to have both.

    Zon makes a model that is more the "J-bass" style, complete with single coil pickups. I'm sure others will be able to give you more info on that configuration. I've played it in store, but don't have any giging experience with it.

    Hope that helps!
    Jeff
     
  3. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Here ya go:

    http://virtualitystudios.com/Zon_Sonus_Custom_IV_For_Sale/Sonus_4.mp3

    http://virtualitystudios.com/Zon_Sonus_Custom_IV_For_Sale/Sonus_4_demo_Custom.mp3

    http://peterduncan.net/sounds.html

    (last 8 songs were all done on Zon basses, from all the product lines except the Legacy series).

    http://virtualitystudios.com/Wankus.mp3

    (This is on a Zon Sonus V, very growly tone)

    Zons BTW don't make Sonus basses with single coils anymore. They are line coil, which is essentially split coil pickups in a J-style housing.

    This should get you started !

    -pd
     
  4. Peter,
    Your recordings sound great!

    When did they stop offering single coils? Joe and I talked about them as an option about a year ago. He was still offering them at that time.
     
  5. My god....that is some great bass work! You've inspired me. I have really got to get better...

    Killer stuff!
     
  6. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Thanks man...and being the Zon fanatic I am I STILL don't have a lightwave...lol!! Maybe when I get to be a monster on fretless like you guys I will reward myself...till then, me an' Grampy (my Goncalo Alves fretless) are in the woodshed trying to get this intonation thing to the point where I can play this bass whenever I am not going to so some crazy slap song.

    You CAN still get them (the single coils) if you want them, but they are not standard issue anymore on the Sonus basses. I don't like them b/c even on Zons, and even with Barts, they still hum when you favor one or the other. That is why the line coils still offer that traditional tone, although it is more agressive than the single coils sound, but they are dead quiet.

    -pd
     
  7. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Thanks man! 'preciate that!

    -pd
     
  8. Another quick question: I would PM it but other people might be interested as well.

    I checked out your web site -- did the solo CD ever pan out?

    Thanks!

    In regard to the original thread topic, those sound samples are all Zon. I'd say that's a pretty accurate representation of what a Zon sounds like in capable hands. Peter, did you record those solo pieces direct?
     
  9. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    I will do my best to explain the sound differences:

    First off, a photo of mine, which will help:

    http://peterduncan.net/Zon_Family.jpg

    From Left to right:

    Sonus IV
    Traditional J-style tone with more of a rich woody tone, due to two split coil pickups (which are contained in the J-style pickups housing) Neck pickup solo'd offers excellent P-bass tone.

    Sonus V
    Same as above, but 5 string version (mine has an added midrange and three position midrange toggle switch at 350, 450, 750 hz)

    Sonus Custom V (fretless)
    Two Bartolini soapbars, which are both DUAL coil, i.e., two separate magnets in EACH soapbar, that cover all strings at once, rather than split coils which have one magnet covering (i.e.,) the E, and A strings, and the other covering the D and G strings. The 5 string custom basses have a more hi-fi tone, although my fretless with old nickel strings sounds VERY warm to my ear (see my recordings, specifically, "wants and needs").

    http://www.virtualitystudios.com/Wants_and_Needs.mp3

    Split (Sonus)

    __ __

    __ __

    Dual (Sonus Custom)
    ____
    ____

    ____
    ____

    Sonus Custom V
    My main bass, this one has a very smooth, even tone with lots of even harmonic content. This one was custom built with a mahogany body (I wanted the architecture of the Sonus Studio, but without the 35" neck and all the crazy electronics). This one also has 2 dual coil soapbars, and I would consider this more of a hi-fi tone, although when the bridge pickup is favored, I can achieve an amazing farty jaco tone.

    Sonus Custom IV
    Same as the Custom V, BUT...the neck pickup on Zon Custom IV's is a SPLIT (also called line coil by Bartolini) coil pickup. So, this bass has a nice versatile tone range. Not sure why Joe puts different pickups in the Zon Customs, but he does, and as such, the 4 strings have a nice p-bass tone when the neck pickup is solo'd.

    Other terms that could be substituted for traditional and hi-fi are "woody" and "metallic." The regular sonus basses sound more towards the woody end of the spectrum, while the customs sound more like a combination of hi-fi and woody. Modulus basses on the other hand (another well crafted bass with a graphite composite neck), as a contrast, to me sounds MUCH more metallic sounding.

    Hope this helps!

    -pd
     
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sounding good, Peter.:cool:

    Jerry, I agree with Jeff and Peter on the description of the Sonus Custom. I can get quasi Jazz tones out of mine, but the 4 Jazz style basses I have get more authentic Jazz tones, so I use them for that.

    But the Sonus Custom is capable of some great hifi tones and some very warm ones as well. It's the most versatile bass that I own. The only one that comes close in versatility is my Cirrus Custom.
     
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Someday, I WILL own a Sonus Studio and Custom fretless. :D
     
  12. I hear you on that, Angus! I personally am gunning for a Custom fretless with piezo or (but really AND) a Lightwave of some sort.

    Man, I need a money tree.
     
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I've got the Custom handled;), adding a Studio 5 would be killer! I've never played one, but they look like a true world class fretted. And tons of versatility with that preamp setup. And a 35" scale. I'll bet the B is in the Modulus/Roscoe class.
     
  14. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Better, IMO. We have one on the wall at BC, and it's thunderous. :D I sat with a friend one night after we closed for an hour and tried to make it sound bad. We failed. ;)
     
  15. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    How much is it, Gard? ;):D
     
  16. That would be cool if Joe would make me a 6-string Studio fretless (though I don't know if I can handle 35" scale, especially on fretless). It would also be cool if he would give it to me for free, simply because of my radiant personality.

    Yep, that's it. I've lost it.
     
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah, details, man, details!:D
     
  18. My guess is right around $2800....

    Edit: Man, we've really hijacked Jerry's thread. Sorry :(
     
  19. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Recording: I just XLR'd out of my Eden WT400+ into my Layla, which is attached to my pc.

    CD Release: I am still up in the air about it. I hear my stuff, then I hear other bassists like Ray Riendau (sp?) and I am like, "Why bother?" Then I think about the approach I did and I like to think of it as rather unique, that 90% of the music is done on the bass, and there are those "wow look at my fancy bass playing techniques" riffs and all, but they usually serve the song in some way, with the songs having a strong melody and such, so I am like, "Sure, I will do it." I like to think of my self as a watered down pop version of Scott Harlan and Manring, as they are both big influences on me, along with my friend Kirwan Brown (I am also friends with Scott, and have hung out a little bit at dinner once with Michael), but who would want to listen to watered down version of these amazing players? So, I guess if folks are really interested in hearing my stuff, I can send em mp3's, or maybe do like a 500-1000 pressing of a CD with some sort of cover. Hope that explains it :)

    -pd
     
  20. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    Give him a call...650 366 3516...I bet he would be interested in doing a 6 string studio fretless, but of course, he would have the final say. As far as the free thing goes, not likely :)

    -pd