Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Whose gonna build my new Anthony Jackson style bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Yamarc, Apr 19, 2003.


  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I don't have the money for a fodera, but I would like to incorporate some of Anthony's design specifications. I like a thicker body with a single passive pup (Maybe no electronics or knobs at all!)What else should I consider as important? Semi-hollow? Set neck? single cut? I am a mono bass ind of guy and I want to know one bass inside and out and I want to use it for anything that I do. BUT, it needs to sound good, and be able to conform to a few different styles. I have always owned Modulus 5 stringers and these are fairly versatile basses, I just need to know where to go from here. I need something that will help me to express the tone that is in my hands....post away...and thanks!
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Where are you located ?
    I think you're ready for a custom job by a good luthier.
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Anthony has sounded like Anthony for a long time, through many basses.

    If you want versatility outside of what you have in your hands, I'd go two pickup instead of one. If you have no controls on the bass you'll have nothing in the way of the sound but you'll also be limited to those static tones unless you go back to the amp. I know it seems like a good idea but in practice, for me, I prefer having controls on the bass. I doubt AJ is concerned with versatility on a gig, he sounds like AJ;)

    Bottom line, getting a bass that plays like you want and sounds like you want it to should be the key. Do you want the sound attributed to a semihollow bass? It's not necessary to get an AJ vibe. A single cut isn't exactly needed either. If you're trying to have a bass built reminiscent of AJ's that's a tall order.

    I lucked into an older AJ and it has a very unique sound, a combination of articulation and heft to the sound at the same time, in other words it's pretty damn cool. This lead me to try to figure out "why" it sounds like it does. My Contrabass is Ash, has Lane Poors and an HAZ preamp, is 36" scale with extra wide spacing and has Fodera strings.

    Take your pick;). I'm not sure what really makes it sound like it does. What I do know is that I haven't played another Fodera that sounds like this. Surprisingly, a bass I also got recently, a Bone Avatar 6 has a very similar sound to the AJ. Then I realized it also has similar construction and Fodera strings.

    Fodera strings....hmmm...

    Could it be that simple?

    I doubt it. Good luck.




    :bassist:
     
  4. bassbytwo

    bassbytwo

    Apr 19, 2003
    central ct.
    hey yamarc,i would highly recommend contacting jon maghini @www.MBasses.com he did some mighty fine things for me.check him out,the last time i talked to him he mentioned starting a single cut model.
     
  5. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    [​IMG]

    Check out the "Nordstrand Bass Guitars" thread that I started. On the first page are more pictures of my six string single cut with a set neck, 2" thick semi-hollow alder body, maple neck and a 28 fret ebony fingerboard. Carey Nordstrand will do anything that you like and he makes his own pickups that are the best pickups that I've ever played. A bass like you are talking about would cost you under $3,000. I have been working with different luthiers for a long time on building my own perfect bass and all of the designs began with ideas from the Anthony Jackson contra bass guitar. I have found the perfect bass for me in my Nordstrand.
     
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have to disagree with Brad on this one. A good part of the sound that we know as Anthony Jackson, other than his fingers and playing style, is his bass as well as his electronics (outboard). The singlecut design is a big part of what makes the AJ bass work. It not only adds stability to the neck but it allows the vibrations of the entire bass to ring more loudly and in a much stronger manner. This has been proven to me time and time again. The semi hollow part of his bass is only prominent in the last few years. Before that (check out Michel Camilo's Rendezvous album) his bass was solid. Check out the different tones to see what you prefer. The alder body and maple neck has always been a constant on the Anthony Jackson bass. He did however go from an ebony board to a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard when he had his bass chambered.

    You also need to realize that while Anthony doesn't use onboard electronics, he does use a very high end outboard mic pre and eq. This adds to the very transparent, "it's the bass and not the onboard eq" sound. I am now understanding this more and more. There is simply no onboard eq that can come close to a fabulous outboard mic pre and eq.

    Even if you don't invest in the mic pre and high end eq you can still get the excellent quality and construction of the AJ bass without paying the ridiculous price of a Fodera. www.nordstrandguitars.com
     
  7. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    What a great looking site, thanks for the adice...I'l have to give Carey a call soon. A couple of quick questions for you- emjazz: Why did you go with 2 pups instead of one and why did you add the electronics? Also, would this type of bass work for a 5 string player also? What do you mean "after AJ got his bass chambered"? Did fodera go back and add the chambers later, or was it a whole new bass? Pretty cool ideas, just trying to filter through what I do and don't need, Thanks so MUCH!, Marc
     
  8. I was able to meet Jon after a recent bela fleck show where he brought his redwood burl fretless five string for Vic check out after the show. I was also able to play around with that bass and the neck felt real nice and played real well. He seemed like a good guy and I would check out some more of his works. I also asked him if he does singlecut basses since I am in the market for a singlecut 5 string, he said he could do whatever I wanted as far as design goes and was willing to try anything.
     
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It's my pleasure Marc. The more people that I can turn on to Carey's instruments the better. He deserves the recognition. My six is absolutely my dream bass and I am a very picky man.

    I use two pickups for my basses because I use different sounds for different types of music and the diversity of two pickups is usefull for me. I REALLY like the sound of one well placed pickup as well. Actually, Carey is going to be making a six string very similar to mine very soon that is going to have one pickup in the "stingray" position with just an output. It will also be chambered. I'm looking forward to hearing that one. The soon to be proud owner lives close by to me.

    As far as the preamp goes I chose to go with it because I was doing some music that it came in handy for. I have to say that I much prefer my bass passive. It sounds so much warmer and bigger. Carey's pickups are what I've always dreamed of having for a bass and they certainly don't need a preamp to make them. My problem with onboard pre's is that you can't get one that is transparent and doesn't effect the sound of the pickups. Carey is working on one right now and he is trying to make it as transparent as possible. I'm sure it will come out incredible. If you don't use an onboard preamp normally than go without one. Man, you won't believe what the Nordstrand can do without one. It makes me giddy just thinking about it.:p

    Anthony Jackson's newest bass that he has been using for the last five years was built with chambers. His previous instruments didn't have them. Actually, his very new bass is going back to the 34" scale length that he used to use many years ago. He is doing this for health reasons.

    All the ideas that apply to the AJ bass apply themselves to any instrument with a low B string. The idea is to get the truest tone out of the B string and to also create an eveness across the strings on the fingerboard.

    Cheers.
    Andy.
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Good points, can't say I agree with all of them (no surprise).

     
  11. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Man Brad, $2500 for your AJ! Nice find!

    I agree that AJ's sound itself doesn't have anything to do with the singlecut design. I just feel that the singlecut design has to do with the fabulous resonance of his basses as well as the strength of the B string. I think this has to do with the added stability that the upper bout has on the neck.

    quote: "I think the singlecut design has very little to do with what most would identify as the AJ sound. Guess what this bass sounds like?"

    Of coarse your AJ 6 sounds like all of AJ's basses, it's a Fodera and they all have that "Fodera" sound.

    I do feel that there is a noticeable difference between the solid AJ body and the semi-hollow. I heard it most prominently on the Michel Petrucciani "live in Tokyo" album where he used his semi-hollow presentation model.

    I don't believe that there is an onboard eq that can possibly match the hi fi integrity of a high end studio pre. It's just not possible to fit anything comparable in a small control cavity.

    I didn't have my Nordstrand built to get the vibe of the AJ bass per say. It certainly has a few noticable references to the Anthony Jackson Fodera and it is where some of my ideas came from. I have to say that I've been working on the design of my personal bass for many years and it did start with my interest in the AJ Fodera. My bass has it's own qualitys though and it sounds different than a Fodera in many ways.

    Hey Brad, you seen to know more about recordings of Anthony Jackson. Could you suggest some of your favorites? Thanks.
     
  12. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    Emjazz, do you have any sound clips of your SC? I would love to hear it and Carey's pups.....Thanks, Marc
     
  13. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    It'll be another week and a half before I'm able to get a sound clip. I'll let you know when I have it though. (I'm poor and need new strings)
     
  14. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    tha would be great! Do post them when you get them, I will probably hold off on my decision until this time. Thanks again, Marc
     
  15. one_skunk

    one_skunk

    Apr 30, 2001
    florida
    yamarac-i have seen aj playing a fender p-bass and his fodera and in the end it still sounded like aj.
    its been said many times here, its not the bass its the player .
    so now that we know that, what will yamarac's style bass sound like.
    forget what he is doing and find your own voice.
    you will be much happier finding ur own voice than copying someone elses and probably a better player too. :)


    was that negative ? probably
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
     
  17. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I can vouch for Stambaugh, excellent custom basses at relative bargain prices.
     
  19. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I'll second the Benavente!

    You can find more info and pics of the Benavente's on the Benavente website, my site (link below) and also the Benavente Forum on yahoo. For me and Many others you will find the Benavente is to them what the Norstrand is to emjazz. It all comes down to personal prefference.

    I haven't spent much time with Carey's basses, but he's a nice guy and they look great.