Zith Custom J Review. Finally!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phatbass30, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    first of all i would like to thanks everyone who followed and shared some of their ideas with my custom bass thread. now that the bass is finished, i guess its time for me to let you all know what i think about it.

    so here you go!!!

    build quality, as you all saw on the thread how awesome this bass is. well seeing it is totally different from having to see it and play it! when i first laid my hands on it, i thought WOW! i just want to put it on a wall!!! its so beautiful!!! very fast neck, smooth edges, great paint job, the frets are well polished and all the hardwares are fitted nicely. i got it with a very low action cos that's what i wanted. and it is indeed very low, but no buzz!!! great feel!!! and the LED, everybody went WOW whenever they see it. my band was shocked (in a good way) cos i didn't tell them that i'm having a custom bass made. the first time they saw it, they just went nuts!!! okay, so the bottom line is, its a great quality built!!!




    now where it counts most, the tone department...

    first, i've been meticulous with my tone. sometimes i thought that i worry so much with my tone when i should worry first with my playing! correct! but as far as i know, one of my strong point as a bass player is my tone. all these years, i'm very concern with my tone, and it pays well. most bass player saw me says i have a good tone. so my tone is my identity.

    so let's move on!!!

    to break it down:

    string tensions are tight, not warbly. it took me few days to get use to it. that would be because of the string thru set up, i tried to strung it top load, and i can really feel the difference. for me the tension and tone are better with the string thru. so i would say i like the string thru more.

    next are the pick ups and their positions. again, it took me few days to get use to the position of my right hand, because of the positions of the pick ups. my Sadowsky has 60's and the Zith has a 70's position. plus the neck PU is moved slightly close to the bridge PU because of the 24 fret neck.



    the Nord Big Singles are just killer!!! big, loud and clear!!!
    the Aguilar OBP-3 is indeed quite aggressive, just what i wanted. the mid switch and mid knob is very responsive. the bass knob can be very bassy but still retains the clarity of the bass. the high knob can be clear, or glassy or you can roll it off just like a VTC. plus the passive/active switch is a good addition too.

    i don't know if the hipshot bridge enhances or help the tone a bit because its my stock bridge and i'm not planning on changing it. so i can't compare it with a badass or any bridge out there. but the hipshot bridge looks awesome plus using it as a topload set up is very very easy.

    and not to forget, the neutrik locking input jack. aside from being safe that you won't pull your jack accidentally, it looks cool too!!! i think my guitar player is changing his to one of this. hehehe.

    so with all these hardwares and awesome built combined, what do i get?

    a killer J Bass!!! yes, and that is confirmed.

    i've been using this baby for about 11 days now. this bass is for sure a very modern sounding J bass. the tone is very tight, its fat, and the low mid is good. the low's big but well pronounced. you can hear the notes very clear. the high's crystal clear, with a lot of zing if you want. or you can roll it off to get that warm tone if you want.the low B is also tight, and huge sounding. but with just the right balance with the other strings.

    the slap tone is just awesome! hard to explain, different from my Sad. its very modern sounding slap tone. you can get a bit close but not too close to Marcus slap tone with a bit of tweaking from the preamp.

    i can also get ala Jaco tone with this baby!

    this bass is very versatile!!!

    but its not perfect... like all the basses out there, there's no such thing as perfect bass.

    it has a dead spot, but its not very obvious. its not dead as in dead, its just not sustaining like all the rest of the strings. if you're not searching for a flaw, you won't notice it. but i'm different. the first thing that i look for a great bass is its flaw. once i know what's the weakness, i develop a style to make it even with the rest. thus make the weakness unnoticeable.

    but aside from a dead spot, its all good!

    the conclusion:

    this bass is not cheap, but for a custom built with all these specs, its a STEAL!

    its beautiful, it has a killer tone and its built according to my specs. what more can i ask for?

    so all in all, this bass is worth every penny i spent, and more. i am very happy and contented at the moment.

    i was a bit scared to bring my Sadowsky to work because i'm scared that the Sad will overwhelm this bass. we all know Sadowsky basses are, they are killer! so i'm scared to get disappointed with my new bass. but eventually i know i have to face the truth and i have to play them side by side to know if my new bass could catch up with the Sad.

    last night i faced the truth... brought the Sad with me and played them both in the same set to compare the tones.

    the result... they are both killers!!! 2 different beasts in one stage! i was so happy because now for sure i know that the new bass could hang out with the big guys out there!

    and here's what i found out, the Sad is warm and fat, a bit vintage tone to me. the Zith is fat, tight, clear and very modern aggressive tone. i really hate to say this, but my drummer prefer the sound of the Zith Bass. i'm not saying its better than the Sads, its just different.

    so now i got 2 great basses in my arsenal. these 2 are for keeps! but for now, i'm going to give my Sad a bit of rest. i've been using it for more than a year straight now. i will be using the Zith for a while.

    so that's it! i know its long, but i hope you guys enjoyed reading it!!! questions or comments are always welcome!!!

    thank you!!!
  2. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    more pics!!!





  3. I was a lurker in the first thread, and I found it interesting to see how the relatively unknown luthier built a bass almost as good as Sadowsky's!
    Thanks for the review, and have fun with your new bass :D
  4. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Inactive Suspended Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Very nice. Nordy Big Singles with an Aggie pre are a winning combination.
  5. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    i wasn't expecting that as well. but i was hoping that at least it would come close to my Sad. and i could say that it does!

    my Sad has some flaws as well when i first got it. i learned to adopt with those flaws and after more than a year it sounded much better. so with the new bass, i'm expecting more now, maybe give it a year. for sure when the wood dries up more, the sound quality will improve more.

    right now this baby cuts thru the mix well. and has a lot of power in it! it covers all of my music needs. i play in a cover band, so we play almost all styles of music. and this baby does the job really well.
  6. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Fantastic bass, I really like it.

    I`m seeing 3 battery compartments. That`s 18V for the Aggie and another 9V for the LEDs, right ?

    Can you post some audio clips to have an idea of its tones?

  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Phatbass, that is a great looking bass! Given the components, I'm not surprised it sounds good. Enjoy your unique bass.:)
  8. redangel

    redangel Guest

    Aug 4, 2007
    Congratz!! Your Zith looks really cool!
  9. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    Thanks to all of you guys!!! i am really enjoying my new Zith at the moment. but at the same time, i'm still searching for the right setting and tone, its already good, but i want it to be better. more like my signature sound.

    and Papersen, yes, the 2 batteries are for the Aggie and 1 for the LED.

    i'm not sure when but i will post some sound clips of this new bass. soon!!!

  10. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    That is a gorgeous bass!!! Play it in good health!!
  11. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    thank you for that man!!!
  12. redangel

    redangel Guest

    Aug 4, 2007
    Whats the controls on your Sadowsky? I remember that you seems sold your Sadowsky On-board preamp. So whats the 7knobs and 2switch for?

    Thanks a lot
  13. itzs


    May 5, 2005
    Wow.. congrats on a very cool bass!
  14. phatbass30


    Dec 24, 2006
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Groove is in the heart!!!
    hey redangel, my Sadowsky has a J-Retro Marcus Miller preamp.

    1st knob - vol/balance
    2ns knob - bass/treble
    3rd knob - mid freq/mid boost and cut
    4th knob - passive tone

    1st switch - active/passive
    2nd switch - pick up mix for passive

    itzs, thanks for following my thread man, and thanks for the compliment!

    i'm enjoying this bass so much!