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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3969
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 1:56 pm:   Edit Post

Today I went to a high end bass retailer to try out some basses. Basically I don't really know anything about non alembic basses and wanted to see if there was anything i am missing soundwise from my bass collection.
I tried out 4 Ritter basses, two were Ritter roya's one R8 single cut and a 4string Cora. A fodera yin yang and matt garrison signature, Peter skjold 5 string, Wal fretless 5 string, Jaydee Celeste 6, sadowsky and a fender Marcus miller jazz bass.

All the basses sounded fine but none had anything that I felt I could not get from any one of my basses and none sound wise matched the tones I could get even from my single filter Úlan or Europa basses. The Ritter single cut sounded the best and had a great bottom end and lots of sustain but I couldn't find a warm bass sound from any of the ritters. Also I found the knobs too close together so getting hold of the lower ring of the dual gang eq pots on the controls was difficult.

I was most disappointed by the two foderas. They sounded so dull and lifeless. I've heard Richard Bona, victor Wooten and jimmy Haslip play them and get a great sound so I'm loathe to write them off soundwise even though this is the third time I've had a play on fodera basses that have sounded dull.

I think filters make more sense to me than 3 band eq.
When I left I was pleased and confident that my decision to go the alembic way was and still is the right choice for me.

Jazzyvee

(Message edited by Jazzyvee on April 19, 2014)
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1740
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 6:19 pm:   Edit Post

I've heard some great Foderas, too. In fact, I passed on a very nice one when looking for my first 5 string in 1985. Alembics do seem have a tone that's a more alive. I'd recommending checking out a Modulus. It's a very different (although sort of related, given the collaboration between the companies), but I've found that the ones I play are equally alive feeling. In a different way. I would imagine that for reggae gigs, they'd be pretty spectacular as the low end is really deep and solid.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3970
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin I will bear modulus in mind however It will be a rare find for one to appear new in a bass shop in the U.K. But if I come across one I will certainly give it a try.
Jazzyvee
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1745
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 12:11 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah, given that they went out of business last year, it would be a miraculous find. I guess there might be a few NOS ones out there. I think you'd really like it, though.

I would love to put a Series II setup in my Modulus!
mtjam
Intermediate Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 160
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 5:44 pm:   Edit Post

I loved my Modulus Q5! The feel and the sound were excellent. However, it killed my shoulder so it had to go. I tried to make it work for me but I just couldn't do it. It seemed sort of neck heavy. I don't know if the 35" scale had anything to do with the pain I would always feel in my left shoulder. I've played heavier Alembics which didn't feel as heavy as the Modulus did. Alas, I sold it to raise money for my first Alembic, and I've never looked back.

Mine was an older, no truss rod neck, and I know they made lighter basses before going out of business. I am a huge fan of the sounds Mike Gordon makes with his Modulus basses. I would love to have one of those rare Alembics with a graphite neck...
coop
New
Username: coop

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post

I own 2 (soon to be 3) Alembics, a Warwick Thumb, and a Fodera Yin-Yang Standard (bolt-on), and I rate them in tone and playability in that order. The Fodera is a well-made instrument and I've been happy with its tone, but it seems to have a more "sterile" sound compared to the others. For most of my gigs lately, I play my SCSD for the feel and the tonal versatility.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2208
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post

I always wonder about all these basses with three-band active EQ going into most bass amps which have parametrics and/or graphic EQ's, and just wonder what kind of crazy tone the uninformed wind up with, with so much boost available . . . I'd bet my next paycheck they NEVER cut any freqs.

I can only imagine working in a music store and having the guy come back and complain that either 'I can't get any tone out of this' or 'why is my amp always bottoming out?'

Despite the fact they are amazing axes, has anyone ever seen someone gig with a Ritter?

There's a lot of great basses out there, and with few exceptions, they all use some combination of EMG or Barts with various onboard EQ / preamp, maybe Aguilar, and I see more and more Nordstrands.

But that's the rub: After the quality of the woodwork / build, they all sound alike (the few exceptions being the dark wood / heavy Warwicks (like the Thumbs) or some of the Ash / light wood devotees like F Bass).

It took me forever to get my head around filters. I was used to onboard EQ, and now realize that for me there's no EQ that approaches the purity of the filter output, and I'm not even playing a Series axe ( . . . . although I do have a BIG soft spot for that 'PreShape' button on a Trace head . . . . . ).

And besides, no matter what, from a Squier to my Elan, I always sound like me. Whaddya gonna do?

J o e y
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2210
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 7:40 am:   Edit Post

This also reminds me of a post I read on AER's website once where they were talking about their outlook on building amps for bass guitars (no longer on their website, man, I should have saved it). They were speaking of the challenge (apart from the electromechanical end of it) of building amps for an instrument that essentially has no tone, at least not in the conventional sense of acoustic instruments.

I mean essentially, unplugged, there's nothing there. Change pickups, new instrument. Change amps, the same phenomenon to a lesser extent.

Then to make it even more confusing, as noted above, some guys can make some axes sing that sound like a dud in your own hands. I always wanted a Rickenbacker, but instead of sounding like Geddy or McCartney on one, it just sounds like a really bad Tele copy when I play one.

I tell you, sometimes it's just a bottomless pit.
Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you !

J o e y
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4128
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

I'm sold on filters too. I have a "non alembic beater bass" that I keep at my girlfriends for practice. I removed the 3 band Eq on that one and stuck in some filters. Sounds totally different and more familiar to me.

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