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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through March 29, 2005 » A bit of comparison fun... « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 317
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 6:31 am:   Edit Post

I'm not trying to prove anything here, but I thought it might be a bit of fun to try and identify some samples of my Dragon's Wing, and the two Status basses I own, the Stealth and the Buzzard.

The samples were all recorded the same way (last week and not very well!!!), I've only just got round to getting them into my PC - they are Windows Media 9 format. Please ignore my crap playing - it's the best I seem to be able to manage these days! The basses all share the same channel, so therefore the EQ settings and compressor settings are constant. All basses were played with the volume fully up, pan centered, Q switches off and filters fully open in the case of the DW, and no boost or cut in the case of the Status basses. They're all strung with Status Hotwire strings.

Post your answers back here and then I'll tell you which sample is which in a few days time. They're all around the 550Kb mark for size.

Username: 1stbass

Post Number: 99
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 7:25 am:   Edit Post

HI Roger,
The best i can tell from these samples i'am going to guess that sample #1 is the DW. witch ever bass it is to my ear i like the tone of sample #1 best.
Cool experiment.

Username: karl

Post Number: 35
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 7:56 am:   Edit Post

Hey, great game!

OK, given that I own an Alembic MK and a Status KingBass and also use Hotwires, I reckon I should be in with a good chance of getting this right . . . (famous last words!)

Here's what I reckon:
Sample 1 sounds the warmest and biggest, and that's why I reckon it's the Alembic.
Samples 2 has that more nasal mid tone to it that sounds a lot like my KingBass, so I reckon this is the graphite talking . . . I'd say this is the Stealth.
Sample 3 is all punch and not too much bottom end - so Status again, I think. I've never played or heard a Buzzard, but as it's the only one left, I s'pose that's my guess for this one.

Then again, I could be wrong on all counts! Looking forward to hearing the answers!

Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 520
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 7:03 am:   Edit Post

I seem to remember we had a TV game show in the 80s called "Wedden dat ..." ("Wetten dass" in Germany). They had candidates who had to be able to identify similar objects by brand, but without being able to look at them, or eat 100 sausages in 2 minutes, or whatever. Once they had a guy who bet he could identify 15 basses by ear. And if memory serves me right they had Mark King do the honours! (Wasn't he married to a Dutch lady?)

Okay, back to the question at hand! I find my conclusion is the same as Karl's - eventhough our ears seem to disagree.

Among the three, I like #1 the best - the punchiest of the lot. The notes jump out more than in #2 or #3 - but its near the edge, and you need to play very precise.

The other two have less low-end punch to compensate for the nasal mid tone, but you can get a pretty nasal tone on an Alembic too.

All in all, I would guess #1 is the DW.

#2 sounds a bit deeper than #3, but #3 seems to have better "focus" than #2, so it could be more rigid construction-wise. The Buzzard-2 is a bolt-on, the Stealth is a monocoque, right? That would make #2 the Buzzard and #3 the Stealth.

(Seeking cover.)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1495
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 7:37 am:   Edit Post

An interesting exercise. A couple questions come to mind.

What are the "EQ settings"? Are the basses being played through an amp, a mixing board, a PC? If the "EQ settings" were set for one bass in particular, isn't that going to affect how the other two basses sound? I have to tweak the preamp EQ when I switch from my Maple S1 to my Walnut Essence to get what I feel is the "true" sound of the bass. I would think switching from a bass with a graphite neck to one with a wood neck would require even more of a tweek, else one bass will not "compare" as favorably.

Are the three basses all using the same brand and type of strings? And have the strings been on the basses for the same amount of time? New strings on one bass and old strings on another can account for a significant difference in tone.
Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 324
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 8:33 am:   Edit Post

To address a few things here...

Adriaan - the Buzzard is a Buzzard-1, not a Buzzard-2. so both the Buzzard in question here and the Stealth are one piece graphite construction.

Dave - the set-up is this...basses into the same channel on the mixing desk (one at a time obviously!!), in which there is a channel insert that has a 31 band graphic and a compressor. Desk to power amp, line out to recorder. Recorder to PC. The graphic is set for the DW, as it's not really possible to add to the sound of that bass using the controls on the instrument itself (so the graphic is set for the sound I like with the filters open - I then use the Q to add a little punch if required), whereas the Status basses have an awful lot of boost (or cut) for bass, mid and top if required. So I can easily use the instruments themselves to tweak the sound to get what I want from them.

Incidentally, I first set the graphic up using the Buzzard and the settings I now have on it for the DW are barely different. Everything above 160Hz turned out to be common for the sound I like to play.

Strings are same age (about a month old), brand, type and gauge on all three basses.

Does this help?
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1497
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 8:52 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Roger, that should make it a bit clearer as to what we're listening to.
Intermediate Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 170
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 9:57 am:   Edit Post

Well, I'm a day late (been TOO busy recently!), but this indeed a cool game! At a guess I'd say 1)DW, 2) Stealth, 3) Buzzard. 2 sounds more like my old Status Energy Matrix basses, and a bit like my old 2000, so I'm guessing the Buzzard is slightly different sounding, partly due to the difference in mass. But I could be completely wrong! My preference as they stand would be (in order) 1, 3, 2. Although as you say Rog there's plenty of tweaking available (and I always tend to feel Statuses sound better with the boosts cranked a bit...)BTW, I'll e-mail you as soon as I get chance (hopefully tonight), thanks for the offer!
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1959
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 12:01 am:   Edit Post

Brother Adriaan,

as usual your memory served you right -which is not always the case with mine- I remember the show and indeed Mark KIng did the honours.
And IFF I remember well the candidate didn't mad it with 1 miss.

Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 328
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post

No more takers for a guess at the samples?
Senior Member
Username: bracheen

Post Number: 708
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 3:26 pm:   Edit Post

OK Roger, I'll give it a go. 1) Stealth 2)DW 3)Buzzard

Intermediate Member
Username: 1stbass

Post Number: 102
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 4:50 am:   Edit Post

come on it's time to give up the tapes.
How didi we do?
Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 329
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post

Ok, you talked me into spilling the beans ;-)

The results are...
1). The Dragon's Wing
2). The Buzzard
3). The Stealth

Thanks to all those who took part and enjoyed taking part!



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