Against the Blue Wall – Fender Telecaster Bass for the Modern Player Series

First, I have to say, this is going to be the last Against the Blue Wall, because I am moving apartments. I am still going to look at gear it just won’t be against this specific Blue Wall.

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to post this but a while ago I changed basses. If you look back into my postings I had a Schecter devil bass. It was a fine bass but mainly I wasn’t a big fan of the active pickups. I found I was just setting it to one setting and then leaving it. Heavy, very little treble or pop. It was also clearly a metal bass. It had these “tribal” markings on it. It was definitely a step up from my old Ibanez GIO but not everything I wanted. However, I believe the Ibanez GIO basses are the best beginner basses, if you want to spend less than $200 on one.

So I ended up trading it in for a Fender Telecaster bass. I know, it’s all teles with me. I had been eying a Gretsch hollow body bass, but ultimately the solid body suits me better.

I have gotten to like the Fender basses a lot more. For some reason I was always drawn to the Ibanez style basses in the past. I think I liked the simplicity of the design more. However, after playing through a few Gibsons and Epiphones, Squires and Fenders, some more Schecters and Warwicks and some acoustic basses , I decided on the telecaster bass. It’s in the modern player series, so it is imagining of a bass from the past that never existed, but it works. This one specifically has a really cool pickguard. I think Fender has come out with some of the coolest looking guitars and basses in the past few years. I am still waiting on the voyager because when that hits the shelf I am getting one. Basically, the reason I ended up getting it was that I liked the feel of the neck, the controls are really straight forward, I liked the tone and it has some cool humbuckers in it. I am also a fan of the butterscotch blonde finish.

One thing I really like on this bass as opposed Fender’s guitars is the neck has a high gloss finish all the way around it. I am not a fast bass player so maybe that’s why it isn’t in my way. I tried a few standard and American jazz and p basses, but this one just felt the best. That is one thing that the internet can never replicate, trying out basses and guitars in a store. It makes all the difference in the world.

Some of the features on this bass:

-20 Frets (the Schecter had 24, but I never went past 14)

-34” Scale (the Schecter was an extra long scale, it was more annoying that I thought it would be to find strings)

– open gear tuners-  I am super happy with these. I at first didn’t like the Key style of the tuners and I would always go for the wishbone shaped ones. Maybe it was just time but now I think they look pretty cool. These thing hold the tuning really well.

-2 Humbucker pickups – I think this is the most salient part. Almost all Fender basses have single coils so this one definitely stands out.

-2 volumes and 1 tone – This is all I need. Maybe I love this simple configuration because I never took the time to really play around with the active pickups. At this point though I don’t really care why I like but I do.

So the one thing I did change was the knobs. It comes with these lightweight little chrome knurled ones and they don’t feel really solid. So I bought a few P-Bass knobs and put them on. When I look on forums and reviews this is the biggest complaint. So instead of complaining I just swapped them. The saddles are solid I trust them. Anyway, all the other saddles on basses I used before were pretty cheap, so these brass ones sound great. The only other thing I am not so sure about is the nut. It looks kind of unfinished and unattractive but I won’t do anything now unless it cracks or breaks.

I think this is a great bass. Fender calls it an entry level bass and I guess for about $600 it is. I preferred it of the more expensive ones though. I play a lot out bass with others but my main focus is on guitar so that’s why more of my money goes into guitars.

Here are a few photos:

Fender Telecaster Bass - This pic makes it looks really long but it's not.

Fender Telecaster Bass – This pic makes it looks really long but it’s not.

Body Shot

Body Shot

 

Head Shot - the tuners have never slipped on me

Head Shot – the tuners have never slipped on me

 

From a Distance

From a Distance

 

 

 

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Upcoming, Egnater Rebel 20

I know my posting has been pretty sparse lately but I am finally done with all the busy stuff I had in April.

Here is where I am.

The last post I was talking a little bit about amplifiers and I ended up buying an Egnater 20 rebel. I am so excited about it. I spent a lot of time in different shops trying out gear. Figuring out what my needs are. Since I live in a 1 bedroom apartment there is no reason for me to get a 100 watt amp. One of the reasons I bought the Egnater rebel is that you can dial the wattage down to 1 watt from 20 which is an amazing feature that I jumped on. I don’t have it yet but when I get it there with certainly be a post on it. I have been looking at a lot of tube amps lately and have been around to a few store and have been trying out different tube combos and heads. I ended up going with a head and cabinet instead of a combo because I like the ability to mix with different cabinets and heads.

Just so you know where I am coming from, I have a small 8 watt bass amp I use for all my amp needs. This is very inadequate for my electric guitar, but perfect for my bass and acoustic. I used to have more amps but moving from apartment to apartment makes you reevaluate your things.

The next guitar I am going to get is a Gibson Les Paul. I have been looking at them extensively for a long time and I don’t know when I am going to get one or from where but it’s coming.

Finally, I am thinking about basses. I have been playing more bass and I have tried a few fretless basses that I really like. That might be coming in the future, especially because it’s a good contrast to the heavy metal Schecter bass I have right now.

That’s all for now, I will have a lot more coming in May.

Hello Music and Indaba Music

This is a quick one.

For all of you song writers out there there is a recording competition going on through Hello Music and Indaba music. For those who don’t know Hello Music is a discount seller like woot.com. They sell a few music items every day like guitars, processors, pedals, amps, basses and services. Unfortunately no banjos which I happen to be in the market for right now. They started sometime last year and so far I have been following them, but I have yet to buy anything. They do repeat, especially Orange amps, Les Paul studios and american standard strats. Inbada music is like bandcamp.com where you can sell or disperse your music around the internet. right now there is a contest to win $2,000 worth of recording gear for writing original songs. I know I’ll be entering. I have a couple new songs up my sleeve, and I am still a total stranger to home recording. Good Luck.

Here are the links

http://www.hellomusic.com

http://www.indabamusic.com/

Also I am looking for a new banjo so if anyone has any suggestions or good sites to buy from I am all ears. Musician’s friend and guitar center are not that good selection wise, but I have been looking at banjo.com. I had to step up from my Epiphone because it was too unbalanced and I like to play clawhammer.

 

Fretboard Journal

Issue 23 of Fretboard Journal- Gillian Welch on the cover from Fretboardjournal.com

Issue 23 of Fretboard Journal- Gillian Welch on the cover from Fretboardjournal.com

If you are interested in all things guitar (both electric and acoustic), bass, banjo and/or mandolin, I would recommend Fretboard Journal. It is a great magazine and I think the articles and photos are far superior to many other boutique guitar magazines.  They have been publishing for about 6 years now and it’s a quarterly journal. It’s also the only magazine I don’t throw issues away. I’m not a photographer but there is something very down to earth and real about the photos they take. It makes these incredible guitars seem very accessible and tangible. Unlike other magazines that but there rare beauties on a pedestal never to b touched or played and any worthwhile musician knows that instruments were made to played not collected and kept in a display case. That is why Stradivarius violins are still played and rented out to violinists. Sure its Yitzhak Pearlman and Hilary Hahn but still they are being used.

They recently released their fall issue with Gillian Welch on the cover. She is one of the most important women in Folk and Americana music today, and I love it. When I found out about his magazine about a year ago, it really started to motivate me to read about different tone woods and try experimenting with guitar building and modifying. I guess you could say along with Old Crow, Fretboard Journal helped make me the man I am today. It also has opened me up to the wide world of independent luthiers and builders. That may also mean I’ll make my next guitar a small business one rather than a corporate one.

The issues range from $8 to $18 depending on how you buy it, at the stand vs. subscription. This is the only magazine so far that I bought a subscription to the day I saw it. If that isn’t enough to convince you I don’t know what is.

Wonderful magazine, great topics.

Against the blue wall – Schecter Bass

So in this post I will be reviewing my Schecter DV-4 Devil limited bass, as I have been doing with all of my equipment. I got this bass in early 2010 when it had come out online. I got it for $350 which was a steal. I had been looking for a new bass for quite some time because I had spent the last 8 or so years playing a blue Ibanez gsx. The Ibanez was a great bass but I wanted a step up. At the time I was still living at home so I didn’t have much money to spend but I wanted to play something with a bit more.

I went around a few guitar stores and tried out a few low range bases. I liked the Epiphone thunderbird but as I looked around more and more the active pick-ups stood out to me more. I player a few Schecter, esp and fenders but the Schecter was my favourite. I did something that I rarely do. I tested a few models but bought a different on online. It turned out that the bass I bought was great but it could have been  a disaster. The other thing was that this bass says it’s a limited edition and now it’s sold out everywhere.  One thing you can probably notice right away is that this is a metal bass. I like it even though I don’t play metal. The active pick-ups make it a pretty versatile bass.

I’ll give you a tour through the bass. One reason I am doing this in depth is because there isn’t shit on this bass. I even contacted Schecter to find out more but the info they gave me was wrong. The tuners are Schecter in house brand and the headstock says it’s a part of the diamond series. This bass is made in South Korea like all non custom Schecter instruments, and probably made by Cort ( they made instruments for many other companies). The tuners work very well and they stay in tune. Tight. The nut is a black tusq nut, which is a nice little upgrade. Also one thing realized is this bass is long and takes the extra long strings. Make sure you know your scale length and compensate for through body construction. Right now my strings are a little too short so I slipped a shim into the nut cavity. The neck is three piece mahogany and it’s a glued in neck. The whole bass is actually mahogany which is helps with those perilous lows it advertises. The knobs are knurled chrome, no slipping. Then there are two EMG-HZ pick-ups. One thing I had to get used to is the pick-up placement. If you are used to Jazz and precision bass positions this one is just a little bit different. The neck pick-up is a lot closer to the fret board. I usually rest my thumb on the neck pick-up so it felt a little bit foreign to me. The bridge has individual saddles and does get dirty easily. The other nifty feature is the tribal design up and down the fret board. It is just interesting aesthetic. The cut away is good and allows access to the 24 frets. There you go 2 octave lovers.

So far it’s been great to me. I used to use bass as a way to get into bands but lately I’ve just been playing on my own. It has also opened me up to Schecter guitars which make great instruments. Whether or not you are metal. If I had the money I’d go in and get a custom made guitar from them.

I have attached a few picture of the bass and I am working on a version of my song Heist! with bass and guitars and properly mixed. Then you can hear an audio clip of how it sounds.

If you are in the market happy bass hunting and maybe they’ll turn this bass into its own regular line. Also, a side note, I recently tried out a hollow body Gretsch bass, amazing.

I’m putting down the Schecter website link and then a link for my music, just to promote a little bit more.

http://www.schecterguitars.com/International/Products/Bass.aspx

http://www.myspace.com/572609954 I’ll be putting bass samples on here.

nut and truss plate

Headstock Shot

Body Shot- The stain is very noticeable, it looks beautiful.

Full Bass- Pic is a little bit dark

Sideways shot - This is what it looks like when I am playing it. but there would be hands in the photo.

Upcoming Posts

Hello all,

I know I haven’t been posting as much as I normally do. I will probably have a few coming down this week, but I am going to start a guitar restoration segment. I have an old Kay guitar I bought at a yard sale for $10 and I am currently thinking about how to restore it. I have put on some new tuner so it accepts strings. The big problem now is the neck is partially detached from the body.

Anyway these are some of the topics I plan on talking about:

-The Rolling Stones

-Ian Stewart

-Ludwig Van Beethoven and his 9th Symphony

-Steinberger Guitars

-Schecter Basses

-Kay Guitar Restoration