Hey guys. Up this month is another new Bass i have purchased!
I bought this on ebay for ?310, its a real 1996 Warwick Fortress one.
But with Jazz pickups together in a musicman style configuration.
It comes with all the Warwick hardware. MEC active pickups with 3 band
eq in three twin function pots. Two of the main knobs are the volumes
for each side of the coil and the other main knob is the overall
volume. The Secondary knob functions of all three are Bass Midrange and
The neck is typical warwick fare. What looks to me a completely wenge
neck. a very thin neck but quite deep. Never had a bass that had a neck
like this, but is very usable and quite fast to use.
The body is made from two peice maple. The bass has a rather bright
sound with alot of mids. Alot like a P-bass ((good)) Though the EQ can
cut them quite well and let me play slap (good).
Your probably wondering how i got a warwick this cheap. Well! It has
been well played and sweated on and it hasent been cleaned in a while.
The back of the bass has the worst case of buckle rash i have ever
seen. This bass has been used for hundreds of gigs according to the
I personally love the looks of this bass and i hope i will be using
this at its first gig this saturday coming and i will tell you all how
it turned out! I think this may replace my tokai P-bass as live weapon
This bass just plays so well and feels absoloutly solid and quality in my hands. So solid it feels like a p-bass.
I hope to carry on this bass's live playing tradition. But one things for certain. Im not wearing belts whilst playing it!
Made in Japan.
?360 In bath.
Hey guys. Up for this couple of weeks BOTM is my much loved Tokai
p-bass. This is a more modern version of the famous Lawsuit copies.
This is the high end Japanese version of the Tokai Hard Puncher.
((Lower end being made in korea))
I wanted a Fender Type bass after getting rid of my Stagg beginners bass so i decided to go out shopping Which i came happening across this bueat.
I played it compared to a Tokai jazz, I just had to have the P. it felt
more solid, more like i was playing a bass rather then a feather
duster. The finish was fantastic really solid and a translucent sort of
creme colour. The Neck was really brilliant to play on, chunky like a
P-bass, but not incredibly chunky ass like some fender p-basses from
the 70's. It was also incredibly fast which i was really suprised at.
The first gig i used it at was that very night i bought it.
It performed admirably. And became my first choice bass.
9 months on it still is! After buying many other basses such as a
Kramer Flying V aluminum neck and Warwick Fortress M These basses cost
well over twice the amount the tokai cost. The tokai is still my main
bass. Why ?
Its solid, it works, It doesant require batterys love or attention
((though i do give it that)) I can pick it up and it will play, Never
had any fretbuzz, Never has had a setup, Absoloutly no fiddly problems.
The overall sound on the pickup is very balanced and have had no
trouble getting a cutting sound through the mix at a live gig. ((Unlike
the warwick and the Kramer))
As with most P-basses It is very middy sounding which i love. A great
near overdriven tone. Perfect for My death metal and my indie rock. I
can really get around this fretboard very fast.
I've use this bass for 3 Studio Cds and has never let me down. Ive
allways had comments about how great the bass sounds and how great it
cuts through the mix.
I will allways keep this bass. Its my least craziest guitar out ofc my
collection and the only one that hasent been modified. As soon as my
John myung is paid off, im so going Tokai again!
All i can say is that Tokai>Fender.
All you People looking after a Fender type bass. Look no further!
Hey gang, after a brief conversation with beat, I brought up the idea
of having an uger of the week, where a guitarist who browses these
forums can write about themselves show off all of their equipment and
tell us about them. So if anyone wants to write one then pm I and get
put on the waiting list.
Anyway all about me!
My names rob, I?m 18 I come from Bristol and I am a confessed guitar collector.
I started playing last year in July. It was my 17th birthday and I had
been pestering my parents to buy me a guitar and amp for about 12
months considering I always wanted to learn.
I chose a vintage telecaster with a honher panther 20 watt amp. My uncle also bought me a boss me-30 multi effects pedal.
I erm, wasn?t the best at all. It took me about a month and a half to
learn power chords and after that I thought "wow this guitar playing is
a bit of an easy lark aint it?" of course, I thought this was all I
needed to learn
At that time I decided that I wanted to sound a bit heavier and considering it I had a telecaster, I thought ....hmmmm
So the twang banger was quickly exchanged for a Seymour Duncan hot
rails mini humbucker, now this is one powerful piece of kit. When put
through a traynor ycv80 at the shop I was gobsmacked, it sounded so
much heavier and alot longer from a sustain this was the beginning of
my much famed \M/ Tele \M/ ((copyrighted)) when I got back home from my
then current girlfriends house ((*****)) I tried out through my
hohner... I was very disappointed, at that time I was so new to guitar
playing, and I didn?t know that the amp was the important thing.
Luckily with crimbo around the corner my dad spotted a 65 watt custom
sound keyboard amp in a local pawn shop for ?55, so he bought it for me
crimbo present! Thanks dad! I loved this amp, it was so much louder,
and my power chords were thumping through the single 15inch speaker.
What I did like about this amp was that there were 4 inputs so my mate
used it for his bass as well and handled it quite well at low levels.
The ultimate gigging tool in my opinion, a multi use amp!
One day my power chord days came to an end, when a 14 year old girl
came over played my guitar and whooped my ass, I was like: O what the
**** are those? Yup that?s right, she was playing chords. She taught me
a few and left I thoroughly humiliated ((cries)).
So this steeled me, and I started learning chords. I still haven?t
learnt their names to this day, and I prolly never will, but I know
what sounds good in my mind. About last February I considered getting a
new guitar, so I went to Cardiff to see "sum41 \M/" one of my fave
bands and in my opinion quite original these days. And I spotted a
cheap "goffic" strat for ?99, it played...ok through a good amp, I only
really bought it for its looks. I took it home after the gig.
My god what a pile of ****e it was.
It sounded very good clean, that nearly saved it. But it wasn?t good enough; it was poorly constructed and badly set up.
So I chucked that in for a new squeeze. A godin radiator, brand new for
about ?350. My god great guitar, excellent clean not so good disto but
I loved it, the neck was the most comfortable ever played and it was an
excellent rhythm guitar. A dream.
Fast forwarding a few months, during that time I put in 2 fernandes
sustainers one after the other into my tele and they burnt out. But I
did manage to put a coil tap into it which gave it back its twang. I
picked up some single stomps, a boss compressor, a boss v wah, an old
arbiter treble booster. Also I picked up a Stagg M bass which I love.
It?s a lovely looking bass, not the best player but the sound is very
heavy thanks to the dual musicman humbuckers and the great jazz gold
hardware and placid blue body stands out.
Then I realised, my amp was going to blow if it was put through
continued abuse. It had been faithful but it was rattling and I didn?t
want to blow it. So it was out looking for a new amp. I came across an
old 80?s laney single channel 50 watt valve amp with a broken volume
pot which crackled really badly when turned and practically exploded
the amp, so I took it for ?150 ((a right bobby dazzler)) and lobbed it
up to my mates shop to get it sorted for a fiver, its one bloody loud
mother ****er. It roars like a marshall albeit with less gain and
features. But for ?150 for an all valve 2x12 combo i am not complaining
At this time I was experimenting with solos and bought a keyboard to
learn some piano pieces ((which I have still neglected to do.)) chords
had started to become easier and I became an accomplished rhythm
guitarist, the day I played dire straits ?money for nothing? was
probably what my dad described as ?the best thing you?ll probably ever
To cut a long story short, I bought a squire katana and put a Seymour
Duncan trembucker in the bridge, good sound, at this point me and
Now i decided to choose something a little different for this weeks
GOTW, i have a freind who owns a vintage guitar shop and has recieved a
Fender strat copy, but its not an ordinary strat. Its a Bender
Distortocaster! Its true some guy has litrally made a strat that looks
like its been very much distorted and melted and so forth.
It has standard strat specs,
3 single coils
5 way selector
Now i have to say this instrument isent much of a looker, but i can
tell you now its one of the most comfortable and best playing
instruments i have ever played! i dont know how but its intonated
perfectly, i man named brain eastwood has designed and built these for
a long time, and i have to say he must be a mathmatical genuis
everything is perfect! the trem works well, it stays in tune, and is
more comfortable to play then your average fender!
Despite the seemingly impossible appearance of the instrument, it
actually functions like a normal top-notch electric, thanks to numerous
unique aspects of the design. Quality of construction and components
ensures that this is not just a looker - playability and sounds are
equally impressive. Visually, the BENDER DISTORTORCASTER obviously
speaks for itself, but here are just some of the not-so-apparent
details concerning this larger than-life instrument: The body is
constructed from synthetic moulded halves bonded to a full-length
central core of obeche. This method provides strength, reduces weight
and ensures manufacturing consistency. The all-maple neck incorporates
a fully-adjustable truss-rod and, in addition to the various optical
distortions, features a lateral twist to aid string-bending in the
higher positions. Armstrong 'Vintage' single-coils are fitted as
standard, ensuring a faithful reproduction of the real thing. The
centre unit is reverse wound/reverse polarity for hum-cancelling
operation when combined with neck or bridge pickups. The middle control
progressively blends centre and bridge pickups in series-humbucker
mode, providing high-powered tonal variation. The other two controls
comprise master volume and tone.
Considering the guy who was next didnt produce a GOTM fast enough i decided to put up the next one!
For the past 2 years i have been slowly working on my second part o caster. The first one being a Homemade strat which was absoloutly fantastic. It was probably the second project ever to be fully followed on UG (Following after Streamlines epic) Finished results Pictured below.
METAL TELE MK2.
(Why Mk2? My first ever guitar was turned into a metal tele and i allways wanted top repeat the feat.)
Anyway, Straight after finishing the project i decided to start afresh, I aquired a Washburn Telecaster body with no bridge rout (Used to have a washburn wonderbar which requires no routing. It also came with a neck that was unworkable which had to eventually be scrapped.
After a bit contemplating i decided to sell most of the parts off ((At a profit)) And keep the body.
I ripped the binding off of the body. I filled in the holes left there and drilled anew. I made four more holes for volume and tone pots and made another hole for a 3 way switch. I also routed out for a Kahler.
I managed to purchase another neck from an old Hohner ((Which was rather metal i must say.)) It originally came with no binding.
I sent off the guitar to be resprayed and to put in some new binding.
However I wanted the colour of the guitar to be black and with red binding to give it the ultimate in metal looks!
I also found some additional hardware. Such as some old EMG passives from the 80s that dont actually sound that bad and were produced for the japanese market.
I waited for about a year and a half for the work to be done ((The guys who did it had a huge backlog)).
The guitar came back to me today I wired in the pickups set it up and played!
There is one problem with the finish being there is a ding in the paintwork on the front of the body during transport. However it will be sorted very soon
If you want ultra high res close ups click on the below links
Seriously you WANT to view these, the guitar looks so much better and has more impact with these.
The bridge pickup has a ****tonne of gain, Its absoloutly screams with (metal) The neck pickup is superclean and can put out a healthy amount of gain. ,IN all its a metal machine. The volume and tone knob selection is very versatile (however i need to get a new selection of pot covers).
The bridge is very heavy, Its not a original Kahler (like my ironbirds) But it is of good quality. All the parts i used were of Japanese manufacturer and Painted and bound by UK luthiers.
Its a unique guitar and very metal. I am very happy of it.
Hey guys, After writing Christmas special for the bass forum I might as well write one for you guys also!
Its on a modern new and CHEAP Burns Cobra.
I bought my Burns Cobra on Ebay (new) For ?159 so assume it is a 2006 model. It was made in China, I wanted a cheap guitar as I needed to take the neck off in order to get the guitar into my suitcase to take overseas - if it got damaged or confiscated by Customs it would not therefore be a great loss!).
The guitar is a fairly typical strat copy at first sight, but has a few twists which make it a little different. Body shape is similar to a strat, with three single coil pickups fixed to the main section of a three piece split scratch plate - the first visual difference to a strat. The split three piece scratch plate is coloured mint green to emulate some of the early sixties vintage strat scratchplates (which turned this colour over time due to ageing of the scratchplate material). This gives a classy look to the guitar - better than a plain white 'plate I think.
The guitar has an alder solid body, maple bolt-on neck with rosewood fingerboard, and twenty two medium gauge frets. The neck is fixed with four bolts through a square neck plate (typical traditional strat type 4 bolt neck fixing). Scale length is as a stratocaster - 25.5 inches. Fingerboard radius is definitely quite a bit flatter than a traditional (vintage) stratocaster (10-12" radius I should think).However, despite this, bending is not particularly easy as supplied, because the strings are 10 gauge, but that's easily solved by fitting a set of 9's. The neck joint is nicely cut with no noticable overcutting of the socket - the neck was simple to detache and re-attache with a nice snug fit. The headstock is shaped in an approximation of Burns' early sixties "batwing" headstock - which appeared on the early three and four pickup Bison guitars and appears on the current Burns "Club Series" Bison guitars/basses, as well as on the "Club Series" Marquee Bass. This again distinguishes the Cobra visually from a straight strat copy. The headstock colour on the Cobra matches the colour of the body and bears the "Cobra" model name on/beneath a clear plastic badge fixed above its bottom edge.
The neck has a slightly flattened "C" shaped cross section, which feels substantial but is very playable. Fret ends are very nicely rounded and smooth. The nut (plastic?) on this particular guitar was cut a little high on the bass side, but this was easy to correct by applying a small nail file (on edge) to the nut grooves and (carefully) deepening them slightly. This gave a much better action on the bass string side. Machine heads are un-named but look and feel very good, with no problems with tuning. Electronics are passive. There is a Burns brand vibrato unit fitted, which is similar in appearance to a late seventies strat vibrato, except here there are only 3 screws attaching the front of the unit to the guitar body (instead of the five on a seventies strat).The unit came set up to float slightly above the face of the body and is fine for Hank Marvin style vibrato and the like, but this type of unit was never designed for dive bombing or huge upbends, so if that is your forte it would be better to go for a guitar with a locking vibrato unit (Floyd Rose type or similar)
The guitar is fitted with 3 single coil Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, in the conventional strat layout. Controls are one dedicated tone for the bridge pickup, and one tone for both the middle and neck pickups. A third knob provides a master volume control. There is one further control, the tone knob for the bridge pickup is also a push-pull switch which acts;- 1.to enable a combination of bridge and neck pickups (as per the middle switch position on a telecaster)which duely gives a telecaster-like emulation, and 2.to enable all three pickups to be on at the same time (which gives a thicker, less topy sound, with a nasal quality (good for shuffle rythms if you are into R&B). Also, and I have never come accross anyone commenting on this, but with the switch pulled out, and the five position switch moved into each position, I detect a subtle change of tone in each position giving other posible sounds (has anyone else detected this? - it also seems to occur on other Burns instruments with this switching facility). So there are a lot of sounds to experiment with if you wish to - all be it some only slightly different.
The five position lever-switch (with push-pull switch "in") gives the usual stratocaster tones*, with particularly distinctive so-called "out of phase" sounds. Positions 1 and 5 (bridge and neck respectively) are classic vintage strat tones to my ears* - perhaps with a little more top end. This additional treble can be rolled off a little, in both positions, thanks to the tone control for the bridge pickup (which is not present on a vintage strat). I found the middle pic
N.b Now i know some of you are BC-Rich haters, But dont take the piss, If you dont like the body shape, I dont care.
BC-Rich Ironbird Platinum Pro
I bought this guitar on Ebay over the christmas period, But according to catalogues it was probably made in the early 90's.
Cost ?170 BC-Rich Platinum Pro. Made in Korea. Two Humbuckers. Coil Tapped Bridge. Floyd rose. Bc Rich branded tuners. Ultra pink pointy body. Matching reverse headstock. One volume, one tone. 3 way switch, 2 way coil tap. Maple Neck with rosewood fingerboard. Plywood (Yuck) body.
The rosewood neck is divided into 24 frets which I guess could be called "medium" rather than "extra jumbo" or something larger. The top is laminated and looks very shiny, which shows off the interesting paint job (more on that later). The controls include a 3-way pickup selector along with one tone knob and one volume knob - these are tele-style metal knobs and are used to control two stock humbuckers (passive) which are fairly close to each other due to the length of the 24 fret neck.
The body is, I'm afraid, only plywood but at least has an attractive finish (a strange pink that changes colour in the light, In the dark it looks kind of Orange, and in daylight it looks rather pink.
Of course the body style is the Ironbird shape, which I'm sure everybody is familiar with.
As some of you know, I love 80s glam rock such as Poison, Warrant, motley crue. And some shred metal so the colour of this guitar suits me perfectly
The trem unit on this particular BC rich is not that bad! Unlike the platinum series of the 80's this has a brilliant trem that stays in tune and has a decent range unlike some trems i have had in the past. Can divebomb and raise the pitch really easily, smoothly and it stays in tune. Also has a reasonable sustain!
I repositioned the strap pins so the neck wouldnt dive and now its brilliant to stand up with!
The stock BCR pickups have been a problem. Although they sound fine for clean stuff they are pretty bad and thin sounding for Metal.
The bridge pickup is rather muddy, with only a moderate amount of gain, crappy harmonics, and low highs. Hence i replaced it with a Kent Armstrong motherbucker, and this guitar now SCREAMS! The neck pickup does its job. Its a great guitar for rythm with just the stock pickups, But with the Motherbucker the leads also now really scream out.
This is my first Ironbird And i love the feel of the neck and the shape of the body, its actually very ergonomic to hold, The cuts in the body are right where you want them , with top notch fret access and the upper rear horn lets you keep the guitar stable when going through complicated licks.
Would i recommend this to anybody else? Only if your willing to change the pickups. There are bad bc richs and there are good ones. This one scrapes in being good because of the well setup floyd Which i will tell you now is very rare on cheaper Bc-Richs, And the neck plays really well.
I recommend if your going to buy Bc-Rich, Play it first to see if its a bad egg or a good egg!
Oh and Plywood bodies arent actually that bad, As long as you have a decent set of pickups it doesant make much of a difference!
NB, Yes i play BC Riches, No I am not a n00b who buys them because they look Metal and cool. I have been playing longer then most of you kids on here, Been on tour twice, Been endorsed by a famous bass company was an SMOD here and recorded many CDS, So if all you here to say is "BCRICH SUCK" **** off. I bought this bass for the functionality first.
Anyway on to it
BC-RICH Mockingbird 1982 NJ Full Electronics.
1982 Jap-made 4-string bass. 34" scale 24 fret maple Bolt on with rosewood fingerboard and Dot fret. Mockingbird body shape - that is, sort of a smaller curvaceous whimsical take on the Explorer. Big Grover tuners (smooth, hold tune quite well), heavy brass Hi-Mass Bridge.
Electronics are two P-Bass pickups (one in about the normal position, the other very close to the bridge), I think DiMarzios, going into a complicated control layout with lots of switches. The pickups are passive but there's an active preamp available. There are many varieties of Mockingbird basses around, but this is fairly representative of the early models, except that in '79 the body shape was briefly changed, and it's a bit smaller and has a shallower cutaway than all the other years. Also some of the early ones have passive electronics, and though most have maple necks and bodies, some have koa. Today's standard Mockingbird is also pretty similar, except for a P/J pickup combo, passive electronics, pointy inline headstock, and possibly different bridge and tuners. Mine did not come with any sort of case or accessories. As an aside, though I thought finding a case would be very difficult for this unusual shape, a slightly-wider-than-normal Alvarez 6-string case did the trick. The features are somewhat difficult to rate because there aren't as many as on some modern active multi-laminate basses, but it's pretty close to the cutting edge for the late 70's.
I'm going to get rather long-winded here, so the short version is: massive sound with massive sustain and lots of available tones. The controls are complicated, which allows for a lot of different sounds, including some that aren't probably very useful. In "normal" passive mode, the sound is very full and massive, but with a bright and sensitive attack. It has a lot of bottom, which can be somewhat muddy, but that often is just the thing needed underneath a big wall of guitars or whatever. With the tone all the way down, it's all rumbling low low end. There are series/parallel switches for each pickup (similar effect to a coil tap), a phase switch, and a 5-position varitone switch, which all emphasize the high end at the cost of the bottom. The varitone makes it sound very Rickenbacker-ish, and the phase switch makes it even thinner, almost guitarlike in the upper register. The series/parallel switches make things brighter and more delicate but somewhat wimpy, but I really like the sound with one pickup is series (normal) and the other in parallel mode. There's also a preamp, which boosts the signal, but it boosts it less if it's quieter - this effectively reduces the sustain by a whole lot. I don't like how the preamp colors the tone, however. More sounds than anyone would need, perhaps, but what I like so much about this bass is that it can be low enough to sit happily underneath a baritone guitar, or bright and clear enough for playing chords or soloing over another bass instrument, or unearthly rumbling noises, or whatever. It can also sound very good and full all by itself, as well as produce some ridiculously thin and useless tones - but someone else might like them... By the way, engaging the preamp with a dying battery and playing with the varitone can yield some intereseting lo-fi noises... However, that does not mean that this bass can do it all. One thing it will never do is sound "classic" or "vintage", because it has a very different attack from the familiar Fender "thump", and way too much sustain. The best way I can put this is that its tone is much farther removed from an upright bass than any other electric bass I've played. Definitely not for everyone.
I didn't get this new, but the setup was fine, requiring only minor intonation adjustment, which was probably because of climate change. The strings that came on it were very heavy 115s, But i changed it to 95's and all was well! The playability of this bass is very good - the neck is wide with a flat radius, but for whatever reason (perhaps the very nicely dressed flat and wide frets) this plays much better than most other basses with the same string tension and action. Upper fret access is unimpeded to the 21st fret, and possible all the way to the 24th, thanks to the very nicely sculpted neck/Bolt/body joint and slight neck angle, which really help. The craftsmanship is of high quality, better than any Fender or Gibson I've seen, but it's not perfect. The inlays have a fair amount of filler around them.
Hey guys, For this months BOTM I am doing it on my newly purchased John Myung bass! Heres the Specs.
Yamaha RBX6JM Six String Signature Series Bass. 24 frets, bolt on neck 35' scale, ebony fingerboard with infinity inlay and marker dots on the side. String spacing smaller than a 4 string. dual truss rod. Alder body with flamed maple top (turquoise green) This bass was shop soiled as there were some large dinks in the finish. Hence the low price of ?600 rather then the usual ?850 Active electronics (one 9v battery) with pickup balance, volume, bass, mid and treble controls (boost+cut), 2 yamaha humbucking pickups. Gold hardware
I generally play Indie rock, prog and metal Using Tapping Fingerstyle and a little bit of slap. I'd say this is a great bass for rock, metal and prog, it's loud and bright & has a very up front sound.I like the EQ to be completly flat with more emphasis on the neck pickup. This gives a punchy tone, and the treble doesn't hiss too loud, like some active pickups i've heard. With some fiddling with the eq, you can get a pretty wide range of tones.
I decided on this model since I wanted a 6-string, and the string-spacing was narrower than a typical 6'er. I have to point out that i have owned an 8 string bass, I also must point out that my hands are medium sized, and some parts are hard to play for me, with the neck width and length. I would recommend that anyone with smaller hands spend some time with this before purchasing. However, it works very well for chords on the higher strings (one of the main reasons I got it) and I get around the neck pretty well.
The inlays are very attractive on the bass, Though it starts on the 13th fret which is a slight bit offputting at first but meh. You get used to it
The bass is a brick !... never dropped it, but I'm certain it will withstand alot of abuse.
One of the biggest problems i have had with the bass is the factory setup. The nut was loose, and cut so the high C was nearly hanging off the fretboard. So a quick adjustment and that was sorted, some of the frets were chipped on the edge, probably because ebony is a very brittle wood and has chipped in the fretting process. Again not a problem, just smoothened off the edges.
Anyway, To continue on with the story, I emailed Yamaha asking for the instruction manual and some production specs of the first JM model. Bare in mind i allways put my personal website address on my emails.
They replied to me a couple of weeks later with the manual and specs AND they went on my website and listened to my solo stuff and my band stuff and offered me an endorsment deal ((Note not sponsership)) Basically if i endorse them i can get free strings and accesories and discount off of Yamaha stuff in return I get them pictures of me playing the bass live and at home, and write an article about how great it is. Also i have to play my Yamaha at nearly all my gigs. Its a small price to pay because it is a fantastic bass anyway! So i have a very big gig coming up next week, i'll be taking alot of pictures of it then so i will post them up on here and let you guys know about the how the Endorsement deal is going.
I only know of one other person in the local scene who is endorsed by a company which would be Maverick. So i would say im pretty damn lucky!
Fake EDIT: So more pictures to come on the 16th/17th and a live review.