Posts tagged ‘basso’

21/01/2014

Huomenna: Duesenberg D-Bass

****

Lisätiedot: F-Musiikki

16/01/2014

Bass Porn – Duesenberg D-Bass

Duesenberg D-Bass – headstock

Duesenberg D-Bass – beauty shot 1

Duesenberg D-Bass – body beauty 2

Duesenberg D-Bass – pickup

****

Lisätiedot: F-Musiikki

13/01/2014

Tulossa: EBS Fuzz Mo + Duesenberg D-Bass

EBS-FuzzMo

D_Bass_4_red_DT

****

Lisätiedot: F-Musiikki

05/12/2013

Meet the makers: Amfisound Guitars

Amfisound Guitars is run by two master luthiers in the outskirts of the northern Finnish city of Oulu.

Sampo Leppävuori (say ’SUM-poe’) and Tomi Korkalainen (’Tommy’) met while studying at the Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design. They became friends and decided to set up shop together near Sampo’s hometown.

Amfisound is able to offer a very wide selection of different guitar and bass models, because the company combines both Sampo’s and Tomi’s strengths.

AMfisound – Sampo Leppävuori

Sampo Leppävuori loves classic bass and guitar designs, as you can see in Amfisound Guitars’ tasty Classic Line -models, such as the Halti-, Kaira-, Halla- and Kobalt-guitars.

These instruments are far from being straight copies of vintage guitars, though, as all Amfisound models feature a long list of updates and improvements (mostly in the hardware, electronics and pickup departments), as well as special Amfisound-features, such as the company’s special, heel-less set-neck joint.

Amfisound – Tomi Korkalainen

Tomi Korkalainen’s creative activities are mostly zoned in on the Metal and Hard Rock genres, where he strives to come up with the ultimate Metal-guitars in terms of playablity, tone and visual impact.

Amfisound’s Extreme Line of Metal axes – comprising such guitars, as the Routa, Atrain, Railo and Roster models – bears clear testament to Tomi’s creative genius.

****

Kitarablogi: What’s the philosophy behind Amfisound Guitars?

Tomi: We wanted to set in motion a fresh and youthful custom guitar culture in Finland. Being based up here in the north strengthens our North-European image and appeal, which we try to underline further by making our guitars very visual. We came up with our Finnish model names around 2003/2004. The model names are quite easy to get to grips with even for foreigners, and it’s cool to hear them spoken in different accents at trade shows.

KB: Your visual approach sets you apart from many other makers.

Sampo: We had to come up ourselves with practically all of our special finishes, treatments and woodworking techniques. And you still keep on learning something new while working on new designs. When it comes to making guitars for the Hard ’n’ Heavy -crowd, there was basically no precedent over here in Finland. We simply had to dig in and come up with all the solutions by ourselves. All this hard graft has reaped rewards and Amfisound instruments are held in high regard at home as well as abroad. It is also great to be involved in the evolution of the art and culture of guitar-making in Finland. Since we started our company, people’s attitudes towards Finnish Metal guitars have changed dramatically for the better, which is a good indicator for the kind of mind-boggling progress guitar-making in this country has seen. 

KB: How do you approach the building process?

Tomi: At the moment most of our instruments are ordered from abroad. Each order is treated individually, and each guitar is built by hand from start to finish. We don’t build in production runs, and we never use prefabricated bodies or necks, which is actually a great advantage for our customers. Our instruments are played by a lot of great artists from all sorts of different musical genres, in Finland and abroad. Our branding has taken a large leap in my opinion, when we introduced our current, round company logo. For us it means that we can make Amfisound Guitars a real Finnish guitar brand, instead of us being merely some small custom maker from northern Finland.

****

Amfisound Guitars’ range of models offers a very broad scope for customisation, because Sampo and Tomi want to make sure that each and every customer gets exactly the guitar or bass he or she wants.

Amfisound’s unbelievable custom finishes are fast becoming the stuff of guitar legend. These guys are real wizards when it comes to using the spray gun and the airbrush! Regardless of whether you want an instrument that looks like and ancient piece of wood, complete with runic writings, or rather a real shocker in neon green with leopard spots, the dynamic duo of Amfisound will do it with style.

****

Besides making their own models Amfisound Guitars also take on repair and customising work.

****

Amfisound Guitars – raw wood

Every Amfisound instrument once started out as a heap of wooden planks.

Amfisound Guitars – arctic birch

Amfisound very often use native Finnish wood species, like figured arctic birch and black alder, in their body designs, alongside more exotic timber, such as African mahogany (khaya ivorensis).

Amfisound Guitars – ebony blanks

Here’s a close-up of a stack of ebony fingerboard blanks. Naturally, Amfisound has all the necessary paperwork to prove it comes from legal sources.

Amfisound Guitars – korina blanks

If you’d rather have something more exotic for your guitar’s body, there are such alternatives as korina, which is also known as (black) limba.

Amfisound Guitars – jigs + templates

A lot of work has gone into Sampo’s and Tomi’s own routing templates, jigs and fixtures. Most of the building process at Amfisound Guitars is old-school instrument-making.

Amfisound Guitars – jigs + fixture semi-solid Halti

A semi-solid version of the Amfisound Halti is in the works. The routing template gives you a good view on all the cavities that will be covered by the carved top.

gluing neck blank

On through-neck designs the neck blank is glued together from three strips of maple.

fretboard blanks

Here we have some rosewood and ebony fingerboards with the fret slots already sawn.

copy router

For some more demanding operations a copy carver is used to ensure consistency.

In this picture a Halti-model receives its deep neck joint cutaway…

rough shaping of carved top

…while here the copy carver is used to rough out the dished shape of the top.

marking pu cavity

But often only handwork will do for an Amfisound guitar:

The outlines of an Atrain-guitar, as well as the positions of the bridge and the pickups, are drawn onto the wood with a pencil.

thru-neck neck joint

A wood rasp is a good tool to start shaping a smooth neck heel, if you know what you do.

pickup routing bass

A router table is used for a lot of things in guitar-building:

Here a pickup cavity is routed into a bass body…

neck cavity routing

…while this picture shows a neck slot being cut…

pickup routing

…and this picture shows a pickup cavity and the necessary recesses for a vibrato being routed out.

Amfisound Guitars – Tomi drum sanding

Tomi makes sure the outlines of this Railo-body are crisp and clean.

sanding

body contouring

Many spots need hand-sanding, though.

fret crowning

After levelling a special file is used to put the rounded playing surface back into the frets.

airbrush

Stunning visuals need a good amount of planning and a very steady hand.

airbrush 2

Amfisound – Finnish Flag finish

Amfisound – custom finish 2

When it comes to graphic finishes, at Amfisound only the sky’s the limit.

Amfisound Guitars – Sampo scrapes binding

Sampo scrapes the fingerboard binding after the finish has dried.

binding scraping

Same procedure, different guitar.

bridge and string retainer drilling

The holes for the switches, pots and the hardware are drilled quite late in the process.

assembly 2

assembly

A Sustainer-equipped guitar in final assembly.

making of booklet

Amfisound offer their customers the option to order a Building Process -book along with their guitar or bass, detailing its genesis from raw wood into a fine instrument.

****

Amfisound’s Sampo Leppävuori and Tomi Korkalainen are both members of The Finnish Guild Of Luthiers.

****

Here are a few examples of finished instruments (photos: Amfisound).

Amfisound Halla:

Halla Filtertron

Halla

****

Amfisound Halti:

Halti Burltop

Halti neck joint

Halti Goldtop

Halti graphic finish

Halti Arcticia

Halti Arcticia

****

Amfisound Kobalt:

Kobalt P90

****

Amfisound Kaira:

Kaira 8-string

Kaira HSH graphic finish

****

Kelo-finish:

Kaira Kelo

Railo aged

****

Amfisound Routa Karelia:

Routa Karelia old wood spray finish

Routa Karelia pink zebra

Routa Karelia Deluxe

****

Amfisound Routa Original:

Routa Original 8-string

Eight-string!

****

Amfisound Roster:

Roster Camo

****

Amfisound Kuru:

Kuru 5-string

Kuru

Kuru Arcticia

Kuru Arcticia

****

More basses:

Jazz bass

Tele bass

04/12/2013

Lähikuvassa: Amfisound Guitars

Amfisound Guitars on kahden soitinrakentajamestarin yhdessä vetämä kitarapaja Oulun Haukiputaassa.

Sampo Leppävuori ja Tomi Korkalainen tapasivat IKATA:n kitararakennuslinjalla, ystävystyivät, ja päätyivät perustamaan oman yrityksensä Pohjois-Suomeen, Sampon kotiseudulle.

Amfisoundin mallisto on erittäin laaja, koska Sampon ja Tomin eri mieltymykset ja vahvat alueet täydentävät toisiaan.

AMfisound – Sampo Leppävuori

Sampo Leppävuori saa inspiraatiota klassikkokitara- ja -bassomalleista, joihin esimerkiksi Amfisoundin Classic Line -malliston Halti-, Kaira-, Halla- ja Kobalt-kitarat perustuvat.

Näissä kitaroissa ei kuitenkaan ole kysymys väsyneistä kopioista tai vintage-voodoon metsästämisestä, koska Amfisound-kitaroissa on pitkä lista detaljipäivityksiä (esim. mikrofoneissa ja metalliosissa) ja omia ominaisuuksia (esim. puuvalinnoissa ja kaulaliitoksissa).

Amfisound – Tomi Korkalainen

Tomi Korkalainen taas on parivaljakon vannoutunut heavymies, joka visioi ja toteuttaa metallikitaristeille äärimmäisen hienoja erikoissoittimia – ei ainoastaan soitettavuuden ja soundin kannalta, vaan myös mikä tulee kitaroiden ulkonäköön.

Tomin käsiala näkyy parhaiten Amfisoundin Extreme Line -mallistossa, johon kuuluvat mm. sellaiset soittimet kuin Routa, Atrain, Railo ja Roster.

****

Kitarablogi: Mikä on Amfisound Guitarsin filosofia?

Tomi: Haluttiin luoda Suomeen varsinainen täysin uusi ja nuorekas customkitara-kulttuuri. Pohjoinen sijainti edesauttaa myös pohjois-eurooppalaista imagoa, koska varsinkin visuaalisuus näyttelee suurta osaa työssämme. Mallien suomalaiset nimet keksittiin vuonna 2003-2004. Nimet ovat helposti lausuttavia myös ulkomaalaisille, ja onkin hienoa messuilla aina kuulla jos jonkinlaista versiota näistä.

KB: Visuaalisuudella näyttää olevan iso rooli teidän soittimissa.

Sampo: Kaikki erikoispintakäsittelyt ja puuntyöstötaidot on pitänyt opiskella itse käytännön kautta. Tämä opiskelu on jatkuvaa ja jatkuu edelleen. Varsinkin heavykitara-alalla Suomessa ei ole ollut minkäänlaista historiaa, joten kaikki tämä on pitänyt opiskella ja luoda itse. Kova työ on tuottanut tulosta ja olemme saaneet suurta arvostusta niin Suomessa kuin ulkomaillakin. On myös itse ollut ilo seurata kuinka paljon tämä on vaikuttanut tämähetkisen suomalaisen soitinrakennuskulttuurin kehittymiseen. Asenteet varsinkin heavykitaroiden suhteen ovat parantuneet firman perustamisen ajoista 100%. Se kertoo kyllä alan huimasta kehityksestä Suomessa.

KB: Millainen on Amfisoundin toimintaperiaate? Perustuuko toimintanne sarjatuotantoon?

Tomi: Tällä hetkellä suurin osa tilauksista menee ulkomaille ja jokainen tilaus on aina yksilö, joka valmistetaan käsin alusta loppuun saakka. Sarjatyötä tai valmiita aihioita emme tee, emmekä käytä ollenkaan. Tämä tuo todella paljon lisäarvoa asiakkaalle. Meillä on myös aika laaja ja nimekäs artistiperhe. Löytyypi artisteja kevyen ja raskaan musiikin nimiä niin Suomesta kuin ulkomailtakin. Vuonna 2007 muutettiin myös se meidän vanha logo uudeksi ympyränmuotoiseksi logoksi. Pidän tuota itse merkittävänä tapahtumana, koska silloin viimeistään päästiin kehittämään omaa brändiä suomalaisena kitaramerkkinä. Haluttiin tehdä Amfisound-merkkistä kitaraa eikä pysyä ainoastaan paikallisena soitinrakentajana.

****

Amfisound Guitarsin omille kitaramalleille tarjoamat kustomointimahdollisuudet ovat lähes loputtomat, koska Sampo ja Tomi haluavat, että jokainen asiakas saa juuri sellaisen kitaran tai basson, jonka hän itse haluaa.

Uskomattoman hienot graafiset viimeistellyt ovat muuten Amfisoundin erikoisalaa. Riippumatta siitä onko hakusessa kitara, joka näyttää monta sataa vuotta vanhalta mökin ovelta, jossa on riimukirjoitukset, tai haluaako asiakas limettivihreän soittimen leopardikuviolla, Amfisoundilta sellaisen saa.

****

Oman kitaratuotannon ohella Amfisoundissa hoidetaan laadukkaasti myös sähkökitaroiden ja -bassojen korjaukset ja kustomoinnit.

****

Amfisound Guitars – raw wood

Jokainen Amfisound-kitara on joskus ollut pelkkä puulankkujen kasa.

Amfisound Guitars – arctic birch

Amfisound käyttää ulkomaisten jalopuulajien (kuten khaya-mahongin) ohella usein myös kotimaisia puulajeja, kuten tervaleppää ja loimukoivua, runkopuuksi.

Amfisound Guitars – ebony blanks

Tässä kuvassa näkyy otelauta-aihiot eebenpuusta.

Amfisound Guitars – korina blanks

Oman kitaran voi myös tilata hieman harvinaisemmasta puusta veistettynä. Tässä näkyy kaksi korina-lankkua.

Amfisound Guitars – jigs + templates

Sampo ja Tomi luottavat perinteisiin rakennusmenetelmiin, mikä tarkoittaa, että jokaiseen Amfisound-soittimeen valmistukseen menee paljon käsityötä.

Pajassa käytetään itse tehtyjä jigejä ja sapluunoita jyrsimelle.

Amfisound Guitars – jigs + fixture semi-solid Halti

Tällaiset ovat Halti-kitaran puoliakustisen version kanavat ja kolot, jotka jäävät valmiissa kitarassa kaarevan kannen alle.

gluing neck blank

Kaula-läpi-rungon-rakenteisten soittimien kaulat liimataan kolmesta vierekkäisestä vaahterapalaista.

fretboard blanks

Eeben- ja ruusupuisia otelautoja nauhaurilla.

copy router

Joitakin vaativia työvaiheita varten käytetään kopiojyrsintä tasaisen laadun varmistamiseksi.

Tässä kuvassa Halti-kitaran syvä kaulaliitos saa muotonsa…

rough shaping of carved top

…kun taas tässä kitaran kanteen jyrsitään raakaversio sen lopullisesta kaarevuudesta.

marking pu cavity

Käsityöllä on kuitenkin erittäin tärkeä asema Amfisound-soitinten valmistuksessa:

Tässä kuvassa Atrain-mallin ulkomuodot, sekä mikrofonien ja tallan paikat merkitään suoraan puuhun lyijykynällä.

thru-neck neck joint

Osaavissa käsissä raspi on sulavan kaulaliitoksen alku.

pickup routing bass

Jyrsimellä työstetään runkoon kaikki tarvittavat kolot, niin kuin esimerkiksi mikrofonikolot…

neck cavity routing

…kaulataskut…

pickup routing

…sekä elektroniikkalokerot ja kolot vibratalloille.

Amfisound Guitars – Tomi drum sanding

Tomi hioo Railo-kitaran ulkoreunat hiomakoneella.

sanding

body contouring

Monet kohtat vaativat kuitenkin loppusilauksen hiomapaperilla käsin.

fret crowning

Tasoittamisen jälkeen palautetaan nauhaviilulla nauhojen puolipyöreätä profiilia.

airbrush

Onnistunut grafiikka vaati tarkkaa suunnittelua ja erittäin rauhallista kättä.

airbrush 2

Amfisound – Finnish Flag finish

Amfisound – custom finish 2

Amfisoundin graafisissa viimeistelyissä vain taivas on rajana.

Amfisound Guitars – Sampo scrapes binding

Sampo siistimässä otelaudan reunalistoja lakkauksen jälkeen.

binding scraping

Sama työvaihe, mutta toinen soitin.

bridge and string retainer drilling

Säätimille ja tallalle tarvitsemat reiät porataan vasta melko myöhäisessä vaiheessa.

assembly 2

assembly

Sustainer-elektroniikalla varustetun, keinotekoisesti esikulutetun kitaran loppuasennus.

making of booklet

Amfisound-soittimen omistaja voi halutessaan tilata myös oman kitaran (tai basson) rakentamisesta kertovan kuvakirjan.

****

Amfisoundin Sampo Leppävuori ja Tomi Korkalainen ovat Suomen Soitinrakentajien Killan jäseniä.

****

Tässä vielä muutama kuva valmiista Amfisound-soittimista (kuvat: Amfisound).

Amfisound Halla:

Halla Filtertron

Halla

****

Amfisound Halti:

Halti Burltop

Halti neck joint

Halti Goldtop

Halti graphic finish

Halti Arcticia

Halti Arcticia

****

Amfisound Kobalt:

Kobalt P90

****

Amfisound Kaira:

Kaira 8-string

Kaira HSH graphic finish

****

Kelo-viimeistely:

Kaira Kelo

Railo aged

****

Amfisound Routa Karelia:

Routa Karelia old wood spray finish

Routa Karelia pink zebra

Routa Karelia Deluxe

****

Amfisound Routa Original:

Routa Original 8-string

8-kielinen

****

Amfisound Roster:

Roster Camo

****

Amfisound Kuru:

Kuru 5-string

Kuru

Kuru Arcticia

Kuru Arcticia

****

Muita bassoja:

Jazz bass

Tele bass

18/09/2013

Rob Caggiano & Frank Bello @ ESP Guitars

****

Lisätiedot: Musamaailma

18/09/2013

Schecter Set-Up and Custom Shop Tour

Video by Premier Guitar.

****

Lisätiedot: Soundtools

23/08/2013

Darrell Craig Harris & Yamaha TRBX

****

Yamaha TRBX-505 – close-up

****

Lisätiedot: F-Musiikki

08/08/2013

Review: Sterling SUB Ray4 + Ray5

Sterling SUB Ray4 – SUB logo

We bassists owe a lot to Mr Leo Fender – Mr Fender was the father of the electric bass, which he introduced in 1951, as well as the man behind three of the most classic bass designs ever.

After inventing the Fender Precision and the Jazz Bass for the company that still bears his name, Leo Fender carried on designing and building instruments for Music Man, with the StingRay becoming a true classic. The StingRay wasn’t the first bass with active electronics, yet it was the design that brought the active bass into the mainstream.

Since 1984 Music Man is part of the Ernie Ball-company. The company’s current boss – Sterling Ball – is behind the more recent moves to also bring out affordable Music Man-instruments in the guise of a new brand – Sterling (by Music Man).

****

Sterling SUB Ray4 – beauty shot 2

Sterling’s brand-new SUB-series offers even more affordable versions of Music Man’s classics.

The Sterling SUB Ray4 (approx. 360 €) is a made-in-Indonesia licensed copy of a four-string StingRay. The Ray4 is available either in gloss black (with rosewood fretboard), gloss white (maple ’board) or in a Seventies-inspired satin finish called Walnut (and with a rosewood ’board).

****

Sterling SUB Ray4 – full front

Sterling won’t go into detail with regard to the body woods used for the SUB-series – the spec sheet only says ”hardwood body”. On the other hand, genuine Music Man StingRays also feature different wood species, depending on availability and the respective model’s finish, using ash, alder, poplar or basswood.

The test sample sports a body made from four pieces, with their looks matched reasonably well.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – full back

The SUB Ray4′s maple neck comes with a tinted satin finish.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – neck plate

Six wood screws and a well-cut neck pocket make for a very strong joint.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – headstock

The classic StingRay-headstock makes tuning easier, as well as cutting down on headstock weight, making for a better balanced instrument.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – tuners

The Sterling comes equipped with a set of decent Asian Schaller-copies.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – fingerboard

In light of its affordability the SUB Ray4 displays surprisingly well-dressed and finished frets. The rosewood fingerboard looks nice and sport clean inlay work.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – truss rod wheel

Music Man’s nifty trus rod adjustment wheel has also been included in the Sterling SUB-series. Insert the small metal rod that comes with the bass (or any other suitable object) into the wheel and turn for adjustment. It’s quick, it’s clean, and no further tools are required!

Sterling SUB Ray4 – body beauty 2

The StingRay was Leo Fender’s updated version of his Precision Bass, and the well-rounded body still looks great today.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – bridge

The SUB Ray4 uses a version of the Music Man bass bridge that retains the large base plate, but does away with the original adjustable string mutes of yore. Current StingRays use a shortened bridge design.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – pickup

The large humbucking pickup is the Sterling Ray4′s juice machine.

The pickup keeps hum and buzz at bay efficiently, while its placement near the bridge is crucial for obtaining a StingRay’s fat attack and vocal mid-range character.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – controls

It’s three controls on the Ray4′s metal plate – master volume, treble boost/cut and bass boost/cut.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – preamp

The Sterling SUB-basses come equipped with a very compact preamp that fits easily into the control cavity. The quality of the parts, as well as the workmanship on display, is quite decent.

Sterling SUB Ray4 – battery compartment

The Ray4′s battery compartment is found on the back of the body.

****

Sterling SUB Ray5 – beauty shot 2

In 1988 Music Man broadened its StingRay-range with the five-string StingRay 5, which features a slightly different body design, as well as a much larger scratchplate.

****

Sterling SUB Ray5 – full front

Sterling’s SUB Ray5 (approx. 390 €) is available in gloss black (with a maple fretboard) or satin walnut (rosewood ’board).

The finish on our test sample looks great.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – full back

The five-string version also sports a tinted maple neck.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – neck plate + battery

The SUB Ray5′s battery compartment has been placed near the treble horn.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – headstock

The famous headstock in its five-string guise.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – tuners

These Schaller-copies do a good job of keeping the bass in tune.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – fretboard

The fretwork Sterling Ray5 is surprisingly good, keeping in mind the bass’ low price.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – body beauty 2

The StingRay is one of my all-time favourite bass designs – timeless, classic beauty.

Sterling SUB Ray5 – bridge

On the five-string the bridge saddles are somewhat smaller to accommodate the SUB Ray5′s narrower string spacing (compared to the Ray4).

Sterling SUB Ray5 – pickup

A chunky pickup for a chunky sound…

Sterling SUB Ray5 – controls

A genuine Music Man StingRay 5 usually comes equipped with a three-way blade switch, offering you series, parallel and coil-split switching, in addition to a three-band EQ.

To keep the price in check the Sterling SUB Ray5 offers you a more concise set of controls – a master volume and a two-band EQ.

****

Sterling SUB Ray4 – beauty shot

Sterling SUB Ray4 – full back beauty 2

The Sterling SUB Ray4 is a cool bass, but the test sample we got weighed a ton – this is exactly the one feature from the 1970s that shouldn’t have been brough back. On the other hand, Sterling promise lightweight bodies on their website, so let’s hope that this was the one who slipped through quality control.

Apart from this, the Sterling Ray4′s ergonomics are great. Sterling have slightly changed the neck profile on its SUB-basses from the original, somewhat chunkier Precision-style profile, giving you a more tapered, Jazz-type shape.

Thanks to the good fretwork the factory set-up was comfortably low (E: 2,1 mm/ g: 1,9 mm).

Regardless of its weighty body (or because of the added heft?) the SUB Ray4′s acoustic delivery is stonking. I don’t know what wood species the body is, but the sound has a hefty dose of clear attack coupled with a good dose of ash-style growl and clarity!

This tasty combination translates into a very powerful and dynamic amplified tone. Sterling’s preamp displays a satisfying lack of hiss, and all of its controls work in a musical way (in fact better than on some, quite drastic-sounding 70s originals). This means you’re in for a real treat – genuine StingRay-character made very affordable.

Legendary bass player Tony Levin (Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, King Crimson) is one of the most loyal StingRay-fans, which is why I chose to record the soundbites in his style as a tribute. The clips have been recorded straight from the bass into the sound-card without additional EQ’ing:

Sterling SUB Ray5 – beauty shot

Sterling SUB Ray5 – full back beauty

For a five-string bass our Sterling SUB Ray5 test instrument was refreshingly lightweight!

Just like on the original the Ray5′s neck profile gives your fretting hand something to hold on to. The rounded, moderately chunky D-profile is good news for the tone of the instrument, and it feels great, at least in my hands.

I had to give the neck a little more relief, and the intonation adjustment was off, too. But it only took me a couple of minutes to get this bass’ action and intonation up to snuff, after which the SUB Ray5 was a joy to play and listen to (low-B: 2,6 mm/g: 1,9 mm).

In a straight acoustic A/B between both Sterlings, the SUB Ray5 had a slightly rounder mid-range than the four-string counterpart

The big-sounding humbucker coupled to the instrument’s very decent preamp makes for a winning combination. The tone is pure Music Man – a fat, but precise bottom end, lots of mid-range character, and a dose of treble zing. It may not be as versatile as its famous big cousin, but the Sterling SUB Ray5 gives you most of the Music Man-experience at a pocket-friendly price.

****

Sterling (by Music Man) have managed to pack a lot of bass into their SUB-series. The Ray4 and Ray5 are fantastic value for money, offering you that sound at very player-friendly prices.

****

Sterling (by Music Man) SUB Ray4 + Ray5

SUB Ray4 – approx. 360 €

SUB Ray5 – approx 390 €

Finnish distributor: EM Nordic

A big thank you to DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review samples!

****

Pros (both models):

+ value-for-money

+ fretwork

+ playability

+ quality preamp

+ sound

Cons (only Ray4):

– review sample’s weight

****

Sterling SUB Ray4 – body beauty

Sterling SUB Ray5 – body beauty

06/08/2013

Review: Warwick Corvette Standard Ash

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle

Warwick’s Pro- and Artist-series instruments are being built in South Korea these days, which results in lower prices when compared to Warwick’s German basses. The question is ”Are Korean Warwicks really thoroughbred Warwick basses?” Read on…

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full front

The Warwick Corvette Standard Ash (current price in Finland: 873 €) is the German (Warwick Series) Corvette Bolt-On’s more affordable Korean Pro Series counterpart.

As is already hinted at by its name, the Corvette Standard Ash bass features a body made from swamp ash.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – full back

Three long stripes of ovangkol are used as the main ingredient for the neck. The ovangkol pieces are visually offset by two thin strips of ekanga. Both woods come from West Africa.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck joint

The Corvette’s neck is screwed on using four separate screws and individual washers. A round chamfer on the body takes away some of the bulk for smoother top fret access.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – neck grain

Warwick’s famous oil and wax finish brings out the rich hue and the lively grain in the ovangkol.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – tuners

Korean Warwicks come equipped with the exact same top-drawer hardware found on the company’s German models.

The Corvette Standard Ash sports Schaller-tuners.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – headstock + nut

There are more cool pro-touches on the front side of the headstock too – truss rod access is possible without using a screwdriver, and the top nut is Warwick’s own, fully adjustable Just-A-Nut-III model.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – fingerboard

A wenge fretboard and bell bronze frets – most bass players would already know that this is a Warwick bass by this picture alone.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – bridge

The bridge is a masterpiece of German engineering. In addition to intonation and action, this chunky number also allows for the adjustment of string-to-string distance. Naturally, everything is then locked in place securely using grub screws.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – MEC pickups

The Corvette Standard’s J-sized pickups are made by German pickup buffs MEC.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – controls

This bass features all-passive electronics, offering controls for master volume, pickup balance and master tone.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – electronics

Inside the extremely clean back cavity you’ll find a set of special MEC-pots.

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – body angle 2

Warwick’s smooth satin oil-finish is called Nirvana Black.

The bass comes with a User Kit bag containing a user’s manual and strap locks, as well as all allen keys needed for adjustment.

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot 2

Regardless whether the instrument comes from Germany or South Korea, if it says ”Warwick” on the headstock players’ expectations with regard to quality, playability and tone are bound to be high.

One of the key points of Warwick-quality is the quality of woods used for crafting their basses. It’s not only about the unblemished looks, but also about the right (read: light) weight. Thanks to the company’s strict guidelines there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes to a Warwick’s weight and feel.

In ergonomic terms the Corvette Standard Ash is also a genuine Warwick – the body feels comfortable and the whole bass balances very nicely on a strap, thanks to the long top horn.

The Corvette’s neck profile starts off as a slender-but-full ”U” at the top nut, broadening out nicely the nearer you move towards the the body. The neck’s oil finish gives the bass a very natural feel.

This bass has been designed to make slap-playing easy, with plenty of room between the top of the body and the bottom of the strings. And the Corvette is no slouch when it comes to other playing styles, either.

Played acoustically this bass displays a charmingly raunchy mid-range, coupled with a clear, piano-type attack.

As you can hear clearly in the soundbites below, the natural tone of the Corvette shines through nicely in its amped-up performance also. All audio clips have been recorded using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI -box and a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound-card. Each clip starts off with the neck pickup on its own:

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – back beauty 2

The Korea-made Warwicks represent a win-win-situation in my opinion. The Pro Series basses aren’t second class Warwicks by any stretch of the imagination, instead they offer us cash-strapped musicians professional grade instruments with a friendlier price tag. It’s 100 percent Warwick quality and tone at a moderate price – this should spell ”great value” in anybody’s book!

****

Warwick Pro Series Corvette Standard Ash

873 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

****

Pros:

+ value for money

+ workmanship

+ quality tonewoods

+ pro-quality hardware and electronics

+ finish

+ playability

+ sound

****

Warwick Corvette Standard Ash – beauty shot

Seuraa

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Liity 47 muun seuraajan joukkoon