Thursday, 28 August 2008
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Well, after having finally jammed my new SJ5 in a band rehearsal, I am ready to post some initial thoughts on my new bass. First off, I'd like to say that this is one of the most beautiful basses I have laid eyes (& hands) on. This is the single best headstock ever! Sure, looks are always subjective, but I am really glad I went with an olympic white finish, morado fingerboard, fretboard dots and a matching headstock. The controls are the standard volume/pickup selector/treble boost & hybrid treble control/bass boost (Aguilar 18V OBP-1) as well as an active/passive switch. I changed the control knobs to Sadowsky style knobs. There is nothing wrong with the ones that came with it; I just prefer the look of the other ones better. The white line really shows up well, so there is an instant visual reference of where the controls are set. The new knobs are not an exact fit on the shaft though; 6mm splined does not seem to be very common and I believe that most Jazz style knobs are D-shaped shafts. I also changed the Dunlop strap pins to Schallers. I appreciate that the straplocks were included. Unfortunately all my straps are setup with Schallers, so there was not too much of an option for me. Fit and finish is all top notch as expected. The factory setup action was nice and low (but not too low). The only thing that worried me a little about the playability of this bass when I ordered it was the 19mm string spacing at the bridge. I am glad to say that it has not been a problem at all. Being used to the standard Dingwall scale length, I'd have to say that this bass feels really comfortable. Whereas on the Afterburners, there are a few occasions where I feel I have to stretch a little in the lower register, I do not feel I have to do that on the SJ5. The tag that came with the bass has the weight listed as 9lbs 3oz, however my "trusty" fish scale was reading 9lbs on the nose. Keep in mind I haven't played it standing up for a full evening, but the weight feels just right. No shoulder pain when standing and it balances really well with no notable neck dive. It feels lighter than the scale indicates. I am still evaluating the sound, but overall it is darker than what I am used to with the Afterburners. Played solo in headphones, I find myself gravitating towards both pickups in parallel (next to the bridge position) with about 15-30% bass boost and the treble rolled off about 30%. This also sounds good in a band context, however I found that using the same settings, except with the treble flat, helped me cut through two guitars better. With both pickups in series (next to the neck position), the bass really cuts through. More mids to a point where you might find it harsh played solo. With the band, that
13 years ago
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#11028
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Beautiful bass Mr. bass! I would love to have one of these one day! Is the 19mm spacing a special order, or is that the way they come stock? I prefer the wider spacing.
13 years ago
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#11030
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[quote="BuffaloBob":s8afxpul]Beautiful bass Mr. bass! I would love to have one of these one day! Is the 19mm spacing a special order, or is that the way they come stock? I prefer the wider spacing.[/quote:s8afxpul] In the debate between 18 and 19mm spacing, the majority of forum members voted for 19, so 19 won out. As far as I know there are no options offered and no plans to introduce other spacings, however, I suppose a motivated individual could tweak the spacing a tiny bit by installing individual bridges. Mark
13 years ago
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#11031
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Thanks SMB! I'm glad you've had some time and found some sounds. Do you think at this point that you'll find yourself playing your SJ over your full scale basses?
13 years ago
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#11037
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you lucky dog... congrats! :wink:
13 years ago
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#11078
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I am not sure which bass will become #1. Yes, 19mm is the string spacing at the bridge on the SJ5 and it is not an option (at least not yet). When Sheldon initially put out the poll on suggested spacings, I think I voted to split the difference at 18.5mm, but 19mm is just fine by me. I haven't had too much time to play it, but so far I have found that it sounds different every day. It's like I am hearing it in a new way or my hearing perception changes. It could also be from playing it through headphones, a practice amp and a regular amp too. The good thing is that I have a lot of tones left to discover!
13 years ago
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#11189
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UPDATE: So, I have had a chance to play the SJ5 in a few rehearsals and more on my own. The verdict is: the more I play it, the more I like it! With both pickups in parallel mode with a touch of bass boost and anywhere from a bit of treble boost to some roll off, the bass provides a big and fat warm tone perfect for a supportive solid sound. This setting also provides the best slap sound I have ever heard, period. With both pickups in series and the same settings as above, the bass really growls through the mix with more mid presence. It lets you jump out, but without being overbearing. The neck position does a pretty good P sound. Probably not as middy as a standard split pickup, but pretty darn good. And of course, it still looks and feels great. The body is on the larger size (not sure of the comparison to a real Jazz, maybe I'm just used to the Afterburner), but it is very comfortable in both standing and sitting positions. I am happy to know that I own the best basses I have ever played!
13 years ago
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#11196
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Awesome! Clips!!!!
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