THE GOAL: Play the same riff on 13 of my bass guitars and record it on audio and video. (Note: I actually have 17 basses but four are getting setups at the luthier so 13 will have to do. Missing are my only five-string, the ESP LTD B-5E. Also missing is the Sire Marcus Miller P10 Alder - 2nd Generation, the Ibanez SRMS800 which is my only fan-fretted bass and the Ibanez Premium Affirma Bass AFR4WAP.)
If you want a link to the video on Vimeo - it's here - https://vimeo.com/490839665
This is NOT a comparison video. I am not playing all these basses to show how they sound. I am just having fun. I will use effects on some of the basses. (See the picture of my pedal board below) and I will play some of them straight. Some of these basses have flat-wound strings or tape-wound strings, but the vast majority have nickel-wound strings. All basses are tuned to the standard EADG tuning with the exception of the six-string bass from Magnavox which is tuned like a guitar, i.e., EADGBE.
All these basses were setup by a professional luthier. They are mostly stock and required very little work. A few of them needed bridge work. Three needed fret dressing to remove sharp edges and I removed the plastic nut that came on some of these basses and replaced those plastic nuts with TUSQ nuts, which give more consistent and reliable intonation.
The least expensive bass on the list was the Spector short scale - $435 out the door and the most expensive was also a Spector, the Euro 4 LX - $3000. Most cost between $1000 and $2000.
The basses are being played through an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 and recorded out of the DI output on the head into Logic via a Focusrite Scarlet 8i6.
The audio is being synced with video recorded on my iPhone using an amazing video app called Double Take. The video editing was done in Final Cut Pro.
The audio isn't perfect but it's the best I could do.
The basses I am playing are listed in the order that they appear in the video. I did not play them in any kind of particular order of preference. I just started grabbing them and playing, come what may.
I hope you enjoy this. It's a big project for me because I rarely do any video these days and even more rarely do any video where I am the subject of the recording. I am sure that many people seeing this are more creative than I am and good do a better job with the video editing. I am a newbie to FCP and just looked at this as fun. It's not meant to be judged as a professional job.
If you have questions about any of the gear I use, (or anything else) feel free to consult the list below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple Audio Board
Pitchblack Advance Pedal Tuner
Strymon Zuma Power Supply
Aguilar TLC Compressor
Aguilar Grape Phaser
Aguilar Filter Twin
Strymon Big Sky Reverb
Boss NS-2 Noise Supressor
Beat Buddy Drum Machine
iMac Pro, 2 x 10TB G-Drives
Clearsonic Sorber Panels
Zoom, L-8 mixer
Focusrite Scarlet 8i6
Neumann Reference Headphones NDH20
PreSonus Eris E8 XT 8 inch Powered Studio Monitors
iPhone 11 Pro Max
Aguiar Tone Hammer 500 Bass Amp Head
Aguilar SL 210 400W 2x10 Bass Speaker Cabinet
Asterope Pro Bass Cable
Tienda en línea 4" Brown/Black Strap
Scott's Bass Lessons 4" Leather Strap
Zither Wooden Guitar Stands
Hercules Stands GS525B Multi-Guitar Rack
Livewire Elite 12g Speaker Cable Speakon to Speakon
Ibanez Premium SR2400APL
(This is a real sleeper of a bass. It punches WAY above its weight. I'd have to say it's one of the basses I play the most. It was only $1500 but it is a special instrument. I like everything about it. It's got a super fast neck and the Aguilar pickups are - well, BADASS is the only way I can describe them. This thing cuts through the mix like no other bass I own.)
Eastwood-Backlund Rockerbox Bass
(This is one of two Eastwood basses I own. It is based on John Backlund's design. He's certainly one of my favorite designers. He uses old cars to inspire his designs. This is a medium scale - 32" bass. It came with some plastic knobs that I replaced with metal knobs and requires a bit of work by a luthier to get in tune (lots of bridge adjustments) but once there, it sounds amazing and any time someone sees this bass they immediately are drawn to it, as was I. I like the maple neck on this one.)
Epiphone Thunderbird VintagePro
(This bass really surprised me. I paid slightly more than a grand for it and the reason I bought it was that I was looking for an original Gibson Thunderbird. But every one of the old Gibsom's I played didn't sound as good or play as well as this Epiphone re-creation. The attention to detail that went into making this guitar is amazing. The company did everything it could using modern materials to get the bass as close to the original as possible. It is one of the easiest playing basses I own. The tone is pure vintage. It's a passive bass (I like that) and has just three knobs; one for each pickup and a tone roll off knob. The neck plays like a dream and even tho it's a large instrument, it doesn't feel heavy on my neck. I really love this bass for rock or vintage work.)
MusicVox Spaceranger Bass
(This is an affordable boutique bass. I absolutely love the looks of it and here's why. Some people think it's ugly! I am drawn to the unusual. Lots of bass players have a P bass or a J bass, but this bass is not one you'll see everywhere (unless you're an Austin Powers fan.) It is a short scale bass. The odd shape actually makes for a bass that is VERY comfortable to play in your lap. It has an edgy, ballsy sound that I love and it's easy to play. The nut and string spacing are a little wider than I usually prefer but because it's a short scale bass it doesn't seem to bother me. It's absolutely one of my favorite basses.)
Fender American Ultra Jazz Bass
(If you want a production - meaning not custom made - Fender bass, the American Ultra line is the cream of the crop. They are more expensive than many basses but they are worth every penny. This is my main Jazz bass. It came from the California factory ready to play and has one of the nicest cases I have ever seen.)
Spector PERF4WH Performer 4
(This is the least expensive bass on the list and is much better than I expected it to be at the price point. It plays very well and it has that Spector tone.)
Sire Marcus Miller U5
(An inexpensive short scale bass with amazing tone and craftsmanship that is far beyond its price tag. This is a very fun instrument to play and it's one of my favorite recording basses because it's super easy to play and light weight. I think it's the best $500 bass money can buy - oh and it comes with one of the nicest gig bags I have ever seen.)
Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Bass
(This is one of my most expensive bass guitars. It has a roasted maple neck that makes it feel like butter to play. It is a short scale bass with a super cool finish and is built in Corona, California. Super easy to play.)
Eastwood Airline Map Bass
(Eastwood specializes in remakes of vintage instruments. This is a short scale bass and a tribute to the ever-stylish National Newport -- or Map Guitar -- from the 1960s It plays and sounds great. The Eastwood guitars are an acquired taste. You have to work on them to get them right and the company is a little difficult to deal with but when you do get it right, you end up with something very special that few people will have seen before.)
MusicVox MI-6 Metalic VI Bass
(This is also an affordable boutique bass. It's not a typical six-string bass. It is more like a baritone guitar although it is tuned down one full octave. It looks amazing. It plays very well. It sounds like Heaven. It's one of the most unusual basses I own and I love the sounds it makes.)
Fender American Mustang
(This is an American-made short scale bass from Fender. It's just your basic, solid, Fender bass. Great craftsmanship out of California.)
Danelectro Longhorn Bass
(This is just a cheap bass that looks cool and is fun to play when you want a country or rock sound. It's a short scale bass. It's easy to play and everyone comments on the look.)
Spector Euro 4XL Bass
(This is the most expensive bass on the list and it's both easy to see and hear why. It's hand-crafted in Europe and the neck through construction (combined with a brass nut) gives a crazy amount of sustain. It has a slightly wider nut width and string spacing than I am used to which makes it easier to play on some songs and harder on others. But I do love it. It has both sustain and tone for days.)
Thanks for watching!
P.S. Since I don't really know what I am doing this may suck. Be forewarned.