Friday, 28 October 2011

Yamaha Super Bass 500. . . . . . .

Rehearsal last night and I took the "Parkinson" which I have
covered before, in a previous post.

I still marvel at how good it sounds and how nice it plays, for
something that is clearly "Hand Made" - there has been no attempt
to disguise the fact that it was fashioned by someone making a
bass to play, without going into fancy detail.
The sound is so very close to a Ric - more so than the Precision it
is modelled on.
The pics in my previous post show it without strings, prior to being
set up and serviced. I will put some up as it is now, as soon as I can.

The Mystery Bass. . . . . . . . .

Yamaha SB500 "Super Bass".

Now, you don't see many of these!!

I've not played it for a few months, so next rehearsal it will have
an outing and I will do a feature on this rare, early Yamaha Bass.

Cheers. :)

Edit: Forgot to mention, no one got the correct answer!
Bit of fun I will repeat another time.

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Monday, 24 October 2011

Peter Cook - July at The Venue in London. . . . .

Went to London on Saturday night, to meet up with Peter
at the Venue! Great place!

What a great night!!

I have to confess that until I met Peter, I had never heard of July.
Having looked more deeply, they were rubbing shoulders with some
groundbreaking act of that time.

More pics of July here:
Pictures of July - Then and now

About July

What really surprised me was the average age of the audience!!
There were a LOT of 21 to 28 year olds and the place was packed.
A lot of them were dressed in clothes of the period - 1963 to 69, at
a guess and even more surprising, when it came to the chorus lines,
it seemed like all of them joined in, knowing all the words. Amazing!

Peter play a modified Strat - he likes to keep it simple - one Vol and
one Tone. He is also a bit of a harmonica player. Nice!
Alan James did a sterling job on the bass, Chris Jackson at the back
with some great drumming, James Newman (Tom's son?) doing a
cracking job on the guitar, Charlie on bongos and keyboards, adding
to the myriad of sounds and up front, Tom Newman, who amongst
many things he has been involved in, co-produced Tubular Bells,
for Mike Oldfield.

Tom did a great job of setting the scene, almost to the point that if you
squinted, you were back in the 60's!!
He also brought out a couple of hand made electric Sitars.
What a great sound - really added to the atmosphere.
All in all, just a great night.

Because of how late it was, I only spoke to Peter for about ten minutes
but it was long enough to find out he has a lot of passion for July and
that they are working on more new material for an album that should
be out in the new year.
They played some of the new stuff, which went down very well.

That's about it - Peter and July - Something I would definitely travel
to see again.

Back next time with the solution to the mystery bass.

Cheers. :)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Peter Cook - Guitar Builder, gigging in London. . . .

Just a quick entry today.

I am off to meet up with Peter Cook tomorrow,
who is gigging in London on Saturday evening.

Peter and July will be at The Venue, Great Portland Street.

I look forward to seeing him and hope to have a bit of a natter.

On the "Guess the Bass" item, on my previous post - so far I have
had various wrong answers, several that have identified the maker
but as yet. . . . . no correct answers on the make and model!
Come on, have a go!!

Next week I will reveal what it is.

Cheers. :)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Aria SB Basses, Peter Cook - Ned Callen and other stuff. . . . . . . .

Sunday again and the weather is just great, just right for a walk before
Sunday lunch! Mmmmm!!

I came across this great site, via one of the other Aria sites I follow.

Very interesting and well worth a read.

I have done quite a few of my Aria basses but there are still quite a
few of them to do.

SB1000 Mk 1 and Mk2, SB900 as well as another R60 I couldn't
resist buying last year!!

Had a great response to the Magnum feature and at the moment,
there seems to be a lot of interest in Ibanez Studio basses.
I recently took some better shots of my 8 String Studio, so I will
put them up soon, along with a more detailed description.

The feature on the Jaydee Twin Neck has taken another turn,
as it might be appearing live, with it's original owner!!

I now have another bass with a Peter Cook connection!
Yes, it was me that bought it!
These things very rarely come up for sale, so I'm sure some
of you will have seen it.

A battered up old Ned Callan!

I have been after a Ned for a long time, I think the picture of
JAE with the Simms Watts ad, promoting Ned Callan, sort of got
me interested in one and this is the same type he was playing.

I am going to do a big feature on this old Ned!
It plays and sounds NOTHING like what you think it would.
A very big surprise for me but more on that when I get round to it.

And finally. . . . . . Just a bit of a tease for you.

I have had this for quite a while, I have mentioned it several times,
played it many times, gigged it this year but never had any photos
of it. . . . . . So, for the eagle eyed amongst you. . . . What is it??

Answers on a post card. . . .

More stuff next time.

Cheers. :)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Ox. . . .


Bass Guitarist, as he quite often used to point out - not a
Bass Player.


Nothing more to say - watch and enjoy!

Cheers. :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ovation Magnum Bass. . . . .

Ovation Magnum!

This is going to be quite detailed, for two reasons - the first is
several people have said that some of my posts lack detailed
descriptions - Sorry!
The second is, you just don't see that many of these around.
I have seen a lot of live music, over the years - big venues, pubs
and clubs and I don't recall seeing one being played live. . . ever!!

I can't recall the first time I ever saw one of these but I think it
may have been the one the Kelly Groucutt had in ELO.
Anyway, that was a very long time ago but what I do remember
thinking was how unusual it was.
I was also a very long time before I got to own one and after looking
at quite a few of them, I ended up being drawn to this one and as
the saying goes, paid top $$$ for the privilege of owning it!
It was the best I could find!

The controls are simple and straightforward, with the added
bonus of stereo.
When blending the pick-ups on this, there is an audible difference
down to about 7 on the dial - a lot of two pick-up set ups, like a
Jazz, are very sensitive - fraction of a turn and you have lost
the tone of the lower volume pick-up. Not with this!
The other thing is, when you get a sound you like from the bridge
and the sound you like from the neck pick-up and then centre the
selector switch - the combined sounds don't mix and you loose what
you have and end up with something else!
Not with the Stereo!

The first time I played around with it, I used an Ashdown Combo and
an Ashdown head into a 2 x 10 - two rigs.
I put the Neck PU into the 4 x 10 and the bridge into the 2 x 10.
Select the sound you want from the Neck, with the switch on Neck,
select the sound from the Bridge PU, with the switch on Bridge and
then. . . . . . push the switch to the centre! Taddah!! Cracked it!
Without changing the setting on the amps, I then swapped them over
and got a different sound and then went Mono into the Combo and
that was very different!

The Neck Pick-up looks Big & Beefy and you would think it
would deliver a Gibson EB type thud!
Far from it!
It looks big but under that cover are four individual coils,
that are independently adjustable for volume.
The Eagle Eyed amongst you will see that the adjusters on mine
are all set the same. This is because I have just changed the strings
and at the time I took the shots, I had not set them up.

If you click on this link, you will see more details on the Pick-ups
and other Ovation features.
Ovation Magnum Manual

The Bridge.

Well, what can you say??
Nothing like this on any other bass that I know of.
Slightly quirky, takes a while to grasp how to set it up the way you
want it, in order to set the action.
Adjustment on the top and at the rear for height and it is a bit of a
fiddle to set the intonation up as it should be.
Just odd!
Once set up and left alone, it's fine - so best left alone!

The neck is very comfortable and has a familiar feel to it - Not
Jazz, closer to a Precision but not the same - if I had to pin it
down, it is sort of Gibson ish but a better description would
by "an Ovation profile"
The fingerboard is a good looker and the fret work is A1.
Good quality tuners, marked as Ovation but I suspect they come
from a well known maker!!!
Same type as on the Peavey T-40 - just great.

The head is the Signature shape for Ovation and follows that same
shape as the acoustics and the electrics, Viper and Breadwinner etc.

If you are thinking of buying a Magnum, I'm sure you would enjoy
it, as it is something a bit different.
Comfortable to play, balances nicely, not heavy - a nice weight,
some different and very usable tones, NOT deep and thuddy
but can be if you want it to be, the large pick-up surround is
really great - brighter, rest your thumb further back - more mellow,
move it towards the neck - in fact move it to any position you find
comfortable, there's a lot of scope.

So, you've made you mind up that you want one.
Famous players such as Jah Wobble and Kim Gordon have been
keen fans as well as many other artists over the years but there
is one thing that you must be made aware of. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

WARNING!! This Bass may not accept your favourite strings!!!
Because of the design of the bridge, it is one hell of a stretch up
to the nut and with a lot of strings, the windings start to reduce,
particularly on the "E" before the thicker part of the string reaches
the nut and on Silk end strings, it is the silk bit that sits in the nut!
This is the case on my Magnum III, which has Rotosound on.
See Magnum III below.

I can't say that in the case of the III it deadens the sound, as it
still sounds bright enough but I have never have any other
strings on it!

So, there you go - a fairly detailed description of a a slightly
different Bass from the norm!

The Ovation Magnum Bass.

Any questions, happy to answer - just drop me a line.

Cheers. :)

UPDATE August 22nd 2012

I have been asked several times, what lengths of strings are
required for the Magnum.

Here is the answer.

I have measured from the anchored side of the ball end to the nut and to the 
centre of the tuner post.
This is taken from my Magnum III but will still relate to a Magnum I

Hope this helps.

Cheers. :) 

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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ovation Magnum. . . . .

Ovation Magnum Bass!

I have been meaning to do this one for ages - I have mentioned
it for some time and one of my regular e.mailers has run out of
patience and has "thrown down the gauntlet" and has said. . . . .
"Show and tell now!!!!!"

So, here it is!!

No other details at this time, will show all the other images on
the next post but for now. . . . this is "Show" - I will tell next time!

Got to go - back with loads more about the Magnum, next time.

Cheers. :)