Saturday, February 23, 2013

Epiphone #623 finish line...

The Epiphone’s bass #623 is pretty much completed.  We took it out last Thursday and Friday to jams.  The D string is super strong; it will rattle the fillings in your teeth.  After two nights of playing I asked Lonnie to lower the string height just a bit.  I felt like I had to dig in too much to get the feel I like when playing (I have been told I play with gusto…that works for me).  My Gunner (Epi B1) plays like butter, I just love playing that bass.  It has the Gamut medium lights on the G&D with Spiro weich on the A&E…this set up on that bass works very well for my playing style.  

The bridge was removed for a bit of tweaking
This week Lonnie lowered the string height at the nut and bridge and brought it down to a really comfortable set up.  It took only a few millimeters to make a big difference.  Originally he left the string height higher because the fingerboard is scraped pretty flat with out much scoop.  We were not familiar with the vintage (no longer made) Golden Spirals and did not know how much “swing” the strings would need to clear the fingerboard.  After playing the strings they are no different then any other gut string.  They swing more then a steel strings but not super bouncy.  The don’t roll under your fingers like some of the non-gut strings do (Super Nils and Innovations). 

All back in place and ready to jam

Now that I have played the bass at two additional jams with the lowered string height it feels more like home.  I can dig in and get some real punch from the bass.  It seems as if the bass is opening up and responding with each hour of play time.  This bass sat dormant for many years, maybe decades with out playing.  The G&D are loud and I barely need to touch the strings.  If I had to make any change at all it would be to switch the Spirocore mittels A string with a Spirocore weich A string just to balance the tension between the D & A string.  I dig hard on the A&E and nearly fly off when I get back to the D string.  I just need to back off a bit and adapt to this set up.  The down side to a Spiro weich A string could be reduced volume, which I am not willing to compromise.  We play all acoustic jams with no amplification, volume is necessary to hold down the low end.

As soon as the weather breaks and we can get out side for a final photo opportunity I’ll finish the slide show on this bass.  Lonnie nailed the touch up color and really made the character marks blend in.  The bass has tons of character and gig wear, we just made it a bit more purdy to look at.

Stay tuned…more to come.  In the work shop right now is my Martin guitar for a set up and lowered action as well a Lonnie’s Stelling banjo for a new head and set up.  We are trying to get all the non-bass instruments playable for impromptu guest jams at the workshop.  

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