Author Topic: Short-scale Essence  (Read 1318 times)

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2017, 05:23:24 PM »
Fatboys.
I had a couple of mxy pickups from alembic a few years back, a fatboy, and a neck pickup with a the magnet and coil offset from centre so it was closer to the fretboard. After trying them out i found the fat boy in the bridge position was a thicker sound and less sweet and hifi sounding than the standard pickup. So I put the original back in there and the offset was really full and warm but again the sweetness was less so i put the standard one back. I did put them up for sale but decided to try them again when i have. Few gigs using that bass. They both sound great but probably not suited to what i was doing at the time.

Jazzy, as I think I've read from you in many places, pickup position is huge.

I think of the way a string vibrates. With the fundamental most of the string movement is at the 12th fret, halfway between nut and bridge. The first harmonic has the most movement at 1/4 and 3/4 of the way between nut and bridge (the least movement 1/2 way at the 12th fret where one depresses to get the harmonic). Second harmonic, 1/6, 3/6, 5/6. And so on. The pattern is that the fundamental and 1st harmonic are near the neck, the higher order harmonics are at the bridge. The bridge pickup gets a brighter sound, the neck is the dark fundamental.

A defect of the electric instrument, particularly solid body types, is that the pickup positions need to change depending on what frets the strings are depressed at for uniform spectral/harmonic response. Obviously impractical.

Interestingly, I just looked at my P-bass pickup location and it's well sited to get the first and second harmonics with an open string. I know this from just playing, not the physics.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 05:25:41 PM by kdh »

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 10:05:24 AM »
My order's in. I'm going with the bridge block after all. This, from Mica, convinced me along with the advice here:

What effect does it have? It increases sustain and adds a certain brightness to the tone. You can also experiment with various materials - we've made aluminum and wooden blocks as well. 

I'm curious how an ebony block would sound. Did Bob try this?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 01:06:23 PM by kdh »

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 06:17:12 PM »
Congratulations again, Keith. It's a good feeling... now comes the hard part.   ;)

Regarding the sustain block, I leaned both way on that one too, but ultimately decided in favor of it. I may also experiment with wood replacements some day too, but in no particular hurry to. If fact, I'm planning to take a week off work when mine comes in, just to bond with it.  :D

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2017, 06:15:24 AM »
I chickened out and am going with the standard gloss polyester finish. I had visions of dirty looking maple. My maple P-bass neck is all grimy where the finish has come off. I lightly sanded to clean (the wood was oxidized) and oiled a small damaged area. I don't trust that the oil finish will protect the wood from grime. The polyester is tough and easy to clean and it simply memorializes the new wood.

Also asked for a concealed hardware bridge.

keith_h

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2017, 03:35:44 PM »
Talk to Mica but I seem to recall they can get a low sheen finish with the polyester as well if you are looking for more of an oil finish  look.

rv_bass

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2017, 03:44:43 PM »
Check the satin finish as well, I have it on a bass and it's a nice no gloss alternative.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 04:41:07 PM by rv_bass »

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2017, 05:10:28 PM »
Talk to Mica but I seem to recall they can get a low sheen finish with the polyester as well if you are looking for more of an oil finish  look.

True^. This is happening with my Custom, possibly right this minute. I asked for something between satin and gloss rubout with the poly finish. Left it up to their expertise to stop when they think it's 'there'.  ;)

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2017, 06:50:41 PM »
Talk to Mica but I seem to recall they can get a low sheen finish with the polyester as well if you are looking for more of an oil finish  look.

True^. This is happening with my Custom, possibly right this minute. I asked for something between satin and gloss rubout with the poly finish. Left it up to their expertise to stop when they think it's 'there'.  ;)

My sense is that it's just a controlled amount of texture, roughness applied to the coating. I look forward to seeing yours.

What's nice about polyester is it protects the wood and the gloss is just a matter of how much it's buffed out. A satin finish can be turned into gloss just by buffing it, and a gloss can be turned into satin by roughing it up.

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2017, 07:03:58 AM »
Here's what I'm confident will be the final spec:

Standard polyester clear gloss finish
Concealed hardware bridge

Standard bridge block
No lacquer/finish on any brass

Essence 4
Short Scale
Flame Maple Top
Maple Body
Essence Body
Tummy Contour
1.625 Nut On Fretted Ebony Fingerboard
Center Ebony Neck Laminate
Silver Dot Side Position Markers
Orion Inline Peghead
Ebony Framing Veneer Between Top And Body
Ebony Framing Veneers Between Body And neck as on "Refinement"
Silver Logo No Script
Brass Truss Rod Cover
Brass Backplate For Model Electronics
Polished Alembic Brass Hardware
Polished Bar Tailpiece Rounded Ends as on "Refinement"
Black Alembic Gotoh Tuners
Black Strap Locks
Essence Electronics
2 Position Q Switch 3 DB Boost
Side Mounted Jack
Plain Pick-ups NO ALEMBIC LETTERING
Case For K4

edwardofhuncote

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2017, 07:17:24 AM »
That'll be a nice build. Salute.  8)

The only thing I believe you should re-think is the Q-switch... go for a 0-3-6 dB option. (not sure if there is a 0-3 dB two-position, though I'm pretty sure they could do it)

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #40 on: May 10, 2017, 11:25:44 AM »
What I asked for is a 0-3 db option. On the small chance I want 6db switchable from the instrument I think it's an easy change post-build. I like to start simple. The choices come down to the choice of a single or double throw switch and resistor selection.

I have plenty of parametric EQ downstream in my pre-amp/modeling processor. I use a Zoom B3n and a 1000W Bose F1 model 812 which gives a flat response down to 50hz.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 11:38:24 AM by kdh »

kdh

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Re: Short-scale Essence
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2017, 09:33:37 AM »
 My build has started. We might be seeing a Factory to Customer thread...