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Thread: Phil Lesh last night GIBSON bass

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by edwin View Post
    I can't imagine that he'd play that all that often if he has this to work with. My first bass was a Gibson EB2D. By the time it left me, it had Bartolini pickups and a badass bridge. I miss that bass.


    edwin, there is a lot going on in this picture! tell us, how did you come to play Phil's bass? the look on your face says it all, but give us the deets! are you at Alembic Headquarters? Phil's house? or are those 2 places actually the same thing? haa

    this is the best picture i have ever seen posted on this forum. not sure what it would take to top this. cheers!

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mavuser View Post
    edwin, there is a lot going on in this picture! tell us, how did you come to play Phil's bass? the look on your face says it all, but give us the deets! are you at Alembic Headquarters? Phil's house? or are those 2 places actually the same thing? haa

    this is the best picture i have ever seen posted on this forum. not sure what it would take to top this. cheers!
    Not a whole lot to tell. I was there to pick up my bass which had had a new bridge installed and the pickup mounting system fixed. I hung out for a few hours, since it's that kind of place and I've know the Wickershams for years. While I was there, they asked if wanted to play it and I certainly couldn't turn it down. So, I got to hang with it for 20 minutes or so. They even popped the top and Ron gave me a tour of the insides. I wish I had taken pictures of that, but Mica said that it was there so they could document it. Ron and I actually spent more time discussing filter topology than I did playing it. The deal is that the filters were adapted from telephone technology, where you needed really tight frequency control to be able to multiplex multiple phone calls on one line. But, since it was for telephone voice, the noise level was not addressed at all. So, pretty much no matter what you do with that bass, it's going to be noisy.

    It was interesting how the bass looks a bit rough hewn from a distance, but when you look up close, it's all very finely put together, although every part is really robust. They've really refined their building techniques over the years.

    He had me playing through some experimental speakers that didn't really work that well. There was not much in the way of low end. So, I didn't have much incentive to play it all that long. What was amazing was how the instrument responded acoustically. It's almost like the notes bloomed like they do when the instrument is on the verge of feedback. The way the headstock is mounted adds a lot of solidity to the tone. Also, the fingerboard is quite thick and the neck seems to be larger than most Starfires I've played. Certainly heftier than mine.

    But, playing it was cool because when I went back to my bass, it didn't feel like mine was lacking in tone or playability in the least. The onboard superfilter was fun, but the noise factor was really obtrusive. The basic acoustic tone of both instruments wasn't really all that different, though they obviously each have their character (it did make me think about getting them to put one of their headstocks on, but I like the one I, especially because it has Phil's and Jack's signature on the back).

    It was definitely fun to play the bass that when I was 12, in 1973, made me really listen to bass for the first time, after my little sister's babysitter left a copy of Europe '72 at our house. After that, I knew I had to be a bass player. It's a rare thing to be able to come full circle like that, but boy, to have to wait 44 years to do it....

    OTOH, I think they should let me take it out for a gig! Just kidding. Sort of. I'd love to play it through a real bass rig.

  3. #13
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwin View Post
    It was definitely fun to play the bass that when I was 12, in 1973, made me really listen to bass for the first time, after my little sister's babysitter left a copy of Europe '72 at our house. After that, I knew I had to be a bass player. It's a rare thing to be able to come full circle like that, but boy, to have to wait 44 years to do it....

    OTOH, I think they should let me take it out for a gig! Just kidding. Sort of. I'd love to play it through a real bass rig.
    That whole post is one of the coolest stories I've ever read here, thanks!
    That bit about the headstock influencing sound was interesting too because we've debated it over in the acoustic section. (I'm a believer).
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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