M-85/Les Paul Triumph comparison

twocorgis

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To continue the veer, I have seen a couple of places that say Jack gets one or two new Signature basses per year and that he uses them on stage unmodified. No lighter weight tuners or different quality pots - pretty much stock, out of the carton. As a consumer it says a lot to me that the Famous Artist regularly uses their Signature model and that it is used stock, just like one I could buy.

It is a 34" scale which is why I don't have one. But as I get older and my judgement gets clouded and less rational I think I want a blue bass and can imagine searching for the less common blue JC Sig instead of waiting for a blue Newark Street Starfire II bass.
I guess I missed this post the other day @fronobulax. Here's the beauty of the Casady Bass. Yes, it is a 34" scale bass, but that's only because of the bridge placement, as you can see in the photo below of mine next to Greenie. In practice, it plays like a short scale, but has the tone of a long scale; best of both worlds! And much as I liked it stock, it's really noticeably better with the Hipshot mods, and the added mass of the bridge combined with the reduced weight of the tuners makes in much more ergonomic. The added mass of the bridge also improves the already excellent tone, which is quite likely the best of any of my basses. Jack might not need to worry that much about that incremental increase in tone, and he travels with that monster Aguilar stack, and probably a roadie to move it! The main thing you would have to get used to is the neck profile, as it's much fuller than Starfires and Pilots. It also has very little radius on the fretboard.




Of course we all know that I am not one to tinker with guitars, let alone build my own from parts. And @twocorgis is trying to entice me with a blue Pilot, an option I am trying to not even think about until is is safe to travel and meet in person. :)
No hurry! That bass is living with my girlfriend at the present time, anyway. I'm trying to make a bass player out of her, but it's a bit of an uphill climb!
 
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"The main thing you would have to get used to is the neck profile, as it's much fuller than Starfires and Pilots. It also has very little radius on the fretboard."

That would be my problem with it more than the extra scale length. Looks like 1-5/8" nut and 19mm string spacing @ the bridge. I heven't had the opportunity to play one, but based on experiences I've had with other, similarly-spec-ed basses, I'm pretty sure this would be the case with a Casady as well. I can even feel the difference between a Guild and a DeArmond Starfire (which is more minimal). Guess I'm hyper-sensitive to such things due to my arthritis-buggered thumbs. I can play a bass like that for awhile, but it starts bothering me fairly quickly. If I then go back to a Guild Starfire, all feels "right" again.
 

mellowgerman

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Indeed, both the Epiphone Jack Casady Signature and the hollowbody Gibson Les Paul Signature it was based on are 34" scale. The main reason I don't own a Casady anymore. If it was a short scale, I would definitely still have one!
I am actively on the look-out for a working Epi Casady pickup (Electar JCB-1) with the corresponding step-up transformer, so that I can put the circuit in a short scale...
I did it! Acquired the Electar JCB-1 pickup with corresponding transformer and dropped it into my Eastwood Newport bass. Very pleased with the results. Even managed to keep within the color scheme of the 20th Anniversary Casady bass!
I do still have an extra Dark Star in the parts bin and that bridge pickup position is looking awfully bare.... Just kidding, I think this one will stay as is. The Casady circuit delivers plenty of punch and clarity, so I'd say a bridge pickup really isn't necessary.

* Sidenote, this is a first... I don't think I've ever quoted myself before.
Now if I could only find a reason to quote the previous sentence, I could break into a whole new, potentially undiscovered dimension of quoting.

newport3.jpg


newport2.jpg
 

mellowgerman

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"The main thing you would have to get used to is the neck profile, as it's much fuller than Starfires and Pilots. It also has very little radius on the fretboard."

That would be my problem with it more than the extra scale length. Looks like 1-5/8" nut and 19mm string spacing @ the bridge. I heven't had the opportunity to play one, but based on experiences I've had with other, similarly-spec-ed basses, I'm pretty sure this would be the case with a Casady as well. I can even feel the difference between a Guild and a DeArmond Starfire (which is more minimal). Guess I'm hyper-sensitive to such things due to my arthritis-buggered thumbs. I can play a bass like that for awhile, but it starts bothering me fairly quickly. If I then go back to a Guild Starfire, all feels "right" again.
Just thought I should mention, I'm pretty sure the string spacing at the bridge of the Casady Signature is the normal Gibson 3-point bridge spacing, something like 17mm I think?
 

hieronymous

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I did it! Acquired the Electar JCB-1 pickup with corresponding transformer and dropped it into my Eastwood Newport bass. Very pleased with the results. Even managed to keep within the color scheme of the 20th Anniversary Casady bass!
I do still have an extra Dark Star in the parts bin and that bridge pickup position is looking awfully bare.... Just kidding, I think this one will stay as is. The Casady circuit delivers plenty of punch and clarity, so I'd say a bridge pickup really isn't necessary.

* Sidenote, this is a first... I don't think I've ever quoted myself before.
Now if I could only find a reason to quote the previous sentence, I could break into a whole new, potentially undiscovered dimension of quoting.

View attachment 15509

View attachment 15510
Very nice! Is that a Dimarzio Model One in the neck? I bet the new pickup sounds great - congrats!
 

mellowgerman

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Very nice! Is that a Dimarzio Model One in the neck? I bet the new pickup sounds great - congrats!
It is indeed! I have a long-standing appreciation for the Model One pickups. I once paired one with a Hammon DarkStar in my old Mustang bass and was surprised to find that in single coil mode, the Dimarzio was a perfect hum-cancelling match for the DarkStar. They sounded great together too. Unfortunately, while finishing up my work on this bass yesterday, I found that the 3-way mini-toggle switch I had on hand was defective on one side, so it is effectively just a 2-way switch. Ended up just wiring that one as an on/off dark-tone switch and wiring another 2-way switch as an either-or pickup selector. So I haven't gotten to blend them yet. Plan on getting a properly functioning 3-way mini so that I can select both simultaneously as well. The interesting thing with this one is that the Electar/Casady pickup requires a very low value potentiometer (spec sheet calls for 2.5k but I had a 5k pot on hand and that seems to be working just fine). As a result of this though, I wasn't sure I could effectively do a master volume and master tone control setup, since the Dimarzio calls for "normal" values. So right now I've got two volume knobs there. Might still change things around a bit if I find it's lacking in the controls department... I mean... if I removed that tug-bar there.... and routed out some more wood.... there's probably room for another 3 or 4... or 6 knobs there! ;) Nahhh I'm not going to go knob crazy on this one
 
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mgod

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Re: the comparison. I assume we already know that other than scale length and approximate body shape, there's no similarity between the two basses. The original Les Paul bass of this generation was simply called the Les Paul bass, had 35-ohm pickups, came with an adapter cable that had the transformer built in, and sounded like god. I have a '69 version - among my heaviest instruments. The later model had similar pickups, bouts and a thinner body to reduce weight and the transformer built in.

M-85s are amazing when equipped with proper BiSonic/DarkStar pickups.
 

hieronymous

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Re: the comparison. I assume we already know that other than scale length and approximate body shape, there's no similarity between the two basses. The original Les Paul bass of this generation was simply called the Les Paul bass, had 35-ohm pickups, came with an adapter cable that had the transformer built in, and sounded like god. I have a '69 version - among my heaviest instruments. The later model had similar pickups, bouts and a thinner body to reduce weight and the transformer built in.

M-85s are amazing when equipped with proper BiSonic/DarkStar pickups.
My Triumph is 11.2 pounds! They didn't do a very good job knocking weight off it, it's heavier than my Alembic 5-string!

I never had sound in mind when I made my comparison, because I think even just the fretted vs. fretless gap is too much to make any kind of comparison. And now my M-85 II has Alembic electronics so they're even more uncomparable - or is that incomparable? Anyway, I was thinking purely in terms of the visual aspect. I need to take some more pictures! (Still thinking of getting it Pleked too...)

I guess I missed this post the other day @fronobulax. Here's the beauty of the Casady Bass. Yes, it is a 34" scale bass, but that's only because of the bridge placement, as you can see in the photo below of mine next to Greenie. In practice, it plays like a short scale, but has the tone of a long scale; best of both worlds! And much as I liked it stock, it's really noticeably better with the Hipshot mods, and the added mass of the bridge combined with the reduced weight of the tuners makes in much more ergonomic. The added mass of the bridge also improves the already excellent tone, which is quite likely the best of any of my basses. Jack might not need to worry that much about that incremental increase in tone, and he travels with that monster Aguilar stack, and probably a roadie to move it! The main thing you would have to get used to is the neck profile, as it's much fuller than Starfires and Pilots. It also has very little radius on the fretboard.






No hurry! That bass is living with my girlfriend at the present time, anyway. I'm trying to make a bass player out of her, but it's a bit of an uphill climb!
And how did I miss this post?!! Great pair, and love seeing them next to each other.
 
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