F Basses are set up with custom wound Exposed Core Strings in the following gauges: C .029", G .043", D .063", A .085", E .102", B .128"
"Taper core" strings have a short length over the saddle that is a bare wire, rather than wound, providing a looser feel and cleaner fundamental.
Maple fingerboards offer a bright and "alive" sound with very fast attack. In combination with an ash body, maple provides the best "slap" sound. Denser fingerboards, such as ebony, increase compression and attack is reduced.
Attack is the speed at which the greatest volume is reached.
A bolt-on neck reduces compression and increases dynamics and attack in contrast with neck-through construction.
Ash produces more bottom and high end with a reduction in the midrange frequencies. Alder produces lower midrange and a softer high end, usually resulting in a sweeter, more singing tone. The low end is not as solid as with ash. The harder and heavier the wood used, the harder the sound will be, with a very solid low end and bright but often harsh high end.
You will hear distortion in the sound and/or a loss in output. If the battery reads 7 volts or less on a meter, it should be changed. The current draw on the battery is 600 mA. A regular 9V battery should last for four to six months of regular use. To make the battery last longer; unplug the instrument when not in use, as inserting the plug into the jack activates the battery circuit.
I could not find the sound I wanted in commercially available pickups. My ideal was a thick, rich sound reminiscent of a good vintage tone with a sweet rather than harsh high end, but which would still cut through a mix. Experimenting with pickups led to a better understanding of the function of tone, and how the components and processes in a pickup interact and change the final sound. Having knowledge of all the facets of an instrument produces a better instrument. Further, hand-wound pickups seem to sound more musical than mass-produced pickups.
No. Pickup response is only affected by metallic materials that can redirect the magnet's path. I've always disliked the look of conventional pickups: a large black object "intruding" on a beautiful piece of wood carefully selected for its look and tone. By making my own pickups I can cover them in wood to compliment the instrument.
If your bass has three controls, they are: volume for the neck pickup, volume for the bridge pickup, and passive tone control.
On the Alain Caron bass, you must pull up on the bridge pickup volume control to turn the piezo pickup on.
If your bass has six controls, the knobs closest to the strings are: volume for the neck pickup, volume for the bridge pickup, and passive tone control.
The three knobs further away from the strings are our active 3-band eq circuit. They are: bass boost, mid boost, and treble boost.
Pull up on the passive tone control to disable the active eq and the active circuit will be completely bypassed. Pull up on the bridge pickup volume control to engage a coil tap for both pickups, offering a louder and fuller tone, but which will sacrifice noise canceling.
Yes. They seem to record well "flat". The output impedance of the active models is 600 ohms. Such low impedance allows the nstrument to be plugged directly into any audio preamp without signal loss.
F basses are set up at the factory but may shift due to changes in humidity and temperature. Before playing, make sure the bass is not hard to play and listen for buzzing. Strings generally buzz more on maple fingerboards. To test for neck straightness, depress a string at the first fret and the last fret. The bottom of the string provides you with a straightedge reference relative to the fingerboard or fret tops. Looking closely, you can see the clearance between the bottom of the string and the top of the frets around the middle of the neck. If the string touches the frets, the bi-flex (two-way) truss rod should be turned counter-clockwise to give the neck a bit of relief. If there's a lot of clearance, it's likely the neck has too much relief, and the truss rod should be turned clockwise. If the strings "buzz" and rattle they may be too low at the bridge or the neck may have back-bowed and the truss rod may need to be turned counter-clockwise. String height is dependant on your playing style, choice of strings, and how the bass responds. Our standard string heights at the 22nd fret, measured from the top of the fret to the top of the string are "B" 6.5mm, "E" 6mm, "A" 5mm, "D" 4.5mm, "G" 4mm, "C" 3.5mm. For fretless set up, measured at the 24 position from the top of the fingerboard to the top of the string is "B" 7mm, "E" 6.5mm, "A" 6mm, "D" 5mm, "G" 4mm, "C" 3.5mm
On raw wood such as a fretless fingerboard or bridge use pure "Tung Oil" which is a sealing oil, or lemon oil which is a temporary sealer/cleaner. Wipe off any excess from the instrument and wash hands thoroughly before eating. On the back of the neck use a slight dab of lemon oil well rubbed in and buffed out as a cleaner. If you wish to add finish, lightly steel wool with 0000 steel wool (very fine grade), and apply any wipe-on finishing oil that is commercially available following the containers' directions. On lacquered surfaces, use any guitar polish that doesn't contain silicone.
For gigging and local work an F gig bag is fine, thanks to the toughness of the Cordura nylon and the one-inch thick high-density foam lining. For roadwork I suggest transporting bag and instrument in a foam-lined road case with wheels. We custom make this kind of case for single or double bags or multiple instruments.
If you own an F bass with the old-style preamp, here's the map that explains the function of all the controls. Please contact us for any other information.
This wide spectrum infinitely variable EQ System was developed by Garry Poplawski of PE-EQ Research, Hamilton. It is simple to use; clockwise rotation of the pots approaches bass tones, and counter-clockwise the treble tones. The "EQ-Blend" pot mixes the "Low" and "High" EQ pots. When the "EQ Switch" is disengaged, only the "Master Volume" and "Pickup Blend" are functioning.
One exceptional feature of this system is that as the frequencies are varied, the overall level remains constant. So go ahead and explore the range of possibilities at your fingertips.
As of October 2004, the single coil switch function has been reversed, due to public request, so that the push-pull pot is single coil DOWN and hum cancelling UP. Thanks to Gordon O'Byrne for the diagram.