Jammin’ with my Rob Allen MB-2 and a La Bella string test!

20110823-051105.jpg

Hi!

Time for a little string test! The test is done with my Rob Allen Guitars MB-2 fretless bass that I have played since July 2011. You can read more about that bass here and here.

I have loved the sound of Rob Allen instruments since I tried my first one at Ruby’s Music (Times Square) back in 2003. I wanted to get that sound and started playing tape nylon strings on another fretless bass since I wasn’t able to buy a Rob Allen instrument at the time.

The La Bella Black Nylon Wound strings are a big part of that lovely sound and Rob Allen ships all his fretless basses with the LaBella Black Nylon Tape Wound strings. More than a year ago I found out about new strings by La Bella called White Nylon Tape Wound. I was lucky and got great help from Greg Gohde in San Diego. I bought a set of these new strings through his shop classicbows.com Thanks Greg!

I sent an email to Rob Allen and asked him what he thought about these new strings and what gauges he would suggest. He answered that he had not tried the strings (maybe he has now since this was a while back) and he suggested I’d go for the regular set not the light one. He also told me I had to make sure I got the extra long scale. The MB-2 has a string through body design so the string has to be long enough to reach all the way from the bridge to the tuning pegs.

So here, about a year later, comes my little test. The video below features two short musical examples with drums, guitar and piano added. I wanted to let you hear the different string sets in context. I also performed some more examples with open strings, position playing and harmonics. I recorded these tests on two tracks. Both direct (lined through my RMI Basswitch IQ/DI) and miked (through the Aguilar Tonehammer 500 into a Aguilar SL-112 cab) miked with a AKG C414. Sometimes I mixed the two tracks and sometimes they can be heard separately.

So what do I think?  I was very curious of how I would like the new set…

First of all. The black nylon strings in this test are the same set that came with the bass when I bought it in 2011 at Corner Music in Nashville, TN, USA. These strings were in other words not fresh and new for this test. However since they aren’t regular round wound strings they do sound fresh for a considerable longer time! This is because sweat and dirt can’t get inside the string like on a regular round wound string. The fact that they sat on the bass for about 2,5 years prior to he test can still of course make a little difference in sound compared to if I was to record with a brand new set of the black nylon strings.

The white nylon set is not really white. They are better described as being transparent as you can see the steel string inside the nylon wrapping. They feel very smooth and soft and are super easy on the fingers. This combined with the superb and easy to play neck and fretboard on the MB-2 is a perfect combination. I can really focus on playing my best since the instrument is so well built.

The La Bella set of black nylon tape strings that I have played since 2011 have been very good with a great deep smooth bottom end but still with enough mids and highs to sound good played in every register of the bass, low to high. I have been super happy with these!

The white ones feel and sound a bit different. I guess you can say that they are a bit brighter but still with a nice low end. This together with the silky smooth feel makes them a great alternative to the black ones.

I hope this will give you a little taste of how these strings are. As I have written above I do like both sets. Depending on the situation and what type of sound I’m looking for I now have two great options to choose from and they both match my Rob Allen MB-2 so well!

All the best,
Magnus

 

Advertisements

WOW! John Scofield comes back to ‘Überjam-Band-Land’!

I’m super thrilled!

My all time favourite musician, John Scofield, is back with with a new CD with the Überjam Band I saw in Uppsala more than 10 years ago! I was about to hit the sack and just stumbled on this fantastic news! The video above was a suggested video on my YouTube channel – a really nice suggestion! It was a ‘making-of-video’ for the new album Deux. After seeing the video I also found a full concert from a show they did at Berklee, Boston on New Years Eve 2012. 88 minutes of smokin’ Music!

Here’s the setlist:

  • “Thikhathali” (Scofield, Bortnick, Deitch, Murphy)
  • “Snap Crackle Pop” (Scofield)
  • “Ideofunk” (Scofield)
  • “Jungle Fiction” (Scofield)
  • “Boogie Stupid” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “Cracked Ice” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “Dubdub” (Scofield)
  • “Endless Summer” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “I Brake 4 Monster Booty” (Scofield, Bortnick, Deitch, Murphy)
  • “Tomorrow Land” (Bortnick) [encore]

The Band that evening:

  • John Scofield, guitar
  • Avi Bortnick, rhythm guitar/sampling
  • Andy Hess, bass
  • Louis Cato, drums

Link to the concert [Audio]

Live with Organic Trio
I saw John Scofield earlier this year at jazz club Fasching in Stockholm with his organ trio, Organic Trio with Larry Goldings on Hammond B3 and Greg Hutchinson on drums. This was a really unforgettable concert!

Bilder från den konserten: http://www.rockfoto.nu/artists/john-scofield-organic-trio/20130305/18302/photos/143832

Überjam Band to Sweden?
Now I hope the band will come to Sweden in the Autumn to perform the new Music live for me 🙂 In the meantime I’m glad being able to enjoy the live concert above and the new studio CD!

If you use Spotify you can ‘preview’ the whole new CD before you buy it!

CD cover of John Scofield Überjam Deux

New Music! – Two songs by Nine Orders

Hi there!

I’m exited to announce the arrival of Nine Orders! A project band in the progressive metal genre.
It is great to once again go back to my rock roots and I’m glad I got the opportunity to sink my teeth in these two great songs.

You can listen to them on the Nine Orders Soundcloud. Se below!

I hope there will be more songs to work on soon…

Tech Stuff
Bass Guitar: Ibanez GWB-35
Gary Willis Signature 5-string fretless
Strings: Elixir
Amp: Aguilar Tonehammer 500/MarkBass LittleMark II
Cab: Aguilar SL-112/ Custom 15 inch Eminence
Fx: Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe (Modelled after different Ampeg amps such as the B15 (‘Flip’top’) and the SVT) I used this for the overdrive/distortion part of the sound.
(I also used Universal Audio UAD plugins)

Signal Chain
Ibanez GWB-35 > Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe > Direct to Sound Card (DRY/no FX) (Ch 1)
AND XLR (WET/with distortion) (Ch 2)
AND out to MarkBass or Aguilar amp > Custom 15 inch Speaker OR Aguilar SL-112 Speaker (These where miked and sent to Sound Card (Ch3))

Check out this blog post about my recording!

 

Ibanez GWB-35
Gary Willis Signature Bass

Bass parts recorded at…