The custom Delano pickups finally arrived yesterday and after about 3hrs of mind boggling wiring of the electronics the P5 is finally all done.
So you’re probably wondering what this baby has to offer, well… pretty much everything, there were no holds bared in the production of this bass, only the finest materials parts and production techniques went into the P5.
To start off, the body and neck are made from 29 strips of premium tonewood, the wide chocolate-brown strips are flamed Oregon Black Walnut (Claro Walnut), the thinner lighter coloured strips are Tiger-Stripe Pacific Big-Leaf Maple and the thin dark brown strips are Wenge. Of course all are quater-sawn for the upmost stability, tonal response and figure. We import our wood directly from the people who farm the wood and who are aware of our extremely high standards and can provide us with pieces we can rely on to produce the finest instruments, as well as giving us the peace of mind that the wood has been sustainably farmed. To compliment this beautiful wood the best we could, it has been finished with a polymerised linseed oil finish which brings out the figure of the wood to its fullest extent and gives it a silky smooth feel and best of all does not impede the tone in any way like a lacquer finish will.
So what have i done in the construction of this bass to make it surpass your regular high-end bass? well other than that there are a total of 28 seamless glue joints in the bass to ensure perfect strength and tonal transference between each body laminate. the neck has been fitted with the standard kind of double-action truss-rod that you’d regularly find in a high-end instrument, but it is complimented with a pair of carbon fiber supporting rods either side to ensure absolute stability without compromising tone or weight (like steel rods will do).
The next thing that really makes a difference is the neck carve, the large majority of guitar and bass necks are symmetrical (meaning if you were to cut through the middle of the neck and look at the profile, it would be the same on both the bass and treble sides). The P5 has an asymmetrical neck profile, for those of you who haven’t played an asymmetrical neck before, the idea is that when you play a wide nick like a 5 or 6 string bass your thumb rarely moves past the centre line on the neck and most of the time is further toward the treble side. Because of this, if you make the neck asymmetric and have the thickest part of the neck about a 1/3 of the way across the neck on the bass side, it allows you the feel of a slimmer neck but with more mass on the neck which will give you far better tonal response and sustain.
Ok onto hardware, well i’ve tried many kinds of high quality bridged and i keep coming back to the same one, the Hipshot A-style aluminium bridge. Aly’ bridges really do sound far better than anything else in my opinion, ok so brass sustains better, but this bass has bags of sustain and brass bridges really prevent all of those wonderfull overtones from passing between the strings and the body. The top of the line Gotoh 350 lightweight tuners have been fitted to keep the centre of gravity toward the body and ensure years of smooth tuning.
Electronics, and this bass has some serious electronics, the pickups are a custom set from Delano, the bridge pickup is their standard Ceramic/Ferrite MM pickup which has been placed in the ‘sweet-spot’ (where else?), the neck pickup i ordered special and is one half of the MM pickup in a Jazz bass housing, it has RWRP to the bridge side coil of the MM pickup so that an array of different humbucking positions are possible. I custom designed a 5-way super switch in order to give you all the best bass tones possible from this pickups set. In position 5 you get a classic parallel MM pickup for that tone we al know and love, in 4 a series MM pickup for a more powerful super funky tone, in 3 we have the two outside coils in parallel for beautifully warm thud when you’re just sitting into a fat groove, in 2 we have the outside coils in series for a super fat rockin tone that puts out more low end than you’ve ever heard and in position 1 you have the two neck side coils as a stock pair for that classic single coil tone but with a massive tonal range.
Then to top it off we’ve installed a East UK U-Retro 4 Deluxe preamp (for those of you who don’t know John East makes the absolute finest bass preamps on the market, they’re not cheap but they’re worth every penny). Its not one of these super complicated preamps that has a million different setting that are impossible to remember, but is very user friendly and sounds fantastic. It features a volume knob, a stacked knob with Bass and treble, the treble knob pulls up to give you a bright tone, a second stack knob has mid on top and then the ring controls the frequency range of the mid knob. and finally there is a single passive tone knob, pull it up to put the bass into passive mode and from there you can use the pickup selector switch, volume and passive tone.
OK now that you’ve heard all the great things about this bass, you’re probably thinking ‘how much?’, well its not cheap, but its not stupidly expensive
495,000yen (including tax)