Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

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Bob C
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Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Bob C » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:21 am

Last week I received my new lefty Nightburst AB4 Aries bass. I posted pics and review in the Photo Gallery forum. Sorry, I don't know how to link that thread. Also, I guess that forum is mostly for photos, so I'll do a bit more of my review here.

I've played an LB70 (with H50A pickups) for many years. Yesterday I did a side-by-side comparison at home.

Volumes are about the same (My LB70's trimpot is set at equal volume to passive mode). But the Aries is more "alive" and "responsive". Granted, it's a bolt-on and it has brand new strings. At this point, the action is a tiny bit higher than on my LB70 too. I'm kind of a setup tweaker. That will come later - after I get to know the bass a bit.

The Aries has a wider neck, which I expect to get used to soon enough. Its upper neck access is not quite as good as the smooth neck-through heel on the LB70.

I love both of these basses, but I'm on a wild honeymoon with the new one. Gumbynotpokey and others who sang the praises of the SCP pickup were not kidding! At the gig, I often ran that pickup alone. Varying my plucking hand placement and changing the tone control made huge noticeable and usable tone changes.

I have a KRJ in the bridge position and it can add a new dimension to the sound when needed. Really just like sprinkling cheese on your salad, or whatever analogy you care to use. When soloed, the SCP is a just a little louder than the KRJ (which is not a problem at all). The most pleasant surprise is that this single coil pickup (KRJ) is very quiet! I've only played it in two rooms so far - my apartment and last night's bar gig, so we shall see. But so far - fantastic.

Thanks to all the forum members who gave input as I slowly worked through my decision process and eventually acquired this wonderful instrument.

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gumbynotpokey
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:21 am

Super cool to read this.

Yeah, to me their split pu is a tone wonder.

Ok, so after more playing - a few weeks, or whatever - come back and give us a tone update. I'd be very curious to see what your ears tell you as you play it more. :)
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Bob C
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Bob C » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:38 am

Everything you said about that pickup rang true for me. I normally almost always run a passive bass (which my Aries IS) with the tone control full on. But on this bass, the tone control works the SCP so well. With it all the way off, I can get a dub or upright sound and still have it "cut through". Fantastic.

Yes, an after the honeymoon reassessment is important. I'm not really a gear flipper. I love to get to the point where I accept things for all their pros and cons. I also love discovering something new about an old piece of gear that I've owned for months or years.

I foresee a few very minor adjustments to the setup on this bass. But I'm resisting the temptation because I'm still finding my way around it.

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MikeBass
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby MikeBass » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:55 am

As a fellow Aries and LB70 owner, it’s actually reassuring how completely our experiences agree, right on. Since my Aries experience was in many ways similar to yours, it was much like reliving that honeymoon period with mine.

I’ve always had to lower my SCP a bit to balance the volumes, I’m looking forward to hearing your impressions when you’ve tweaked the setup to taste.
Kiesel basses, lots of pedals, nothing wrong

Bob C
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Bob C » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:20 am

Hey Mikebass,

Yes, the KRJ is a little quieter than the SCP on my Aries. But it really isn't a problem.

There does seem to be a VERY slight string-to-string imbalance, mostly on the lowest notes. So I'm considering adjusting the SCP height on one side. But it may be my amp or the acoustics from last Saturday's gig. Too many variables and still too much newness.

I measured relief and think the Aries has one or two thousandths of an inch more than the LB70's setup. I haven't measured string height. This is nitpicking, of course and numbers don't tell the whole story. I'm just restating that the bass setup is ALMOST perfect, and I need to play it more before digging into adjustments.

I have a gig this weekend in a familiar venue. So ... looking forward to that adventure.

I've read probably all of your posts, but don't recall the specifics on your basses. Is your Aries active or passive? What pickups are in your Aries and LB70?
Last edited by Bob C on Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Greg Emm
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Greg Emm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:23 am

Great thread, Bob C. Thanks for the thorough reviews.

Bob C
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Bob C » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:29 am

You're welcome. I think I'm starting to repeat myself though. MikeBass, gumbynotpokey, Toptube and many others around here have a lot more experience and knowledge about the Aries and other newer Kiesel models. I endlessly pressed them for information while I was on my quest.

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MikeBass
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby MikeBass » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:37 pm

Bob C wrote:Hey Mikebass,

Yes, the KRJ is a little quieter than the SCP on my Aries. But it really isn't a problem.

There does seem to be a VERY slight string-to-string imbalance, mostly on the lowest notes. So I'm considering adjusting the SCP height on one side. But it may be my amp or the acoustics from last Saturday's gig. Too many variables and still too much newness.

I measured relief and think the Aries has one or two thousandths of an inch more than the LB70's setup. I haven't measured string height. This is nitpicking, of course and numbers don't tell the whole story. I'm just restating that the bass setup is ALMOST perfect, and I need to play it more before digging into adjustments.

I have a gig this weekend in a familiar venue. So ... looking forward to that adventure.

I've read probably all of your posts, but don't recall the specifics on your basses. Is your Aries active or passive? What pickups are in your Aries and LB70?



I’m looking forward to more tone reports as you get acquainted with the bass, lots of great info for future visitors.

I’ve spent a good amount of time tweaking the heights of the SCP’s four screws to get things juuust right. Such a powerful pickup! My Aries and LB are both active, with the infamously custom J99A neck and SCP bridge layout.
Kiesel basses, lots of pedals, nothing wrong

Bob C
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Re: Played first gig with my new Aries bass last night

Postby Bob C » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:10 am

Your basses are beautiful. What made you decide on that pickup configuration anyway??


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