Zeus bass opinions

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Koshchei
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Zeus bass opinions

Postby Koshchei » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:51 am

Hey folks,

I’m done on the guitar side of things gear-wise — my avatar is the best instrument I’ve ever played, and is in all respects perfect — but now it’s time to learn bass. My goals are:

1) Better audiation by limiting note choice to 4 strings.
2) Better improvisation by forcing myself to more concisely represent the harmonic content of the music’s underlying chord changes.
3) Ability to play out with a broader cross-section of the population without getting bored, since there’s novelty in trying something new.

With that in mind, what’s the Zeus like? Does it balance well?

More fundamentally, are there advantages to one type of pickup vs another in bass-land? What about 60s vs 70s bridge pickup positioning? Chambered vs solid?

Tentatively thinking of the following specs, since they work super well for 8 string (lots of frequency overlap):

Walnut/maple neck 3 or 5 pc
Ash body
Ziricote or royal ebony top (cosmetic)
Ebony fingerboard, 14” rad, stainless jumbo frets (non-tapered ends)

Anything weird or dumb about them that I should be aware of?

Thanks!

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Greg Emm
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Greg Emm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:22 am

You news is pretty exciting. As someone who's listened to your 8-string work, I can only imagine the greatness you'll produce on a 4-string bass.

I have both Osiris and Zeus basses, five and six string versions respectively. The Osiris has a white limba body and buckeye burl top. The Zeus is alder. The Osiris is significantly heavier than the Zeus. The balance and playability of the Zeus is superior, though the Osiris might be more so with a lighter body. Between them, though, the Zeus design seems more player friendly because the upper bout feels of a piece with the neck, providing a terrific sense of stability. While the body bevel on both is likely very similar, the Zeus bevel, again, feels more comfortable to me, which may be an outcome of the better balance and stable character of that instrument.

Your specs are always tasteful. I can't wait to see what you decide on for your build.

Good luck!

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Koshchei » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:31 am

Thanks Greg! Your kind words are super encouraging!

You’ve also definitely sold me on a Zeus... question: did you go with humbucker or single coils? Is the difference as important as on a guitar tonally? Lots of bass guys seem to swear by singles. As well, active or passive? I was thinking passive, but again, this is totally new territory for me, so I’m not sure what sorts of tradeoffs there are.

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Greg Emm
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Greg Emm » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:20 pm

My pleasure. And thank you!

My Zeus features the Xccelerator pickup layout of SCP + RADH, but configured passively. I chose those options because all of my Carvin & Kiesel basses have been active and I really love the Xccelerator pickup combination for the range of tones it offers. If I went back in time to order this bass, I'd likely opt for the active electronics, simply because you "can only take away" sounds from a passive bass and you have access to passive mode with the Kiesel active electronics package.

Interestingly enough, the Osiris is active and has the single RAD single coils, including the "purple dot" 70s position bridge pickup, and they sound great! They are not very noisy and nicely emulate a classic J-bass sound. With the Zeus, I was sorely tempted to have the purple dot pickup installed in the bridge, but realized that I favor the RADH sound for the sorts of things I play and really like how it sounds combined with the SCP.

You've probably seen Darryl Williams' demonstration of a Zeus with active electronics and single-coil pickups, including the 70s position PU in the bridge. If not, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/kieselguitars/ ... 454533713/

(It's loading slowly for me, so I hope it's still available.)

That clip is a great showcase for what the 70s configured PUs sound like in both passive and active modes.

Hoping this information helps ...

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Koshchei
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Koshchei » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:16 pm

Funny how much you plan, and things take a left-hand turn... I accidentally ran into an immaculate Rickenbacker 4003SW for an insanely low price, which I could not pass up. Thanks again for all your help! A Zeus is definitely in my future, but when I'm a more seasoned bassist at this point. :)

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Greg Emm
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Greg Emm » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:01 pm

Congratulations! A little green here, to be honest ... Enjoy!

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:42 pm

Koshchei, I know you just got yourself a Rick, but if you're still interested about hearing of the affects of chambered bodies, '60's vs. '70's bridge position, Kiesel's radiused humbuckers vs. singles, and overall balance of the Zeus I've got one coming in about 5 weeks with all those features. I'll post my thoughts here if you'd like.

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Koshchei » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:11 pm

Please! The plan is to get a Kiesel down the road now, so your experiences and thoughts are very much appreciated! :)

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:59 pm

Ok, will do.

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:36 am

Here's a pic of it that appeared in Kiesel's FB "Pic of the Day" a couple of days ago:

38287598_2154296988186925_2407102622768037888_n.jpg
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Greg Emm
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Greg Emm » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:33 am

I knew that must be yours. Very beautiful execution of a dream bass, Catman. Thanks for the preview. Can't wait to see it finished.

I'm happy for you.

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:25 pm

Here are some sneak previews of my Zeus completed.

38914204_2163591463924144_2765271640777424896_n.jpg
38938786_2163259440624013_5359097803530305536_n.jpg


It should be arriving by Wednesday (8/15) this week. Seeing so much of it on Kiesel's FB page really has heightened my anticipation. Only cooler thing that could happen would be it appearing in the ZB6 gallery!!
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spudmunkey
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:49 pm

Image

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Catman10
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:28 am

spudmunkey wrote:Image


LOL! Any extra of that stuff? I think I’ll be needing it when it arrives. This truly is a special build and to have it come out looking so beautiful just adds to that importance! I’ll explain once it arrives.

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:38 am

Catman10 wrote:
spudmunkey wrote:Image


LOL! Any extra of that stuff?


Image

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Ok, if theres anyone in the SF area could you please go and check on "Spud"? It seems someone has stolen his keyboard and his computer has been left in "Golden Girls" mode! :roll:

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby spudmunkey » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Image

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Koshchei
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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Koshchei » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:15 am

Amazing, Catman! Should be enroute now, right? Can’t wait to hear the tone report.

Also, I think you need more Betty White, if you’re going full Golden Girls.

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby Catman10 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:50 am

Koshchei wrote:With that in mind, what’s the Zeus like? Does it balance well?

More fundamentally, are there advantages to one type of pickup vs another in bass-land? What about 60s vs 70s bridge pickup positioning? Chambered vs solid?


Anything weird or dumb about them that I should be aware of?

Thanks!


The Zeus bass is extremely comfortable, and in my opinion is the most comfortable body they make. Even the Vanquish and Vader don't feel as comfortable. It balances better sitting down than the Vader, and is extremely secure even without a strap. I haven't played a long gig with it standing up yet, but with the strap button in the center of the bottom curve of the body seems like it would sit very familiar on the shoulder.

My Zeus is the first bass I have with the radiused single coil pickups. My VB6 and V69K have the radiused humbuckers. My X64 and one of my PB5's have the radiused humbucker in the bridge, so I'm a little familiar with them. The main differences I've experienced between the radiused humbucker and single coil pickups is the humbuckers accentuate the lower mids while the single coils accentuate the upper mids a little more. The single coils will generate a very slight bit of noise, buts its extremely slight and lets face it...they're single coils and thats what they do. Putting Kiesel"s radiused humbucker against the radiused single coils, I like them both. I feel that the Kiesel radiused humbucker performs kind of like the P90 pickup in the guitar world. It has the fullness and warmth you'd expect from a humbucker, yet also has the snap and volume of a single coil. If I take either my Vader or Vanquish with humbuckers to a gig, I'm not going to feel like I'm lacking in tone if there's any funk or slap bass tunes called. Personally, I don't have an absolute preference of one over the other. I love them both.

This Zeus of mine has the '60's position bridge pickup, and it gives the bridge pickup a slightly "warmer" sound. Personally, a bridge pickup in the '70's position soloed seems a little too thin to me and needs to be helped out by the neck pickup slightly. Having the pickup in the '60's position gives the pickup the warmth that I wouldn't mind completely soloing.

Chambering, like my Zeus has, gives the tone a little more "warmth". So does raw tone finish. I'm sure if you want to get the most out of the effects of the wood you choose then go with tung oil finish.

If its the "sound of the wood" you're going for I'd select chambered body, tung oil finish, and choose '60's position for the bridge pickup to get the most "warmth".

Now stay tuned for Spud's barrage of silly and witty Golden Girls GIFs. Take it away, Spud...

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Re: Zeus bass opinions

Postby spudmunkey » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:29 am

Catman10 wrote:
Now stay tuned for Spud's barrage of silly and witty Golden Girls GIFs. Take it away, Spud...


NimbleFlatCommongonolek-small.gif
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