Author Topic: Lace-Helix?  (Read 3325 times)

felig

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 08:04:35 AM »
I've got one of these--my guitar player has a shop in Ft. Myers, Florida & when he first got one in a couple of years ago he called me because he knows I like the odd ones.  I bought it & took it home & realized that it that the pickups had some issues--he sent it back, & got another that looked like it should have been a second or a third, at best.   A misplaced side dot (how would that have happened $$) was covered over with opaque stain, plus a few other cosmetic issues) and it had a pickup selector toggle and a master volume & tone instead of the two volume pots & tone on the production basses--not a big thing, but it was not what I wanted.  This one sounded & played great, but it should have been maybe used as a demo & not for retail sale as a factory new bass.  That one went back & the next one that came in had at one of the fret positions a crescent of maple and rosewood board had been grafted in, apparently to fix some damage before it left the factory and some other cosmetic issues that should have also made this a second or third.  That one never got sent back, but my guitarist got in another one that was perfect.  However, by this time I was frustrated & got my money back.  About a year later, I got a really great deal on the imperfect one that didn't get sent back.  I use it frequently because it is light weight, it plays & sounds great as well.  The rest of the band loves its sound & the way it sits in the mix.  The neck on mine is not excessively wide--not as wide as a Precision--it is very comfortable to me.

If they could have gotten their quality control & consistency together, they would have had a winner IMHO.   The pickups are great.

dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4079
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2011, 10:27:33 AM »
...If they could have gotten their quality control & consistency together, they would have had a winner IMHO.   The pickups are great.

That's why if/when I move production to Asia I'll be moving with it.

I loved the sound of the one pup bolt on Helix I had, nothing wrong with it except saddles that needed to be filed.  I couldn't help thinking that if an actual bass player had been involved he would have pointed out the action was ridiculously high and couldn't be easily fixed by the end user.  Shimming would have probably done the trick but I just sent it back and bought an Alumitone Bassbar instead.

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15386
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2011, 07:17:15 AM »
I played mine last night at the rehearsal. It probably has as modern a sound as a bass can be without sounding active. I don't mean that as a criticism, it just struck me that in comparison to the other basses I played (a sixties Epi Embassy, a 69 EB-1 and a ltd. ed. budget Ibanez Iceman, the chequered one) the Lace had the most nuances in sound. It converted my Ampeg rig into a Trace-Elliot one. Bit like a beefy mahogany body Jazz bass in sound really and as such very versatile.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4079
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2011, 11:24:22 AM »
Here's my JAEbird II prototype with a Lace Bassbar in it.  According to Jeff Lace they have a little more bottom end than the pups in the Helix bass which are guitar pups.  Very vintageThunderbird II sounding IMO.








BigRedX

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2011, 08:54:28 AM »
I've got a Helix 5-string fretless. Nice and comfortable body shape to play and I like how it looks!

However the side dots are in the wrong place for a fretless (they are where they would be on a fretted bass between the frets rather than where the fret would have been), the bridge difficult to adjust and the Alumitone Pickups while having a good range and sounding clear are very low output. Also the finish isn't particularly good considering the list price...

I've heard that the inconsistencies in output, the position of the side dots on the fretless models and the bridge design have been addressed on the more recent models, but I would still want to try one before buying. When they are good they have the potential to be awesome, however with the issues that mine has it's just an averagely made bass with a weird design.

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15386
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 01:36:11 PM »
Essentially, they are platforms to show that the pups work, we shouldn't forget that.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

clankenstein

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 839
  • flouser trapping low notes
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2011, 01:51:42 PM »
thats clever whereyou have put the strap button.
You just can't believe everything you see and hear now can you?

dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4079
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2011, 01:59:34 PM »
Essentially, they are platforms to show that the pups work, we shouldn't forget that.

That's what it did for me, the pups kick butt if raised to the proper height which is difficult without using a thick piece (or 2) of foam with a space cut out for the coil.  I sent the bass back and just bought the pup...but what a wasted effort putting out a bass, that to me at least, had some fresh design ideas but was poorly executed.  Maybe in 20 years it will be today's equivalent of...(fill in blank here).

Thanks, Tubehead!  A few guys have done similar to their JAEbirds, just taking cues from them.

jumbodbassman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1335
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2011, 02:11:47 PM »
I actually put chrome lace helix pups in the black jaebird carlo built as i really hated the barts.  Very clean ,nice sound.  IMO  similar to the 76 bird i have.  As carlo stated  PUP placement is key.  they are weird shaped and getting them close,  but not too close,  to the strings makes a huge improvement.  Pretty much same size as the tbird pups as i usd the rings Carlo made ith them. 
Sitting in traffic somewhere between CT and NYC
JIM

Freuds_Cat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3143
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2011, 05:22:47 PM »
What? Wider than an Epi Explorer neck?  :o
Digresion our specialty!

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15386
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2011, 08:50:28 AM »
Yup, wider than an Epi Explorer neck. It would make a comfortable 5 string. But you get used to all that room quickly though I don't really need it as a pick player.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

dadagoboi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4079
  • huh?...HUH?
    • View Profile
    • CATALDO BASSES
Re: Lace-Helix?
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2011, 09:17:30 AM »
The four string bolt on Helix has a P width neck.  The bridge is the same as I use as a donor for JAEbird bridge/tailpieces.  It has the standard 19mm spacing.  I'm pretty sure they use that same bridge on the thru neck Lace.

My Epi TBird bolt on neck doesn't seem to be any wider than a vintage  P neck.

Uwe, IMO a bass with bad factory setup is an expensive way to showcase pickups.  I said as much to Jeff Lace when I called to have missing pickup screws sent after I buying a Lace bassbar.  I don't think he cared what a bassplayer thought.  Otherwise he would have had a few try out the prototypes.  OTH, I did buy a pickup after returning the bass