Author Topic: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?  (Read 12175 times)

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17506
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #120 on: December 16, 2017, 09:34:49 PM »
IMHO the Coronado looks better, at least. Hope it works out better for you.

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8362
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #121 on: December 17, 2017, 07:24:16 AM »
I was surprised that the new Coronado is heavier than I expected, and I like the look.  Hope it works great for you.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #122 on: December 19, 2017, 12:53:46 PM »
I keep reading about the weight of the Coronado, and now I'm worried.  :mrgreen:

A friend's father had an original '60s Coronado guitar. It was a tonally dead, pitiful thing that made a sort of dull sustain-free clunking sound. Maybe it would be good for reggae or R'n'B ('60s style) where you just needed a quick, clean 'chop' on the backbeat or whatever? Steve Cropper stuff, and even he didn't use one. Did anybody use one back in the day?

Fender have definitely had to make a bunch of changes to the reissue design, for whatever reason. The originals weren't semi-hollow but fully hollow (right?) and had Dearmond pickups rather than the Gretsch-style things in the new one (right?).

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8362
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #123 on: December 19, 2017, 06:01:36 PM »
The photos of the 60's versions look like Dearmonds.  The new ones look like Gretsch-style pickups to me.

If you want to go hollow-body, my recommendation would be to check the Gretsch G5440 (long scale) or G5442 (short scale) basses. Here's the 5442.

Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17506
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #124 on: December 19, 2017, 07:27:30 PM »
I keep reading about the weight of the Coronado, and now I'm worried.  :mrgreen:

A friend's father had an original '60s Coronado guitar. It was a tonally dead, pitiful thing that made a sort of dull sustain-free clunking sound. Maybe it would be good for reggae or R'n'B ('60s style) where you just needed a quick, clean 'chop' on the backbeat or whatever? Steve Cropper stuff, and even he didn't use one. Did anybody use one back in the day?

Fender have definitely had to make a bunch of changes to the reissue design, for whatever reason. The originals weren't semi-hollow but fully hollow (right?) and had Dearmond pickups rather than the Gretsch-style things in the new one (right?).

I had an original Coronado II bass, the pickups were DeArmonds. It was fully hollow and it was too light. With the strap button placement, the severe neck dive made it rotate away from the body. It also had an uncomfortable neck profile. The tone wasn't great but it was okay. The discomfort is what made me get rid of it.

The reissue can't be that heavy. It's still a thin body, right? Some extra body weight would definitely be a good thing.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #125 on: December 22, 2017, 01:00:50 PM »
The weight of the reissue is fine! It maybe just surprises people that a hollow-looking bass has any sort of weight to it?

Which is a roundabout way of saying that the bass arrived today! From the get-go I prefer this thing to the Starcaster as I like the bigger body, and the pickups have a bit more clarity and detail to them, rather than just a big fog in the low-mids.

Here it is:



Barely in the door and already modified. This bass was crying out for a thumb rest, so I added one at a slant; mirroring the '60s basses. I also cut a pickguard for it from a pearloid pickguard blank, and I swapped out the black switch tip with an amber one. The black pickguard was never a feature on the original '60s Coronados, and it seems Fender were pushing for a more Gibson-esque vibe on the reissue?

The bass came with a strap button mounted below the heel of the neck on the body. This is a very tight space to get a strap in, and I could not fit any strap with a Schaller strap lock in there. You would need a narrow strap! I tried out a few straps and the bass balanced awkwardly; wanting to hang a bit forward and with the strap itself running aft of the cutaway to my shoulder. As stock both strap buttons are mounted directly along the center-line of the body.

As a workaround I drilled a hole between the front pair of neck bolts, both in the neck plate and in the body. I fitted a strap button here (as you find on an EB0, Jack Casady, Starfire etc), and it balances ok. I've had to ditch the Schaller strap locks because they prod me in the stomach, so I'm using Grolsch bottle grommets instead. Better than nothing!

I also cut down the shine on the back of the neck. I really admire the build quality of these Chinese Fenders, but the ultra glossy lacquer on them makes them feel a bit cheap and plastic-y. It also makes them a bit squeaky and I found my hand drags a bit on the lacquer on the neck. I don't take it back to raw wood, simply take a fine sanding pad to it until there is no longer light reflected from the surface. I took some of the shine off the thumb rest as well. This is a Fender part, but it is a very shiny plastic part and looks a bit cheap until you knock the shine off a bit.

The only big downside, for me, is the volume controls. With the switch in the middle you can mute the bass by turning down either volume control. This is fixable if you hook the pickups to the middle lug on the pots rather than an outer lug. The other thing is an errant crackle in the switch itself. In this Youtube demo of another Coronado there is an audible crackle in the switch, and this is a brand new instrument!



Skip to 2:17 if you want to avoid a staunch reminder of why roundwounds aren't the best choice for a bass like this!

From memory, the electronics in my Starcaster were cheap, generic stuff. This is where Fender cut corners. I prefer being able to blend pickups, so I might rewire it. I have a replacement Switchcraft switch to stick in there as well for when the time comes.

Also, like the Starcaster, the fretwork is alright but not stellar. It is better on the Coronado (the Starcaster frets were lifting in some places, or never seated correctly in the first place), but he frets could maybe do with a polish, and maybe a bit more crowning as well? Beyond that, the inlay work and the binding on the neck are very nicely applied, and the amber lacquer is very evenly applied.

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 17506
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #126 on: December 22, 2017, 01:03:19 PM »
Looks nice!

Pilgrim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8362
    • View Profile
    • YouTube channel
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #127 on: December 22, 2017, 08:33:26 PM »
Looks GREAT to me!!  Nice PG choice!
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #128 on: December 24, 2017, 10:35:29 AM »
Thanks guys! The Coronado and I hit the road last night:



A good gig. Ramshackle, but it all came together. Another band, who were headlining and sort of the local heroes for this scene, brought a lot of extra lighting gear, smoke machines and stuff down to the gig. Very psychedelic.

I ran the Coronado into my VT:DI, into the PA system and then into that wee Laney amp sitting on the beer crate behind me. I had the Laney set to only give me upper frequencies, and I had a lot more of my bass coming through the wedge in front of me. Between the Laney and the wedge I had a few hotspots onstage where I could get certain notes to feedback, or at least sustain nicely. I noticed this with the Coronado more than I've ever noticed with other basses.

Highlander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11906
  • Brexit...? Next they'll be wanting independence...
    • View Profile
Re: Fender to finally make the Starcaster bass and reissue the Coronado?
« Reply #129 on: December 24, 2017, 12:39:22 PM »
When ya coming up to Inverness for a gig, then I can get a shot... :mrgreen:
Staring at the event horizon is a dirty job, but someone has to do it...