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Username: Gemberbier

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 7:34 pm:   

I quit playing the bass a few years ago after a volleyball injury (two overstretched left-hand fingers + tendons + wristbones), left the band for it, which meant Friday evenings with the family instead of hanging out with the boy until 3 AM.

So what was the situation? A lovely part of my collection consists of uh let's see 7 or so basses:
An Ibanez RB630 (Precision), a 1996 Squier Jazz Bass, a Vantage PB model, a prefab self-built neck-through active Bartolini Jazz Bass, a blonde ash Hondo II 1975 Jazz Bass copy with humbuckers and ashtray, a Cort B4FL (old series with Mighty Mights, NOT Bartolinis), and a 6-string neck-through Samick...
ALL LONG scale basses (34"), I measured the difference between the first 4 frets on these basses and on a fender guitar, and it was 32 mm.
32mm, meaning the difference between joy and PAIN.

I don't like letting go good instruments, and I am still hoping that I once will be able to play them without pain. But then I will have to practise, and I am quite lazy when it comes to practising, especially when it hurts.

So the idea was, to take away the pain, and see how far I will get. How? By using a short scale bass, that is NOT considered a children's instrument, and adds something special to my collection.

Now, I'm a fan of semi-acoustic Artstar guitars. I own an AS120, and after some reading and studying I found out that there was a short era after 1986, in which the low end Artstar models were NOT made in the Terada factory in Japan, but in the Yoojin factory in Korea.
What do I know about this factory and the quality? Actually very little. I know that the pickups in the Cort Artstar guitars were better than the ones in the Samick guitars, but about Yoojin I knew only several model numbers (among them the ArtSTAR AM-50, the successor of the ArTIST AM-50, which latter I own, and of which I want to believe that it is better than a Korean one, which I never tested).

And then, a fortnight ago, about 3AM I discovered that the buyer of a bass that I missed in an earlier auction wrote that the person who bid 10% more than the last bid could pick it up. So I bid and made an appointment and drove about 100 kms and back to get it. First I landed on the premises of the episcopal institute, but the guy guided me to his address over the cell phone.

I had taken my Hondo II with me to measure and feel the difference and to measure and compare the humbuckers of both basses. Of course I also had a multimeter, a cable and a small amp with me. The seller sort of fell in love with my Hondo II, which I'd rather keep, but his girlfriend found it ugly, which sort of solved the matter for me.

Anyway, when I came home late at night, he had already removed the pics of the internet and didn't answer my e-mail for pics.
But last night I found one in the same colour (AV) in Germany (the other ones on the www are black).
So I'm proud to present to you, for the first time pictured and the 3rd time mentioned on ICW: the Artstar AB50 in antique violin burst, as far as I can decipher the serial number, which is a bit strange, from 1991. But I'll get back to that later.
First a picture of the bass in Germany with witch hat knobs, which are from the wrong era IMO, but the rest looks fine, certainly after some advice about processing the picture.


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Username: Artfield

Registered: 4-2001
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 - 7:51 pm:   

Nice catch Ginger, really a seldom seen ibanez bass.

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