NBD: Kermit 5

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drbass
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NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 09 Nov 2017, 14:24

Hi there,

Thought I might as well post this here - a new bass is a new bass, even if I built it myself, right? My wife most definitely thinks that way ;) .

Anyway, walnut body, maple contrast layer, indian rosewood top. My Xtend body/neck construction with a 3 piece maple neck and maple board. Hipshot tuners and single bridges. And all finished with the wipe-on product I will use from now on for all natural finishes (and maybe some coloured ones as well).
For electronics I thought I might try an SD Musicman replacement set, ceramic pickup and 3-band pre.

Pics:









Oh: weight is 3.5 kg.

Finished last week and available at the Sydney GTG last Saturday. I played this one in anger for the first time last night and have a couple of comments.

Sounds amazing when played without amplification. Very even, clear (DR HiBeams, btw.) and responsive. No surprises there considering the wood combination, right? :poke: :poke: . Also much better balanced than the 6ers (which, btw, aren't too bad) thanks to the smaller headstock (yes, I managed to reduce the size) and one less tuner.

Seemed reasonably OK when played through the PJB BigHead. And you can see where this is going: let me put the cards on the table.

I was rather disappointed at rehearsal. Rather weak G string, somewhat weak D string, and the B string was all thumps without much clarity or definition at all. Hang on, I've heard this one before.

Looks like the SD replacement recreates a typical, or let's say often-reported, observation. Compared to this, and also in absolute terms, the red Manta is absolutely balanced and even in response with great low note (B string) definition - it has a Delano pu and a Nordstrand pre installed.

So, here's what I'll do. I'm going to get a Delano pickup first (MC 5 HE/S-L) which (at least that's my expectation) will take care of (most of) the issue. For good measure I can then install a Nordstrand pre I have floating around, or might even consider gutting the Red Baron (make it a passive bass) and using the Glockenklang pre.

Any comments are most welcome on this issue. I'll keep you updated on future developments.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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david1234
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by david1234 » 09 Nov 2017, 14:39

I'm sad to hear that it doesn't cut it yet in a band situation.

When I played it solo at the GTG it sounded as beautiful as it felt.

Thanks for your honesty and I will be interested to see how this develops. I do hope you can get it where you want it to be: I'm really enjoying what you're coming up with in this series of instruments.
:yep
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drbass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 09 Nov 2017, 14:43

david1234 wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 14:39
I'm sad to hear that it doesn't cut it yet in a band situation.

When I played it solo at the GTG it sounded as beautiful as it felt.

Thanks for your honesty and I will be interested to see how this develops. I do hope you can get it where you want it to be: I'm really enjoying what you're coming up with in this series of instruments.
Thanks, David,

Appreciate your kind comments. Well, I can't say it's great when it simply isn't (others might be able to do that) but I'm cool with it, it's not a building issue but an electronics one, and there are PLENTY of threads discussing pickup/electronics swaps :) .

Was great to catch up last weekend!

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Classic5
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by Classic5 » 09 Nov 2017, 15:02

Interesting comments Michael. And yes, it's good to see some honesty which is not so common these days.

This build IS fantastic, so hopefully changing over the electronics will make all the difference. Just as an aside, are you sure the particular acoustics of the room didn't have some play here? is it a room where you've played your other basses in previously, with better results?
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drbass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 09 Nov 2017, 15:08

Classic5 wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:02
Interesting comments Michael. And yes, it's good to see some honesty which is not so common these days.

This build IS fantastic, so hopefully changing over the electronics will make all the difference. Just as an aside, are you sure the particular acoustics of the room didn't have some play here? is it a room where you've played your other basses in previously, with better results?
Thank you, Ivan,

No, never played in the room before but it was a "recording studio" (so I would expect the acoustics to be fairly neutral) plus I was right in front of my amp/cab. Trust me, it wasn't right.

Just to clarify, there was plenty of zing (i.e.treble), the G and D (which sounded great acoustically) just didn't have the girth I'm used to from the Manta. Maybe this would be totally acceptable but I'm somewhat spoilt these days ;) .

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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aphekgreg
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by aphekgreg » 09 Nov 2017, 16:41

drbass wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:08
Classic5 wrote:
09 Nov 2017, 15:02
Interesting comments Michael. And yes, it's good to see some honesty which is not so common these days.

This build IS fantastic, so hopefully changing over the electronics will make all the difference. Just as an aside, are you sure the particular acoustics of the room didn't have some play here? is it a room where you've played your other basses in previously, with better results?
Thank you, Ivan,

No, never played in the room before but it was a "recording studio" (so I would expect the acoustics to be fairly neutral) plus I was right in front of my amp/cab. Trust me, it wasn't right.

Just to clarify, there was plenty of zing (i.e.treble), the G and D (which sounded great acoustically) just didn't have the girth I'm used to from the Manta. Maybe this would be totally acceptable but I'm somewhat spoilt these days ;) .

Regards,
Michael
That would annoy me too. I like my basses to sound even across the strings, not like different instruments!

This is the one you showed me, that you thought would soon be your favourite wasn't it? I didn't plug it in, but the build was fantastic and it felt nice to play. And then it was nice and light...... :hyper:
Greg

Ibanez Musician, MusicMan, Dingwall Z3, Rickenbacker, MIJ Fender Precision & Jazz, Warmoth/Musikraft P/J-bass, Danelectro Longhorn.
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drbass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 10 Nov 2017, 05:52

That’s the one, Greg. I am very confident it will be the main player with the right electronics.

Update: last night’s rehearsalw ith different band in different room confirmed the first impressions. Totally love the E and A string response/sound (massive) but weak D and tinny G, and somewhat muddy B.

Should have the Delano next week (thank you, Tom, excellent customer service).

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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slowlearner
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by slowlearner » 10 Nov 2017, 08:29

Sorry if I'm being captain obvious, but have you tried PU height adjustment? I found moving it up or down made a pretty big difference with a MM style PU.
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drbass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 10 Nov 2017, 08:58

Treble side as close to the string as I would want it to be, Pete.
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Petebass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by Petebass » 10 Nov 2017, 10:09

drbass wrote: Well, I can't say it's great when it simply isn't (others might be able to do that) but I'm cool with it, it's not a building issue but an electronics one, and there are PLENTY of threads discussing pickup/electronics swaps :)
Well the world would be a much better place if this sort of honesty was the norm instead of feeling like a "refreshing change". Don't ever change Michael.

:thumbup:
* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
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drbass
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 10 Nov 2017, 15:34

Further update: MUCH worse when set to parallel. Can’t wait for the Delano pickup :D

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by drbass » 08 Dec 2017, 12:37

Finally put in the Delano pickup (thank you so much for your soldering assistance, David, and Tom Konig for supplying the pickup), and it is a completely different beast.
So balanced (string to string, and fret to fret) it is not funny, very much like the Manta. Big thumbs up for Delano from me, third one I am using and they’re all amazing.

I left the SD pre in and it seems to work just fine (but will, for future builds, combine Delano pickups with Nordstrand pres).

So, happy Michael here. Now all that’s left to do is re-do the tone block and slightly reposition the bridge pieces. And then I’ll have a new (another?) main player 😀.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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BassLine
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Re: NBD: Kermit 5

Post by BassLine » 08 Dec 2017, 14:14

:thumbup: Nice one!
Basses: Fender - Rob Allen - Tobias - Duesenberg
Rigs: Jule Amps - AER - GK - Bergantino - Baer

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