Sunday, June 17, 2007

Keith Roscoe...Better Than Ever!

We just received two exceptional Roscoe Century Signature Vs from Keith Roscoe that were so exceptional that they really made me sit up and take notice of a trend that has been occurring over the last 3-4 years. It occurred to me that, despite the challenge in doing so, Keith Roscoe continues to build a better bass each time out. In fact, the last few Roscoes that I have received have been as good as any Roscoe (or any other bass for that matter), that I have ever played!

Granted, this is not to say that Keith's previous basses have not been up to snuff. That simply isn't the case. However, what's really impressive is that Keith has been able to maintain exceptionally quality standards despite the challenge of only having a handful of employees AND in spite of their tremendous growth over the last few years. Anyone can keep quality high when demand is low. However, the demand for Keith's outstanding basses is greater than it has ever been, and they're making more basses per month than they have ever made. This is why I'm so impressed by the basses that I recently received from Keith. Despite all of the challenges that he may be experiencing due to the success and popularity of this instruments, they're just as great NOW as they have ever been!

We have a couple of great LG 3005s in stock that offer the hallmarks of a Roscoe bass...super-thick tone and great playability. Similarly, the two Century Sigs that just arrived this past week are some of the most unique and visually impressive basses that we have received in a while. Keith's desire to push the envelope, his interest in continually exploring new woods and electronics, and the precision and consistency with which the entire process is executed makes specing-out, ordering, receiving, and playing a Roscoe about as much fun as one person should be allowed to have!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Exhibition Roscoe Tops on Reserve!

If you are thinking about finally pulling the trigger on that custom Roscoe project you have been thinking about, or just like to gave at amazing pieces of exotic hardwood tops, definitely check out the new tops we have on reserve near the bottom of the Roscoe section at the Blueberry Hill Bass site.

These are some of the highest-grade, most amazingly figured tops that we have had in quite a while, and we tend to be known for having the best quality tops on reserve for Roscoe custom bass projects. Many of these pieces are large enough to accommodate all three Roscoe body sizes (LG, SKB, and Century), so let us know if you would like to grab one for yourself.

Also keep your eyes on the "In Stock" page, as we always have Roscoes leaving and new ones coming in. Don't hesitate to call or e-mail with questions regarding custom orders. Just because you don't see what you would like to do in the Roscoe Sold Gallery (gallery one or gallery two), it doesn't mean that it can't be done.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ludo's Roscoe Nearing Completion!

It has been a little too long since I have had a chance to update the BHB Blog, but when an update comes, it comes with a purpose! I just received some excellent shots of Ludo's Roscoe. This bass is nearing completion and isn't too far from heading out the door. Ludo has been great to work with and he has been eagerly, but patiently, awaiting the day when his new SKB will arrive. The bubinga top that Luco selected is very warm and rich (with some unique "swirly" figure), and the birdseye 'board makes for a great contrast. This one is turning out to be one very nice bass!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Roscoe Tops Available!

We just recently reserved a stack of exceptional exhibition grade maple tops that are sure to turn some heads. Most of them are exhibition quilts, but all are top-notch pieces that would be great for a custom project. I love quilt tops on Roscoe basses and while the "good stuff" is becoming increasingly harder to find (not to mention more and more expensive), I am proud to offer to my customers what I consider to be the very best of the best. Photos of the tops have been posted near the bottom of the Roscoe section at the Blueberry Hill Bass web site. Give us a call if you would like to reserve one for your own custom project.

On a related note, we have a good selection of Roscoe basses available, with a few new ones on the way. We currently have 2 SKB 3005s and 2 LG3005s in stock, and are expecting a SKB 3006 and a Century Signature 3005 to arrive very soon. Following that will be several more SKB 3005s spread out over the next couple of months. If you see something that catches your interest, let us know.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Winter NAMM Recap.

It seems as if another winter N.A.M.M convention has come and gone yet again, and this year's show seems to have been quite a good one. A lot of new, interesting products were introduced, and many of the Blueberry Hill builders attended and had very good shows. The usual suspects were there, as Chris Benavente, Sheldon Dingwall, George Furlanetto/F Bass, Mike Lull, and Carey Nordstrand all showcased their amazing talents. Mike Lull introduced a new model...the M4VXL. This new addition to the Lull family is a 24 fret 4-string featuring the modern M5 body style with a 5A figured maple top. I'm sure this will make 24 fret jazz fans very happy!

Carey Nordstrand also had an outstanding show. Last year, we debuted a couple of Nordy vJ prototypes. This year, we "officially" unveiled the line in it's final version. This is a project that I am extremely proud of. It took 2 years developing, colaborating, plotting, scheming, and ironing out the details to get everything right, but the Nordy vJ basses are an amazing value and went over BIG at the show! Also, I can't forget to mention the success of the Nordstrand pickup line either. Sometimes, I think that the pickup line gets more attention that Carey's amazing basses do! Many high-end builders have already adopted Nordstrand pickups as their pickup of choice, and many other builders are now offering them as factory options. Based on some of the conversations that took place over the NAMM weekend, I have a feeling that you will be seeing Nordstrand pickups available on even more "big name" basses in the coming year.

Now...only a few more months before everyone starts preparing for the next NAMM show!

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nordstrand Fat Stacks vs. Dual Coils

Since the previous Nordstrand pickup blog entries appear to have been very helpful to players trying to make tough decisions between various pickups models (see the Nordstrand vs. Fralin and Nordstrand Jazz Pickup Review blog articles), I thought that a Fat Stacks vs. Dual Coils entry was probably long overdue. I have been receiving a LOT of questions about these two pickup models lately, and I have a feeling that the push behind the volume of inquiries is coming from three primary sources. First, Roscoe Guitars has added Nordstrand Dual Coils as an option, and several of my Roscoe customers have been requesting Dual Coils on their custom orders. Secondly, the success and popularity of the new Nordstrand Nordy line of basses has brought a lot of attention to the Fat Stacks set, especially since we are featuring them on many of the early Nordies that have left Carey's shop. Lastly, many high-end and custom builders have adopted Nordstrand pickups as their pickup of choice, so even non-Nordstrand owners are getting exposed to Carey's outstanding pickups. I hope that the following review helps to clear up any outstanding questions that might be floating around out there.

The first point of emphasis is that even though both pickups look similar and are the same size, they do NOT sound alike. In fact, they are very different pickups. The Fat Stacks were originally designed to be the "ultimate" pickup for the jazz bass fanatic. They sound like their name a super-fat jazz pickup. This is why you will see the 'Stacks featured so heavily on the new Nordy line. While they offer a bigger, thicker, fatter jazz tone, they also deliver a great slap tone as well. The pole-pieces are shifted off-axis to deliver a better response for slapping. Another benefit is that by adding a coil tap, you can convert the hum-canceling stacked coils into single coil mode, essentially converting a Fat Stack into the Nordstrand Big Single pickup. All Nordy basses come standard with a mini-switch on the control plate providing the player with the advantage of having the benefit of "two pickups in one".

The Dual Coils, on the other hand, deliver what many players traditionally refer to as a true "modern" sounding pickup. They can be wired in either series or parallel, and can also we wired so that either series, parallel, or single coil modes can be selected. The DC sets are extremely versatile in offering a range of wiring configurations and a variety of tones. The series mode has a slightly higher output, places an emphasis on the midrange, and will give you a deep, rich, thick tone. If you're looking for an ultra-modern, "hi-fi" tone, then a set of Dual Coils wired in parallel would be the way to go. This wiring option emphasizes the lows and highs.

While tone is largely impacted by the bass itself, how you set the instrument's controls (if you have a bass with an on-board preamp), how you set the controls on your amp/preamp, and your own playing style, the pickups are a big contributing factor in the overall sound of your instrument. But, even with all of those variables taken into consideration, I hope that the generalized descriptions above will provide you with a better understanding of these two Nordstrand pickup models and will help you make the choice that is right for you and your bass.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Why George Ls Cables?

I recently decided to expand the number of products that we carry here at Blueberry Hill after several years of encouragement from customers, friends, and the bass playing community. While you probably won't see straps, stands, and picks on sale any time soon, we did recently add George Ls Cables to the lineup of small companies that we represent. Keeping with the overall theme here at Blueberry Hill, the company is a small, family-run business located outside of Nashville, TN and they have established a reputation for great products, great quality, and for focusing on the needs of working musicians.

I have been a George Ls fan and user for years (so long, in fact, that I can't even remember when I purchased my first George Ls cable)! Up until about 6 months ago, when I unfortunately left my cable at a gig, I had been using the same .155 George Ls cable for over seven years. I never had a single issue with that cable deteriorating or failing, but even if I had, their solderless connector jacks would have made for an easy fix. While I personally prefer the smaller diameter cables, we are also carrying their larger diameter cables (.225 in three lengths) for those who prefer a thicker cable with a more traditional weight and feel.

I trust the integrity of my signal chain for live performances and studio work to George Ls cables, and we also use them exclusively at the Blueberry Hill demo room. If you're hard on cables and are fed up with pitching your cables after the cable/jack connection breaks down, the solderless connectors will allow you to keep your cables fresh and in working order while saving you money at the same time. If you're like me and just want a great cable at a great price that gets the job done and doesn't color or kill your tone, than either the .155 or .225 cables in 10, 15, or 20 foot lenghts would be a perfect solution. I love 'em and can't recommend them enough!