Most unusual hollow body bass

Postby drbassman » Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:31 pm

DaveyG67 wrote:Well, pretty rare & unusual... My Azola Nouveau #02 (#01 was the prototype). I bought this from the man himself, Steve Azola, at the winter NAMM 2002.
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Wow, I am speechless. that is a magnificent bass. what's the neck like? How does it play?
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Postby DaveyG67 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:17 am

Thanks drbassman...the neck is very vintage j-bass like, 1.5" at the nut and a fairly shallow profile. Plays and sounds as sweet as it looks.
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Postby drbassman » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 am

Does it balance well on the strap? I am enamored by this beauty. I've been thinking about trying a Lakland but this bass is even more beautiful IMHO.
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Postby Pilgrim » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:46 am

(This post refers to the Univox bass on page 1 of the thread, shown below...)

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Thanks, Dr. Bassman. I've become a fan of the instruments made in the Matsumoku factory which built Univox, Lyle, Epiphone, Westone, Aria and some other lines. I own three guitars from that factory: the Univox bass, a Lyle single-pickup hollow-body bass (dark walnut color, now in rebuild status for a pickup and nut) and a tobacco-brown sunburst Lyle six-string hollow-body that I bought at a flea market.

I've found all of these to have exceptionally pretty wood, very playable necks, and incredible finish. As far as issues when i got them, the Univox had a high fret ($20 to fix), and the Lyle guitar had two nut slots cut too deeply; I partially filled the slots with baking soda and super glue and re-filed them, and now it plays well.

Overall, the hardware on these instruments is very good with the tuners possibly being the weakest part, but any time you're dealing with 30-year old tuners, you have no way of knowing how much abuse they've taken. There is one very stiff tuner on the Lyle guitar, but I think some graphite in there would help. The other weak link due to the age of the electronics is the pots, which are usually badly oxidized on these hollow-bodies. The Lyle guitar made almost no sound when I got it, but pulling the pots and going after them with tuner cleaner made a big difference. If I have to go in there again, I'll use DeoxIT or ProGold to assure longer-term static-free service.

The pickups are another issue, and I suspect they're the part that people criticize the most. However, I've watched auctions on Ebay for more than a year, and I see pickups that visually appear to be the same showing up on Univox, Lyle and Epiphone instruments of the same vintage. The Univox bass pictured above recently went to a jam with me, and it stood out nicely in the mix. Personally, I enjoy the sound of these older pickups and think it is distinctive. IMO there is no point in chopping up an old guitar to change pickups unless the old ones are dead - and even then, why not use Ebay to find original replacements that are a perfect fit?
Last edited by Pilgrim on Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- '63 Fender P
- Midnight blue MIM J
- OLP M22, Metallic Blue
- P/J fretless
- Epiphone EB-0
- Univox 335-copy hollowbody
- Rogue VB-100 Violin Bass
- Turser JTB-401 '53 P replica
- Applause AE-40 ABG
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Location: Fort Collins, CO

Postby drbassman » Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:53 am

Hey Pilgrim, nice info about those old import HB basses. Thanks for describing them and their idiosyncrasies. They do have a certain charm I think. I've been tempted by numerous Lyles and Univox basses over the years, but have never jumped on one. I'm in a buying lull until I get past some college tuition bills for my kids!! Right now I'll have to settle for my current collection unless I win the lottery.
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Postby andysvec » Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:34 am

I love that Gibson EB-650 and the Azola! Anyway, this is the first post for me here, figured I'd try and contribute something.
Here's my 68 Gibson EB-2DC, it was really beat when I found it in a shed so I had it redone and had a SD quarter pounder installed and candy apple red paint job.
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Postby drbassman » Tue Apr 11, 2006 4:59 am

Wow, that is radical! At least the work done on it looks very professional. Sometimes these things are hack jobs and it's a shame. Your rescue project looks pretty darn good. How's it sound?
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Postby andysvec » Tue Apr 11, 2006 5:10 am

drbassman wrote:Wow, that is radical! At least the work done on it looks very professional. Sometimes these things are hack jobs and it's a shame. Your rescue project looks pretty darn good. How's it sound?

thanks drbassman.
Yeah, it was in a shed here on Guam for years, when I found it the original finish was like sticky glue and it was just beat all over (but luckily structurally sound). I sent it to http://www.wescottguitar.com to have it restored as original but he came up with these ideas, which worked out well. Has a new fret job and a set of TI flats, plays like butter and has a big fat sound, it's the bass I have on a stand sitting beside me at all times now.
andysvec
 

Postby drbassman » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:10 am

Wow, Guam! You're lucky the humidity didn't totally screw it up. I have my eye on one on eBay that could use some of the same loving treatment yours got!
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Postby Mike Childree » Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:18 am

DaveyG67 wrote:Well, pretty rare & unusual... My Azola Nouveau #02 (#01 was the prototype). I bought this from the man himself, Steve Azola, at the winter NAMM 2002.


Wow...pretty cool Davey....we have two Azola Nouveau owners on BABP! I own Nouveau A/E #1....Steve Azola only built about a dozen Nouveaus and now they've been retired.


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Postby drbassman » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:33 am

Wow, that is breathtaking! You are a lucky man!
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Location: Rochester, NY

Postby DaveyG67 » Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:43 am

Congrats Mike, I noticed that you scored that...Yeah, Steve's basses are true works of art... [smilie=food-smiley-004.gif]
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Postby noahvale » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:39 pm

Speaking of the Japanese HB copies, I got this one in a pawn shop. It is now in the possession of Nolabass.

click the pic for more
Image
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noahvale
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Postby drbassman » Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:58 pm

[quote="noahvale"]Speaking of the Japanese HB copies, I got this one in a pawn shop. It is now in the possession of Nolabass.

Yep, they do have their own following too. I'm sure some were good and some not. The current Japanese basses are pretty good quality now from what I've seen.
I'm fixin' a hole where the rain gets in......
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Postby Pilgrim » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am

Hey Noahvale, I can't make out the brand on the headstock, but the bridge on that one is identical the bridge to my Univox (check earlier in the thread - I fixed the picture today). It has the flip-mute that Matsumoku used.

I'm going to have a pickguard made for my Univox and for another gent who has the same bass. A kind Ebay seller actually pulled one off his Univox bass and traced it for me!
- '63 Fender P
- Midnight blue MIM J
- OLP M22, Metallic Blue
- P/J fretless
- Epiphone EB-0
- Univox 335-copy hollowbody
- Rogue VB-100 Violin Bass
- Turser JTB-401 '53 P replica
- Applause AE-40 ABG
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Pilgrim
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO

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