Sabre Fans?

Sabre Fans?

Postby Father Gino » Sat May 08, 2010 11:14 pm

Any Sabre fans out there? I'm curious as to whether mine is unusual or does it sound like all Sabres. I hated it for the first couple of years I had it. I took it to a practice one last time and played it through my old MM tube head and a padded Kustom 2x15. At that point I fell madly in love with it. It's a factory fretless, refinished, 9 pound, 3 switch 83, and a good chance that it has one of those thousand bum truss rods that were sent to Charvel were it was made. It has a slight S curve on the neck. I brought it to a luthier who couldn't figure out why the neck refused to stay set until he figured out the nut stripped off the end of the rod. Anyway, it's got relatively high action and is strung with TI flats. I was used to a fretless Sterling and to me this Sabre initially had crappy action, no high mids, no singing mwah and not much sustain. Now love it for those very reasons. It has a quality I heard best described (by Funkster) as "dry". It has an upright quality but with a more electric, rock & roll attitude. I almost always play it with both PUs on, bass rolled all the way off, treble anywhere from off to 3/4 on depending upon my mood. I've lowered the neck PU somewhat because %^&*#@ Leo Fender refused to put a blend knob on the damn thing. Bright switch, useless. Phase switch, worse than useless.

It thumps, growls and spits on command or it can be smoooooooth and creamy but it's always fat and full. I've also got a fretless 81 L2K which just isn't the same sort of beast. The neck is very similar shape wise and has much better action. But it can be harsh to mine ears. I find I like its tone better with just the neck PU. Even passive, the thing is insanely hot. Maybe I'm just too dumb to turn the volume knob down enough.

But I ramble…

Does that sound like your Sabre? If I intentionally bend up the neck of the L2K, would I like it better? What modern MM would it be most like? HS?, HH?, Sterling?, Stingray? (don't tell me no Bongo).
Father Gino
Location: Farthard, CT

Re: Sabre Fans?

Postby bdgotoh » Sun May 09, 2010 12:13 am

The HH Stingray is going to be closest, but lots of people will disagree. The preamp is close (2 band Sabre, 3 band Ray), the pickups are alnico wired parallel. Switch positions 1, 3, and 5 will give you the same pickup selections as a pre-EB Sabre. If you like Jazz necks go for an SLO Special Stingray.
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Re: Sabre Fans?

Postby Caca de Kick » Wed May 12, 2010 1:34 am

I've have had a few HH StingRays, and I could not get any of them to sound like my 1980 Sabre, so down the road they went. With both pickups on, the Sabre is dark and rich, but still keeps alot of shimmery treble to it without any clickety noises (like I get with the 3eq). With the rear pickup only, the mids really come into play much like a single pickup 2eq Ray.

If your bass has the three toggle switches, it shouldn't be an ' would be an older model, so the bogus truss rod shouldn't be in that bass.
An '83 would have the single blade switch. Have you verified the neck and body stamps really are '83? If it's the case it's an older model, then a good repairman should be able to re-thread the end of the rod that way you can see if the neck will hold a setting. If you find it does hold, then you could leave it as-is or proceed with a truss rod replacement. I hear EB still has old style bullet truss rods in stock.
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Caca de Kick
Location: Seattle

Re: Sabre Fans?

Postby Father Gino » Thu May 13, 2010 3:44 pm

I was told it was an '83 when I bought it but I can't really confirm it by markings on the neck. It was definitely refinished so maybe it got sanded off. Is there a serial # somewhere that could reliably date it? Anyway, I've read that 83 Sabres were made with a variety of left-over parts so that some had the blade switch and others did not. The truss rod issue has been fixed to my satisfaction. I guess the nut at the end of the rod that's not supposed to turn did and came undone. The luthier guy glued it on with some super-duper Loctite stuff and it's been very stable ever since (7-8 years or so), The neck still has a bit of a ski jump curve in it but I think I actually like it that way. This bass has made me appreciate higher action.

Whatever it is, I really like it. Someday I'd love to check out an HH or HS fretless Ray or Sterling, but they're fairly rare to find locally and I think my days of buying basses without playing them first are over. How many friggin' basses do I need anyway? Between the Sabre and H Sterling, I'm pretty well set. Plus I've got the L2K as well which I'm kinda sour on at the moment, but maybe next month I'll love it.
Father Gino
Location: Farthard, CT

Re: Sabre Fans?

Postby GonzoBass » Thu May 13, 2010 7:01 pm

Father Gino wrote:How many friggin' basses do I need anyway?

Heh heh heh...
Not touching that question. [smilie=grinning-smiley-044.gif]

How about some pics of the Sabre though?


Papa Gonzo
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Re: Sabre Fans?

Postby Father Gino » Fri May 14, 2010 1:50 pm

Here's the same ole picture of it and the Sterling:


That's the problem with not getting any new basses; I've got nothing new to post here. I just keep posting the same stuff about the same bass. I do think I'd like a new set of spikkers, but I tend not to buy those sorts of things until mine blow up.
Father Gino
Location: Farthard, CT

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