Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tradition B-105 Bass
I've talked a lot over the past couple months about pedals, and I thought it was time to get back to an axe. I am definitely a metal guy, and metal - at least modern metal - means down-tuning. So a couple years ago I got a 5-string to mess around with. I checked Craigslist and a guy ten minutes from my house had a 5-string for sale. I wasn't familiar with Tradition at the time, but I looked them up online: retail was $525, and this guy was asking $200. So I bought it and had it set up at a local guitar shop.
I learned a lot with this bass. Most importantly, I learned I don't really like 5-strings. The neck just seems too wide and annoying. I think if I end up actively playing more down-tuned music, I'll look into getting a four string tuned BEAD. I also don't think I'm too wild about the GHS Bass Boomers the shop strung it up with. They're too boomy. Go figure. A friend of mine works at Gore and hooked me up with a set of Elixirs, which I will string this thing up with some point and see if I like them better. But all that is more about my personal preferences and not so much about this particular bass.
Quick features rundown: Its got passive pick-ups and a bolt-on neck. It's got three controls that are described as separate volume controls for each pick-up, but I don't think that is correct. I think a more accurate description is two volume controls (the two closest to the neck) and a tone control (by the bridge). I just mess around with them until I dial in a sound I like and go from there. I didn't set this one up myself, but it has standard style bridge that is easy to adjust. The pickups are definitely punchy and I think it has a good sound. The lowest notes are all distinct and you can get a good variety of tones with the onboard controls.
As much as I like my Cat Bass, I think the B-105 was a step up in overall quality. It doesn't hum at rest, though it does have sustain issues. After buying the Tradition and playing with it for a while it helped solidify in my mind what I was looking for in a bass. That will bring me to the current flagship of my bass fleet, the ESP LTD B-4E, which I will review next.