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 Post subject: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 10th, 2016, 2:46 pm 
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Hey guys, my G&L MJ-4 showed up yesterday!

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I originally went for a JB, but they aren't offered in lefty, so I went with this instead. I went a little crazy on options, so there is no way I could ever get back what I paid for it, haha. I didn't realize just how much I spent on options until I saw in the video below that street value starts at $1300. Whoa! I paid WAY more. The stainless steel frets were the real killer.

Here we go:
Ash body (option for standard finishes)
Lake Placid Blue (standard)
Quartersawn neck (option)
Maple fretboard (standard)
1.5" nut width (option. 1 5/8" is standard)
9.5" fretboard radius (standard)
stainless steel frets (huge option)
reversed headstock (option)
Graph-tech nut (option)
silver-on-black logo (standard)

It is MUCH lighter than I thought it would be. It weighs notably less than my Ash/Maple Fender Japan Jazz or Ash/Maple Sire V7. It plays great. The frets are much higher than I am used to, but that really didn't require any adjustment on my end. As you may have noticed by the pictures, the intonation needs to be adjusted. The saddle positions look more typical of a right-handed bass.

It plays great and sounds killer. It can sound much more aggressive than how the guy in the video below has it EQ'ed. I nailed the Tim Commerford "Evil Empire" tone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGBcckebs24) with this bass, a B7K and a Bass Pod XT using the Rock Classic model.

Here is a great video demonstrating this bass:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8V8CuuBZ0g

He nailed it when he said the midrange control is great. It's not too low to make it sound boomy and not to high to make it sound nasal or quacky. It just helps it sound more "present."

Now, I just have to figure out how to get a D-tuner on the reversed headstock!
\m/ Rock on!

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


Last edited by superheavydeathmetal on March 10th, 2016, 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 10th, 2016, 3:26 pm 
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Wow that's what i call money well spent! :P ;)
Love the LPB on it! Congrats and i won't need to tell you to enjoy the heck out of it!


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 10th, 2016, 7:05 pm 
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Wow.

I'm too tired to elaborate, but there's a lot behind that wow :^)

Including rethinking a Warwick...


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 1:23 pm 
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tim wrote:
Wow.

I'm too tired to elaborate, but there's a lot behind that wow :^)

Including rethinking a Warwick...

Ha! Well, it all depends on what sound you are after. The MJ-4 has your typical aggressive jazz tone (I like to describe it as,"throaty" since I don't know a better word). Warwicks, at least the Thumb, are more dark and grumbley.

While I prefer the jazz sound over the Warwick sound, the Thumb is unparalleled for slap. It never gets harsh or clanky, and will therefore always have a place in my stable.

Also, as an aside, I am not as in love with the reversed headstock as I thought I would be. It's okay, but I guess the shape of that headstock doesn't lend itself to looking super-cool when reversed like some other instruments. I like it for being unique, but there is an added difficulty with adding a D-tuner that I have yet to solve.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 1:43 pm 
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I thought the reverse headstock was to help with string break of a thick string, like if you tune BEAD. I started thinking about tuning a bass down like that a couple weeks ago and stumbled across a picture of Tim C with his reverse headstock jazz.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 2:39 pm 
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tim wrote:
I thought the reverse headstock was to help with string break of a thick string.

It doesn't have any effect on string tension, so, as far as I know, it's strictly cosmetic.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 2:42 pm 
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Not tension, but the angle of the string across the nut.

Edit: I'm not saying that it definitely DOES have an effect, but you mentioned the other Tim so I wondered if you had a non-cosmetic reason for reversing the head.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 3:06 pm 
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Man, this looks really great. I kinda dig the reverse headstock to be honest. But, I've never gone that route for the exact reason you mention. Can't put a D-Tuner on it. I use those on all my basses and even use them mid song on a couple of numbers. I'm lost without them. If you do figure out a way to make a D-Tuner work on the reverse headstock, let me know how you did it.

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 3:12 pm 
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tim wrote:
Not tension, but the angle of the string across the nut.

Ah, gotcha. I had not heard that before. My choice was strictly cosmetic.

My mention of his tone on Evil Empire and finding a picture of him with a reversed headstock is just a coincidence. I didn't know he ever played a bass with a reversed headstock. I just like his tone (ground-shaking and grinding) and his style (simple and effective).

jayceofbass wrote:
Man, this looks really great. I kinda dig the reverse headstock to be honest. But, I've never gone that route for the exact reason you mention. Can't put a D-Tuner on it. I use those on all my basses and even use them mid song on a couple of numbers. I'm lost without them. If you do figure out a way to make a D-Tuner work on the reverse headstock, let me know how you did it.

I didn't realize it wasn't possible until it was too late. I called the dealer to see if I could cancel that option, but it was too late. That's okay, though. I am kind of looking forward to the challenge of finding a way to get it on there without putting any extra holes in the bass.

I am willing to modify instruments to some degree, but adding holes is something I won't do, especially a piece like this.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 11th, 2016, 3:27 pm 
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Maybe you could call these guys and ask if they plan to make a bass version:

http://www.pitch-key.com/


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 12th, 2016, 3:23 am 
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tim wrote:
Not tension, but the angle of the string across the nut.

Not if you put a string retainer behind the nut like in Tim Commerford's pic. Looks like a pretty sharp angle.

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 12th, 2016, 12:58 pm 
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tim wrote:
Maybe you could call these guys and ask if they plan to make a bass version:

http://www.pitch-key.com/


Wow, that is a cool de-tuner! I wonder if a bass model would indeed work on thicker strings as effectively...

OK, just sent them an email - will let you know what the response is as soon as I receive one...

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 14th, 2016, 10:29 pm 
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fivebass52 wrote:
tim wrote:
Maybe you could call these guys and ask if they plan to make a bass version:

http://www.pitch-key.com/


Wow, that is a cool de-tuner! I wonder if a bass model would indeed work on thicker strings as effectively...

OK, just sent them an email - will let you know what the response is as soon as I receive one...


OK, this is the email I got back from the Rep....

Aloha Ian!

Thanks for writing in - actually we're very interested in a Bass version of the Pitch-Key - this would be a model specially for Bass and 7/8 string or Baritone guitars and it has been a popular request. The only problem we have at the moment is that on a P (or J) Bass, the tuning post is quite close to the nut which doesn't give us much room to work with. We could easily make a 'bigger' design but if it doesn't fit the above mentioned instruments, then it might have limited appeal.

Now, ironically this would not be a problem on a Bass with a reverse headstock because of the long string length between the nut and the 'E' tuning post - but on a normal headstock, the 'E' post is the closest to the nut.

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on this as a bassist yourself!

Best regards,

Alasdair Bryce
Pitch-Key

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 15th, 2016, 7:32 am 
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tim wrote:
Maybe you could call these guys and ask if they plan to make a bass version:

http://www.pitch-key.com/

fivebass52 wrote:
OK, this is the email I got back from the Rep....

This is most excellent! I will definitely investigate this. I can't help but wonder how it might affect the tension of the A string, but we shall see! I am especially glad that there are no modifications to the instrument required.

Maybe this would also be a better alternative to a D-tuner for my Warwick Thumb.

I get a lot of inconsistency in tuning with the D-tuner on my Thumb. I am not sure if that is caused by the angled tuners (the lever of the D-tuner sometimes hits the tuning key for the G string) or what.

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 15th, 2016, 2:24 pm 
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that bass is beautiful - congrats!


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: March 15th, 2016, 8:14 pm 
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superheavydeathmetal wrote:
tim wrote:
Maybe you could call these guys and ask if they plan to make a bass version:

http://www.pitch-key.com/

fivebass52 wrote:
OK, this is the email I got back from the Rep....

This is most excellent! I will definitely investigate this. I can't help but wonder how it might affect the tension of the A string, but we shall see! I am especially glad that there are no modifications to the instrument required.

Maybe this would also be a better alternative to a D-tuner for my Warwick Thumb.

I get a lot of inconsistency in tuning with the D-tuner on my Thumb. I am not sure if that is caused by the angled tuners (the lever of the D-tuner sometimes hits the tuning key for the G string) or what.


You should contact the company, and become a beta tester! Sounds like these guys are enthusiastic and motivated to get into the bass market. The string tree/button, and especially the first tuner post is their big challenge...

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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: September 11th, 2019, 11:09 am 
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tim wrote:
I thought the reverse headstock was to help with string break of a thick string, like if you tune BEAD. I started thinking about tuning a bass down like that a couple weeks ago and stumbled across a picture of Tim C with his reverse headstock jazz.


I'm going to resurrect this thread for a moment because I just happened to see a video the other day that showed that very picture of Tim Commerford, and that bass was in fact tuned to B. The video explains that Commerford used a reversed headstock because he believed that it would give him better sustain on the B string.

It's at 7:57:
https://youtu.be/eFZyiDXCnck#t=7m57s

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: G&L MJ-4
PostPosted: September 11th, 2019, 12:29 pm 
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Ah ha!


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