For years I've had a hankering for a P with block markers. Maybe with a J pickup. And definitely something just over 8lbs.
I've been looking at this Lakland but I couldn't guarantee the weight, and this CS Precision.... but I'd need to win the lottery.
I was about to give up when I hear about Maruszczyk / Public Peace in Germany. They're basses are to order by Messinger Guitars in Poland.
After a lengthy email conversation with Adrian (his comms are excellent), I placed my order for:
- Passive P/J with Noiseless vintagey pickups, J pickup more 60s position than 70s
- Alder, with suble flame maple top
- Rosewood, block'n'bound neck
- Light weight (around 8.5lbs)
- US Hipshot Ultralite tuners
- An early 70's P neck profile (I sent Adrian the measurements of my '71P)
- Dark tort guard
What a stunner, eh?
First of all... the weight was a bit of a shock. I asked for no more than 8.5lbs-ish, so Adrian recommended chambering the body. As a result, it weighs 7.2lbs
I kid you not. It weighs nothing.. and there is ZERO neck dive. Even if you try and make it dive, it doesn't. Going with the Ultralites was a good move. The bridge isnt a standard Maruszczyk - it's a Hipshot B-style. I'll stick my neck out and suggest that they've used it to help it balance. If that's the case, the bridge is a welcome upgrade that must have cost nearly $100 alone.
The pickups are by Haussel. I'd never heard of them, but Adrian recommended them for their vintage noiseless properties. And they're not cheap.
The bass arrived well-packed, with a nice branded gig bag, posh branded leather strap and a bag of tools. A nice touch.
Playing it... I can't tell anything useful until I've gigged it, but I'm plunking away through my practice amp and it sounds lovely. The pickups don't hum, they're high output the P sounds like a P and the J is pokey and well balanced. The neck doesn't feel a million miles away from my P, no discernable dead spot and it plays cleanly right up the neck. There's no string tree, as the headstock is swept back to increase the angle over the nut. There's a zero fret, too.
Here's the truly amazing thing about this bass: The bridge, pickups and tuners alone alone cost hundreds. It's chambered, with a maple cap. Fit and finish are perfect. It's made to my spec. ...and it cost pretty much what I would pay for a Fender MIM or a Lakland Skyline.
That's just mind-boggling.
Stuff to mention:
- I specified cream binding on the neck, but it's a bit vibrant. If I could choose again, I'd go with white.
- The weight is significantly less than my target, but it doesn't seem to affect the tone, so this could be a win.
- The Hipshots are the 3/8" version. It's cosmetic, but I prefer the look of the fatter 1/2". Not a biggie.