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Horuss
01-05-2009, 09:15 PM
I don't know much at all about basses, but I've been asked to play bass on a U.S. tour this summer so I'm in the market.

Jay Pilzer over at New Hope has a '73 JS II (http://www.gbase.com/Powered/GearDetails.aspx?Dealer=5bca045e-11d6-420a-9147-4d99274b7be1&Item=1917450) that I want to buy, but it doesn't come with a hard case. Can anybody tell me how difficult it would be to find a case that would fit this bass (doesn't have to be a Guild case), and how much I should expect to pay for one?

Thanks for your help.

Happy Face
01-05-2009, 09:50 PM
I use these Gator "Flight-Type" cases. Provides good protection in a truck etc.

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-GAT-GPEBASS-LIST

But it is a full-size so it is not an ideal for for my JS-II. I have to add some cushioning at one end. In fact, it even needs a little extra for a Rickenbacker bass. I guess you could order a custom flight case but that would double the price.

Hopefully someone else has some better ideas....

The Guilds of Grot
01-05-2009, 10:24 PM
Just throwing my two cents in where it wasn't asked but have you read these threads about starting out on bass?

http://letstalkguild.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10873

fronobulax
01-05-2009, 11:17 PM
Haven't seen a whole lot of JS cases for sale solo. I think Dane or Dreamlander got the last one I saw on eBay. Maybe they'll chime in.

Glad you want a Guild bass. Are you sure you want the JS? JS has the short scale which is a plus for many people but the one you're looking at has the stock humbuckers which are an acquired taste. The consensus of the thread Grot referenced seems to be that a Pilot might be a better choice.

Glad, though, that you have a tour in the works. Make sure you post dates and locations.

Happy Face
01-06-2009, 12:55 AM
Last weekend I drove down to a music store to check out a bass cab. Noticed a Pilot hanging there. After reading the threads here, thought i would give it a try.

I found it to be a totally different beast from my JS-II. Bigger, heavier, fatter neck. I was disappointed. Hung it back up pretty quickly.

Whatever, each to their own!

fronobulax
01-06-2009, 12:42 PM
I found it to be a totally different beast from my JS-II. Bigger, heavier, fatter neck. I was disappointed. Hung it back up pretty quickly.

Thanks for the report. I've never played a Pilot so when I repeat the advice there are several factors: First, you have to be willing to trust the other posters here, as I do. Second, you have to be able to deal with the longer scale, and now I'll add "chunkier neck"; Finally you have to have Guild on the headstock, but you don't have $750-$2500 (ballpark) to spend on a vintage Guild bass.

I figure the Pilot must have something going for it since the owners and players speak favorably of it, but I am quite content with my Starfire and my knee jerk response would be to suggest that any pre-71 Guild with the Hagstrom would be pretty good.

Happy Face
01-06-2009, 01:17 PM
Yep Frono. It is all a matter of taste (and hand size, in my case).

My very limited experience suggests that the Pilot should be compared with a P-bass rather than a JS or Starfire, that's all.

(And I do wish I could build a P-bass with a JS-II neck!)

The Guilds of Grot
01-06-2009, 04:53 PM
I found it to be a totally different beast from my JS-II. Bigger, heavier, fatter neck.
Just to keep the discussion going, I'll throw in two more cents.http://forums.teamphoenixrising.net/images/smilies/2cents.gif

"Bigger" For sure, they're longer because of the scale and where the neck joins the body. The body contours sure make them comfortable to play though.

"Heavier" Compared to a JS maybe, but the poplar (Solid color) bodies are one of the lightest Guild basses there are.
Now the solid flame maples, they can get a little heavy.

"Fatter neck" Once again, due to the longer scale the neck gets a little wider towards the body then the short scale models. But, they're much thinner or less "chunky" then the early Guild basses.

The best thing about Pilots is they are the most balanced bass Guild ever made. They hang perfect and there's zero neck dive.

If anyone wants to come over and A/B 'em, let me know and I'll break out a few. Which ones would you like to play? :mrgreen:

http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r317/unado/Basses.jpg

fronobulax
01-06-2009, 07:41 PM
If anyone wants to come over and A/B 'em, let me know and I'll break out a few. Which ones would you like to play?

Party at Grot's. Which exit? :wink:

The Guilds of Grot
01-06-2009, 08:20 PM
Which exit? :wink:
295, Turnpike or Parkway?

Horuss
01-06-2009, 08:38 PM
JS has the short scale which is a plus for many people but the one you're looking at has the stock humbuckers which are an acquired taste. The consensus of the thread Grot referenced seems to be that a Pilot might be a better choice.
Thanks for the responses.

I've looked at the other threads but can't find one where anybody talks about the sound of the stock Guild pickups on the later JS IIs. What about them makes them an 'acquired taste?'

hieronymous
01-06-2009, 10:50 PM
I've looked at the other threads but can't find one where anybody talks about the sound of the stock Guild pickups on the later JS IIs. What about them makes them an 'acquired taste?'

Check out the bottom of this thread at the Alembic forum (http://alembic.com/club/messages/449/59610.html?1231262432) - I make a comment, then a guy named Edwin (whose opinion I trust) comments on the humbuckers vs. Bi-Sonics. I was really just trying to make the kid with the Starfire feel OK about his bass rather than fuel his GAS...

I have a friend though who says he likes them - check out this thread at the Last Bass Outpost (http://bassoutpost.com/index.php?topic=1474.0) and scroll down to the pic of the Dark Star equipped JS-II. I know there's another thread over there where he talks about the Guild humbuckers in a little more detail.

danerectal
01-07-2009, 02:42 AM
I have one that I'm not using if you're looking to buy. PM me if you're interested.

fronobulax
01-07-2009, 01:57 PM
JS has the short scale which is a plus for many people but the one you're looking at has the stock humbuckers which are an acquired taste. The consensus of the thread Grot referenced seems to be that a Pilot might be a better choice.
Thanks for the responses.

I've looked at the other threads but can't find one where anybody talks about the sound of the stock Guild pickups on the later JS IIs. What about them makes them an 'acquired taste?'

I'm too lazy to search but a lot of the discussion comes up when talking about the Hagstrom or bi-sonic pickup that was standard on Guild basses until '71 (or late '70) when Guild introduced the humbucker. I seem to recall an old thread about "one bass" that kind of evolved into commentary on the pickups. Most of the people compare the humbucker to the bi-sonic and use terms like "muddy", "boomy" and "indistinct" to describe the former. The knee jerk solution is to replace the humbuckers with Dark Stars (http://www.hammoneng.com/) although doing so would come close to doubling your investment.

That said, it has been a long time since I compared my JS to the sound of any non-Guild bass. I have very old flatwounds on it at the moment and I tend to play through a guitar amp because a Princeton Reverb 65 only weighs 30lbs. and I'm more concerned with being heard than sounding good. I mention this because the last few times I was doing A/B compares on the basses, I noticed that the amp's tone controls were pretty ineffective over a wide range. But I digress. I find the JS can produce a fair variety of sounds. The PU positions give some of that and boosting treble at the bridge and cutting it at the neck actually sound like extremes. The "tone" switch can cut a lot of treble and doing so seems to me to obscure the pitch. I actually use it a lot when I don't know WTF I'm playing and figure a rhythmic thump will be good enough if I am otherwise hitting wrong notes.

I seem to recall favorable comparisons to the Gibson EB0/3 sounds so my comments are definitely influenced by having a Starfire available. And the JS was my only bass for several years (although I cannot for the life of me figure out why I bought a new JS instead of a new Starfire. Could have been cost or it could have been that solid body basses had a bigger coolness factor).

If I wanted to get a sound I like out of my JS I'd consider Dark Stars or just roundwounds. I may do the latter since the cost is much lower and there is no guarantee that the JS with Dark Stars will be different enough from the Starfire to replace it as my favorite sounding bass.

I'd offer you a recording except figuring that all out and putting it in practice is a New Year's Resolution and not a skill I currently possess. There are a few JS owners besides me so maybe one of them might make some samples.