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Here is my latest high-school shop project.

I wanted to use this exceptional and rare one-piece Swamp Ash. Try to get wood like this from any of the big-name "custom shops", they never even heard of it. I wanted the theme to be reminiscent of the first production bass, the Fender Telecaster bass. Some of the cues are obviously the Swamp Ash body, the vintage-style bridge, and the retro Tele bass control plate.

I used the standard ZachAttack wiring scheme with two switches, one toggle switch and one coil splitting switch. I modified the plate to take the 3 way toggle pickup switch but then had no room for the coil switch. The solution was to use a push/pull volume pot. It worked out very well. The pickup and switching results in the usual 6 distinct Zachary sounds, which are impressive as usual.

The pickups are powerful and very balanced. I always hated almost every bass I picked up because the strings were not volume balanced. That bugs the hell out of me. I took care of this by having the ZachAttack bass pickups made with a 16" radius bar inside, instead of the usual flat bar used on other basses, which would make the two outside strings irritatingly louder then the inside two. This radiused bar perfectly matches the radius of the fingerboard, resulting in perfectly uniform balance for each string.

Speaking of strings, this is the newest versions of the ZOG Optimized round wound bass set. It is optimized to a higher degree with even more progressive tension from high to low. The result is the bass sounds huge and very piano like. If you ever reached into the inside of a grand piano and plucked the strings like you would a guitar, that is what this bass feels and sounds like. Action is low and the neck is as straight as an arrow. Most importantly I did not forget to include my trademark knots in the neck to the horror of any big guitar magazine reviewer. They would be shocked. Quality to them means a flawless, thick, plastic coating and a brand name, which pays big dollars for advertising. However, this would not be a Zachary if it did not horrify.

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint
Swamp Ash
Open Gear

9 lb

Jay Tapping Bass 110307

Hi Alex, Just thought you might want to hear some tapping on the ZOG strings. I am a brand new tapper...only studying this for the last month. The pattern is a transcription of Stu Hamm's "King of Dreams" with a twist. The last "third" of each repeated section (and the cadence) are of my own making…just thought it made sense with the progression. Tapping with both hands really opens up the fretboard, and it's so intimate…anyway - hope you enjoy it.   Take care, Jay

Alex, The instrument arrived today – it is, simply, phenomenal. I am finally going to bed at midnight…it really practically plays itself.     Jay

I completely agree with the simple, passive setup. It’s the best – by far. What’s just mind-blowing is that it manages to be completely organic as well as piano-clear….I love the sounds from this bass, Alex…the instrument is nothing short of amazing. JD is correct in his assessment. Once I track some stuff with it, I will send you sound clips (and maybe even video of the band if we get some for the next show). I messed around tonight with a keyboardist, and the bass sounded INCREDIBLE on tape….I put it through a Traynor all-tube amp (signal pulled post-preamp….I use a GE 7025 in V1, a Philips 12AT7 in V2)…the sound was pristine and very full of harmonics. I think you’d be very happy. Off to keep playing…. Jay

Hi Alex, I’ve been playing hard – your bass has already played “out” 4 times – not to mention hours and hours of woodshedding. By the way, should any future bass customer ask about how slap and pop technique works with your fretboard/pickup design, just tell them to slap at the end of the fretboard and pop between the pickups. It sounds great, and your fret size still protects the end of the fretboard (i.e. you can slap there as hard as you like and the string won’t actually make contact with the wood).

JD is amazing, but he had to shift between traditional slap position and then move back to pop the strings between the pickups – there’s really no need to shift…just stay farther back. The tone is amazing…easily the best slap tone I’ve ever gotten. Of course – I’m not a slapper…so it only gets used that way occasionally. The fingerstyle tone is the best out there…period. The ZOG strings are just amazing in conjunction with a well-designed instrument, aren’t they!

…having too much fun making music. Jay

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