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Around to the front of the body, the gold hardware is a tasteful addition to the striking flame maple top; I think those choices work well together.
Choice woods offer up a rich tone in these examples
Body styling that differs from 'the big three'
Back to Guitar Interactive Magazine's Bassment, comes another example from Elrick Bass Guitars hailing from USA. Robert Elrick and company set themselves up and opened their doors in 1993 launching a new range of instruments at the Summer NAMM that year. Here’s Dan Veall with the rundown.
Today we are looking at a high spec’ model, the Evolution 4 in a 32” scale version. We have this bass in from Bass Direct in the UK that I quote from their website: “Each bass is totally hand built and each neck is hand carved with no CNC mills, copy machines or shapers used.” Enticing enough, we want more!
The Evo 4 has a hand rubbed oil finish over a beautifully light Swamp Ash body. The bass is of the bolt-on neck variety. With the maple neck in classic Ash combination, the instrument acoustically has a clear tone with mid range accents. It comes strung as standard with Elrick's 'Fundamental Strings' too.
Up at the tuning end of business is Elrick's squared signature outline adorned with 4 lightweight Hipshot USA keys that take the strings over a zero fret to the angled back headstock. Speaking of fret work; it's tidy all the way down the Macassar fretboard and there are a full 24 medium sized each expertly installed. Moving along the instrument, the 32” scale doesn't feel at all short and the instrument remains well balanced and super quick in the left hand owing to it's fairly skinny proportioned neck. String spacing at the Elrick bridge is 19mm which of course is a pretty standard 4 string width, so no nasty surprises there!
Round the back of the instrument, I just had to point out in the review the almost invisible laser cut rear battery / control compartment lid. I love how Elrick have worked on lining up the grain of the wooden lid with the rest of the body. It's that attention to detail that will set a manufacturer apart from the rest in my book. Really nice touch there Robert!
Around to the front of the body, the gold hardware is a tasteful addition to the striking flame maple top; I think those choices work well together. A high mass bridge is installed; I think I might like to see a more curved bridge to compliment the curvaceous body.
The instrument features Bartolini P and J type pickups formed inside of soapbox enclosures. They are wired via a pan knob directly to a Bartolini NTMBF three band equaliser preamplifier for a huge amount of tonal flexibility. Of course have a good listen to the video review especially when I sweep between the front and rear pickups. You’ll notice that the 32” scale lacks nothing in tone verse a 34”; Evo speaks with a natural and characterful voice.
The three band EQ has a huge amount of cut and boost available. I would urge you to be careful with how much cut there is on the bass control. I found that the EQ centre meant that cutting away those lows erratically meant that a great deal of the instrument's natural low end power was lost. Boosting however added depth to the acoustically rich bass guitar tone.
To round up the Evo 4 string bass comes in at just a mere 3.2Kg, which is light as a feather if you, like me are often playing long shows. My ‘larger frame’ shall we say had no problem with the shorter scale and actually I think the smaller bodied player will also find comfort in the dimensions of this instrument.
For those who are looking for something a bit different and a side step from ‘the big three’ and their look-alikes, this might be something you want to put on your “Just popping out for a couple of hours dear, don’t wait up!” List.
Lightweight swamp ash body
Flame Maple “10” top - (£250 option)
Flame Maple neck