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Thread: Operator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice

  1. #1
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    Operator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice

    Operator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice-caprice5-jpg

    What do you guys think? "The Bismark"?

    I've been thinking about a Caprice since they were announced but had to wait ($$) for the right time. Dargin and I talked about it; I of course am always in favor of something gaudy and showy and maybe sparkly but he had some ideas regarding 1940s Jeep Willys paint and, well, he can be very persuasive.

    So here we are! I haven't even plugged it in yet - but I sure will in just a bit.

    Thanks, Scotty. This thing looks deadly.

    More photos in a sec.

    Jackie

  2. #2
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    Very cool, Jack!

    Spoiler: I'm willing to bet the color is inspired (at least in part) by Haley Strategic's Disruptive Gray. Hmm, now where would Darg have gotten that idea?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyBall View Post
    Very cool, Jack!

    Spoiler: I'm willing to bet the color is inspired (at least in part) by Haley Strategic's Disruptive Gray. Hmm, now where would Darg have gotten that idea?
    There are a few firearms out there in the wild that are "operator gray", too. Makes you wonder.

  4. #4
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    Ah, I had to google that. This makes sense now.

  5. #5
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    Operator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice-caprice6-jpgOperator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice-caprice8-jpg

    Full Frontal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    Ah, I had to google that. This makes sense now.
    Its definitely the current Cool Guy color in the tactical/firearms world.

  7. #7
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    Operator Gray/Battleship Bass: The Caprice-capricefireplace-jpg

    Purdy, ain't she?

  8. #8
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    Looking Imperial as all get-out!

    (Just be careful not come out of lightspeed to quickly with it.)

  9. #9
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    I'm digging that! The only change I would make is to install a black pearloid pickguard.

    2016 Caprice Heritage Tobacco
    2013 Sterling 4 HH Sapphire Black
    2014 Sterling 5 HH Vintage Sunburst
    2009 Stingray 4 Slo Special HH White

    2011 Silhouette HSH Candy Apple Red
    2011 Silhouette HSH Vintage Sunburst
    2016 Cutlass Ivory White
    2016 Valentine Trans Buttermilk

  10. #10
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    Beautiful!
    Stingray 4H Neck Through

    "Jeff Porcaro's equipment speaks for itself"

  11. #11
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    That looks like a mean machine. The matching headstock is just killer.
    Buncha Rays and Bongos

  12. #12
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    One of my favourite colours and fondly remember my "Battleship Grey" MG sports.

    Very K@@L Jack
    Gav.
    www.musicmanbass.org
    MUSICMAN BASS VINTAGE I.D.


  13. #13
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    My Quickly Written Review of the Caprice

    The Music Man Caprice Review:

    The comparisons will be inevitable. Is it a Precision or a Jazz or a P/J? Is it more Stingray or Sterling? How does it compare to a Bongo or Ė yeah, I get it. We bassists like to have points of reference, something to hang our hats on. ďOh, so itís a little like this, a little like that.Ē We all know what those other basses sound like (we think). Truthfully, I donít think itís Ďlikeí any of those basses, but of course, how different can a bass BE? Back in the old days, I knew a guy who would get frustrated with the endless measurements and preamp replacements and modifications and heíd say, ďItís a bass. It goes Ďboom boom boomí.Ē This is really not the worst way to think about it.

    But yeah, there are some old familiar sort of tones here Ė but with modern updates, thank the deity of your choice. Does the world need yet another P bass? (Rhetorical question. It does not. Letís be honest Ė you can spend five thousand dollars or more on what is essentially a good P bass now. Maybe Fender should just build better ones and price them reasonablyÖ.but there would still be a market for the souped up models. You know it, I know it, and Roger Sadowsky knows it too.)

    So letís get the details out of the way. Music Man has built active basses since dirt was new. Itís a big part of the classic MM sound. (I know Ė there was a passive SUB model a few years ago, but even the company kind of ignored it.) This is a departure. The Caprice (and its stablemate, the Cutlass) is passive, passive, passive, yes, you read it right. For someone like me, who has been playing Music Man basses since the 70s, itís a surprise that thereís no battery box. Yes, I looked. The bass comes with a split single coil in the neck position and a big, fat single coil pickup in the bridge position. The controls are simple enough even for a lunchbox bassist like yours truly Ė volume, volume, tone. The knobs are smooth and effective at changing tone on the fly. As is always the case with Music Man, the fit and finish are exemplary. Mine came with a rosewood fingerboard, but maple is available if thatís your thing. The vintage tinted neck is a nice touch. The neck heel is rounded but only Ed Friedland plays that high up and then he gets in trouble with his employers (The Mavericks). I donít know what notes are up there, but if I ever figure it out, I wonít run into any sharp corners. Nice detail.

    Now this is not a Sterling, okay? But if you like the size and feel of the Sterling basses, you wonít be disappointed with the Caprice ergonomics. Iím not much into measurements and donít even own a slide rule and have only seen calipers on Dudley Gimpelís desk, but this neck is very much like a Sterling profile. It might even be identical. Peter Dapello of BadAssBassPlayers and I agreed years ago that the Sterling neck was probably the best production neck ever. And we were both Stingray players at the time. The Caprice neck is a beauty. Itís not glossy, either. I have a love/hate relationship with glossy necks. You know what I mean. This is a superbly finished neck.

    Okay, pickups. The split single coil is what you always wanted a split single coil to be but often was not. Big, round, deep and punchy, and lazy engineers will love it. We all know those guys, the ones who freak out when you walk in with ďNOT A P BASSĒ because theyíre too entrenched in the 60s to work on getting a decent bass sound out of something else. Lazy bitches. You can make them happy with this because they wonít even have to work hard. Blues? Classic rock? 50s doo-wop? This is your pickup. Once Iíd played with just that pickup for a bit, I had to put on some classic Joe Jackson and grab a pick and turn the tone up for zing, and Ė yep. Graham Maby would love this thing. The bridge pickup is sweet, and adds that nasally grunt you want when feeding your inner Jaco. Iím a sucker for that tone and will be using this a lot with coWpilot. So no, itís not a P bass, itís not a Jazz bass, but it could easily replace all those spendy boutique Js and Ps you guys canít get enough of for reasons Iíll never understand.

    And, being passive and having those single coils, itís definitely not a Stingray or a Sterling. (Or a Bongo.) And this is a good thing. Other manufacturers repackage and repaint the same basses and expect us all to drool at NAMM because hey, itís a new paint job! (Iím guilty.) But this is new ground for Music Man and while some of you will dismiss the idea of a passive bass being Ďnew groundí, I have to salute the team in San Luis Obispo for not doing the same thing every year. This is a Music Man bass for those too timid to play blues on a Bongo. You know who you are.

    If you know me, you probably realize that Iím a sucker for the odd, gaudy colors. I love green basses, even if Ďthey donít sellí. I may even have a bass with flames on it. This Caprice looks like a battleship or a tactical firearm. Very industrial. You wonít find this on the list of available colors, so at the risk of repeating myself, Iíll tell you what happened. I needed a Caprice because Ė well, Iím a company man through and through and consider all the Ball family members as friends. (How they see me might be different, but thatís not my story to write.) Sterling has been very, very good to me, to say the least, and I love him unconditionally. But now heís gone off to new challenges with Big Poppa Smokers; I like to say heís opened a hot dog stand. Itís a bit more complicated than that, but itís fun to say and hopefully annoys him properly. Anyway, Scott Ball has assumed the day to day role of running the Music Man instrument company and has done such an awesome job that Iíve almost forgiven him for making off with the very first of the Logan Green Bongos. Scott was interested in 1940s era Jeep Willys paint and convinced me that I might enjoy something along these lines on my Caprice. When Iím in ordering mode, he mostly just puts up with whatever goofy thing I think I want and makes it happen. Twice he has made suggestions about what might be better. The first time, he built my Candy Red Bongo, which is my desert-island bass and has been for over a decade. So he was right about that (and the pickguard). This was the second time, and he was right about this, too. Thank you, Scotty. This bass will be put to very good use, if coWpilot can in any way be considered ďgood useĒ.

    If you have questions that are not technical, I will try to answer those. If you want to know voltage or measurements or stuff like that, Iím not that guy. I mostly just go Ďboom, boom, boomí.

  14. #14
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    Fun review, sir! Enjoy the new bass.
    ---------------
    2016 PDN Luke 3 HH Starry Night (DOB 12/29/2016)
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    2006 20th Anniversary Silhouette Hardtail with Piezo (DOB 11/7/2006)
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  15. #15
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    I posted my retort on your facebook review but lets just say I used the Pig Fart as a term of near endearment
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

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