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Thread: Just ordered My Caprice!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Just ordered My Caprice!

    Greetings All,

    Just wanted to share the good news with the community. I just ordered a Caprice with that stellar black finish via Sweetwater. They had 2 models available(8.6lbs & 8.3lbs) and as I'm getting older I opted for the 8.3 lb model.
    Should be here within the week and I will be sure to update the community with my impressions. I'd just like to take a moment to express the many reasons why I fell in love with this instrument.

    Full disclosure, I've always been a jazz bass guy myself. My main bass up to this point is a Sonic Blue G&L JB w/matching headstock. The main thing I love about the jazz bass is the 1.5'' neck width(my hands are on the smaller side) and the articulation of the single coil pickups. The downside is jazz basses always lack that bump in the low mids that P basses have. I've always loved the concept of the PJ but have never played one that fit all my criteria. When most are soloed on the J pickup they always sound rather "tinny" to my ears. In addition, sometimes the P pickup when soled has too much of a mid range bump and sounds excessively "honky" if that makes any sense. This Caprice meets all of my criteria...and then some.

    First the neck. I mean it's a satin finished MusicMan neck...need I say more. Don't get me wrong, I love the satin neck on my G&L. But as we all know their are satin finished necks...and then their are Ernie Ball MusicMan satin finished necks! Best in the industry, IMHO. My G&L has a 12" neck radius which is pretty comfortable but with my hand size the 7.5'' just makes playing so fluid and effortless. I don't have to roll my thumb towards the E string to get a proper arc w/my fretting hand any longer. The G&L is a great vintage style J bass but man when you play the Caprice all the modern enhancements are immediately noticeable. That cutaway makes A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. And at 8.3 lbs, I can play much longer without a sore back.

    Tonally Ernie Ball absolutely nailed it. I'm a player who has always preferred my tone to be both round and smooth w/articulation. That may sound like an impossible combo but this bass truly delivers. The neck pickup when soloed is full and round w/just enough focus on the low mids to give the tone a gentle lift. Their is absolutely no aggressiveness to the mid range at all. And the bridge pickup...words can't even! I've never heard a bridge pickup that sounds so rich and full when soled. And the shielding is so superb you can adjust the volume of the pickups w/o fear of any noise.

    So thank you Ernie Ball MusicMan for making my perfect instrument. The only thing I ask...is can we get a fretless model too ;-)

    Best Regards,

    -Greg P
    Last edited by GregP; 08-13-2017 at 08:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2017
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    I keep waiting to see a used one pop up for sale/trade... funny how they DON'T much.
    I bet you'll dig it!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2016
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    262
    Your description makes me want one. Sounds like a great bass. EBMM has so many great options.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2017
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    I've always loved EBMM instruments. The quality, the fit, the finish are all top notch. I just prefer the tone of passive basses. Now EBMM has created a beautiful instrument for passive guys like me. I think it's an absolute classic and hope it stays in their stable for many years to come. I do have to say that the bridge pickup is just begging for the fretless treatment *hint hint*. I have to remind myself that it was just released in 2016 and to be patient. ;-)

    I would love to know the story behind this bass. What was the inspiration? What was the vision for the instrument? Was it to marry the best of vintage and modern...because they nailed that! Perhaps my favorite aspect of it are the pickups. They were able to deliver a higher output passive pickup w/o the aggressiveness i'm used to finding in high output offerings. The tone sits wonderfully between vintage and modern. :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    262
    Maybe Casey can do something similar for the Caprice that he is in the process of you g for the Bongo. Get a bunch of questions and the get the most popular ones answered

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmang View Post
    Maybe Casey can do something similar for the Caprice that he is in the process of you g for the Bongo. Get a bunch of questions and the get the most popular ones answered
    That would be wonderful! :-)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmang View Post
    Maybe Casey can do something similar for the Caprice that he is in the process of you g for the Bongo. Get a bunch of questions and the get the most popular ones answered
    Maybe. If I'm not mistaken Scott was in charge of developing the passive line and he may not be interested in doing a phone call/sit down.

    The passives also JUST got released, Bongo is coming up on its 15th anniversary so there's been a little more time for everyone to get to know its quirks. Also, the genesis of the Bongo was just so different from everything else, Caprice/Cutlass basses are pretty straightforward, what you see is what you get.
    St. Vincent "Prince Vince" trans purple gold hardware stealth pg roasted bound neck
    Albert Lee MM90 piezo "Silver Surfer"
    Classic Morse
    Luke BFR Koa
    Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow natural flame piezo
    Silhouette Special
    Stealth Bongo H
    White Cutlass Bass roasted neck

  8. #8
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    It's awesome your so involved with the community here Casey. Your right,the passives have just been released and we need some time to get to know them and all their wonderful quirks.

    The questions I have are more in relation to the project itself. Why was the decision made to release a passive line? Was it done particularly for Musicman fans(like me) who love EBMM instruments but prefer passive basses? Or did you see a specific vacuum in the market that EBMM sought to fill? Whatever the reasons I'm very glad you all went forward with the line. Thank you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregP View Post
    It's awesome your so involved with the community here Casey. Your right,the passives have just been released and we need some time to get to know them and all their wonderful quirks.

    The questions I have are more in relation to the project itself. Why was the decision made to release a passive line? Was it done particularly for Musicman fans(like me) who love EBMM instruments but prefer passive basses? Or did you see a specific vacuum in the market that EBMM sought to fill? Whatever the reasons I'm very glad you all went forward with the line. Thank you.
    You know what? That is a great question that I hadn't considered. Matter of fact, I'm curious about it myself. I can only assume that it was a natural conclusion to make a partner series for the Modern Classic guitar line.

    Also, this may sound weird to people on this particular forum, but some people just don't like active basses. I don't know if we thought it would make a big dent in the P/PJ market, maybe it was just a decision to get out of our comfort zone.
    St. Vincent "Prince Vince" trans purple gold hardware stealth pg roasted bound neck
    Albert Lee MM90 piezo "Silver Surfer"
    Classic Morse
    Luke BFR Koa
    Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow natural flame piezo
    Silhouette Special
    Stealth Bongo H
    White Cutlass Bass roasted neck

  10. #10
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    Jun 2017
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    84
    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyBall View Post
    Also, this may sound weird to people on this particular forum, but some people just don't like active basses. I don't know if we thought it would make a big dent in the P/PJ market, maybe it was just a decision to get out of our comfort zone.
    This is exactly the boat I'm in. I've admired EBMM basses ever since I got to play them at warped tour when I was a teenager. The fit, the finish, the feel. The only thing is I don't like the sound of active basses. So when EBMM made their passive line that is what I had been waiting for! I watched the Caprice demo, rushed to a store to play one then placed my order. :-)
    I have to imagine I'm not the only one who has had that experience. :-)

  11. #11
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    Your thoughts are much appreciated, GregP! I myself am GASSing for a Caprice (white for me!) in the worst way.... chills, fever, buttering up the Mrs... I am playing my Sterling HS more than my other (non-EBMM) basses, so it's time to off one or two of those and get myself set up. Please report back when possible, and congrats!

  12. #12
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    Jan 2003
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    We had a gig last week and I took the Caprice for its first night out. I also, because I’m kind of old and like to know what I’m doing, took a Big Al 5H with EB Flats. That’s definitely my comfort zone. I know this tone inside out and understand it. No surprises. I played the Big Al for the first set because I’m basically a big, fat coward. This went very well indeed.

    Set two and I briefly consider not changing anything at all because “it ain’t broke”. But there, glaring at my from its stand is the Bismark. The battleship gray Caprice. Summoning up what little courage I have, I switch basses. Somewhat foolishly, thinking I’ve just gone from active to passive, I also bump up the gain on my amp. This was probably unneeded.

    BOOM. We start with “Secret Agent Man” (which also includes “Solitary Man”, the Neil Diamond song, because why not) which (a) I have not played in maybe two years and (b) I always play with a pick, judge me if you must. No, my friends, the amp boost was definitely not needed. I struggle briefly with taming the beast; the rest of the band is both frightened and impressed by how loudly I am playing. Good thing the controls are simple and easy to locate. Strung with Cobalt Flats, the tone is HUGE and round and has an edge to it that you might not expect with flats. (Later, I actually slap a few odd notes, something I do NOT do, just to see if it responds. IT DOES.)

    Even though I am much more comfortable with a fiver, I don’t switch back. The Bismark is a monster. Two or three knowledgeable people in the crowd later ask me about “that gray thing” and I give them the sales pitch. Heads nod. There is general agreement that you can easily scare children and small animals. Set three, I dime the volumes on the bass and adjust the amp accordingly. This is an awesome thing, a thing you might not want to do with an active bass but it’s passive so go nuts, I say.

    We’re playing again this week. The Caprice will get number one billing. Still struggling without a B string, but it’s totally worth it.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2017
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    That's awesome Bovinehost. I just picked up some cobalt flats for my G&L JB. I will def get a set for my Caprice too! You said you played "Secret Agent Man". That wouldn't​ be The Toaster's version, would it? Could it be we have another ska bassist in the house?!
    Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!!! :-)

    For the boards enjoyment...Secret Agent Man - YouTube

  14. #14
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    Jun 2017
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    So I just got my Caprice yesterday.
    Wow, what a beautiful instrument. The black/rosewood is such a wonderfully striking combination. Right off the bat let me just tell you this bass is light light light! So much so that I have to switch out my straps. I'm using a Souldier seat belt strap which doesn't give me enough friction and I'm getting a little neck dive. So I just ordered one of those 2.5'' Ernie Ball Neoprene Comfort Straps. That should do the trick :-)

    I've played quite a few EBMM products over the years... and I have to say this bass feels the best out of all of them. And there's the added benefit that its' mine, LOL. The neck is incredibly fast playing. The 1.5'' nut width combined with a 7.5'' radius is the perfect combination for me. My hands are on the smaller side of the spectrum. With a 12'' radius I tend to shift my thumb when fretting with my 3rd and 4th finger to get a proper arc. With the 7.5'' radius I have to shift much less which makes playing effortless. Speaking of effortless, those narrow frets are amazing. I've never played an instrument with narrow frets before and it is just so easy to slide and move around the fretboard quickly with them. Oh and the satin finish on the neck is just stellar as one would expect.

    So tonally, it's definitely a very versatile instrument. You can def use either pickup by itself but most of your volume is going to come from the neck pickup. The amount of gain is definitely biased towards that pickup. If you just solo the neck pickup you get that nice slightly aggressive mid range lift those split coils are known for. You can absolutely play it that way and it would work better on some songs for sure. But there's just this wonderful magic that happens when both pickups are maxed. The bridge pickup serves to mellow out the tone of neck pickup. In addition, it adds a tone that fills in the bottom in a very linear fashion. So what you end up with is a tone with a nice low mid bump and a very even sounding bottom end. It's truly an amazing instrument. I will report back later w/more findings :-)
    Last edited by GregP; 06-23-2017 at 07:37 PM.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2006
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    You're killin' me!! Great reviews, guys... can I get a tort PG for the white...? I must mention that my band often starts with Secret Agent Man as well... (whabam!) Everything I am hearing is right up my sound alley.
    Last edited by petch; 06-23-2017 at 08:20 PM.

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Ernie Ball Paradigm