Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Followup on the Stellartone Tonestyler Newness

Last night at home I spent over an hour on the B1 with the new setup: Nordstrand split coil pickups, with the electronic configuration shown in the image on the previous post. Top pot is volume, the center pot is a blend. Roll it clear one way, get the neck pickup, clear the other way, get the bridge pickup, and stop at the center detent and you get both 100%.

Here's the cool thing: volume remains constant through that movement. My oh my. And no hum.

Bottom pot is the Tonestyler, part #506, especially for bass.

The first thing I noticed was the fullness of tone. If you own a Barker Bass, particularly a B1, you know fullness of tone. I heard more yet. Sort of like discovering fourth gear when you're doing 90 in third (not that I've ever done that, of course, ahemmmm).

Now about the Tonestyler itself, the bottommost pot. It has detents, a most wonderful addition to this sort of thing. Rather than look down to see where the set screw is on the knob, or trust your muscle memory to move the pot just like you did last time, only in reverse direction, you just need to count the clicks!

The sounds I personally prefer are those on the bass side of things, and in running through a bunch of show tunes with a CD I was moving from full bass or one click past that in the ballads to up about 4 clicks for eighth and sixteenth note parts where I wanted more definition and a little more cut-through.

You'll find your sweet spot, or rather sweet spots somewhere along that delicious 16 click spectrum, and the gem of all this is that you can go back and get that exact sound whenever you need to.

And what a sound. Oh shut up, I heard someone over my shoulder say. Ok, ok, I'll not go back to that.

I'll just Thank Don Campbell and his company, Stellartone, for offering something with real substance to the electric players of the world. The Barker Beanie is off to you, Don!


In the next week I'll get some pictures of this bass, #99. Actually, she doesn't look any different from her siblings. Disguised. Stealth Barker. Beware.

Perhaps she'll go trick-or-treating with me. I'll dress up like an old guy who likes to make tall basses.

No comments: