Phil decided it was time to upgrade with a brand-new Quantum 6 bass.
Certain characteristics had to be the same as his previous Modulus basses. The scale had to be 34", even though 35" is a Modulus standard; it needed 26 frets; the neck had to be 3-1/4" wide at the 24th fret; and the body needed to be extra-wide. “Phil feels an extra-wide body looks more normal,” says McNall. “Plus, he played Alembics for many years, so he’s used to that shape.” Lesh chose a gorgeous piece of figured walnut for the top and figured chechen for the fingerboard. The neck and body will have a clear satin finish, another new twist. He chose an ABM bridge (stock Quantum 6’s have Hipshot bridges).
Phil’s previous Quantum 6’s had EMG pickups, but when trying out some alternates, he fell in love with Bartolinis. The new Quantum will have a Bartolini NTMB circuit with five knobs: volume, blend, bass, mid, and treble. (Phil doesn’t like the stacked knobs standard on the NTMB.) He also asked for an unusual detent on the master-volume control, although that presented serious problems for the Modulus production team. Although Phil’s previous Quantum had piezo pickups, he decided they’re too much of a headache to include in the new bass.
Since Modulus had to dig up the old mold for Phil’s neck and work up some new tooling, the company decided to make four of the custom basses. Lesh will get two (his main bass and a backup), the Doobie Brothers’ Tiran Porter will get one, as will Mike Gordon of Phish. At press time Modulus was working overtime to complete Phil’s basses in time for some June shows with Bob Dylan.
Rusty the Scoob wrote:Bingo - that's the interview that makes me think of him primarily as a 34" scale guy, and a big reason why I put Bartolinis in my custom bass.
Between benefits and other gigs with his band, Phil Lesh & Friends, the energetic, affable musician—who turned 60 in March—sat down with us at his small Marin County office.
but you have to remember how old I am. I was born in 1940
FretfulDave wrote:I would imagine it is a typo... either that or we are reading a 10 year old interview...
FretfulDave wrote:I would imagine it is a typo... either that or we are reading a 10 year old interview...Between benefits and other gigs with his band, Phil Lesh & Friends, the energetic, affable musician—who turned 60 in March—sat down with us at his small Marin County office.but you have to remember how old I am. I was born in 1940
I believe Phil turned 70 this March, not 60.
ugly rumor wrote:Interesting article. His approach to playing is exactly what I have been explaining in some of my controversial posts. VERY nice to be validated by Phil, of all people!
RiverRat wrote:Rusty the Scoob wrote:Bingo - that's the interview that makes me think of him primarily as a 34" scale guy, and a big reason why I put Bartolinis in my custom bass.
I don't think the Bartolinis stayed in them for very long, both basses have EMG's in them now.
In your current band, do you ask the other musicians to focus on what you’re doing?
I encourage them to do what I do—listen to everything, and work with anybody and everybody who has something interesting to say. That’s what I look for in a musician: someone who’s willing to suspend that role-playing mode. I don’t want people to play lead guitar or rhythm guitar or keyboard; I want everybody to play lead and rhythm. I’ll do the same thing, and so will the drummer. What you then have, when we open up the songs or do a prelude or epilogue, is a web of melodic and rhythmic ideas.
RiverRat wrote:Part 1:
Part 2 sheds some light on Phil's modulus basses, it answers a question I had about Seanc comments in this thread... The 2 Modulus basses that Phil is currently using are NOT the same basses he used with the Dead. These basses appeared sometime in 2000 before the Phil and Friends summer tour.
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