character and clarity. I could then flavor my tone
to taste by tweaking the EQ knobs. Keep the
Midrange knob down for some added beef
(250hz) or pull it up for more snap (800hz).
As might be expected with an instrument in this
price range, the details of the build received
very careful attention. The black lacquer finish
was rich and deep. The medium frets—a little
unusual for a bass like this—were well-seated,
with carefully rounded ends and smooth crowns.
In the hand, the back of the neck had a familiar
rounded profile, while the fingerboard had a
wider radius than the classic, very comfortable
and playable. The Elrick Zero-Gravity case was a
nice touch, fulfilling its name with a near weight-less feel accomplished by a cloth shell over
foam, lined with a smooth, black plush fabric
inside. Outside, there is a generous zippered
pouch just right for carrying a couple of cables, a
strap and a tuner.
is an exquisitely hand-crafted piece of woodworking art and a fine instrument all rolled into
one. If you’re into beautiful woods carved into
smooth ergonomic form, this bass is for you.
If my eye is correct, the e-volution includes
maple, swamp ash, Macassar ebony, walnut,
and alder. A simple, elegant touch is the inset
straplock receivers to avoid that awkward protrusion of dual-duty strap buttons.
A first glance, the eye quickly goes to this
axe’s unique body shape—and the beauty
of the one-piece crotch walnut top (a $1000
option). Unlike the familiar double-cutaway
design of most basses, the Single-Cut extends
the attached upper horn clear to the octave
fret. On the lower horn, though, the cutaway
is quite deep, going all the way to the second
octave. With a fully carved neck joint, there is
no problem whatsoever in reaching the second
octave with ease. Come solo time, this baby is
ready to soar.
you have old-school tastes, but like
the convenience of modern evolutions—and high quality is important.
you like a bass with two knobs, a
rootsy kind of feel and sound—
and a budget price.
Click here to hear sound clips
of these basses in action
Elrick Bass Guitars, Ltd.
Platinum Series e-volution
Ironically, if the New Jazz Standard represents
an evolution of an old classic, the e-volution
Single-Cut can be seen as a new beginning
for bass design—not really an evolution of any
instrument’s genetic line at all. The e-volution
The key to this design is the way the extended
body section enhances the transmission of
resonance between the body and the neck. At
one end of the transmission spectrum is the
humble bolt-on design that relies on a small-surface of mechanical connection between
neck and body. Elrick’s distinctive Single-Cut
innovation goes to the other extreme, working
to maximize an instrument’s resonance—I
found it had a ton of sustain.
The 35” neck on this e-volution is
decked out with smaller-than-usual
medium fretwire on its nicely striped
two-tone ebony fingerboard. As with the
NJS bass, Elrick uses a zero fret. I like this
choice because it keeps open notes sound-
ing like all the others, but also one piece of
the setup challenge gets eliminated when
nut slots are removed from the equation. The
fingerboard is appointed with small position
markers. From the nut to the octave, the
dots run between the B and E strings.
At the octave, a second dot is added
between the D and G strings. From
that point on, though, the dots
remain only on the high side of the
neck—that’s the side of the neck
where the money notes are.
What looks at first like a neck-through design actually is much
more complex. A neck-width
piece of alder (with ebony stringers) runs through the body clear to
the bottom strap button, but then