remember—the neck itself is built as three-piece maple. This design could be considered a cross between a set neck and a neck-through. Because of the phenomenal heel
sculpting, the whole amalgam of woods looks
a little like the sandstone beside a creek that
has been eroding over the centuries to reveal
differing colors of smooth rock layers.
Equally amazing is how the cover over the
battery and electronics has been cut right out
of the body with what appears to be a zero-kerf cut—the grain flows continuously across
the body, interrupted only by faint joints.
The neck profile itself tends again toward the
modern, feeling a little flatter and wider than
the classic neck forms. This is a functional
choice, because the thinner G-side profile
makes access across the wide 19mm-spaced
bridge a cinch—a spacing that allows either
digging in or clean slapping with ease. The
thin finish of the neck adds to the overall sensory experience, making moves both across
and up-and-down the neck a luxurious glide.
But what about the sound?
The e-volution boasts all Bartolini electronics, with a pair of soapbar humbuckers run
into the NTMBF 3-band preamp and controlled by three EQ knobs and two switches.
The switch nearest the bottom of the bass
selects active or passive mode. On its own,
the tone is rather neutral, neither begging
to be slapped nor calling for deep-voiced
thumping, and I found myself wishing for a
little more authority. The sound was consistent across strings, an important attribute
that sometimes doesn’t hold true for a
bass’s low B string.
Indeed, there are plenty of voicing options to
work with. I tended to favor soloing one of
the two pickups and then applying some EQ
to taste. The three-option midrange control
was seriously helpful in this regard, guiding
the bass toward bright, deep, scooped, or
even a burpy staccato tone. Both fingerstyle
and slap players can adapt the sound to
their own preference and the transparent,
musically-voiced Bartolini electronics accomplish the job without adding noise or creating
Clearly, with a street price of $5200, it won’t
make many players’ short list of must-have
gear. But if you have the cash and want
to play something distinctive, the Elrick
e-volution Single-Cut 5 would be quite worthy of consideration. Maybe the hardest part
would be the heightened playing expectations when you show up with this axe at a
gig or studio session.
aesthetic considerations, quality, playability, and tone-shaping
options are high on your list.
you want a bass that brings a
distinctive sound right out of the
case and are on a tight budget.
Click here to hear sound clips of
these basses in action
Elrick Bass Guitars, Ltd.