Here's a great new Jerzy Drozd Excellency V bass. In this case it belongs to a Limited Series that we ordered of just 4 basses. These are the specs that make this bass so special:
- Jaw dropping black poplar burl top (AAA grade), chosen by us.
- 3 piece body with a central piece of flamed maple and diagon wings
- Bird's eye maple fingerboard
- Passive Tone control
- Gold Hardware
- Hand signed and numbered by Jerzy himself at the back of the headstock.
Pics from Jerzy Drozd's booth in different editions of the NAMM Show ¡n Anaheim, California
This is an "Excellency" model, one of the most affordable in Jerzy's catalogue. It is based on the "Basic" model, but with an added top. It is a bolt on, but the neck actually extends up to the pickup, which in this case is really deep into the body as you can see.
The neck is joined to the body using 7 bolts. Every aspect of this bass is designed for the most comfortable playing experience ever. The small and ergonomic body rests easily on your lap, and the extended upper horn reaches out until the 12th fret, so the bass balances perfectly with a strap and your left arm does not have to stretch as in some other small bodied bass with shorter upper horns.
The body is made fromdiagon and maple, with a stunning poplar burl top and matching headstock. Jerzy sent us some pictures of some very special pieces of black poplar burl (AAA grade), and we chose our favourite 4 pieces for this Limited Edition Series. The maple neck sports a beautiful piece of bird's eye maple for the fingerboard.
The neck is simply wonderful, a true joy to play. The flattened profile makes it really comfortable from the start. No suffering here.
The pickups might look unusual, and that's because they are unusual. Jerzy makes his own pickups in house in order to make sure that he can control every aspect of the bass from wood selection to the final sound. The pickups are quite flat sounding (this is a single coil, our favourite), and will just reproduce what the bass is doing acoustically, which makes perfect sense in a bass like this. There's a familiar Jazz Bass type of sound to them, with enough midrange to cut through. Actually, the bridge pickup is one of the best we've heard of this type.
Instead of the usual Aguilar OBP-3 preamp , we asked Jerzy if he could fit a John East Preamp. Not that there's anything bad with the Aguilar pre, but we just love John's circuits and thought it could be interesting checking how Jerzy's pickups would work with a U Retro 01 Deluxe preamp. It turns that it is a match made in heaven. You still get the otiginal sound of the bass with zero coloration, but with the added bonus of a more flexible and transparent sounding EQ. Controls here are quite comprehensive, and you get Bass, Treble, Sweepable Mids, Bright Switch and Passive Tone.
The Passive Tone Control works both in Active and Passive modes. Great!
The EQ is very musical and really adds to the sound without becoming overpowering.
After many tests over Passive Tone Pots, we asked Jerzy to use a different capacitor for that control, and it really makes a difference. It is amazing how something as small and cheap as a capacitor can make such an impact on sound. When you try this bass you'll see what we mean! All Jerzy Drozd bass that are sold at Doctorbass.net come with that modification.
This bass produces a considerable amount of great tones that range from modern and clear to old school thanks to the Passive Tone. The neck bolts to the body but is set quite deep into it, reaching the pickup. This is in part responsible for the excellent balance between sustain and attack. In passive mode you get a classic warm sound, but when yo switch to active mode it is almost like a second bass, with more punch, detail and even aggressiveness if required. If you've been looking for a bass that can produce Jaco sounds but also allow you to play in the manner of Marcus Miller, this is your bass.
A common feature to all Jerzy Drozd basses is the excellent balance between strings and actually between notes, up and down the neck. Some basses sound great, but then you find out that some notes are louder than others (or even strings), so you are actually limited in your playing. When you try a Jerzy Drozd bass you realize it doesn't restrict you in any way. You don't have to think "I can't play that note" or "I can't play that groove in this key", because these basses are really consistent and let you forget about them and concentrate on the music. Great!
The bass comes with SIT roundwound strings, and we think they work great, but of course you can experiment with flatwounds or nylon strings too.
The pickup is also an excellent thumb rest.
This bass has one of the best low B's in the market: strong, loud and clear. This is in part thanks to the 35" scale, but also due to Jerzy's expertise on ERB's (Extended Range Basses).