Jerzy Drozd Basic IV Custom
This is a great bass from Polish luthier Jerzy Drozd.
Jerzy is now based in Barcelona, and along with a small team of carftsmen, they build some of the most sought after basses in the world.
This is a "Basic" model, one of the most affordable in Jerzy's catalogue. It is a bolt on, but the neck actually extends up to the neck pickup.
The neck is joined to the body using 7 bolts. Every aspect of this bass is designed for the most confortable 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 from a central piece of maple with swamp ash wings, and there is a matching headstock. The maple neck sports a beautiful piece of maple for the fingerboard.
The special green colour shows that you can actually add custom options even to the most basic Jerzy Drozd bass like this.
This is also our first 4 string J.D. bass; Jerzy has made an impact as a maker of multistring basses, but if you don't need more than 4, this bass represents a good alternative; you get a bass with a great response, comfortable and with a clear and deep sound.
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 (these are single coil), 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 pick is one of the best we've heard if this type. The onboard Aguilar OBP-3 3 band preamp is powerful enough to make the bass cover any style you might need. Two miniswitches control active/passive operation, as well as midrange selection (400/800 Hz).
This bass produces a direct and aggressive sound thanks to the bolt-on construction and lack of top, but this does not mean it lacks bottom end. Quite the opposite; you can go from a tradicional quasi Fender tone to a more extreme one that will fit right in with the most demanding modern music. Although Jerzy offers humbuckers and splittable humbuckers, we are huge fans of his Single Coil pickups, as we feel these offer a broader frequency response with some nice warmth to them.
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 pickups are also an excellent thumb rest.