Jerzy Drozd Excellency 6 Zebrawood
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.
Pics from Jerzy Drozd's booth in different editions of the NAMM Show ¡n Anaheim, California
This is a "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 neck has a flat profile to it, and is wide enough to feel roomy yet compact at the same time. Jerzy is a design master, something you feel as soon as you pick up the instrument. The neck is simply wonderful, a true joy to play. The flattened profile makes it really comfortable from the start. No suffering here.
The maple neck sports a beautiful piece of ebony for the fingerboard with 24 medium frets.
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. 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 has one of the most comfortable 6 string necks we've ever tried, wide enough for any technique, but not so wide it feels cumbersome. the High C has a very nice singing quality to it that actually invites you to explore melodies and chords, without ever losing a great midrange growl for those powerful grooves.
This bass produces a direct and aggresive sound thanks to the bolt-on construction, 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. The top provides it with a more articulate and complex tone. 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.The pickps are also an excellent thumb rest
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 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).