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Progress Series Options
I have a Progress 5 string fretless bass on order. I must say I am very excited about it! I am curious to hear what design options other Progress owners have chosen:
1. Bolt-on versus extended bolt-on versus through-neck.
2. Pre-amp option, and whether you have asked for the option of passive, as well as active, mode.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Thanks for your helpful input.
I have agreed a provisional specification, which needs to be confirmed shortly. Chris advised me to go for a 34 inch scale. The main reason was to be consistent with my fretted Fender Jazz Elite. The other key reason is that I am quite short, with short arms and small hands, so I was concerned that a 35 inch might quite literally be a bit of a stretch for me.
I am learning Kate Bush's Babooshka for Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 7, which goes well with E to C stringing. I may also try that for jazz playing as it is useful for soloing. Chris advised me that E to C stringing would go better with a 34 inch.
The other specifications are swamp ash body, walnut top, through-neck, lined fretless ebony fingerboard and the standard active-only preamp. I am a little bit uncomfortable with the lack of a passive option, as I quite often prefer to play my Fender in passive mode. I also like the insurance policy of passive, in case my battery runs out in the middle of a gig.
On the other hand, I can see the advantages of low input impedance and superior signal to noise ratio from an active circuit. I have used John East pre-amps before, and I know they are excellent. The standard pre-amp on the Progress seems to have some special characteristics tonal, which make it even better.
Chris said that the adding a passive option complicates the circuitry considerably. His view is that an active-only bass is more reliable, because it has fewer components, but I am sure either would be plenty reliable enough. He said that the battery should last for about 6 months and the preamp keeps operating down to about 3 volts. Naturally, he advised me to always keep at least one spare battery.
I am inclined to go with the active-only approach and see how I get on. Your positive experience reinforces that. I imagine I could have it modified later, if I felt a strong need to a passive option.
Thanks again for your input.