JP Plume 5 fretless
www.jpbasses.com
pics on xush site

Features:
JP specs on site
Body: Black limba
Neck: J-Neck wenge/wenge
Fingerboard: unlined macassar ebony
Pickups: JP by Armstrong
Controls: E-Pro BTB-01, ebony knobs
Bridge: ABM
Tuners: Hipshot ultralite


Construction:
Neck: interesting design! Very flat and smooth, nice and thin. I loves me some wenge, thats for sure! Headstock doesnt tilt back because of this construction style, but it doesnt need to.

Body: Well executed. Very elegant shape. Extremely resonant. Good wood! Tony, the bassist Im working with (the only other person to play it yet) said he found it much more lively and resonant than his Pedullas. It has a powerful acoustic voice, and this really comes thru in passive mode.

FB: Nice colorful striations in the ebony, looks good. Side dots at every fret position, takes a little getting used to, but no big deal


Tone:

Bridge p'up    Neck p'up    Both, flat    Both, w/ half bass boost    
Passive: Smooth, fat tone. Bridge pup barks and growls, neck is mellow and woody- very round, downright huge! More on the tone after Ive gotten to know her better

Active circuit: Bass control is insane! Way more lows than you could ever need. Ive pretty much been running it flat, which is turned all the way down (its boost only.) It would definitely make up for any weaknesses in an amp. I hear no need for a mid control on this particular bass, so its not missed hereI guess the wenge/ebony/limba combo handles the mids just fine.

This combination of preamp/pickups is powerful!  Very very strong signal!  This bass is loud.  Quite versatile too.

B string: This one ranks up there with my FBB fretless. Surpasses the F BNF5 and Pentabuzz by a small margin.  This is one of the only B strings Ive heard that sounds like it fits right in; it doesnt lack any of the nuances of the other strings. This is critical on a five, and is why Ive been gravitating back to the 4 lately; I just dont find many B strings I like. This and my FBB rate at the top of what Ive found so far.

Weight/balance:
Balance is perfect, no neck dive. Stretch to first position: one of the best yet, as far as ergonomics. JP really thought this one out. There is no stretch involved, first position is in a very comfortable zone. The upper horn reaching to the 12th fret is no doubt responsible for that.
Weight: right at 9 lbs. No problems there.

Slappable?

Both, slap    Bridge, slap
Well seeI find it to be, but well let the audio samples speak for themselves.

What I love about it:
Neck profile, now I wont miss my Pentabuzz at all! This profile is as close as they come, very thin/flat. Quite nice! Tony said it has a Warwick vibe, wood-wise. I guess this would be a Warwick on Adkins then, considering the light weight and svelte neck profile.

Aesthetics: Simple/elegant. FB/knobs/pup covers follow the ebony theme. Nice wenge control cover on back. Pink ivory nut catches attention, Tony says it gives the bass a nice artistic flair
Im not known for pursuing the straightforward/basic design ethic (I likes the crazy stuff!!) But this bass helps me see its appeal. Its quite unpretentious, in my opinion. In a way I guess its not that elaborate or ornate, but its definitely sophisticated. It presents the basics, the modest necessities, in a very natural way.

What Id spec differently if I customized one:
Id probably want a truss rod cover. 

JP says: the truss rod sports a spoke nut (no allen wrench needed) which stands up from the body face. It would be hard and probably not looking good to hide it behind a cover.

Differentiate marker at 7th fret position. I can do this myself.

Side input jack? 

JP says: my bodies are a little thinner than most basses and I use a greater radius value for rounding edges. I always had bad luck with "tube" jacks that need to be replaced to often and cat's eye or electrosocket plates do not fit the bodies ! BTW, I'm sending you a black nut and washer combo for the bass cause I just received them

Exotic top? There I go again 

JP says: for the next one ?

Very superficial changes at best. It does what you need it to do perfectly; JPs recipe is definitely spot-on!  Simple, effective, with a strong voice.

Customer Service:
Very pleasant to deal with JP. Id been chatting with him from www.Talkbass.com for about a year now, before this deal ever came up. Im pretty committed to FBBs, but not averse to trying something different. And this is definitely different. JP and Matt have very divergent styles, but the quality level is very high. Id definitely recommend checking out a JP!
He was willing to work with me on the options I had, and conceded to me on the hardware color, which I appreciate. Im very happy with it, but I know hed have preferred chrome. I dont think hed compromise on a design feature that he felt was fundamental, but he does leave room for preferences.
He also personalized a little JPG for me explaining the controls, no biggie he claims, but it was a nice extra touch I thought. You get a feeling of personal involvement, and hes just a great guy to work with. Went the extra mile for sure!

Since this was his first bass shipped to the US, there were some issues to work out as we went.  It all proceeded smoothly though, and wasn't painful at all!  I'd have no qualms recommending an international transaction with JP.  

Overall impression of bass:
Sleek. Natural. Well-named; feather. Huge tone! Solid. Comfortable.
I am impressed, and quite satisfied. More later, as I get to know her better.

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