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Elrick Expat NJS4, Natural Ash, Gloss, Bird’s eye maple f/b (list £2275)

SOLD free UK shipping

+ £20 EU (outside UK) shipping

  1. Please contact us to pay by Bank transfer - Ex display Special offer

  2. Export price outside EU £1292. Please contact us for international shipping rates

  3. Rob Elrick started his company in 1993, since then he has established himself as one of the leading custom bass manufacturers in the USA. The Expat bass range are hand built in Europe with USA supplied wood and components to a very high quality and offer a custom feel for a great price. Lightweight (8lb 1oz/3.7kg), easy to play and full of great tones, a really super modern bass. This is one of the best takes on the classic 1960s designed bass with modern build quality and features.

Actual instrument shown, click on pictures to enlarge;








Rob Elrick started his company in 1993, since then he has established himself as one of the leading custom bass manufacturers in the USA. The Expat bass range are manufactured in Europe with mostly USA supplied wood and components to a very high quality and offer a custom feel for a great price. Bass guitar gave this bass 4.5 out of 5 - see review below.


  1. Expat NJS bolt on 4 string

  2. Alder body

  3. Natural gloss finish

  4. Black pick guard

  5. Maple neck

  6. 2-way adjustable truss rod

  7. Width at nut: 40mm

  8. Bird’s eye maple Maple fingerboard, radius: 16" - £100 option

  9. Pearl Blocks - £100 option

  10. 24 frets + zero fret

  11. Medium Fretwire

  12. 34" scale

  13. 19mm string spacing at bridge

  14. Bartolini J coils

  15. Bartolini NTMBF 3 band eq, 9v. volume (active/passive push/pull), pan, treble, mid (push/pull freq), bass

  16. Satin silver knobs

  17. Satin Hipshot Ultralight tuners and custom Elrick bridge

  18. Dunlop Straploks

  19. Elrick Fundamental strings

  20. Elrick "Zero gravity" case case

  21. Weight: 3.7kb 8lb 1oz



























Also available in the following finishes;

  1. Amber Sunburst (On Swamp Ash Body)

  2. Natural (On Swamp Ash body)

  3. Antique Tobacco sunburst (On Alder body)

  4. Piano Black (On Alder body)

  5. White (On Alder body)


ELRICK REVIEWS;


2014 Bass Player Magazine USA


Elrick Expat New Jazz Standard 4- & 5-String

BY JONATHAN HERRERA




CHICAGO LUTHIER ROB ELRICK HAS EARNED A reputation as an innovative, technically skilled luthier with a fastidious attention to detail. His prized U.S.-made instruments exemplify the best of boutique bass building: beautiful wood, high-end electronics, and superb hardware, carefully chosen and painstakingly transformed into sophisticated musical instruments. All of this work comes at a cost, with prices for his Master Series basses reaching the low five figures. Eager to bring his concepts to a mass audience, Elrick once collaborated with big-time Korean manufacturer Cort on a line of low-cost basses, but after some initial success, the deal soured when Elrick felt that he could no longer ensure the quality of products associated with the Elrick Bass Guitars brand.


Still seeking to bring his unique designs to more players, Elrick turned to the Czech Republic as a source for a new mid-priced line. Given the high demand for painted versions of his Jazz Bass-inspired New Jazz Standard series (a costly option on the U.S. version), he chose that model for overseas production. A further incentive to work with the Czechs was their high tolerance for his micro-management. Says Elrick, “I select and supply all the swamp ash bodies and maple for fretboards. I also supply all hardware and electronics, including preamps that are pre-wired and tested prior to export for production.” The hands-on approach doesn’t end there: “Every Expat Series bass is fully disassembled and inspected before shipping to a dealer or customer. All frets are given a level and re-crown … in many cases, even screws are removed and replaced depending on condition or quality.” In the end, Elrick wants to deliver a bass that is in essence a U.S.-quality bass whose woodworking has been contracted to partner craftsmen. The materials and components are the same as found on his high-end models.


MAKEOVER

The NJS basses were designed to embody the definitive qualities of the familiar J-style bass while offering a number of updates and modifications. I have no beef with the builders who make it their métier to improve on the formula, often by endeavouring to capture its vintage Fender origin, but Elrick’s more radical approach is refreshing and progressive. Looks and personality-wise, the resulting instrument has as much in common with a vintage Jazz as the average person does with a grandparent: There’s a resemblance, but you have to kind of squint to see it. Regardless, the  NJS does excel in a few areas where more traditionally styled J-basses sometimes suffer, especially concerning weight, balance, and high-fret access (which in this case means all the way up to the 24th fret). I did find the lower horn to be perhaps a smidge too insubstantial to anchor firmly on my right leg when I was playing seated, but hey, that’s just my legs. The basses’ high-register access is indeed near perfect for a bolt-on—Elrick’s ergonomic neck joint is beveled and cut away in all the right places. The Expats’ neck is set deep into the body; some slappers might long for more room to dig in for pops, while other will delight in the control such a tight space can help convey.


Many (but certainly not all) mass-produced imported basses betray their origin in any number of ways, some more subtle than others. It has nothing to do with intrinsic national competence; rather, it’s because of the U.S. companies’ cost-saving priorities, revealed in lower-quality materials, generic electronics, and a skilled but flawed fit-and-finish. The Elrick Expat basses I tested exhibited none of these weaknesses, and felt every bit boutique. Their fretwork was flawless, the finishes were lustrous and smooth, and the hardware felt and looked slick and high-end. The 5-string’s creamy transparent-white finish revealed a one-piece ash body—a relative rarity, mid-priced bass or not.


CZECH IT

I played the Expat basses through a variety of rigs, including a Warwick LWA 1000, an Ampeg SVT, and in the studio with a Tube Tech MEC 1A preamp and a Universal Audio LA610 preamp/compressor. The

basses share an essential character, although the maple-fingerboard-equipped, ash-body 5-string was certainly brighter and more aggressive than the rosewood/alder 4.


The most immediately striking quality of each bass was the excellent evenness and balance across the frequency spectrum. Each instrument had a refined and smooth sound, with a burnished and colourful low-mid response and a nice sheen on the top end. The 5-string sizzled more and harboured the more typical assortment of slap sounds, but both basses were equally capable of the full gamut of J-bass-style flavours, including a barky soloed neck pickup sound, a full-bodied blended tone, and a burpy soloed bridge tone that is on the milder edge of the punch spectrum. The instruments’ knob layout was clean and intuitive. An old favourite, the Bartolini NTMB performed as musically as ever, never sounding harsh or coarse, even when dramatically boosted. The B string on the 5’er was solid and supportive, though a little shy in comparison to the other strings. Experimenting with setup and string type yielded good results, though. Each instrument also had impressive string-to-string clarity and definition—qualities that help inspire journeys into the high register for chords and solo parts.


The Elrick Expat basses are an excellent value. They’re just as nice as many high-end boutique basses (including those from Elrick itself), and they’re blessed with an excellent variety of real-world tones. Players seeking a J-style bass that has a polished sound and 24-fret range would be hard pressed.



Expat Series New Jazz Standard 4-string & 5-string

Street/direct 4-string, $2,095; 5-string, $2,295

Pros Excellent ergonomics; smooth and sophisticated tone

Cons Some slappers might favour more room for pops

Bottom Line The beautifully constructed Expat Series basses are excellent instruments with huge value in comparison to equally well-equipped instruments.

Construction Bolt-on Body One-piece swamp ash Fingerboard 4-string, Indian rosewood; 5-string, maple

Frets 24 Scale length 4-string, 34"; 5-string, 35"

Neck width at zero-fret 4-string, 42mm; 5-string, 48" String spacing 19mm

Pickups Bartolini CBJD

Preamp Bartolini NTMBF w/3-band EQ Hardware Custom Elrick by Hipshot bridge; Hipshot Ultralite tuners

Made in Czech Republic; final assembly, USA

Contact elrick.com


Originally printed in the January 2015 issue of Bass Player. Reprinted with the permission of the Publishers of Bass Player. Copyright 2008 NewBay Media, LLC. All rights

reserved. Bass Player is a Music Player Network publication, 1111 Bayhill Dr., St. 440, San Bruno, CA 94066. T. 650.238.0300. Subscribe at www.musicplayer.com


Elrick

Expat NJS4 and EVO Platinum 5

Stuart Clayton takes a look at two different ends of the Elrick spectrum.

Bass Guitar Magazine 43 September 2011


Although they might not be as familiar on these shores as some of their fellow US based luthiers, Rob Elrick and his team have nevertheless crafted a respectable name for themselves since first launching their instruments at the 1993 Summer NAMM. Elrick offer three basic ranges of instruments: Platinum series, Gold series and the Expat NJS. The Platinum series basses are the more expensive of the range and are built using a variety of construction techniques including single-cut, through neck, hybrid and hybrid semi hollow. A Platinum leaf logo is added to each as a finishing touch. The Gold series are Bolton neck instruments that are available in a variety of body shapes: classic, e-volution and NJS. These instruments are adorned with a gold-leaf logo. Finally, we have the Expat NJS (New Jazz Standard) series, which represents Elrick’s efforts to offer a modern take on the classic Jazz Bass design at an affordable price point. To that end, manufacturing of this model is handled in Europe to keep costs down. Here we have a single-cut Platinum series e-volution 5-string retailing at £3,000, and an Expat NJS 4-string, retailing at £1,500. Let’s take a closer look.


Body & Neck

The EVO features a singlecut, neck-through design comprising a swamp ash body topped with a gorgeous piece of burl maple. The neck is constructed of three pieces of select maple and is visible running through the centre portion of the body. A thin sliver of a darker wood that provides a border – a very attractive addition – encompasses this neck-through section, along with the edge of the burl top. The wenge fingerboard looks fantastic against the burl maple, and the continuation of the top body wood on the headstock is another great cosmetic touch, particularly with the platinum ‘E’ logo adorning it. Flipping the bass over we find a large cutaway section where the heel would otherwise be on a more traditional bolt-on instrument. The shaping of the woods is superb here, but the real function is to facilitate easy access to the upper register. The control cavity plate on the EVO is a removable section of the body wood that’s exceptionally well cut and looks fantastic. Turning our attention to the Expat, we were similarly impressed. The bolt-on neck bolts, and more thoughtful shaping is applied to the heel of the instrument. Finished in white, our Expat is adorned with a three-ply tortoiseshell scratchplate, carefully shaped to accommodate the controls. The Indian rosewood and satin hardware are the perfect aesthetic choice here, finishing off the look nicely.


Hardware

Both instruments feature Hipshot hardware – black for the EVO and a satin finish for the Expat. Lightweight tuning gears keep the headstock weight down and improve balance, while the chunky Hipshot bridges provide all the adjustability needed. Th eEVO also features Dunlop strap locks, which is always a nice addition. Bartolini pickups are used on all Elrick basses: the EVO has soapbars,the Expat has Bartolini J coils. Both instruments have the same Bartolini NTMBF three-band circuit. Opening up the control cavities reveals exceptionally neat wiring, soldering and shielding, with the battery housed in a separate compartment within the cavity. You might prefer separate flip-top battery covers, but nevertheless it’s reassuring to see that the same high building standards found on the US-built EVO are carried through to the European-built Expat.


Hardware

Both instruments feature Hipshot hardware – black for the EVO and a satin finish for the Expat. Lightweight tuning gears keep the headstock weight down and improve balance, while the chunky Hipshot bridges provide all the adjustability needed. Th e EVO also features Dunlop strap locks, which is always a nice addition. Bartolini pickups are used on all Elrick basses: the EVO has soapbars, the Expat has Bartolini J coils. Both instruments have the same Bartolini NTMBF three-band circuit. Opening up the control cavities reveals exceptionally neat wiring, soldering and shielding, with the battery housed in a separate compartment within the cavity. You might prefer separate flip-top battery covers, but nevertheless it’s reassuring to see that the same high building standards found on the US-built EVO are carried through to the European-built Expat.


Sounds

The EVO offers a broad sonic palette. In addition to the standard volume, blend, treble, middle and bass controls, this bass has an active/passive switch and a three-way toggle switch for selecting different mid-range frequencies. In active mode, the usual blend ratios yield the expected bass sounds – a killer slap tone when favouring the neck pickup slightly and a biting fingerstyle sound from the bridge pickup. But the devil is in the detail here and experimenting with the mid frequencies results in more punch when we need to fi t our sound into an unfriendly live mix. _ is control requires some familiarity with how you can best use the mid range to your advantage, and overall we were pleased with the range of tones on offer here. Adding in the passive mode provides more traditional tones that work well for pick-based rock – although we didn’t feel quite right playing such things on a single-cut instrument. The Expat fared similarly well..The natural tone (both pickups used in equal ratio) was full and throaty and sounded fantastic whether slapped or played fingerstyle. The overall tonal palette certainly recalls classic jazz tones, although with a modern edge: the active EQ adds extra weight and punch where needed, and the addition of a mid-range control helps refine the sound.


Conclusion

Both the Expat and the EVO are superb instruments and, despite being built in different countries, boast similarly impressive levels of build quality. Both have a broad and ultimately very usable range of tones on offer, and are comfortable, well-designed basses that are enjoyable to use live. Retailing at £3,000 the EVO will be beyond the means of many of us, but anyone who is looking to make a serious investment in an instrument that will last a lifetime could do a lot worse. The Expat, while not cheap, is a far more affordable alternative and offers much of what makes the EVO a great bass. Impressive stuff all round, and we’d certainly recommend both instruments for a test drive if you have the opportunity.


ELRICK EXPAT NJS4

Made in: Europe

Body: Alder

Neck: 3-piece maple

Fingerboard: Indian rosewood

Neck join: Bolt-on neck

Frets: 24 medium frets

Scale: 863mm (34”)

Machine heads: Hipshot Ultralight Satin tuners

Bridge: Hipshot B Style

Pickups: Bartolini J coil pickups

Electronics: Bartolini NTMBF, 3-band EQ, 9V

Controls: Volume (active/passive), blend, treble, middle (push/pull frequency select) and bass

Weight: 4kg (8lb 12oz)

ELRICK EVO PLATINUM 5

Made in: USA

Body: Swamp ash with burl maple top

Neck: Select 3-piece maple

Fingerboard: Wenge

Neck join: Through-neck

Frets: 24 medium frets

Scale length: 889mm (35”)

Machine heads: Hipshot

Ultralight tuners

Bridge: Hipshot A Style

Pickups: Bartolini pickups

Electronics: Bartolini NTMBF 3-band EQ, 9V

Controls: Volume, blend, treble, middle and bass, 3-way mid-frequency selector switch, active/passive switch

Weight: 3.7kg (8lb 4oz)


Plus: Great-looking, great-sounding basses that are well designed and comfortable to play.

Minus: One very minor complaint is the plastic controls on the Expat.

Overall: Lovely instruments, recommended.


Bass Direct

Tel: 01926 886433

www.bassdirect.co.uk


EVO 4/5

EXPAT 4/5

BGM RATING


Elrick Expat Series New Jazz Standard Platinum Review - Premier Guitar Magazine 2009


Dan Berkowitz

If you take a look at the top-selling basses these days, you’ll find endless variations of the Leo Fender designs, plus some imported originals created to catch the eye of younger players wanting to emulate their favourite bass superstars. To find a bass that has escaped CNC-machine cloning, you’ll need to travel beyond the mom-and-pop and big-box music stores to a bass boutique where the prices zoom up quickly beyond the two thousand dollar mark—and the attention to detail in design and build increases accordingly. These two Elrick basses fall into that category.


These basses are clearly not for every player— both because of their price and their sound— but if you’re hankering for a bass beyond the ordinary, you might soon hear them calling to you in the soft breezes of the night.




Download Example 1

Bridge Flat


Download Example 2

Bridge EQ


Download Example 3

Neck Flat


Download Example 4

Neck EQ

SIGNAL CHAIN: Bass into CEntrance AxePort Pro into Reaper DAW software on MacBook


Expat Series New Jazz Standard

The New Jazz Standard (NJS) takes a long standing design in the bass world—a contoured body and sleek neck with a pair of single-coil pickups—and brings it into the new millennium. Built in the Czech Republic from all US components, it closely replicates the dimensions of the hand-carved Elrick model built in Chicago.


The NJS is elegantly understated, with a piano-black lacquer finish on an alder body topped off with black knobs and a satin silver Hipshot bridge. The 24-fret, three-piece neck is likewise understated. Its quarter-sawn maple fingerboard eschews position markers, providing only petite black dots on the fingerboard edge. The veneer-capped headstock is equally simple, with a conventional shape and no adornment other than a small, round Elrick “e” toward the end, along with the satin Hipshot tuners. Elrick adds a modern innovation to the build with a deep bolt-on neck that uses six screws and runs clear through to the neck pickup. Like the old school, though, the truss rod access is through the neck heel end, except that the truss rod nut can be reached without any disassembly. Thoughtfully, Elrick includes a ball-end, t-handle Allen wrench among the in-case goodies, along with a screwdriver-style Allen wrench for adjusting the bridge saddles.


On the back of the body, there is a deeply sculpted cutaway to comfortably accommodate better access up the neck. The neck heel is ergonomically sculpted to match, avoiding the usual cliff-and-stair joint of this bass’s classic ancestor. The headstock departs from the classic as well, angling back to avoid the use of string trees. The Bartolini J-style pickups added further to the toned-down look, since they don’t have exposed pole-pieces. Sonically, these pickups allow a pretty serious range of tones, from warm, modern and smooth to snappy, aggressive and bright. Tapping the top of the bass, I heard a bit of “spring ping” from the bridge pickup, where the springs supporting a pickup produce a little sound of their own—nothing major, but a small disappointment nonetheless.


The Bartolini NTMBF electronics provide for three bands of cut-and-boost EQ, with an alternative EQ centre on the midrange knob via a push-pull switch. In a similar way, the volume knob can be pulled up to bypass the electronics, although doing so cuts out all but the volume and blend pots. This would be useful in a dead-battery emergency mid set, but the preamp really adds life to the bass—I would imagine playing in active mode all the time.


With the EQ set flat, this is a fairly neutral sounding instrument— more polite than the classic version—letting the player bring out his own voice rather than trying to modify a pre-existing voice distinctive to a specific design. I generally found that favouring one pickup or the other via the blend pot brought out some character and clarity. I could then flavour my tone to taste by tweaking the EQ knobs. Keep the Midrange knob down for some added beef (250hz) or pull it up for more snap (800hz).


As might be expected with an instrument in this price range, the details of the build received very careful attention. The black lacquer finish was rich and deep. The medium frets—a little unusual for a bass like this—were well-seated, with carefully rounded ends and smooth crowns. In the hand, the back of the neck had a familiar rounded profile, while the fingerboard had a wider radius than the classic, very comfortable and playable. The Elrick Zero-Gravity case was a nice touch, fulfilling its name with a near weightless feel accomplished by a cloth shell over foam, lined with a smooth, black plush fabric inside. Outside, there is a generous zippered pouch just right for carrying a couple of cables, a strap and a tuner.

Buy if...

you have old-school tastes, but like the convenience of modern evolutions—and high quality is important.

Skip if...

you like a bass with two knobs, a rootsy kind of feel and sound—and a budget price.

Rating...

 

Tel: 01926 886433







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