Definitely one of my most personally valued basses. I used to say that if something went wrong and I ended up on the street I'd have this bass on my back. I'll NEVER sell it, even under such dire circumstances. There are a few reasons for such a deep affection for this bass.
#1, I love the look. That trans butterscotch finish with the black pickguard kills me every time. Add the tinted neck and it's just screaming "pick me up and play me!"
#2, The tone is crazy good. This bass sounded killer from the first note. Sometimes all the stars align just right and the pieces that go into an instrument add up to much more than the sum of the parts. And then something happened with this bass that has given me a working theory about what can make an instrument sound good. When the bass was being assembled the truss rod developed a rattle. Now, I build my necks so the rod is theoretically removable. Theoretically. In this case, the rod DID NOT want to come out of the neck. It took a lot of violence - pounding it on the floor with a wood block and then pulling on the rod with all my might. It finally came out and I got a new rod in it's place, but the bottom of the heel is really pretty bunged up. To the degree that I was not comfortable selling it. So it was going to stick around for that reason alone. A shop demo bass. But then I plugged it in. And the tone sealed the deal for good.
#3, I got super lucky and had a chance to get Pino Palladino to sign it. It was at Bass Player Live in 2011 or so. That alone ups the cool factor by a ton. And that signature serves as inspiration to play something killer every time I pick up the bass.
#4, the current pickup is an NP5 A3 prototype that just added another dimension of awesome fat chewy character. It tracks so well. Supportive yet with a unmistakable lively presence. Love it!
So I used this bass on two tracks for the Moba Jones Soul Fish album.:
I Can't Wait - tracked though a Warwick Hellborg preamp into an Apollo 1073 Unison preamp. Tone rolled back about 80% so the roll off point resonant bump added just a touch of fun.
Hands Are Down - Tracked the same as above. I was really going for a supportive yet melodic vibe here. And I went a little crazy at the end. It was one of those "of the moment" takes that I probably couldn't do again without a ton of work.