6 September 12 - Marc Mennigmann (Germany), to Emmett:
About a month ago I received my custom half fretless Stick Bass. It took me some time to get used to it but now it feels like a second home. Compared to my main instrument, the bamboo Grand Stick, this one requires a completely different approach and lets me assume a different role in my band - exactly what I had in mind. Besides that, the fretless sound of this yellow beast is much better and more "beefy" than I expected! Even playing clean, without effects, and using a full range amplification system, it sounds warm and punchy at the same time. Further, the option to switch from fretless to fretted mode in no time is priceless. I can jump from a crisp funk sound setup to a warm fretless bass setup with just a small move of my hands.
This instrument is just as I wanted it to be. It feels good, sounds good and looks gorgeous. I can't wait to use it in my recording and live project with Julie Slick next month. I just wanted to drop you these lines and express my deepest thanks for building this wonderful instrument for me.
2 February 11 - Steve Adelson (New York), to Stick Enterprises:
The new Stick feels great and sounds wonderful. I just love the fretless growl. I'm getting the hang of being mostly in tune without frets.
Thanks again for building a special instrument. I still get excited when a new Stick arrives at my door. I'm looking forward to an active year performing and having a great instrument(s) is crucial. Your craftsmanship and dedication are second to none.
30 January 10 - André Pelat (France), to Stick Enterprises:
Dear Emmett, I received the Stick Friday 29th
January at 3 pm. My first feeling when I opened
the parcel was, "It's incredible!". This Stick
is so beautiful, I couldn't imagine that before!
When I began to play - wouaouh! The
"Rail" frets are absolutely great and give a
precise touch and slide easily. Also, these
frets reveal a more brilliant sound than the
older Rods. It is really pleasant. I am
wondering how you did that!
Thank you so much for the 4 extra frets.
I can play Classic pieces like Winter of Vivaldi
or Hungarian dance #5 without bending high notes.
The "Flaps" dual nut allows me to play a Gm7 in
the same position as my Am7, and that lower C is
One thing more incredible I notice - The
Stick arrived in tune in spite of the travel from
CA to France. You adjusted perfectly this Stick.
Everywhere you play on the fretboard it's easy
and each note is in tune. The 2 GK3 are perfect.
This stick is the BEST I have held in my
hand! Emmett, I haven't the English words to
express my gratitude for your love of the perfect
work and your sensible advice. Your intuition
helped me in my choice, and I don't forget Yuta,
Cambria and Ben for their friendly help. I am so
10 December 08 - Youenn Landreau (France), to Stick Enterprises:
It was 4PM, the bell rang at home... A UPS truck was at the gate... I signed.
My new 5653 settled down here. Now the problem
is that I play for almost 4 hours and I must
force myself to stop! This 5653 seems to be
perfectly adjusted, made for me.
So, it is a little bit difficult to
express what I feel today, but let me tell you
how much I am happy. I feel like I'm playing piano
on an Imperial Bösendorfer. I never drove a
Ferrari but it must be like this. Many, many
thanks to you Yuta, to you Emmett for your
kindness and understanding of each person's
problems (the 4 additionnal frets are perfect),
and to you Ben for your contact.
19 July 08 - Neil Bettencourt (USA), to Stick Enterprises:
I am totally in love with the fretless. I have been playing since 10:30 this morning, and have not been able to stop. The tone is unbelievable. Thanks so much.
PS. the VG-99 is amazing. I'm tracking perfectly, and there are some fantastic tones in it. What a way to be spending a sunday!!
Dec 03 - Greg Howard (VA), to StickWire:
It's a 36"-scale (rosewood) 10-string in Bari-Melody with linear inlays,
fret rods, and a hybrid pickup that has a Stickup on the bass side and an EMG
FT-2 on the melody side (both in a standard Stickup module). But my favorite
thing of all is the pickup. I'm grateful Emmett was willing to try this
experiment, and I know he had to work very hard to customize the module so
that it would all fit in there with the battery, too. Having my two favorite
sounds for each side of the instrument on one fretboard makes it a real joy,
and because the EMG is slightly closer to the bridge than on the ACTV-2 it
has a slightly edgier tone, which I really like, and more twang as I get
closer to the nut. It doesn't sound terribly different than the Stickup on
the bass side, so it's not like having two "different" instruments in your
hands at once, which was a possibility in having such different pickups on
each side. The main benefit is the crystal-clear high notes and searing
distorition up high with none of the "beating" that the double coil pickup
can have up high.
24 April 03 - Eric Wallack (OH), to Stickwire:
Yes, but as we all know, the amount of handiwork, especially at the setup stage - and the personal attention to a customer's wishes about tunings, guages, woods, tuner color, etc make EVERY Stick a custom instrument. The tolerances on a properly set-up Stick rival that of a concert quality violin, and surpass that of most handmade guitars and basses. Many "handmade" archtop guitars (Benedetto incl.) also use router/duplicator machines to "carve" tops before fine tuning them by hand. Those cost WAY more than the top o'the line Stick, and the R&D in violins and archtop guitar design hasn't really changed since the 1500's or the 40's (respectively). One look at the Timeline of Stick Innovations tells a different story for SE.
1 September 00 - Marc Dabney (NY), to Stick Enterprises:
Since the arrival of my masterly created Tenor Stick I have been
re-prioritizing my daily activities. My music life has jumped back
close to my God, my Haruko, and ministry. There are times for all
events but I confess I am on the verge of "donyoku na kibun", in
clear-speak, greedy for more Tenor Stick time. Discovering my voice
through the Tenor as I conceptualized the Marc sound in my head is
proving to be all the challenge I ever hoped for. I will always be
grateful for the privilege of owning a real Chapman Stick instrument,
the Stickivarius of the modern era.
21 November 97 - David Mitchell (Australia), to Stickwire:
Francesco was kind enough to send me a cassette tape of himself playing his fretless Grand about a month ago. My reactions were, in order:
He's playing fretless bass with a really nice attack
Great sound, like what he's playing, good technique
Hmm, he's playing really complex stuff on that fretless
Hmm, he's managed to overdub Stick on top of his fretless bass
(Read Francesco's letter - in it, he mentions his tape is all Stick)
(Assorted exclamations of wonderment) 'I gotta have one of these!
Quick check of bank balance, followed by quick check of all credit cards
Start mentally selling off all my gear - guitars, effects, dogs, child. Better not sell child; I'll probably get a better price in a year or so."
5 April 97 - Francesco Puddu (Italy), to Stickwire:
I had the fretless custom made by Emmett; a friend of mine in Italy had a 10-string Stick that was fretless on the bass side and I fell in love with the sound· The sound is gorgeous, tone of smooth sustain, growl and expression; I played in a band for a couple of months with my normal Grand and when I brought in the fretless and started playing it got big thumbs up. It simply filled up the bottom more and I could add a new level of expression to otherwise simple bass lines· I think that the options you can have on The Stick on a custom basis are really endless as long as something is physically possible (and if it isn't Emmett is very likely to find a way to do it all the same)· I was also amazed by the price of the custom work being quite affordable. You can get in touch with Stick Enterprises for an estimate at: email@example.com
23 January 97 - Paolo Valladolid (CA), to Stickwire:
I was sold on the metal plate idea after trying out Francesco's fretless Grand. Slapping on those strings had the brightness of fretted bass and the metal-on-metal contact when doing vibrato yielded incredible sustain, even on the highest notes on the strings.
6 December 96 - Paolo Valladolid (CA), to Stickwire:
If Emmett was cool enough to make Francesco's quarter fretless Grand, I'm sure he'll be accommodating enough to build a wider-neck Grand for you. You may even be able to trade in your current Grand for your new custom instrument. From what I have seen and heard for myself, Emmett will build a Stick to suit just about any need - without breaking the laws of physics, anyway.
20 November 96 - Francesco Puddu (Italy) to Stickwire:
As the proud owner of the fretless Grand Stick I would like to add that it sounds incredible! It is in purple heart wood and the melody side had a GK-2A MIDI pick-up. It really is a dream come true· The fretless strings sound a bit smoother and fatter than on fretted and of course sliding and other effects are great fun, and I really like the way bass chords sound: the three-guys-playing effect is really enhanced. Once again I would like to thank Emmett Chapman for building my dream instrument!
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