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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simon Signature Ultra Bass confirmed

Update: "Schecter have said that Simon's ultra bass will be on sale from January." (Thanks Brad)

The Cure

Photo by Claudia Picone. See the white version here.

In this article (with April's awesome photo) about the money raised by the Cure Bestival Curetoon guitar, Schecter has confirmed what many suspected..."yes, Simon is rocking his new Schecter Signature Ultra '1979' Signature bass! More on this soon!!"

69 comments:

  1. I thought I'd decided not to bother saving for a bass, but this could completely turn that decision on it's head!

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  2. Oh god...remember when The Cure played amazing guitars.

    These horrible things with stickers all over them are absurd.

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  3. Yeah Vagabond, at least there was Sydney, where they pulled out all their old gems. But I agree. They must make a LOT of money off of these Schecters.

    And if Perry comes back, I hope he doesn't get sucked in as well.

    I don't mind the Schecters, per se. I don't think they sound "horrible" like a lot of people do. But there's a difference. POY with Robert's VI, vs. his Schecter "equivalent" guitar isn't quite the same.

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  4. Simon's Schecter sounded great from the recordings I heard, but Robert's....how can he not hear how underwhelming it sounds? I don't necessarily think it's just the guitar though, his whole set up just doesn't sound that good. I mean if you listen to the video of Fascination Street from Bestival, in the first guitar part he plays, there's no flanger, no chorus, no reverb, nothing. That sound is what MAKES that song (and countless others). It could have sounded so good (Jason was even sounding as strong as the rest, he's definitely improved on his sound recently).

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  5. I would like to try one of these out for myself since I can't really judge the sound off of just one show. Personally I like the way these look more than the Thunderbird (which I've never been too fond of. I still think Simon's old hollowbody basses are the best looking and sounding though (so far).

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  6. Perry had a custom model himself, by Aria guitars. The Schecter guitars are awful (the 6 string bass being the worst), but the bass doesn't seem too bad although some more samples are welcome. Stickers don't change the sound of a guitar... bad players and bad woods do. The Fender-era of the Cure sound to me is the best, but for the post-89 sound the Gibsons were kind of necessary... and the Nationals too...

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  7. That Aria Bass-6 was really nice. IMO the Schecter's aren't nearly as bad as most Curefans believe, in fact I've found the UltraCure and the Corsair very versatile but they're definitely different from the Jazzmaster, Gibsons, etc. I love that National too! I saw one on ebay a few weeks ago. I think it was going for around $3600 US.

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  9. From what I heard of the Bestival recordings, Simon's new Schecter bass ain't too shabby. It certainly has a distinct sound, and the basslines comes through quite well. No complaints as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it sounds better than his Thunderbird in the guitars-only period. And I kind of like the look of the new bass too.

    As for Robert's current Schecter sound, to my ears at least it's less muddy than before, but still nowhere near as characteristic as the old Fender sound. After the wonderful Sydney shows, this feels like a step back again. But even so, it's still one or two steps forward from the 2005-2009 era, so that makes it a step in the right direction.

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  10. perry dont come back ! porl is the best!:)

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  11. I think if there's gonna be a second guitarist in the future, it should be someone completely new. I know it's probably a bit odd for a band of the Cure's age to be bringing in totally new members at this stage, but I think the times with Porl and Perry have run their course, some new blood would definitely not go amiss.

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  12. ADM, how funny. I never even noticed how "raw" Fascination Street was at Bestival. I listened to it just now, and then compared it to the Show version. What a difference.

    Ha. (I know, not really apples-to-apples here.) The flanger and chorus (probably DD too) give it that magical quality, and make it sound quintessentially Cure. Plus, another guitar really really helps. Oh well, at least it's still being played live by three of the song's original authors. That has to count for something.

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  13. I'm really in to the "only one guitar" thing here, i don't miss Porl.
    I have a Jazzmaster my self and that's my favorite guitar but, i have played some schecters and i think they're really well made guitars it's just that Robert's ultracure it's so ugly.

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  14. ugly is the sound of bestival ! wite only one guitar and keyboard is not real sound of the cure !please come the second guitar:))))
    and i love the new bass for simon :)

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  15. @ADM: I would like to see Porl or Perry back in the band but if there was gonna be a totally new guitarist I would love to know when and where they held auditions. :)

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  16. Without a doubt, the Fender, Gibson, and National era with Boss pedals ending after the Wish tour was the best. I like the Gretsches too but Wild Mood Swings was the beginning of the decline. Of course there were alot of Peavey amps in use too which sounded great. I prefer tube amps but for the Cure, that era was amazing. Maybe it was the songs that were so great compared to those written after 1992 which were subpar. Or maybe a combination of the better songs and higher quality instruments? Either way, Robert and the guys need to do something to recapture the "golden years" as he's called them. They were "golden" for a reason. Robert would know why and should employ that magical something that worked so well again.

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  17. I personally don't care for Robert's Schecter guitars. I think they sound just awful and can't believe he doesn't hear this.

    Just listen to The Kiss before and after Schecter...what a horrible difference. :(

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  18. a couple of comments:
    Robert isn't playing his Schecter VI on songs like he used to. He's been playing them on his UltraCure. Watch the Festival version of Faith vs the Charlotte version. I prefer the Festival version. But I'm not in the band.
    Secondly, there has been a lot of mentions of Porl's "wah freak outs.". Robert's favorite guitarist is Jimi Hendrix, famous for popularizing the wah pedal. Now I may be wrong but I believe if the de facto leader of the band doesn't like something, it won't happen.
    Finally, as long as Robert and Simon are in the band, I'll follow them. It may take a while to get used to some decisions, but it's still better than 99.9% of the music out there.
    Rejoice and have Faith

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  19. I finally created an account and can comment. My quick thoughts on guitars... I thought Bestival sounded thin without a second guitar. I hope they add... BUT IT CAN'T BE SOMEONE NEW. Porl or Perry at this point. I don't totally blame Schecter for the different tones we are hearing... Just because those guitars are really versatile. I mean Robert was rocking a Gretch for a awhile and Bloodflowers sounded pretty good. I don't know what's going on though... RS is a really solid sound engineer and to think this point is escaping him is not a good sign. Or perhaps he just loves Schecter and is exploring different effects.

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  20. And... I could totally be wrong but I've noticed that when Roger is in the band Porl is not and when Porl is in the band Roger is not. Perhaps the issue is between these two cats?

    (BTW, shooting from the hip... I did zero research but I think the last time these two played officially in the band together was around the Disintegration era?)

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  21. @Christopher, I totally agree with you about not blaming Porl for somehow playing in a way that didn't suit The Cure against Robert's wishes, if Robert doesn't like something, it wont happen. That's why Porl was in the band for a good 15 years. That's also why I get so annoyed at people blaming Jason for ruining the sound of the band and slowing down old songs like it was his decision. I have no doubt it was Robert's decision to play the old songs like they do now, not Jason's. I hate to say this but it could be that the playing of the Schecters could be a financial thing. I'm no expert but I can imagine they get paid buckets for endorsing them and using their stuff live. I don't have a problem with the guitars, Porl's Schecters sounded fantastic, the sounds he was getting sounded great, but unfortunately it's just Robert who needs to sort his sound out a bit.

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  22. About Porl: if you have read that Guitar Player mag from 92 (that one with Robert on the cover), there's some point that the interviewer hears some feedback coming from some room and Robert says "oh that's Porl" or something like that (can't recall the exact words). Yes Robert likes a wah - see the amazing way he played it in Bestival - brief, but quite pleasing.

    About the guitars and effects: he is NOT using a multi-effects unit (never did?). He's still using the same old Boss pedals. Just watch carefully to the videos, they're all there. In Sydney, there were 2 pedalboards, probably some with older effects (like an analog delay - the red pedal!), some with slightly newer or different models, but it's all Boss. The only difference I've noticed is the addition of the Blues Driver (used in JLH at Bestival?), which sounds quite nice. In studio though it's a different thing.
    The guitars as I've said are/were important in their specific periods. The same way you can't play Hendrix with a Gibson (you can, but it won't sound right), Cure songs of the past must be played with the Fenders to sound better. There are plenty of other brands that mimic certain guitars shapes and sounds and might sound a bit like them, but they're not the real thing. The Schecter VI tried but failed miserably. It's the most noticeable of them all.
    I really liked some of the sounds of the Grestch days (the same way I like a lot Porl's 335), but they didn't fit with "softer" material so to speak. I still would like to hear how they would sound with some Rickenbakers...

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  23. The Cure play Schecter because they like them. They do not earn any $ from Schecter, any $ earnt goes to charity.

    I'm not a guitar/tech person, but I really don't see what the fuss is about.

    I own the teo RS two Schecters and really like them.

    And in regards to the line-up, who really cares? So long as they are active / recording / touring (existing!), I'm happy!

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  24. Ah sorry, I never realised the profits went to charity. I agree with you, the actual guitars are probably very good, it's just how Robert uses them. But yeah you're very right, they're very much alive now and line up is great even without a second guitar so happy times for Cure fans :)

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  25. And if you can remember well, the whole in Orange was played with a (lovely) black Telecaster (same as when I saw them in 87), which to some people is a "weak" guitar and meant to be used only in country music... what made they sound so nice in Bestival was also the drive, and I don't mean the pedal. They wanted to be back as it should and gave us a wonderful performance.

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  28. The Cure can play anything and sound great with their vintage Gibsons, Fenders, Gretsch and Nationals. Live recordings from Bloodflowers and Wild Mood Swings still sound great no matter what anyone thinks of those records, but you can't say the same for anything from 2005-2011 minus portions of the Reflections show.

    However, at least 50% of the people here (including me) obviously have trouble with the Schechter sound. There is no way anyone can say that an Ultracure comes close to any of those phenomenal 1960s-1970s instruments that they (hopefully still) own. It is not the pedals.

    And why does RS refuse to play an acoustic guitar?

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  29. Some people can't even notice that they use backing tracks, let alone know when a guitar sounds odd or if it sounds properly for a certain situation. Musicians pick up their instruments for a reason, not always for some cheap endorsement.

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  30. of course rob is playing the Boss Pedals, they are there, no multi FX.
    And there is flanger and chorus in the sound, just open your ears!

    The jazzmaster sound was a trademark old style cure sound, but I like the schecters they did a very good job and sound fine to me.
    they do sound more "modern" not that vintage, wich is obvious, it's not the 80's anymore and never will be!
    get over it!

    besides, robert or the cure dosen't really give a shit about what you would like to see them play, they use the instrumentes they want, because they are the musicans and the ones who MAKE the music! So it is their decision and there is a reason why the play the schecters, and believe me it's not because of the money.
    don't be ridiculous
    Robert's one of the richest musicans in the UK! and as far as we know he's not really into buying private jets, Ferraris or really expensive stuff.

    so what would he need the money for? that's ridiculous really.

    if you don't like how they sound nowadays don't listen to it and stay with your favourite 80's bootleg recordings with crappy sound.

    you are the audience and they are the artist! and that's that

    peace!

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  31. Good call "Dead but Drowning"

    On an other topic, Good job Saints you guys were all over Cutler, Mike Martz has a lot of training with his defense... I am not happy with this at all. It looks like you guys are back on track Craig.

    Sorry about getting of topic, you may resume your regular Cure programming.

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  32. Anyway when they played Bestival I think the Schechter guitar sound was slightly better than in past years not so heavy but the main problem is the fender VI.

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  33. I do not agree, I have played a ton guitars since 1985, and the UltraCure has a wonderful tone.

    That said, it is uncomfortable for me to play, I guess I am used to Fenders... I am just a fender kind of guy. Although I will not put blame on Schecter for the loss of sound that YOU are used to with The Cure. Do not blame the guitars, I think other factors are to blame... producers, engineers, the band looking for a new sound, effects used, amps, and a countless number of things, but why get use to a specific sound?

    Bottom line, since I have been a Cure fan in "86", to me they have been about evolving and innovating, and if you do not get that, then you do not like The Cure(Robert said something like that in 2004). We should not try to hold them in a time capsule

    I would like to try out Simon's Schecter bass, just because I can not stand that Thunderbird, it is just too awkward! Schecter does put out good guitars in the end, and that is why The Cure choose to play them.

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  34. to all the schecter haters...i bought porl's corsair bigsby and i have to say, i love it. the tones it emits even without plugging it into anything sound phenomenal. i love using a stereo chorus for that "cure" sound, but just playing it on the clean channel is a lot of fun as well. schecter the company itself are awesome to deal with. my goal is to one day own all the cure related schecter guitars. i really don't feel the need to even pick up any other guitar. simon's schecter bass should be pretty sweet. can't wait to get ahold of one of those. i thought the cure members have a hand in designing the guitars, so aren't these customized to the way they like the guitars to sound?

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  35. i think the big problem with the new sound is too much overdrive on roberts guitar. its not a vintage sounding overdrive(like wish era), but a modern crunch, probably good for metal.and i think porl had the same problem. the wish tour had the best live sound and production by far. listen to never enough from show, and then from 05. its insane how much their tone has changed. the same goes for the new albums. the production is modern, and you can tell. if anything from 4.13 was recorded pre 92, with the exact same structure and lyrics, it would be in cure history as classic cure sound

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  36. Simon's bass looks awesome. A little more pleasing to the eye than the Thunderbird.

    I agree with Carnage Visors in that there are so many factors that go into how we here the guitars sound that you simply cannot put it down to the choice of guitar alone.

    Whilst it was a cool move to see them play "period correct" gear during Sydney's Reflections shows, I like the fact they always seem to be thinking a little to the left with their choice of guitars and the brands they use. There are so many options when it comes to choosing guitars these days that one does not necessarily have to gravitate towards the "classic" brands. To me, Fender and Gibson, whilst undeniably have made some iconic pieces that have defined the Cure's sound within a certain period of time, also represent a somewhat classic rock status, and I'm glad the band choose to look at other options out there.

    I remember reading somewhere that Robert is attracted to the shape of a guitar as much as the sound. Some of the Schecter shapes look pretty cool I think...

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  37. Is that a version of Simon's heart tattoo on the white one?

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  38. interesting to listen to people, maybe even musicians, put the Cure's live performances under the scrutiny of a microscope. So I guess there's a possibility that everything the Cure does is not perfect. Now my life is ruined.

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  39. Yes in the past Robert said that he didn't play Gibsons because he hated how they looked... go figure.

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  40. anyone else find it amusing that simons signature ultra bass is "1979" being that it's before he was with the cure...
    i agree with the masses though... ugly as hell... why they got to sticker them all up and look like some drop in the bucket emo boys hot topic clearance toy?
    made sense to graphic the crap out of pearls seeing that he did the art... and robert's come in a clean black, which anyone can defile (or not) to their liking...

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  41. Actually Porl's guitar was a "Kev Grey Original Tattoo Graphic", I would have like to see some original artwork of his own on that.

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  42. thanks for the correction... i thought i read somewhere that he did it... but nope... it is somewhat reminiscent of the wish artwork though... just saying i'm probably not the only one who thought it :)

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  43. Simon joined the band late '79 so it makes complete sense for it to say that. I definitely want one after the heart tattoo was pointed out! I think it looks awesome.

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  44. i don't know much about pickups or sustains and don't have a good enough ear (or sound system) to know the difference between a fender or a schecter but i do like the looks of that bass. red and black are my fave colors together. oh i DO know cool color combos when i see them! oh yeah!

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  45. It's true that Robert's Schecter guitars are a "clean black" - and then he puts stickers and googly eyes on them! :D I'm particularly fond of the "M" in a heart sticker.

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  46. Funny thing, judging the sound of guitars and basses from a less-than-mediocre sound mix like that on all the Bestival vids... ;)

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  48. simon is a bass whore. how could he abandon gibson for shitcer? i'm appalled.

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  49. the new guitars look like something Josie & the Pussycats would play...

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  50. You are on the money, Walter. Only the ones that were at this show know what they really sounded like, not some second hand recording off some cell phone, or the poor quality broadcast from sky arts.

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  51. I do think it's significant though, when these cellphone recordings already sound better than the live show you've been to 3 years ago...

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  52. Robert went out to make a cup of tea when they were rehearsing for Bestival - when he got back Simon and Jason were fighting.

    Robert: what's going on here?

    Simon: when I wasn't looking he detuned one of my strings.

    Robert: well, that's not such a problem is it?

    Simon: but he won't tell me which one.

    sorry, crap old band joke - any more bassist jokes better than that one?

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  53. @Carnage Visors: I was referring to the Sky Arts vids, really. I'll never get it why any TV broadcaster cares to show concerts without getting a decent engineer to do a proper mix apart from "yup, I got signal on all channels, let's go..."

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  54. Some of us are complaining about the sound of the Schecters vs. everything else comparing crap versions coming from similar sources and experience in listening to these songs for over 20 years. If you ever played a guitar or any instrument, you can and should at least recognize how it can/should sound despite the crappy mixing job which indeed can make things worse but this was not the case.

    If a keyboardist hits the wrong button and select a different patch for his sound, it would be noticeable no matter how bad the engineering is. We're not complaining that the EQ engineer "cut the 675.56426 frequency on purpose to ruin the sound" specifically or some minor BS detail like that (I'm not, at least)... I'm just stating something that is obvious - the Schecter guitars might sound ok for the average listener (and to RS ears?) but they aren't quite right.

    This kind of whining about engineering is the same as these radical FLAC lovers saying that a tape made in 1978 in the middle of a post-punk audience with a crappy mono tape recorder would sound "great" if it's in FLAC but awful if it's in MP3. We're not dogs, we can't even listen to some of these "lost" frequencies. There's an old saying in "audio engineering" (or bootlegging if you wish) that says... "crap in, crap out". A 1958 strat can't save a bad performance.

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  55. re: big ginga ~ haha. very funny. ordinarily, i'd agree but as a bass player, i know simon is an extraordinary player. its VERY difficult to copy his licks.

    Having owned everything from tiesco's to EB-2's, i can tell you there's a world of diff between the two... even though they're both fun to play.

    i just think that schecters are junky looking and overpriced.

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  57. I'm less interested in what brand they're playing and very interested in the fact that they're playing! Play on whatever guitar (or keyboard) you want boys, just play!! (Preferably somewhere near me!!)

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  58. @Mr. Mandelbrot: Well, there's a new saying: "gold in, crap out, if there's a jerk at the desk..." Please use your ears - the Sky Arts vids are your standard "yeah, we know what we're doing" TV sound mixes like they're done on talk shows, game shows etc. The sound on this broadcast is just for the reason that there -has- to be sound, nothing more. Done everyday by people whose main business is not mixing rock shows, but TV programmes - huge difference. That said, the only way to judge an axe is to grab & play it.

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  59. sorry about putting the band's names into my 'joke'

    and apologies for upsetting bass players (those that can read) ;)

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  61. there's only so much amps and effects can do without a good sounding instrument feeding it, so please stop defending the ultracure like it has nothing to do with the post04 soundc, and dont even start defending the ultra vi coz that thing is possibly the worst choice on the planet to replace a bass vi.

    were talking a DRASTIC change of instrument (which does effect overall tone alot) from the fenders and semihollows we all loved so much, not like he swapped the jazzmaster for a jaguar or the chet atkins for a 335... big big difference going to the schecter!

    that thing might be good for heavy metal & les paul tones, but its a horrid choice for the cure.

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  62. Yes. Thanks, jL. I am a guitar player and I can assure you that a vintage Fender, Gibson, Gretsch or National has a tone and sound that are unmatchable.

    Brand new nu-metal guitars do not compare and never will.

    If you want to sound like Limp Bizkit or 311, a Schecter might be a good option, but if you want a classy and classic sound, one might want to stick with a decent guitar.

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  63. I'd say most of the sound you are hearing is a product of the effect pedals and the Amps they are using. Especially the Amp. Compare a Fender Frontman 15R and HotRod playing a Walmart First Act guitar and you'll see. I own the UltraCure and Porl's signature (in addition to other electric guitars) and myself and other musicians who have played them think they sound and play great. For those of you familiar with The XX, the bass they use is a Squire. All I'm saying is I wouldn't read too much into it.

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  64. @obstacle2 well said, you can put new pickups and hardware on a lesser known or cheaper guitar and have an amazing instrument in the end. I dont really know anyone who keeps these things stock anyway, even Jazzmaster players have swapped out stock with GFS pickups. Prince uses a Hohner Telecaster copy as his main guitar and he is one of the greatest guitar players alive today, also a Schecter player by the way, a musician will get whatever sound they WANT out of any guitar.

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  65. Forgetting the sound and being base (rather than bass!) for a moment, Simon would still somehow manage to look hard and cool if he took to the stage with a triangle!

    I like the look of the Schecter bass. I loved the sounds Porl made on 4 Tour but from what I have seen, Bestival sounded quite "clean" to me with Roger rocking the keys and Robert seemed to play in a more laid back way. The reflections shows are different - they are striving to re-create the sounds that the band were making in that era. All three albums sound totally different. I think it is important to keep re-inventing the "Cure" sound to keep things fresh! For God's sake Robert has been bashing some of these tunes out for over 30 years! The fact that they do it and still sound like The Cure is testament to the band's ability and why I still want to watch them live!

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  66. I am very interested in checking this bass out! I was planning to buy a 2nd Fender USA P Bass in a couple of months, but now I will hold off.

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  67. The problem was the sub-par mini-hum pickups used on the Schecter VI's. In 2012 the pickups will be changed to REAL Duncan single-coil Jag pickups for the Hellcat VI and the UltraCure VI. That will change everything - for the better!!!

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