Roscoe Bass Guitars:: Century Signature 5, Bartolini J pickups and East preamp :: Custom hand made basses, exclusively at Bassdirect, UK, EU

 

Unit 12, Rigby Close

Heathcote Ind Est

Warwick, CV34 6TH

Tel: 01926 886433


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Roscoe Century Signature Five string - (list £5100) - SOLD - Please contact us to order a similar bass

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  1. Export price outside EU £. Shipping costs (from): USA £100, Australia £100, Mainland EU £30


This is the top-of-the-line bass that puts Roscoe firmly in the bass guitar super league. Featuring the exclusive Wenge-Wedge neck for amazing stability and note clarity, the bass also has an exquisite 5A quilt maple top of the highest quality, an exhibition grade cocobolo fingerboard, mahogany body, Bartolini J pickups and Aquilar 3 band pre amp.


Actual bass shown, please click on images to enlarge;




  1. Century Signature 5 - five string

  2. Figured Mahogany body

  3. 5A Quilt Maple top, hand rubbed oil finish - £600 option

  4. 5A Quilt maple on back and front of headstock

  5. Abalone  "R" on headstock

  6. Wenge Wedge Neck - £100 option

  7. Exclusive graphite and steel reinforced precision adjustable neck

  8. Exhibition Cocobolo fingerboard - £50 option

  9. Abalone 12th Fret inlay

  10. 35" Scale - 24 fret - 16" fingerboard radius, 18.3mm string spacing

  11. Diamondwood Nut - £60 option

  12. Bartolini J Pickups - £150 option

  13. Aquilar OBP 3 preamp - £50 option

  14. Black finish Hipshot A style bridge with 18.3mm string spacing and Hipshot Ultralight tuners

  15. Roscoe Hard Case - £100 option

  16. Weight - 9lb 5oz/4.2kg

  17. Recent review on the Century Standard here






Roscoe Century Standard Bass Guitar Magazine Review


As ZZ Top pointed out, every girl’s crazy about a Sharp Dressed Man. Well, here comes a sharp dressed bass with plenty going on beneath the immaculate threads. Mike Brooks takes this US-built hot-rod for a spin.


This mid-range offering from Roscoe breaks away from the boutique models for which the Roscoe label is renowned for, doing away with many of the exotic features found in the company’s LG, SKB and Century Signature ranges. The Century Standard focuses on being a simplified but no less eye-catching or sonically flexible instrument. Obviously, this simplification is reflected in the ‘lower than usual’ price tag for a Roscoe bass, but you shouldn’t necessarily assume that this means you’re getting an inferior instrument. Far from it. Whereas many US manufacturers have resorted to overseas manufacture of their cheaper bass ranges, Roscoe has refused to follow the trend and is constructing these models itself in the US. So you can feel safe in the knowledge that the Century Standard range has met the manufacturers approval before leaving the factory. Having reviewed a ‘bells and whistles’ Roscoe in issue 35, let’s see how the Century Standard compares.


Body And Neck

The Century Standard has a relatively flat body profile and benefits from some subtle contouring both front and back. The body has been carved from a single piece of swamp ash, which remains a popular choice among instrument manufacturers for it’s lightweight and attractive grain. The black onyx satin finish highlights the organic texture of the swamp ash and features what Roscoe calls ‘white grain enhancements’ that give the Century Standard a rather elegant appearance reminiscent of a pinstripe suit! The extended horn on the upper bout ensures the body remains well balanced while an extensive cutaway on the treble side makes access to the top frets effortless. A minor gripe lies with the pickup cavities, which seem slightly too large for the pickups and upon closer inspection a gap between the bottom of the cavity and the pickup is clearly visible, but in terms of comfort and balance, the Century Standard is excellent. The three-piece satin maple neck is securely attached to the body pocket via a three-bolt arrangement, which is aided by graphite reinforcement rods that run parallel with the truss rod and extend right along the inside of the neck. The neck itself has a slim fingerboard width and a full rounded profile that’s reminiscent of a Music Man Sterling. The maple board retains a warm honey colour and features subtle side position markers and 24 well-seated and smoothly finished frets. The Keith Roscoe signature and Roscoe ‘R’ logo adorn the simple, unpainted headstock in tasteful black lettering.


Hardware

The 18-volt Bartolini NTMB-R preamp incorporates a 3-band EQ circuit paired with two passive Bartolini CB Classic soapbar pickups. Should you need more ‘juice’, an adjustable Gain pot can be accessed (with the help of a flat blade screwdriver) via a control cavity on the rear of the body. A separate cavity houses two 9-volt batteries that are required to power the circuit. Th e Bartolini pickups are wired to controls for master volume, pickup pan, a stacked bass and treble control and a push-pull mid control, which allows you to select a centre frequency of either 250 Hz or 800 Hz. The Century Standard comes complete with Hipshot Ultralight machineheads and a Hipshot A bridge, which are both finished in satin chrome. The volume and tone controls possess a more standard chrome finish. The machineheads have a smooth and secure action and being lightweight models, add very little to the Century Standards overall weight. The Hipshot bridge is a secure and fully adjustable unit that retains sufficient string tension, so the need to dig in isn’t really necessary in order to produce a vibrant and responsive tone. The factory set up really is first class.


Sounds

Acoustically, the Roscoe Century Standard has a strong fundamental tone that’s both bright, and harmonically very responsive. This is enhanced further by the lightweight swamp ash body, which lends the tone an inherent natural resonance. Plugging in with the EQ set flat, you are presented with a balanced and powerful bass sound that’s focused with a pleasing level of sustain. Using the pickup pan control to blend between the two Bartolini pickups highlights subtle tonal differences. The bridge pickup exhibits a tight, throaty mid-range honk while the neck pickup offers a rounder, warmer tone, but the placement of the pickups prevents the sound from ever becoming ‘woolly’ or unrefined.


Tonally, the Roscoe Century Standard is a great all-rounder.


The 18-volt active circuit ensures the Century Standard has plenty of power on tap. Adding some EQ to the mix and boosting the volume requires some restraint to prevent your speaker cones from leaving your bass cabinet via the nearest exit, even with the gain trim pot set halfway. The overall tone is very responsive to the EQ and boosting the Treble and Bass controls adds further definition to your bass sound that yields a sparkling high end and some bottom end grunt that allows the Century Standard to make itself heard in a busy band mix. Again, be wary of adding too much Bass boost, which can make the signal a little too overwhelming. Having the ability to boost or cut low or high-mids via the Middle controls push-pull facility adds an impressive level of projection, but for the most part, we preferred to leave it set flat. When used alongside the tone controls, the pickup pan reveals some impressive vintage tones that will suit more traditional players down to the ground, though the Century Standard is naturally suited to a range of modern styles and we were seriously impressed by the quality and consistency of the fingerstyle and slap tones that were on offer.


Price: £1,699 (gigbag included)

Finish: Black onyx with white grain highlights

Body: Swamp Ash

Neck: 3-piece select maple, bolt-on

Fingerboard: Maple

Pickups: 2 x Bartolini CB soapbars

Electronics: Active Bartolini 3-band EQ

Controls: Master volume, pickup pan, mid (push-pull for midfrequency selection), stacked bass and treble

Built In: USA

Nut Width: 40mm

Scale Length: 863mm (34-inch)

Frets: 24

Weight: 3.75kg (8.1lbs)


What We Think

Plus: The Century Standard is an exceptionally easy bass to get to grips with and combines fantastic bass tones, playability and eyecatching looks.

Minus: The satin finish may not be to everyones tastes

Overall: A fantastic bass. We can’t imagine anyone buying one of these and being disappointed.


Contact Details

Bass Direct Ltd.

Tel: 01926 886433

Web: www.roscoeguitars.com /

www.bassdirect.co.uk



Conclusion


As a bass with a purpose in terms of its pricing versus its features, the Century Standard has well and truly hit the bullseye. It may not have quite the same boutique appeal as the more upmarket models from

the Roscoe stable, but in sharing similar hardware and electronics packages, along with the same high quality craftsmanship, the sum of its parts result in a superb instrument. Some basses make your playing sound good whereas others make you want to play them more due to their playability, comfort and breadth of tone. The Roscoe Century Standard borrows from both camps in offering high quality design and build along with a flexible tonal palette. The four figure price tag may keep it out of reach for those on a budget, but this reviewer has already added it to my ‘Basses To Buy’ list!



Submitted on the 20th March 2010 by Marc who purchased a Roscoe CS5+ fretless bass.

Hi Mark - well, I've had the fretless for 2 weeks now, and it really is the best bass I've ever played. The neck is perfect, and the sound from the bridge p/up is amazing. I haven't gigged it yet, but when i do i'll probably end up playing 90% of the set with it, as it's that good.


Thanks for all of your help in selling my basses ,and I'm sure i'll be back sometime soon. I wish you continued success with the business.


Kind Regards, Marc Reynolds.


Submitted in September 2010 by Ian who purchased a Roscoe SKB3005 bass

Hi Mark

 

Just a little note to say how much I'm enjoying the Roscoe SKB3005 I bought from you about 3 weeks ago.  A tremendous bass - feels wonderful, looks wonderful and sounds absolutely fantastic.  So versatile as well.  Since buying it I've played gigs with my regular indie-rock covers band, a couple of jazz sets and a show with a folky singer-songwriter and in all contexts the bass has come up trumps with only the tiniest tweak of the onboard EQ and judicious use of the pick pan.  I feel a bit sorry for my old bass - can't see me picking it up again in the near future!  The best praise I can give is that even our guitar player, who being a guitarist, needless to say usually listens to his guitar and closes his ears to pretty much everything else, came up after our first set playing the Roscoe and was full of the highest praise for the sound.

 

Many thanks for your patience when I was trying the basses out, and for holding on to it whilst I ummed and ahhed about buying it!

 

See you soon

 

Ian Tipping


*Classic Bass Series, Dual Coil Humbucker.
"Classic Bass" CB series bass pickups are passive designs featuring an extended and more resonant frequency range. They have far more "air" and definition at the top without sacrificing lows and low mids. They are cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and microphonics.