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Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Rick Link, Beardly Customs

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Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Rick Link, Beardly Customs

How did you get your start in music?

I started by learning the trombone when I was in 5th grade. I took up bass in 1993 after listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Blood Sugar Sex Magic for an entire summer.

Are you still an active player?

Yes I am. I play in a band called Dirty Confession and a band called In The Company Of Heroes.

How did you get started as a Luthier? When did you build your first bass?

I’ve always wanted my own custom bass, but never had the money for it, so I decided to build my own. My very first bass was a neck through fretless six string. I started working on that on December 28th, 2010, which happened to be my birthday.

Portrait of a Craftsman from Daniel Montgomery on Vimeo.

How did you learn the art of woodworking/Luthier? Who would you consider a Mentor?

I am self taught, but I utilized the internet as a teacher. Talkbass.com has a luthiers forum that is a wealth of knowledge and is always available. I’ve networked myself pretty well during my time and have quite a few luthiers who I consider good friends and are always up to helping out.

How do you select the woods you choose to build with?

I go by what my clients want to use in their builds. Sometimes the woods decision is left to me and I just try to think of something I either have yet to work with or I think just look great.

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How about pickups? What pickups did you use in the past? What electronics do you use right now?

This, and pretty much every option I offer, is up to the client. I don’t have a standard pickup or preamp, but I have used EMG, Bartolini, Aguilar, Nordstrand, Seymour Duncan, Instrumental Pickups, etc.

Who were some of the first well-known musicians who started playing your basses?

Evan Brewer (Entheos, Former Faceless, Solo), Sean Martinez (Decapitated, Solo), Andrew Grevey (Wretched)

How do you develop a signature or custom bass for an artist?

I listen to everything my client has to say. It’s their instrument and I want it to be a perfect extension of themselves. My options are wide open as well as my mind when it comes to building.

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What are a few things that you are proud about your instruments and that you would consider unique in your instruments?

I’m proud of the fact I can do what I do. This is a great skill and not an easy one to master. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel with each of my builds. Leo Fender set the standards years ago and they still hold true today. All that I am doing is putting my personal spin on the basses I build.

Which one of the basses that you build is your favorite one?

Every one! I suffer from, “I really don’t want to ship this out because it’s such a great instrument” with every build.

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Can you give us a word of advice to young Luthiers who are just starting out?

Open your mind and network yourself. Make friends, both in real life and online. Finding luthiers on Facebook is a great resource. Don’t set any boundaries and keep your mind open.

What advice would you give a young musician trying to find his perfect bass?

I would say just demo as many different models as you can to see what fits you the best.

What is biggest success for you and for your company?

I recently built, and donated, a bass for Victor Wooten’s Bass Camp. I made zero dollars on the bass, but I was paid with an amazing experience and memories. Just knowing I had a great opportunity to give back was terrific.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Rick Link, Beardly Customs - 3

What are your future plans?

Just keep on building and to keep learning. It’s been a fun ride so far.

Visit online:
www.beardlycustoms.com
www.facebook.com/beardlycustoms
Instagram @beardlycustoms

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Rick Link, Beardly Customs - 6

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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