Bacchus Twenty Four
Made In: Japan
Specs: Ash body, three-piece maple neck, ebony fretboard
Electronics: Bacchus JBT Alnico V pickups, Bartolini XTCT 3-band EQ
Controls: Volume, blend, bass, mid, treble, coil tap switch, preamp bypass switch
The U-box has been a kind mistress over the years, perhaps never more so than when I picked up this mint condition Twenty Four at an outrageously low price. Another distillation of the Jazz bass concept, the Twenty Four is a lightweight and versatile bass made to Bacchus’ usual impeccable standards.
The downsized body is very comfortable, especially on a strap and it’s light enough to wear for hours without becoming disagreeable. The neck is in the classic Jazz mould and it a breeze to play. The newer models have abandoned the separate tailpiece design in favour of a one-piece bridge which is a bit of a shame. The Gotoh unit had become somewhat of a Bacchus feature in my eyes.
Electronically, there’s a lot going on. While it looks like a regular cut-and-boost three band EQ, there are no centre detents to indicate a neutral position and each pot fully cuts its associated band completely when the knob is fully turned off. It’s possible to allow just low end, or mid or treble of course, to be outputted. As such, there’s no default sound, aside from bypassing the preamp altogether, the sound is sculpted from how you set the EQ at the time.
This is a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your outlook. If you’re the type who likes to settle on one sound or start from a set point each time, this might not be the bass for you. If, on the other hand, you like the idea of dialling in the right sound for that moment in time then this bass offers a multitude of usable sounds via the powerful EQ and the very handy coil tap, which gives you the outside coil from each pickup only. Like the Alembic, the pickup blend is very sensitive and small adjustments make a big change to the sound. The preamp bypass is really just a backup circuit, ok in times of emergency but not something you’d utilise on a regular basis.
If you were to have only one bass, but needed to cover a lot of ground, this would be a great option. There’s nothing it can’t do and do in style.