04 November 08 - 88pursuader (NH), to
      I have a long portfolio of original music written and recorded by me in my home studio. (digital home recording equipment is awesome!) I started re-recording original tunes I multi-tracked a few year back to add Stick, NS Stick and in some cases Roland V-Drums to replace the acoustic drum tracks I did. (Sometimes getting a well recorded acoustic drum sound can be a challenge) I'm really surprised how good the bass parts originally done with electric bass guitar sound being replace with NS Stick and Stick. I haven't replace ALL the bass parts because some i'm very happy with however the ones that have been replaced sound wonderful. Funny thing is ... they really don't sound like STICK ... they just sound good. Even the bass played on my Grand Stick sound like Bass ... not STICK bass. I've also added some nice two hand acoustic classical guitar style parts playing the Grand Stick and they flow perfectly. Again you have to listen for the Stick parts or you won't realize there's Stick on the tracks. It just sounds like clean guitar work.

23 January 08 - Bruno Ricard (France), to
      I've played to audiences with and without my gear. Every time, the public is amazed by the quality of sound coming from the PA, despite my frequent mistakes (tourists are very kind in France). Maybe hearing the sound of the Stick doesn't amaze us after all these years of training in the bedroom, but for the public, it's a really new approach to music and I do believe they are amazed to hear these intricate lines and crystal clear notes produced with only two hands.

10 June 08 - Marc Mennigmann (Germany), to Stickwire:
      Get yourself two things: an amp that has a clean and pristine sound, one that will not destroy the soul of your instrument, and get yourself a really good cable. Nothing more but also nothing less. Then start to learn all about the basic sound of your instrument. I know that all the effects look very promising, but it's all in your fingers. It is more in your fingers than it is for any other stringed instrument!
      Try to play slow and to develop your own tone, just like a sax player would do. Try to find your voice on the instrument, because it is in there. Later you will want to add effects to your sound, but as you already will have a great tone, you will find out that less is more.
      And here is the promise: You don't need a lot of gear to get great things out of your new instrument. It is all in there!

23 January 08 - Bruno Ricard (France), to
      I've played to audiences with and without my gear. Every time, the public is amazed by the quality of sound coming from the PA, despite my frequent mistakes (tourists are very kind in France). Maybe hearing the sound of the Stick doesn't amaze us after all these years of training in the bedroom, but for the public, it's a really new approach to music and I do believe they are amazed to hear these intricate lines and crystal clear notes produced with only two hands.

09 April 06 - Vance Gloster (CA), to Stickwire:
       The main point of fanned frets is not comfort. It is balance and tone. On traditional basses and guitars with high tension strings, (each string's) scale length has an enormous effect on tone. With the Stick's lower tension design, the scale length effect is almost non-existent. The Stick already has a much more even tone and volume across the strings than any 7-string bass I've ever played, fanned or not. Fanned frets are intended to fix a problem that has already been solved on the Stick.

31 March 06 - Art Durkee (WI), to Stickwire:
       The gear threads can be fun, and I read them all for ideas even when I have nothing to add (which is usually). But it's good to remember one thing: the Stick, as in ANY Stick, that is in well-maintained good condition, is going to give you a consistency of tone in and of itself that is stable, remarkable, and part of the genius of the whole enterprise. Emmett & Co. build them well, with love and attention even when things are frenzied nearing deadlines (I've seen the shop in action, and I will vouch for this), and the end result is (as we all know) a high-quality musical instrument that maintains its tone and sound with great stability across a wide range of tuning choices, pickup options, and amplification set-ups. The Stick's "voice" remains consistent. (Perhaps that very voice arises itself from Emmett's application, in the Stick, of his first invention, the two-handed tapping technique.) That voice carries a long way, and maintains a high signal-to-noise ratio, regardless of how we color the sound, or what gear we use to project it. The Stick and the computer and the frame drum are the best tools-musical instruments-I have ever found that help me do that, in this lifetime. I mean, look at this way: plug Bob C.'s Stick into even a crappy amp in a bad room, and he STILL sounds great.

23 March 06 - Rob Martino (VA), to
       I think that's one of the coolest things about the Stick, you can approach it as if it were an acoustic guitar, no effects, all natural sound. Or go the other extreme, and it can be almost as versatile as a synthesizer. As I mentioned in another thread, I'm moving towards an "all software" approach to Stick processing, using Native Instrument's Guitar Rig 2. I can be as minimal with the processing or complicated as I want. The software provides almost unlimited routing and modulation control.

11 December 04 - Mike Baran (OH), to Stickwire:
       The Stick is the most pure instrument I have ever played and the most challenging physically and spirtually. As for your "signature sound" question, the Stick has its own sound good or bad depending on your view of this relatively new instrument. Emmett on the Stick is amazing and has the "Signature sound". Greg Howard was the main reason I made the plunge. And Bob Culbertson, what else can you say? Check out the Un Viage Clasico DVD and that pretty much sums up the Signature sound and The Stick sonic range. These three players are my Hendrix, Page and Roth. I do agree with your post that the player make's the instrument, never the opposite.

06 November 04 - Mike Baran (OH), to Stickwire:
       The Hartke rig I use for the Stick covers most of the melody and all of the low end that a timber framed building will allow. Recording Stick bass is its strong point. Nothing else sounds like the Chapman Stick and that is why we own and play this instrument.

18 August 04 - Olivier Vuille (Switzerland), to Stickwire:
       IMHO, compression is just a bad excuse to avoid working on the REAL source of the stick's sound: one's fingers. Last year, I played for a couple of months through a pair of BOSS VF-1, with compression on the melody side. OK, nice sustain, but no more dynamics! So I decided to go the humble way and only rely on my fingers to do the job. I found it far more rewarding. The dynamic range is incredible, from very soft to very loud, without any electronic controller - just the fingers and the board.

7 April 04 - Joe McCollam (CA), to Stickwire:
       The wood has very little effect on the tone because there is no body and because the string tension is lower than that on a guitar. Every Stick sounds different, but it is due to a combination of factors (including pickup type and setup (probably the most significant factors), pickup variations (meaning differences between individual pickups of the same type), and wood (possibly the least significant factor). And I'd bet that there's no way anybody could pick out consistant tonal characteristics of a given wood on a Stick. Having said that, it is well known that the tone of the polycarbs SE used to make differed from the wood Sticks. And though I haven't made a direct comparison with current Sticks with the same pickup/fret configurations, I'll bet the current graphites, the BassLabs, and the wood Sticks all sound different from each other. I'm hearing that the extended scale (longer strings) has made a tonal difference. But far more significant is the choice between pickup types: Stickup, ACTV-2 and PASV-4.

2 April 04 - Jaap Kramer (Holland), to Stickwire:
       I'm using the Stick in a bass role often, and I have an SWR Workingman's 12. A bit light for a loud band, but excellent sound, both for bass playing and crystal clear solo Stick. The SWR Workingman's 15 and the SWR California Blonde seem to be popular Stick amps too.

9 February 04 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
       At the risk of sounding a bit pompous, I don't think there are any essential effects with Stick. It's no secret that I like to do a lot of processing but that's a product of the music I want to make. The instrument itself sounds brilliant as is.
       On the last performance of the 2003 Michigan Seminar, Greg Howard plugged a mono cable from his Grand Stick into my bass preamp. Without even so much as any reverb, he did an extended improv that seg'd into a version of the Pachelbel's Canon. It was simply fantastic!

10 April 03 - Qua Veda (OR), to Stickwire:
       At the Vancouver Stick seminar in 2002, someone had a c.70's Stick. We compared it to Jim Reilly's brand new graphite 10-string. Despite all the amazing enhancements Emmett has developed, I was pleasantly surprised to hear how both instruments had that wonderful Stick tone. Those old 'vintage models' still sound great!

28 December 02 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
       While I got good at being a rhythm section, or a freeform wall of sound, I never developed the confidence I wanted to be able to stand there on my own and just "play Stick." So in 1992 I put all the effects away, even the reverb, and started writing and arranging what would become "Stick Figures." For most of that year I didn't do anything but practice that music and record it and record it and re-record it.
      I still have a lot to learn how to do, but that step I took 10 years ago was the first real step on the road from being a Stick "operator" to being a Stick player. I think the biggest learning challenge is being aware of and controlling dynamics. If you've played primarily with effects, the biggest change you'll notice is that without all that processing altering your sound The Stick is incredibly dynamic. Turn up your amp and practice playing with a wide variety of dynamics. Every exercise in my book becomes much more interesting if you make a dynamic exercise out of it:)

18 July 02 - Paul Frields (VA), to Stickwire:
       On a properly adjusted Stick this should not be a real problem... after having my 10-string (also a standard pickup) reset by Stick Enterprises, the cross-talk (which was already pretty low) was *very* noticeably reduced even further. You may also want to check how your gain is setup in your signal chain -- gain mismatch can also cause these problems, a situation, which affected me until a more knowledgeable sound engineer helped me work out my mistakes. Many times a high-pass filter can do the trick, or you can try turning down the compression that you're using, which significantly amplifies minute cross-talk. If you simply crank gain to induce huge amounts of distortion, even the tiniest cross-talk causes the sound to be unbelievably muddied. I've heard plenty of Stick players using pretty heavy distortion without any such problems.

19 June 02 - David Wozmak (NH), to Stickwire:
       Keep in mind here, I am not stating that there is no difference in sound of Stick construction (design and materials). I'm saying that, because of the much lower string tension, there is far less energy transfer into the structure from the strings than a typical bass or guitar, so the body effects are perhaps an order of magnitude less significant in the sound when you compare a bass to a Stick. As most of us know (those who have played a variety of basses or guitars...) design and materials can have *profound* effects on the tone of an electric guitar or bass. Application of those same design and material variations to Stick would result in *discernable* yet *subtle* differences. If I were to use an analogy...the differences in design and materials for basses amounts to the difference between a Merlot and a Chardonnay. The differences for Stick amount to the difference between a '92 Merlot and an '97 Merlot from the same vineyard.

3 May 02 - Chris Astier (NM), to Stickwire:
       I recently changed strings myself for the first time in 6 months. I have no idea now how people talk about Stick strings lasting so long. I took good care of mine and as soon as I put the new ones on it, it sounded like a whole instrument again. A living, breathing entity that needs no effects, etc.

30 April 02 - Jeff Edmunds (PA), to Stickwire:
       An anecdote and some questions. After playing Stick for 14 years, the last 5+ with no effects, I played through a Line 6 Modulation Modeler at band practice two weeks ago. Basically I used some light phasing and flanging. Sounded great to me. About halfway through practice, the guitarist asked me to consider running The Stick clean; he greatly preferred the straight sound (this from an audiophile and effects freak who's got about 40 pedals at his feet). Moral of the story: The Stick sounds great straight. But I guess we already knew that.

21 April 02 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
       My Stick was made of white oak back in the early 90's just before the adjustable bridge came out. The instrument is rather light and holds it's tune and neck straightness rather well in spite of heavy gauge strings. The reason I mention the "Oak" wood is that one of Emmett's comments has been that with the lower tension on strings, the wood type has little or no bearing on tone. The proof is in the instruments made of relatively obscure woods such as Oak, ironwood etc? (How many oak guitars have you seen or played, or what about padauk, not your typical "Tone Woods"?) Yet, my instrument sounds just as vibrant and clean as any other Stick I've heard!

27 March 02 - Kevin Ramsey (Japan), to Stickwire:
       You know, I'm really deeply in love with my Stick. I have so much yet to learn and in most ways I am still very much a beginner after playing various Stick models over the past 4 years, and yet I find that I'm able to be very expressive on the instrument. Much more so than any other instrument I've played in the past. During lunch hours at the office, I usually forgo eating in order to practice, and then spend the rest of the afternoon at my desk daydreaming about the lessons/music I've been working on. Like many others, I'm constantly thinking about the next gear purchase I want to make, but the bottom line is that all that is really necessary to make music is my Stick and a headphone amp. What a gorgeous natural sound! Thank you, Emmett, for sharing your dream with us. And, thank you Yuta, and everyone else at Stick Enterprises, for the always wonderful service and support.

30 January 02 - Eric Wallack (OH), to Stickwire:
      I run my Stick ("standard" pickup) in mono, using a small K&K two channel, stereo-to-mono preamp between The Stick and my amp. I only use a bit of reverb to give the sound some "shimmer". I'm going for an "acoustic" sort of sound - like the sound of the unamplified Stick - only louder (I'm gonna have to look into the Rane for sure!). Sorry to be so boring -especially with the amplification possibilities The Stick presents, but this has been working for me. Most people I encounter comment on the sound or tone of The Stick before anything else - "That thing sounds AMAZING, what the heck is it..." The look of the instrument is what attracted me, the sound is what hooked me!

30 January 02 - Jim Kam (TX), to Stickwire:
      I think that the natural unadorned Stick sound can hold it's own without much embellishment. To that end I have been using an SWR California Blonde. It has 2 inputs, which means separate eq., and it has reverb. Most importantly (for my purposes), it sounds like ONE integrated instrument with a wide range.

13 December 01 - David Wozmak (NH), to Stickwire:
      I wholeheartedly concur with Emmett's point that Stradivarius knew what he was doing, it wasn't just a happy accident. Granted, his knowledge might have been more empirical than micro-molecular proven...but it would be a mistake to sell him short. They simply looked around themselves, and noticed that dry wood rotted, and borax-soaked wood didn't, and dry wood was hell-on-earth to work with, and wet wood was compliant and forgiving.
      I also agree with Emmett, that on an electric instrument set up for tapping a la The Stick, any additional body structure is there for ergonomic and aesthetic reasons, not for acoustic reasons.

8 August 01 - Joe McCollam (CA), to Stickwire:
      One of the main differences between Stick and keyboards is the incredibly dynamic, touch-sensitive, ballsy bass tone you can get out of The Stick.

25 May 01 - David Wozmak (NH), to Stickwire:
      Of course, the design of The Stick itself minimizes the effect of the body/neck on sustain, because the strings are relatively low tension (actually, really low tension!). Try this: place your jaw firmly against the side of The Stick and play. You 'hear it in your head' a little, eh? Now pick up a bass, and place your jaw firmly against the upper horn of the body. Now it sounds like your bass is plugged into a Fender Bassman 50! The body/neck of the electric bass is resonating a lot, primarily due to the high tension of the strings. This tells you that the structure and composition of the bass neck and body have a pretty strong effect on the sound of the instrument, compared to The Stick. On The Stick, the "vibration system" can be fairly and rightly scoped down to just the string and the pickup, leaving out the neck/body?but on the bass, the "vibration system" includes the whole instrument.

15 May 01 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
      Just had a chance to make a short recording of myself fumbling through a few tunes. Wow, was I amazed at the tone when I played it back! I mean all I did was run mono through my keyboard amp and right into a cassette deck, and I could not believe the tone! I sucked, but the tone is so cool that I've listened to it a lot just because of the purity of the instrument!

27 March 01 - Art Durkee (MN), to Stickwire:
      I love the way my Stick sounds clean AND I love the way it sounds processed, including the occasional use of distortion. The fact is, my Stick sounds great pretty much all the time, no matter how it is processed (amp coloration is another story for another day). This sonic versatility is one of the things I most love about the instrument.

3 January 01 - Tony Levin (NY), to Mars Music:
      What it brings me is this: unusual parts because of the non-standard tuning and a different tone in the bass part than I could get with any bass. I've used The Stick on many, many tracks through the years where it gave the music something no bass could have. I also use both sides (guitar and bass) of The Stick for my own composing and solo CD's (except on the recent "Waters of Eden", which featured the fretless bass).

29 November 00 - Greg Howard (VA), his feature article in Progression Magazine, Summer 2000 issue:
      Levin's work with Crimson and on subsequent projects have shown his versatility as a Stick player, but he still pursues the power of his signature two-handed Stick bass approach in Liquid Tension Experiment. The technique allows him to tap rapid parts that would be more difficult on a bass. "The style of the music is for the guitar, bass and keyboard to play the same line," says Levin about the "metal" aspects of the band's music, which features low, fast guitar, doubled with the bass. "The Stick is a much faster instrument than the bass and it speaks in a different way?clean, clear and fast down low."

28 November 00 - Steve Morgan (SD), to Stickwire:
      The thing I like about the Stick bass side is that it's the total opposite of fretless - Tight, Powerful and has a ton of SPANK. It's great to have both extremes in my arsenal now. I hear they can make a fretless Stick; that's got to be the scariest thing I've very heard of. Any way, I'll shut up now.

25 October 00 - Greg Howard (VA), to Sticknews:
      1. Play the whole instrument. Shift up high on the bass strings, or low the melody strings. Different ranges of the instrument have wonderfully different timbral possiblities, largely due to the neutral lens of the Stick Enterprises pickup.
      2. Focus on the articulations and dynamics of your playing. This is the most rewarding thing to do for me. The Stick is a very dynamic instrument.

17 October 00 - Anders Tveit (Norway) to Stick Enterprises:
      Finally! I pulled out the case and gently opened; Perfect! The colour of the Purple Heart wood was absolutely just incredible, so dark and purple with a touch of wine red in it. I took it up, I was a little nervous about the action (starting to get cold here in Norway). But it was perfect and it only needed a little tuning on high B on the Bass side. I plugged in my Mixer and fingered a min. 7 chord, and played a melody over it. Wham!! The sound who struck me was a dream come true! I've finally had the sound that I had heard on records. So beautiful! I actually just laughed in pure joy over my new experience! So thank you, Yuta for providing such good customer service, telephone calls and e-mailing. And to Emmett for building this Instrument which is not only a true work of Art but has the original sound that I (and many others) have been looking for. So just keep up the good work (I know you will!) And thank you once again!

9 October 00 - Steve Morgan (SD), to Stick Enterprises:
      I love the way the low end sounds on my Stick. As a bass player who plays fretless finger-style most of the time, I was a little skeptical of how "large" bass side of The Stick would sound. I was pleasantly surprised with a rich, blossoming low end with lots of attack. My SWR/Eden combo amps are perfect for The Stick; dark bass sounds with crystal clear highs.

29 September 00 - Steven Sullivan (DC), to Stickwire:
      Sticks should not vary in tonal character from one to another. That's what I mean by quality control. SE have achieved that, I think. I can think of many manufacturers (of basses especially) who haven't. And you know, the more I think about it the more I realize how high SE have set the bar for themselves on tonal consistency by maintaining the (I think accurate) position that wood choice doesn't affect tone.

29 September 00 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
      I think that all Sticks have a certain sonic character, even the ones with The Block, that is unique among instruments. To be honest, I'm not "certain" why they have that different sound. I imagine it has to do with a variety of factors, like the pickups, the string tension, the frets. But these things vary somewhat from one vintage of Stick to another. Maybe the reason Sticks have such a unique sound is because they DON'T have a body. Wouldn't that be interesting? I've never heard another tapping instrument that sounded enough like a Stick to appeal to me. They always sounded vaguely like it, but lacked the percussive attack that distinguishes The Stick.

24 August 00 - Joe McCollam (CA), to Stickwire:
      But I don't think it is necessary/beneficial to focus on wood as a tonal component in Sticks. Choose the wood based on the look you prefer. Setup is by far the more important factor, including string gauge. And if you're buying a new Stick, the choice of Block vs. Standard pickups is a biggie; they sound quite different from each other. (If you want to hear the difference, get Bob Culbertson's "Romantica" (Block Pickup) and Larry Tuttle's "Through the Gates" (Standard Pickup). As a bonus in this little experiment, they are both excellent CD's. All Sticks sound subtly different from each other. And yet, all Sticks sound like Sticks. The subtle differences are, in my view, an advantage; it's nice to know that your instrument has a unique sound.

24 August 00 - Steven Sullivan (DC), to Stickwire:
      People go back and forth on this, and despite some manufacture's claims (not SE) I've never seen any credible scientific/engineering evidence that on a low-tension instrument the wood makes any difference in tone. I'm keeping my mind open on that, but again, I've never seen anything that supports that "tone wood" claim for low-tension tapping instruments. There is a case to be made on stringed instruments in general that composites eliminate counter-resonant dead spots, but lamination should also raise the resonant frequency of the instrument by adding significant restoring force and eliminating frequencies not common to all the laminae, so you get a lot of the benefits of the composites with laminates (if you buy that argument about composites-just recently I read an interview in Bass Player (September 200, page 66) where Roger Sadowsky said composites also get deal spots). Now different woods machine, laminate and hold fixtures differently, and hold moisture differently, but the folks at SE have chose excellent woods for instrument manufacture. No worries there.

1 August 00 - Greg Peterson, Technical Director, Renfro Valley Entertainment, to Stick Enterprises:
      Hello, this past Saturday 7/29/00 the Oaks (Oak Ridge Boys) played at a venue where I run a small production studio inside the theatre they performed in. After load in and set up, the band members arrived for sound check and their keyboard player (Ron Fairchild) opened up a case and I asked "What's that?" We gathered in the studio, fired it up and my jaw hit the floor. Thank you for the experience of listening (overwhelmed) to an instrument so rich and clean.

12 July 00 - Joe McCollam (CA), to Stickwire:
      I've always loved the standard Stick pickup sound, but The Block is really growing on me. The range of tones you can get out of it are really varied, given the tone knobs, and the mono-stereo switch is really convenient, especially for using my Pocket-Rockit headphone amp, which I can now just plug directly into The Block - no cord needed. And the sounds I can get through my SWR Cal-Blonde are unreal.

30 May 00 - Jo-Ann Lemyre (Canada), to Stickwire:
      You are lucky! to live in Germany because you have the chance to see him (Nick Beggs) play probably with his new MIDI Stick that he uses with John Paul Jones. If you go to one of those concerts, please let me know and give me details PLEASE! Enjoy! I'm like you, I like the sound and the look of this instrument. I like bass sound a lot but with the Stick, you can go further in developing new bass sounds. :-)

24 May 00 - Kevin Genus (VA), to Stickwire:
      Even less complex, dare I say simple, arrangements sound great on the Stick. It's just a matter of getting up and doing it.

7 April 00 - Nick Beggs (England), interview in Sticknews:
      The one area where I felt the Stick liberated me most was in the solos. The instrument is a blank canvas, it's what you put on it that makes the difference. Heavy distortion sounds love the Chapman Stick. It's as if they were made for each other. Strangely, I feel this is still a relatively unexplored avenue among Stick players.

1 April 00 - Paolo Valladolid (FL), to Stickwire:
      There is no bass on this planet that sounds like a Stick, no matter what effects you put on it. You know how T. Levin loves to insert a "harmony note" on the bass side by tapping on a higher note on an adjacent bass string with his right hand while tapping the fundamental with his left? Especially "harmony notes" which are played with a "leading slide into the note". If you listen closely next time you hear this song, you can hear it. :)

15 February 00 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
      I'm discovering, however, that although I'm an old hand at piling effects on to my instrument, the Stick is leaving me wanting to play clean much more than I did with my guitar. A nice clean sound is something I don't really have a lot of experience with so that leaves me asking of you Stickists out there... what kind of processing, if any, do you use for a nice clean sound?

11 January 00 - Robert Williams (CO), to Stickwire:
      Like a lot of players on the list, I think the natural sound of The Stick is amazing and any effects are like sprinkling a little fairy dust (liberal paraphrase of Holdsworth).

2 December 99 - Steven Burge (CA), to Stick Enterprises:
      I received my Grand Stick yesterday at work. I spent my lunch hour locked in my office, familiarizing myself with the slightly larger fretboard and two extra strings. The rest of the day was spent day dreaming about all the possibilities the Grand Stick has to offer that my old #547 didn't. As soon as I got home I went straight to the amp to see what this new bad boy would sound like. I plugged it in, and I'd swear I had died and gone to heaven. The sound as amazing. I should have bought one of these guys years ago. Thank you so much for such a wonderful instrument.

16 November 99 - David Wozmak (NH), to
      Just have the guitarist and bassist play Chapman Stick! Then you can get your wall 'o sound and stay three piece!

5 November 99 - Scott Wedel (WA), to Stickwire:
      The Stick is a light instrument, generally - coming in at around 5-7 pounds, depending on the wood you choose. The type of wood that the Stick is made of has NO BEARING whatsoever on the sound of the instrument! I prefer the sound of the Stick pickups - both the standard pickup which I had on 2 of my 3 instruments so far, and on the Block, which is on my new instrument which is currently being built.

May 99 - Mike Ezzo, Expose' Magazine issue # 17:
      Cides - "Primitivo": Sounds like Mr Cides had quite a bit of fun recording this (his second) disc. On "Primitivo," the Argentina native explores the many facets of the Chapman Stick's capabilities and in so doing moves quite beyond what our heroes in Crimson have done. But the connection is nevertheless present. For his arsenal of sounds Cides probably uses the MIDI Stick, or at least the effects module "Patch of Shades" that Emmett Chapman developed for his creation. It allows the player to fade effects in and out gradually, rather than just on and off. (I'll never forget a personal demonstration from Mr. Chapman I witnessed at his home many years ago...) Whatever the case it serves the project well - a veritable whole band is at the hands of the performer.

11 February 97 - Francesco Puddu (Italy), to Stickwire:
      I was amazed to discover that the wonderful Stick sound was achieved by plugging Jim's maple Grand straight into a Mackie mixer; undeniable proof that the sound is in the hands.

4 October 96 - Michael Damian Jeter (NY), to Stickwire:
      The instrument's natural sound is wonderful.

19 August 96 - Mans Johnsson (Sweden), to Stick Enterprises:
      The instrument is absolutely wonderful! After struggling with the touch and trying to squeeze my fingertips in to tap these tiny strings I can now get a beautiful tone from it. I've even managed to start playing chords with reasonable precision, enough to start using The Stick with my band for bass and chords. The tone is clear, brilliant and singing, with a long, beautiful sustain. When I plug the bass side into my regular bass rig I get a solid, distinct sound with both a hard metallic attack and a rich and full body in the tone.

25 July 96 - Michael Damian Jeter (NY), to Stickwire:
      For right now, I am in love with the natural, dare I say it, "acoustic" sound of The Stick, which Emmett has called the "most unique effect of all."

17 June 96 - Leonardo Cavallo (Italy), to Stickwire:
      I got my Grand two months ago. I am playing it a lot in my practice room, a lot of transcribing, intervallic shapes and tuning, studying and developing my touch, independence and dexterity. I'm studying it with no effects at all, only the "acoustic" and beautiful sound of the instrument itself. It has a beautiful sound at low volumes but it becomes a real beast on larger venues, amplified on bigger sound systems (and the faces of sound technicians were incredible too). And I use almost no effects.

30 March 96 - Francesco Puddu (Italy), to Stickwire:
      There has been a debate a while back about the influence of wood on the sound of a Stick; I was among those convinced that this played a major role, while others thought that pick-ups and action were more determining factors. After this experience I have changed my mind: the difference that the readjustment of the action had on the sound was dramatic.

12 February 96 - Stuart Mawler (MD), to Stickwire:
      It is true that lower tension strings "use" the body less. It is also true that, with less of a body, there is less to actually impact the sound of the instrument itself. In these respects, The Stick is very advantageous; a fairly even tone is reliably produced so that the user can manipulate it in any manner s/he so desires.

29 November 95 - Jim Speer (PA), to Stickwire:
      Pickup: After considering alternate pickups, I decided: why mess with perfection? Emmett's pickups deliver that wonderful Stick tone I love so well. That being said, I was still unprepared for how much better the newest pickup sounds as compared to the pickup on my older 10-string. Even more full, even more bright. Excellent!

19 November 95 - Wayne Wylupski (MA), to Stickwire:
      Sound: I like the classic Stick sound, but I had reservations with its "punch." With this new instrument (which has the hotter stock pickup) I have a fuller sound. It does not get buried when playing with other instruments. And it sings!

20 June 95 - Ken Blackman (CA), to Fingerboard:
      Pickup: Standard model, same as before. S.E. apparently offers another model, but I personally like the sound of the original, especially with the heavier strings.

20 June 95 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
      Another advantage of The Stick is that it can sound like The Stick: fat, percussive bass, crystalline highs, rich overtones. It also responds very well to preamping and EQ-ing. It sounds great with effects, or without, and the notes sustain for a really long time, even without compression. The pickup poles can be adjusted to bring the best sound out of each string, and the pickup is super-clean.

20 April 95 - Ian Varriale (CA), to Stickwire:
      The new pickups: These new style of pickups are extremely responsive. They are very bright and clear yet with a greater depth. Chords sound heavier, more guitar-like, and a little less percussive. The slightest finger movements produce clear, sharp sounds that really sing.