Sound — 6
I play bass across many styles ranging from blues to metal. I love the neck on this bass and playing these styles is easy on it. However, the pickup lets it down, as with most cheap guitars. I do not currently own a bass amp, and playing through a guitar amp it does sound cheap. One thing that does surprise is the lack of noise frpm the electronics. I also own an Ashton AG131 electric guitar which buzzes terribly, so it nice that the AB2 is more refined in this area. The tone control is quite bad and it jumps from high treble to high bass with no real in between. The volume suffers the same trouble, going basically from full volume to no volume.
Overall Impression — 9
The Ashron AB2 is the best budget bass I have played, and with a bit of TLC will serve its owner for many years. I've owned the bass for a few years now, and am planning on upgrading the electronics in the near future. The electronics are the only real let down of the bass, the neck is just as nice as necks on some basses up to three times the price I paid. When I bought the bass it was because my mate was selling it and I thought a bass would be handy to have. I am glad that I made the purchase. For the price, you can't ask for much more than the AB2 provides.
Reliability & Durability — 8
My bass has not seen live playing and probably never will, however it has survived the mate I got it from who didn't take much care of it. It also survived a recent fall. The stock strap buttons were a bit on the small side, and I now use a DiMarzio clip on strap. The bass seems reliable and I'd be confident that the electronics wouldn't conk out on me during a performance, but I don't play bas at gigs. The finish is solid and even.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I got the bass the action was just a tad high. A simple neck shim had it playing much better. As I mentioned above, the pickup is not very well set-up, but afterall, this is a cheap bass. The routing of all cavities on the bass is cleanm which is more than I can asay for other cheap instruments I've played. My bass for some reason has an upside down saddle for the g-string which means I have to losen the string considerably to adjust the action, which is annoying, but obviously noot all AB2's will have this inconveniance. Overall, it is a nicely set-up bass for the price.
Features — 8
The Ashton AB2 has a 20 fret, 34" scale, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. The body from solid basswood. The fonosh on my bass is black, although I believe it is also available in blue and red. The body shape is a double cut-away design, and is considerably smaller in size than other basses of this kind, such as the P-Bass. This makes it more managable for beginners, which this bass is aimed at. The bridge is a Fender style hardtail, with four individual moving saddles. The bass features a single P-Bass style pickup with a volume and tone control. The tuners are generic no-names in a 2+2 format.