Price paid: A$ 350
Purchased from: Royce Music House
Sound — 7
As a bass player, I play many different styles (rock, jazz, metal, funk etc). Most times, I can give it the sound I need, plugged in trough my Peavey Basic 112. Its sound range goes from deep and bassy to sharp and bright. However, the treble does give off a slight buzzing sound, and the frets almost always give off a buzz when you play them. Also remember to restring it as soon as you can after buying, the factory strings suck! Overall though, this bass has a nice sound
Overall Impression — 8
The ARB4 is basically an entry level bass, but I was a nooblet when I first picked it up five years ago, and I can appreciate how much better than the AB2 it is (you know, the bass every beginner seems to buy). Even though the ARB4 is a great bass for it's price, if I ever lost it I don't think I would re-buy it, simply because there are better basses out there (and I seriously need an upgrade after 5 years). I do wish that this bass had a double octave neck, and perhaps a nicer finish, but overall, this is a nice bass for beginners.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have been playing this guitar for five years. Of course, it has been knocked around quite a bit. The only thing it has to show for it is a scratch and a small chip in the finish. I've never had anything fall off or come loose, except for the input jack. It's as tough as a nut, and I could easily depend on it without a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action on this guitar is great. It feels right for any genre, from walking basslines to slappin' 'n' poppin'! The bridge is good, it does it's job, but I'd get a bigger one to improve the sound. The pickups were well adjusted to the strings also. The only problem I've had with the setup is its incredibly loose input jack, and the finish was a little dull (navy). But in terms of action, this bass is great!
Features — 8
The Ashton ARB4 was made in 2004. It was designed in Australia but manufactured in Asia. The bass is a four-string with a 20-fret rosewood neck. It has dual pickups (P-style at the neck, J-style at the bridge), passive electronics, and a laminated top, maple body to finish up. It also has a tone control knob, and volume knobs for both pickups. Considering its price and quality, the ARB4 comes with a decent range of features.