Purchased from: ProMusic Australia
Features — 8
So, this bass was manufactured between the late '90s til 2009, I'm not entirely sure when mine was made but at a guess, I would say around 2007-2009 as I bought it from a wholesale place, so it wouldn't have been there too long. The bass has 24 frets and is 35" scale neck (which is really important if you tune below standard B imo). The neck is thin, but not as thin as an ESP or Ibanez bass, It still feels like you have some substance in your hand. It is neck through body construction and boasts a Nato (Mahogany) body and a maple neck w/ an ebony fingerboard that has nice mother of pearl diamond inlays. The bass comes in a wide array of finishes such as a gloss black and a satin black. If you don't like black than that's pretty tough for you because all the hardware on this bass is black as well.
The bridge is a pretty standard locking bridge similar to what you can find on most Schecter basses. It can be a tad fiddly when you are adjusting it, but once everything is where you want it to be, it doesn't move. Tuners are just pretty stock-standard things but have B.C. Rich plates on the backs of them.
The bass comes with 2 passive B.C. Rich P pickups, which are an interesting combination. The bass does have a rather unique sound about it when both pickups are on, with a very broad frequency response due to the neck through construction complemented by a nice punchy mid range that you can really bring out with the bridge pickup.
The bass also has active electronics which really help diversify the range of sounds you can bring out of the instrument. It has two bass and treble boost/cut knobs which are both notched in the halfway position, a balance knob (or blend knob) for bending the pickups and an overall volume knob. You can really get a good footing for any tone you are looking for with these electronics, anything from an aggressive punk/metal tone to a nice, warm Jaco style jazz tone.
Cases for this base are hard to come by due to the shape, the bass itself is very long so due to the 35" scale and the shape of the body, it does not fit into a generic soft case. I keep mine in a B.C. Rich Coffin case which does the job well enough. The case will set you back about $200-$300 which hurts the wallet a bit, but that's just the price you pay for playing something shaped like this.
Sound — 9
I predominantly play metal, I generally go for a very grindy bass tone which this bass does very well without sacrificing any low end or mid range punch. Contradictory to the look of the instrument however, it really does any genre well and has a very bright slap tone. I have played jazz, blues, reggae, funk, softer rock stuff and more with this bass and it does it all very well. I wouldn't recommend this bass if you were exclusively a jazz player, there are definitely basses that sound better playing those styles, but if you are a predominantly metal/hard rock player that also dabbles in other genres, than this instrument will suit you well. I currently run it through a SansAmp Bass driver straight into the house PA and it really produces an awesome tone, I couldn't be more happy with it.
I should mention that I play with my fingers almost exclusively, however I have messed around with a pick on this bass and it produces quite an aggressive tone with a lot of attack. Playing this bass with a pick would suit more hard punk stuff, but I really don't think it would have too much use beyond that as it is just too aggressive sounding. This bass really does excel when played fingerstyle.
The bass isn't particularly noisy unless you aren't making contact with the strings or the bridge, which I find fairly common among most basses. It's never made any noise whilst being played, no strange pops or whistled going on. For metal, particularly if you play with your fingers, this bass really kills it. If you want to see/hear this bass played live, you can look up Derek Boyer (from Suffocation) or ICS Vortex (ex-Dimmu Borgir), both have used these basses for a large portion of their career.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This guitar came set up with the action VERY low, and it wasn't intonated as well as I would have liked it to be. Pickup height was fine, but the neck was too straight and the action way to low. To rectify this, I have since adjusted the truss rod slightly to get a slight bow out of the neck, the nut has been filed down a bit so that the strings are a tad lower at the headstock end of the neck and the bass has been intonated accordingly. I currently have my action set as low as it can go and the bass maintains a crisp/bright sound with no buzz unless I really hit the strings hard. I am currently using Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings on this bass gauges 40, 60, 75, 95 and 125 which I find suit the 35" scale a bit better than thicker gauge strings, at least at standard tuning and drop A. I have never had the desire to tune below A, but I'm sure this bass could do it with thick enough strings.
All in all, this bass can be set up very well if you know how, it just didn't come that way out of the box, which may be discerning for some.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This bass is built pretty darn solid, a bash the hell out of it when a play it and apart from some bucklerash on the back that was completely avoidable and a few tiny scratches above the neck pickup where I rest my thumb, the bass has obtained no obvious cosmetic flaws in the time I have owned it. The finish doesn't chip easily, I have smacked the lower parts of the body into PA speakers, other guitars, I have used the headstock to hit cymbals with from time to time, nothing has really dinted it. Really solid workhorse of a bass.
I replaced the factory strap buttons with Ernie Ball strap locks, which is more of a personal preference than a necessity, I move around a lot when I perform and having the strap locks just gives me piece of mind that I'm not going to drop my bass and look like an a-s. I don't play without a back up. I don't feel the need to. This bass has never given me hassles live or in rehearsals. I also have a 4-string version of this bass as well which I keep tuned in D and Drop C and it has never had any problems as well.
Overall Impression — 8
For me, I struggle to imagine playing any other instrument, as I said above, I own two of these basses, a four and five string, and they suit my needs and playing style perfectly. If this bass was stolen, I would probably pull a Liam Neeson and hunt down the son of a b-tch who kidnapped my baby, because these basses are becoming harder and harder to find out in the wild. But seriously, I would either find an identical replacement or failing that, go for something similar like the Paolo Gregoletto signature Warlocks.
The only peeve I have about this bass is that it is so darn heavy and I really notice that when I'm carrying it around. Definitely not for small framed people or just anyone who prefers a lighter instrument. Also the shape makes finding a hard case for these instruments a tad difficult. I've been considering replacing the B.C. Rich pickups but that isn't to say they aren't good. I just feel the need to make the bass more personalized than it is now.
Overall, a really solid and reliable bass, that excels in metal/hard rock but also does a wide variety of genres well. Loses a lot of versatility when played with a pick, but that may just be my opinion. It is really a no frills bass when it comes to features but what it has is all you need.