Price paid: £ 100
Purchased from: Amazon
Sound — 7
The Sound is what you would expect from a 'dip your toe in the water' budget bass. If fact, we were quite surprised at the response of the pick ups once we plugged it into my mates Ashdown MAG C115-300 EVO II. All in all, I feel that the bass offers a descent versatile tone that would suit loads of different styles of music. After all, I am reviewing a Chinese hundred quid starter piece of kit... Not a 'top of the range' American Fender Deluxe... So lets not get too anal about the matter. After a string change, it sounded fine!
Overall Impression — 7
Now for the reality check! This bass and full kit (including not too bad 15 watt amp and accessories) was purchased for slightly under one hundred pounds (all my sons own pocket money). According to the Benson website it's undergone a facelift (2011) and they've ironed out a few past problems. According to my bass playing mate, it's not the best bass he's ever played... But not he worst. However I would criticise that there's a lack of set up information inside the box to help the complete novice. Finally. For the amount of money to get you started... You won't wrong!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm sure this bass would be fine for school band or pub stuff... Not too sure about playing the headline slot at Glastonbury with it. We have only owned the bass for around two months, so subsequently the bass's not received too much punishment, however all in all it seems quite well made for the money we paid. Nothing's fallen off so far and it feels quite robust. This bass is purely to get my son off the starting blocks and I'm sure if he continues to practise and improve we will be upgrading in the future... Although I'm sure we will hang on to this for sentimental value and all that stuff.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When we received the bass in its bomb proof box (took us ages to get through the packaging). The booklet informed me the bass was factory set, however my 'bass playing mate' thought the action and pick ups were slightly high. Fortunately, with hex keys in hand (supplied!) we soon made the relevant adjustments and the bass was ready to go! However this could prove a little tricky for the first time novice with zero knowledge. But these days there's loads of stuff on line for the wannabe's out there. The one thing that drew my son to this bass on line, was the 'eye candy' silverburst finish... He's a proper magpie.
Features — 7
Bought my son one of these for Xmas (2012) so he can start his Rock School coarse at school. This kit was recommended by a bass playing mate (sorry... I'm a six string man), who had seen the kit up close. He informed my to buy a new Benson bass because the company had recently modified the PSN due to a dispute with Fender and they had totally given it a facelift. He told me not to expect a Precision, their will be a few buts along the way with our Far Eastern made bass, however with a few tweaks and turns with a hex key, we would have it performing respectably. Our new 20 fret basswood body buddy is finished in a nice metallic silver and black. The cut-a-way horns are slimmer than the Precision and they've seemed to have sorted out the previous drag problem. All the usual suspects are on board... Split pick up, 3 ply pick guard, chrome tone and volume, open gear machine heads etc. Everything you would expect on a budget P bass. They even throw in a 15 watt amp for under a ton.