Sound — 7
The sound is what I would call an all rounder and definitely what you would expect for a start up beginner bass. Its not as pokey as my Ibanez but of coarse I wouldn't expect that from a bass that arrives with 15 watt amp and accessories for under 100. My flat mates boyfriend is a 'thrash head would be' bass player and he made some pretty impressive sounds out of his Ampeg 35 watt combo with Benson bass. However, I think this would be suited for more Indie pop stuff - the stuff I like to play. After we did some adjustments with the hex keys, we managed to get a lovely bright response.
Overall Impression — 8
I love to play 'indie' stuff and this bass can certainly pull it off. However this is definitely a great starter bass and would be highly suitable for the beginner. It will never replace my SR300, however I would highly recommend the Benson if you are looking for a second bass. It comes with a amp, slightly flimsy gig bag and all the usual accessories, you come to expect from a beginners pack. My favourite thing about this bass is the fab looking 'wildberry' finish and the fact I don't have to mole-coddle it! Thanks dad, for buying it!
Reliability & Durability — 7
Not Sure about live work (never done it myself). However my friends boyfriend took it to a pug gig (as a stunt guitar). He gave it a run out, (because we were in the audience) and it sounded fine (if you like thrash metal, that is). The bass as been passed around my flat mates and it seems to be quite robust. Considering that every conceivable drink as been spilt over it and numerous cigarettes have been forced into the headstock, it's held up pretty good. The Benson bass can without doubt withstand the rigours of a student flat and this is exactly why I purchased this bass. I really don't mind if anyone picks it up and plays it (except for thrash metal!)
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I assume this is made in the far east, however I purchased from a UK based company who sent it out 'set up' however I thought they had set the action a little low for my liking, making the sound a little 'slappy'. A couple of tweaks the hex sorted it. We slightly lifted the pick ups to brighten the sound. All the chrome work was fine with no signs of corrosion. Everything seemed to be in good order when the bass arrived. However I do wish they would have removed the pick guard protective plastic cover... Its such a pain to get off!
Features — 8
I purchased this bass in September 2012 to take to university because I did not want to risk taking my Ibanez SR300 (For Obvious reasons). I will have to be honest, my purchase was totally price driven because my dad was coughing up for this acquisition and his limit was around 100. So obviously I was very limited for choice, however I took him up on his challenge to find a playable bass for under &100 to enable me to keep my hand in between studies. When It arrived... Wow! Quite impressed with the build quality. I t had the usual s for the generic P Bass (basswood body, split pick up, chrome hard ware etc.). This recently modified model sported to very sleek double cut away, which made it look more stylish than it's contemporaries (sorry for the girlie comment!)