400 review by Charvette

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (4 votes)
Charvette: 400

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: allegro.pl

Sound — 9
I have to say, that this bass is simply the best sounding bass I have ever played or just heard. Forget about new Fenders, Jacksons, Gibsons or anything like that. This bass just RIPS YOUR LUNGS. It's just the most Precision - sounding bass. I would compare it to Fenders from 70-80's, to be honest. None of today's basses can compare, especially for that price. It's just like for free! I'm playing it at various amps, just like Tauruses, Marshalls of Fender amps, and it sounds very good, but even on my 20W home little amp it's a bass you can move walls with. Thunderous! Just thunderous! Well, let's get off emotions and take a hear on it. It makes a good job in any music I tried it in. From jazz classical music, through funk, punk, rock, heavy metal even to making noises and playing electronic stuff. Makes very well in tapping, slap, pop, sweep, fingering (yes, I know, I'm using the wrong word right now). Last but not least I didn't try it with overdrive, because I don't use it, but I suppose it makes like a custom shop Fender. The tone is very flexible, you can go from growling to a mid-bright sound, but you know what. It's not a hollowbody bass or a Jazz Bass, it has to sound really heavy, and it does!

Overall Impression — 10
I've been using this bass to a variety of music, but mostly to heavy metal, and it makes just as a good quality Thunderbird. I've been playing for 3 years by far, tested many basses, and this one is the best. The most expensive instrument I played till today was a Fender Custom Shop American Made Precision and it was a bit better than this bass. Currently, I own only this one, but I'm looking forward to buy a five string bass, also Japanese. Nowadays I'm carrying a guitar repair business, and I'm working with six string. However, nothing shall be ever better than a bass. If it was stolen, would I buy it again? Sure thing! What do I love about it? Everything, except the weird-working tone knob. Anything it could have, would be two humbuckers, but I doubt if any of the amp could handle such a thunderous power. The result is: For that price, don't even think about anything else. Run across the Earth to buy it! Only old, good quality basses (I mean, Fenders, Jacksons, Gibsons, Charvels, Rickenbackers etc.) can face this bass. Awesome instrument for the price of toy!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Precision style bodies are probably the best to withstand. So much comfortable! (probably that's why I'm running the whole life on Precisions, lol). I've been playing at some gigs with this bass, and I didn't even felt tired of playing. Yes, it's not light, but lays on the body and arm good. Well balanced bass. Strap buttons are in a good condition, so I didn't have to replace them, but in my opinion Dunlop straplocks would make a great idea to have on this one. I depend on this bass as much as it's possible, it haven't let me down yet. An I strongly believe nothing bad will ever happen to/with it. The finish must me nitro paint, just because the paint still looks like in the day of going out from the fabric.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Well, I have bought this bass a couple of months ago, I don't know how was the action set. However, the strings are not laying straight on the frets, but it's still comfortable and doesn't make any fret buzz, what can be a disadvantage for some players. Pickups, bridge and frets are all mounted as it should be, in a straight line at every angle. However I found some of the screws rusted, it's normal for a 23YO bass. Fixed it and everything works as it should.

Features — 10
Here comes the unexpectable thunder - that's the way I describe this bass. It was made in Japan, 1989. Comes with 22 medium jumbo frets on a 34" scale rosewood fingerboard. The wood for fingerboard comes from East India, so I'm assured it's a good choice. The body is a monolite basswood, and the neck is pure one piece maple flat D-shape bolted on with 4 screws. Body style is a regular Precision, although whole bass looks kinda like Jackson Concert Bass. Probably because Charvette was a part of Jackson company. The bridge is a usual Fender-style bridge, unfortunately not through-body - this surely would make it a better sounding instrument. Electronics are passive, thank God, active EQ would only riun this bass and it's magic. Controls given are only one volume and tone, and I have to admit, that the tone knob seems to be a volume cutter as well. If you turn the tone to minimum, the bass is almost muted. What about pickups? Genuine Charvel made P-style pickup. Now let's go up to the headstock. Painted black with Charvette by Charvel title. Here we've got Gotoh oil covered machine heads, also made in Japan. All parts of this bass and it itself were made and get together in Japan. And everything runs as well as possible, no brumming, de-tuning! This bass is pure ART in this mater. Mine is in white paint, but you can also meet the yellow finish, as well as some basses were made in crackle finish, whatever it means. However, I have seen once a black one, with the additional J pickup by the bridge and one more tone control, but I don't know if it's still 400 model.

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