Curbow 4 review by Cort

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.4 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.3 (27 votes)
Cort: Curbow 4

Price paid: £ 240

Purchased from: Mikes Music, Bognor Regis

Sound — 5
I bought this guitar for home recording and have only played it through a POD X3, so I am not going to go into details here. I don't know what it sounds like cranked up on a real amp and it's true sound. I assume and would guess it sounds like a good 240 bass, nothing more and nothing less.

Overall Impression — 6
I bought this guitar for home recording only, I am a guitarist who needed a bass for home recording. I wanted a small bass, not scale length wise, but overall. And this is perfect, it does not take up a lot of space on a stand, or hanging on a wall, and is very comfortable to play sitting down, whilst trying to control a PC and keyboard at the same time. As I have said the eq does not really do much, and the slap switch is kind of luke warm for my taste. But since I am going into a POD X3 I can make all my sounds in that, I just need a nice comfy bass to play on that will not get in my way and I can drop on the floor when I have to get another beer. This does the job perfectly. However, and this could be a big however for other home recordists. It does have a noticeable hiss, it is not an earth hum, I think it is something to do with the active electronics, I am not saying it is a show stopper, if you are super fussy, like I am, you will notice it, so if you want crystal clear signal straight out the bass - watch out for this. It has enough positives that I will carry on using it, it does not kill me, and if are playing in a band you will never ever notice it, I am talking about a hiss you can hear on the bass in isolation that exists momentarily after a note dies off that you can hear if you listen carefully. I did not notice in the shop! Only much later upon intensive listening, of course now it is the only thing I hear. It is a budget bass after all and I guess the noise level would be comparable most other active basses in this price bracket.

Reliability & Durability — 9
In terms of build quality I would play this guitar live without hesitation. I reckon it could take a bullet and carry on, it is a solid little bastard. In fact I reckon I could bury this bastard in the garden and dig it up 5 years later and apart from changing the strings and battery it would be fine, that ebanol and luthite just seems indestructible and I think you could hang an elephant off the neck even though it is very slim. Battery life is good. I give it 9 because it feels so damn solid.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Excellent, not just for the money but at any price. Apart from those damn tiny washers that cracked! It is not painted the colour comes from the Luthite, it is like coloured resin. That is not a negative, I like it alot. The neck is very smooth and slim, and no rough fret ends, the fingerboard is perfect - because it is ebanol, again a type of resin I believe. Only a 6 because of the washers. I have taken the action down a little, it is not super low, if I was going to play a long set with it I would want it lower, so if you are buying it make sure the store sets it up as you want it if that is how you want it, but I am happy with it being a bit higher for the improved clarity.

Features — 6
Made in Korea, I bought it new in 2010 so presumably it was made 2010 or 2009. The body is made from a Luthite material, it ain't wood, and the fingerboard is Ebanol, it ain't wood either, maple looking neck which is wood. Has one Bartolini pickup and a "Slap Switch" which is as eq preset overide, there are 2 micro pots on the back for adjusting overall gain and slap depth - I've never touched them. It is active so takes a 9v battery in a very easy to access hatch that holds the battery very securely. 3 Center notched eq pots and a volume. Everything works and is solid, it is well built, one negative the tiny washers on the tuning heads are weak, two of the have cracked, one I replaced, 1 I have not got round to yet, it does not really affect the playing or tuning once they have cracked and nobody but me would ever notice, if one broke mid song it will throw your tuning way out though, but they broke for me during tuning. The slap switch basically cuts out bass freqs, I don't find it very useful because it also reduces the overall volume too much for my taste, can be interesting to flick just to get a change now and again. The eq pots are subtle, you never get any dramatic changes, infact they are very subtle, hard to hear what they are doing depending on the amp set up sometimes, I leave them in the middle and make all adjustments on the Amp side for the most part. The bridge is very solid, the neck is attached very solidly, bolted on with 5 good bolts, no neckplate just straight through the body. I summary, it is a very solidly built guitar that does what it should without any fuss, just a shame that Cort used weak washers on the tuners. It is a budget bass though so I guess they bought a cheap batch. Only a 6 because I don't find the eq useful or the slap switch useful, but I bet somebody with a different style could completely disagree with me. The body is very small and that is the reason I bought it, I love the small, hard, good looking body, I also like my women this way, Overall I am not complaining I like it!

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I need to update my Review! since I posted I played with the Slap Depth Controls and the Overall Gain mini pots on the back of the Bass. What a difference all now the tone controls really have a big effect and the Slap control is useful. I'm really sorry about my review being slightly negative about the tone controls and slap switch. I was WRONG, BIG SORRY to Cort. They do have a big effect and work great if the Overall Gain and Slap depth controls are set up well.
    Love mine. Pure tuxedo black.gonna use it at the house of blues and at a bar here in Vegas. Let you know
    Mine is absolutely purfect. Well... Almost. Some sort of plastic ring on the tuning key broke off, and now the thing is near impossible to turn.... Suggestions?