Sound — 5
Well, this bass is quite versatile. With that I mean you can get a wide variety of sounds out of it, because of it's very good preamp, but you won't get any classic tone such as you'd get from a P, J or MMan bass. With the EQ set flat, the bass sounds even, and, for me, uninspiring. If you mess with the EQ. You'll get much nicer tones, and I think that could be because the pups kinda suck, but the preamp is pretty good. This bass could handle any kind of style decently, and takes effects nicely. I'm not a big fan of effects, but it does get along with my Tech 21 VT Bass pedal, which I use as a pre. I know this bass sounds good enough, but I think it lacks character... I found it's tone uncharacteristic sometimes, and that's why I might be changing it in a while (been using it for 6 months). I think this might be it's major fault, but I also think it's a matter of taste. For some people, this even, mouldable sound can be great. I like a Jazz Bass sound better, and also a nice punchy Stingray tone. This bass isn't punchy nor aggressive. Still, you can do wonders with the preamp, but this is the kind of instrument that needs fidling and experimenting in order to get a pleasant tone out of it. The low B is quite muddy, and unclear. Still usable though, but it isn't great. Still, the bass really shines when playing arpeggios past the 10th fret, and also has something to it when tapping... Kinda curious, isn't it? It get's along with slap, but it doesn't Shine either. Fingerstyle, it's ok, and I don't play pickstyle, so I wouldn't know.
Overall Impression — 7
I like to play different styles by myself, I like to slap and play with somewhat aggressive fingerstyle, and the bass is really comfy overall. The thing is that I found it quite weak soundwise. I really dig this bass's neck and string spacing, even it's weight (I'd say it's mid weighted), but I have to admit I don't like it's sound. Still, it has been great as an introduction to the 5 strings, and has served me well. I'd like to say you should try this bass if you're on it's price range, cause you might like it's sound more than me, and if that's the case, you'll love this bass, cuase I think it has a good quality/price ratio. Of course you have other options, but regarding 5 stringers I think this bass is one of the best for it's price. I compared it to Spectors, Ibanez SRs, Yamahas RBX375 adn Washburns, but this one was the most comfortable one. I wouldn't buy it again if lost, I would look for some other 5ers, and probably a jazz or MusicMan type of bass. I've been playing for more than a year and I use a Hartke HA3500 head through a Gallien Krueger MB212 cab with a Tech 21 VT bass pre. The sound I get can be good enough with some fiddling, but with the EQ set flat, it won't sound good. I'd say this bass is worth a look, but if you don't like it's tone, as I don't, maybe this bass won't suffice. Still, I think it gets the job done, and makes you feel good while doing it.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Played live with this one, but not much, and seems to be gigworthy material. You'd need to change tuners though, cause they suck. Still, I haven't given it a beating, but seems sturdy enough. Strap buttons are solid, but somewhat little, and the bridge seems stable and firm. The finish is made to last, it took some bumps but it didn't ding. It has some scatches for the lack of pickguard, but it'll be a lot of time to the wear to be noticeable. I used it without backup, but I don't know if I would if I could afford many basses. In that case I think I could use this bass as a backup, LOL!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The bass was perfectly set up. It has no nasty fret buzz, yet the action is pretty low, and makes it really comfortable. Pickups are even and did not require any adjustment. There are no sharp frets, or dead notes around the neck, and the cutaway is deep enough to allow full use of the whole 24 frets. I'd like to say that the 35" scale isn't noticeable, do don't worry about that for your playing. Just bear it in mind when buying strings, cause yo might get strings shorter than your bass. The strings tension is quite uneven because the heavier guaged ones are loose in comparison to the others, but that's a pretty common issue, unless you use a fanned fretted bass such as a Dingwall. I'd like to say that the main reason I bought this bass is it's comfortability. The neck is jus glorious, flat and wide enough to allow comfy, big string spacing that really helps when slapping, and makes a blast to try different things on it. I'm really satisfied with this bass in regards of playing comfort.
Features — 8
Ok, let's start with the features: - Mahogany body with 3 piece Maple neck and Rosewood fretboard. - Bolt-on construction, consisting on 5 bolts with no neckplate. - 24 frets, 15 3/4" Neck radius(400m) - 35" scale - Die cast tuners (which are not great) and BB405 bridge - Dot inlays plus a tribal eye inlay on 12th fret. - Electronics (active): two passive humbuckers EMG-HZ pick ups, with EMG B-30EQ active preamp (1 volume, 1 blend, 3-band EQ). - Color: Translucid red Charcoal with silver binding. - Uses a single 9v Battery. - No gigbag included. My favorite feature is the neck, because its thin and flat, and it comes with wide string spacing (19mm, more or less) which can be really good if you come from standard 4 string basses that also features wide spacing. My less favorite feature are the tuners, since the bass needs some fine tunning daily. I think it's the tuners, since they does not look sturdy, while the bridge does. Overall, comes with every feature you could expect of a bass of this range.