Sound — 8
The sound of this Bass with the stock strings (Ernie Ball) isn't the greatest. However once I got the J. D'adario Bronze acoustic bass strings on it, it really started to growl. For what it is, it has a very rich, deep, one might even say, fat sound. It is rather noisy (fret noise) but I think that that is mostly due to the action (see next section). If you are buying this bass to have a nice bass to use at gigs plugged in, this wouldn't be your ideal bass. The pickup creates a very thin, metallic sound (as is customary of the piezo's) that is not accurate to the tone of the bass.
Overall Impression — 8
For me this bass is a perfect match. It allows me portability, something that bass players so often lack. It is truly a good buy for the money. Combining excellent factory setup, with beauty and acoustic tonality to make an excellent, rugged bass for the price. I would recommend it to all musicians.
Reliability & Durability — 9
While I have never played this bass Live, it seems very stable. It doesn't easily drift out of tune. Unfortunately this bass has also been dropped on several occasions and it has weathered that test with only a few blemishes in the finish. It seems to be a very stable, ruggedly built bass.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This bass is playable, right out of the box. The main compliant that I have is that this bass is very noisy. This is especially noticeable when sliding from fret to fret. I think that this is caused by slightly high action. But even this is easily remedied by filing down the tailpiece. The finish on the bass is very beautiful (I for one am partial to natural finishes) However, I don't think that I will last that long. I have had the bass but 2 years and already the finish has several blemishes. But this gives it the worn look that so many players are after.
Features — 5
The Dean Playmate EABC acoustic/electric bass is a low cost/high quality bass with 32" scale that produces a deeper, fuller tone than basses costing much more. Its body consists of a select spruce top, a two piece mahogany back, sides and neck, plus a rosewood fingerboard. It also comes factory stock with an abalone sound hole inlay. It comes loaded with a Dean preamp for the piezo pickup located under the bridge. The preamp comes with tone and volume controls, nothing too impressive.