Price paid: £ 179
Purchased from: Dolphin Music
Sound — 9
I mostly play punk and hard rock, and this bbass is great for that. If you switch to the jazz style bridge pick up it gives a great treble punch that cuts through the guitar lines, great for Green Day or Sex Pistols. The P-Bass pickup has a more thoom kinda sound, more of a rumble, gives it diversity, and for when you can't be bothered to set the bass/amp up for a song. The middle sounds kinda odd, like a mix of both, but the pick ups work against each other. Sounds, odd I guess. I either have it one or the other. The active electronis are great. If you really want to exaggerate a particular sound in the middle of a song, you can do it. However, weaker (practice) amps will kinda "brown out" if you boost the bass too much. Leaving it below the little mid-point thing will be fine though.
Overall Impression — 8
Great bass for what I play. For a Dean, its definatley not a metal bass, or for that matter a jazzy/funk bass. For your average garage rock band, this is perfect. I've been playing for over a year, and atm I only have a small Carlsbro 15 practice amp which it sounds fine through, but I've played through more professional ones at live venues which makes the active electronics really shine. If it were stolen, I would probably just get a cheap Squire P-Bass from lack of funds, but I would definately get a new white one if I had the money. Very cost efficient, the cheapest active bass (and the best) I could find anywhere. All in all, great bass for punk/rock.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Definately a solid bass. Not too valuable, so you don't feel you're playing a vase or something, you can swing this around and know whatever it hits is gonna be worse off than the bass. I fitted some straplocks too, just to be sure it fly off and knock someone's toothe out. The hardware all seems solid. I'm not too concerned about the finish, I even reckon it would look better with some scars and scratches, it's very sleek.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action when I got this was frankly awful, the strings were way too high, it wasn't intonated properly, among other things. I haven't adjusted the pick ups yet, but they're all set up fine, not too high or low. When I got it it was covered in sawdust and dust, not too bad, but still. The only major flaw is really annoying fret buzz on the 8th fret of the e string, which I haven't been able to fix. It isn't a high fret or low action. Still have no idea what this is caused by. Also, the pickups aren't humbucking so expect some hissing. Nothing much, not really noticeable.
Features — 8
Mine is a 2010 model made in China according to the serial number on the headstock. The finish on mine is just sheer black. I originally was going to get the (better looking imo) white one but unfortunately Dolphin Music only had a black one, despite what their website said. The headstock front is black too, with the Dean logo. In fact, everything on this bass is very dark except for the neck, which is a pale maple. I'm just going to quote the specs to save some time here :P * Basswood Top / Body * 35 Scale - Slightly longer, I guess * Maple Neck - I love this neck, it's a very simple cross between a fast jazz neck and a sturdy P-Bass style neck. It's not fast enough to do any excessive solos or fast stuff, butit works fine for what I play * Rosewood Fingerboard * Pearl Dot Inlays - These are odd in that they're off the centre of the neck. You can see this on the picture too. Doesn't really make much difference, when you're playing you don't see these ones anyway * Die Cast Tuners - Nothing at all wrong with these. they're a weird triangle shape but that doesn't really make much difference, just aesthetics. Bass holds tune well, unless you knock into something, then it's a pain to tune it again. Always have to re-tune it when I get it out of my soft-case, but that's expected I guess * Black Hardware - Simple, black, sexy * Die Cast Bridge - Ditto. * Dean PJ Active EQ Pickups - Look good, very solid active pickups. I think these are just regular Dean active ones? Nothing too special here Its got a Master volume Pickup selector switch Bass Boost/Cut Treble Boost/Cut Didn't get any accessories with this apart from some little screw type things to adjust the truss rod and bridge with.