Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: themusicfarm.com
Sound — 10
It's got some pretty descent volume in it. When everything is turned right up it just sounds noisy and overbearing, can get distorted too, but once you figure out the EQ/Volume/Tone, it has a really nice sound and the on board EQ lets you create almost any sound you want (to an extent, of course). There was a really loud buzz/hum when I first got it but once I raised the strings (which I needed to do anyway) the problem fixed itself.
Overall Impression — 9
As you might have guessed, I mostly play heavy metal and if there was ever a bass for metal, it's this one. When I saw this bass, I had to have it, I didn't notice at the time that because the bridge is so far up the body compared to other basses, the neck actually sticks out further, at first it was sort uncomfortable but it doesn't take long to get used to it, well worth it though. I chose this bass because well, how often do you actually see an Explorer shaped bass? If it were lost or stolen, I don't really know, I might try a thunderbird, but I'd probably just get another one of these.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only played a few gigs with it so far but I've got a feeling it'll be seeing a lot more. The finish seems pretty solid, it's been banged around a fair bit because of the shape of it, but you couldn't tell by looking at it. I almost never gig without a backup, but I think I'd feel comfortable playing this one without a spare.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I got it, the action was set pretty low, but they throw in a couple of allen keys, so that's easy fixed, which also fixed the buzz/hum. Other than that everything was fine. I guess if I HAD to pick on something it would be that I find the plain black paint job to be a bit boring, it's such a big body that it kind of needs something going on graphically... But that's just my opinion.
Features — 9
It's a 2008 model, jet black with 22 frets marked by red chainsaw inlays, a hella rockin' Explorer shaped body with four ruby eyed steel skull control knobs, 1 volume (goes loud), 1 low end (EQ), 1 high end (EQ), and 1 that's either a tone control or a pickup blender. 2 humbucking pickups with active electronics, basswood body with a low profile maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, bolt-on constuction and 4 sealed die-cast tuners sitting nicely on that Dean "V" shaped headstock. Evil enough? Not quite, but close. They also threw in some allen keys, and a lead.