Sound — 7
For a passive pickup bass the sound is very very good. High notes are clear and precise, but I found that the really deep lows tend to drop out a bit especially if playing and open E after some higher notes there would be a bit of "lag" time for the sound. Very little string buzz which pleasnatly surprised me. I'm a finger player mostly but found I got a better sound out of this bass when pick playing (this bass was made to the late Allen Woody's specs and is designed for more pick play which I found out after I had purchased it).
Overall Impression — 8
I think this is a sexy bass. The gold hardware is a killer, and the hollow body means that it is ver light, but being a hollow body, I wouldn't want to drop it. It was my first major "serious" purchase and for a short-scale it is very fast and very reliable. I will admit to a preference for the "Les Paul" style bass shape, so this bass appealed to me along with the retro look it has. If it was lost or stole, I would definately buy another one, but I would really really want it to have active pickups, the lack of which is probably about my only realy gripe aboout this bass.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have gigged this bass extensively. I has stood up well, but I have now retired it. the hardware seems to still be going OK, but I'm looking into replacing the mini humbuckers with some active pickups. The strap buttons were crap; as this is a hollow body guitar the screws came out really easy so I had to epoxy them in. The guitar is very dependable. I gigged it for ages without backup and it never skipped a beat. The finish on the bass is OK, except for twp complaints the gold finish on the humbucker covers is wearing off where the strings move over it, and this finish is very easily scratched, I'm a finger player and I rest my thumb on the middle pickup, hence the finish above the pickup is very very scratched.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The neck is fast! Being a short scale I can nagivate around this neck incredible quickly. The neck feels fast and fits beautifully into my hand. My only complaint was that the pickups were adjusted too high and soemtimes the strings would hit them. Easily fixed by lowering the pickups, but had to be careful to balance out the sound. I have two main complaints about this bass, I do not like the pickup that is set at the neck and the pot dials are so manky they scream cheap (this was easily fixed by swapping them with Gisons dials).
Features — 8
30" set neck, mahogany finish with 20 frets. Mahogany chambered cut-away body without F holes like most other "Kat" Epiphones with 5 ply flame maple. Solid burgundy finish with cream stripings. All gold hardware which is dead sexy. Two mini humbucker passive pickups, vol-vol-tone control configuration, three point adjustable tailpiece.