Sound — 10
I use pick and fingers. I play a kind of ART rock-noise. I placed a thumb rest at the bridge. I own a Line 6 Lowdown 110, a Boss Bass Overdrive, a E.H. Mole and a Lexicon MX200 rack effect. All in line. But I mainly love to play it just bass and amp, the lowdown is more than enough. It sounds naturally not-so-clean (it's short scale). Really deep tone (with flatwound strings). Go easy with the amp's volume, it's a ground-shaking bass. I work mostly on low frequencies on amp, not on bass, I just leave the tone knob on 10. Is definitely not a multi-purpose bass: it plays rock. Dot. You can't slap, but it sounds great both with a pick or finger style. Even thumb style it has a fascinating tone, very low. As a bass should be. Try it with a pick palm muting and you'll hear.. Wow. Not for everyone though.
Overall Impression — 9
For what I do, this bass is perfect. I play rock and noise really focused on sound and tone. I play bass since 1998, I also own a long scale Ibanez with less problems but even less personality. I got exactly what I was looking for: a very simple bass. I'm even planning to remove the tone knob, I like the natural sound of the bass and if I want lower frequencies I prefer to work on the amp, for a better quality. One thing: the neck is short but not SO fast, the low tension of the strings it requires a good control of your fingers. This bass has character. A lot of people hate it, I understand why, it is particular, you can't change it. You have to fit with it. Last year I was thinking about to buy a Gibson EB3, but I'm happy with this bastard, I think I'll get old with this one. It's minimal and annoying as I want.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The bass is robust. But I never had any accident. I have the feeling that you have to take care of the neck, it' really thin. Don't make the bass fall (it sounds smart uh?). The hardware it will last for long time, I'm pretty sure. The mechanics are sturdy and the electronics really minimal. Less things less problems. It's a bit neck diver, so if you don't want to get tired wile you play you should use a leather strap. I also moved the neck strap button (in the back) on the top-left side of the metal plate, it helped a bit.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Low action from the factory, the E string was fret-buzzing on top of the neck. I placed D'Addario flatwound strings and set neck, bridge and saddles. Now is far better. But I have to pay attention to the E when I want to play "clean". The mudbucker was quite ok from the factory. Just a couple of checks. You have to adjust the settings as you prefer, it comes in a standard-setting that doesn't really match with the bass' potentials. It's well made, especially for the price. All the main things are really well made. No rust, no oxidized parts. The only "problems" I found on mine was the jack's bolt weak (I change it) and one screw on the pickup a bit too loose. Ah and the tone knob slightly wobbling (not the hardware). I don't really love the nut, it's just cheap plastic, I works fine though.
Features — 9
Made in Indonesia, I don't know when. 20 medium frets, a short scale, very thin neck. Made in solid mahogany, not really light. But who cares? It's not made for knitting. The nitro glossy finishing is really nice, kind of "soft touch", very good feeling. The body shape is the classic iconic sg shape. Love it or hate it. I LOVE IT! Three point bridge, very good construction, well made chromes. You can really change the action in half a second. Passive electronics. Just two controls: volume and tone. For me just volume was enough. Humbucker at the neck, huge magnet inside. It sounds muddy and dirt. Wow. Huge tuners, open back. Classic style, very good quality, clean tuning. I bought it online and I got his hard-case in bundle.