Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Music Store
Features — 5
Made in China year unknown, I bought it used but all the plastic was still on the pick guards and access door on back. Fret work is ok to a point then went South. The paint job is very good, Poly clear coat is pretty darn tough. I have a feeling the Korean basses were much better. Over Size Moly Chrome frets a HARD I had to file 2 of them. The tuners are smooth non locking. Mahogany neck. Bridge is semi-adjustable, 3 point vertical adjustment but no other help for intonation. this would be unacceptable for a 6 string.
Sound — 7
There are just not a lot of different settings. The large humbucker has plenty of output but the tone knob just doesn't do a horrible lot for changing the sound. Kind of like trying to make television more intelligent by using the Brightness control. No good there. It keeps asking for 500 characters here sheesh so I am going to fill it with.
Action, Fit & Finish — 2
I was pretty disappointed in the over all fit of the bass when I first got it. It says set up and inspected by number 29 in the USA, all I can say is MR. 29 must have been having a pretty bad day that day! Either that or he went out Drinking the night before with his buddies. I think a Monkey with a Pipe wrench could have done better. Large gap between the neck and body lost a lot of power and depth. Neck was not set symmetrically, both were fixed.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I am very conflicted about this bass. There are things I like and others that are unforgivable. First a little about myself, I have been playing bass professionally for 37 years I have enjoyed just about every type of music from old classic country to jazz, blues, rock and classic rock. I was Inducted into The (IRRMA) Iowa Rock & Roll HOF worked and recorded with Chris Ledoux, Kenny Chesney, Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Haley's Comets, Dwight Yokum.
If this is going to be your first bass, and unless you have some Luthier skills, run Away, don't look back. It is poorly fitted, and factory set up, & limited sonically. Now that I have your attention, let me explain. If you want a bass that will give you more than one sound with the flip of a knob or switch, buy a Fender type bass, PERIOD The Squires I have, and I have picked up, "Hundreds" have been set up with better action, straighter necks, and more tone to choose from. They don't sound as good as a USA bass but there is a reason. We are talking about entery level basses here! The Basswood is a bit heavier than I thought it would be but very comfortable to play a full night.
Now the positive things that I love about it. The Finish is fantastic for the money! I had to pull this guitar apart screw by screw. The neck had about a 1.5mm gap between the body and neck! The strings were about an inch off the fret board, (it was the only way it didn't buzz) 2 of the 3 lugs for the bridge were pulling up OUT of the body! A dab of Goilla Glue and a Brass tac hammer had them reseated. The fret job was quite well done, except for 2, those were too high and so the neck had to have nearly all the truss rod tension relieved.
If you are handy, know HOW a guitar works and can do things like file crown and polish a fret (all available to learn online) this can be a fun guitar. I re-adjusted the truss rod, & set the bridge back down. All of a sudden the intonation was good! One small victory. I had to square the neck so the strings were even on each side of the neck. Before the heavy strings were on the edge of the neck and the D and G strings were a half inch away. Another victory.
The sound is another thing but fits well with certain rock and country songs, think of the Thud from Paul McCartney's bass for the early Beatles. Sonically low but very strong, and even. You won't be slapping this bass, forget about it. True blue country, and bluegrass are strong deep and solid! There are a ton of classic rock songs that sound better on this than my Fenders, basically anything recorded on a semi Hollow bass guitar. I have had a couple Bass friends play this guitar, Before and after version, and they were amazed! One guy in a Country band tried and tried to buy it, I finally shut him up by offering to work on one if he bought it. It is sitting in my workshop with the Bridge lugs drying right now.
It was kind of like dating the ugly sister and taking her in for a makeover... sorry ladies... I love the looks and feel of the bass, A 2" strap will fix the little bit of neck dive. My other Eppi Jack Cassaday bass is much worse, The neck is thin and feels like the 60's SG Guitar necks, not like the thick Klunky 50's Gibson necks. Much of the "FEEL of a Jazz neck (without the normal 9th-10th fret dip in the neck). This thin Bass doesn't hurt my forearm after a few hours playing time (or my back). I noticed even tho this is a short scale, it doesnt feel like it, the fret access above the 12th fret is AMAZING! This also offers some sonic variation simply not available on any other bass! Finally something unique and all its own! Another thing is this bass's action is SUPER FAST, jazz is fun when your fingers are flying!
All in All, I am glad I bought this bass, I had a good time teaching my son how to work on a neck, how to determine proper setup with the limited adjustment on a semi Static bridge. OH YES the mass of the bridge helps with the neck dive and adds a SOLID depth I haven't heard with another short scale inexpensive bass.
This review has either turned you completely off on this bass, or really peaked your interest! My evaluation is unique to MY bass, others could be different it is a perfect example of "WHY" some guitars are so cheap, they don't spend the extra couple hours on the build, they cannot!
Overall Impression — 7
It is also a good example of the mentality of some bass players of "If it ain't a Fender it's junk" I must admit, it took me decades to really begin to appreciate the different sounds and virtues of different brands, even if there were limitations in sound. Some day a young Hot Shot bass player is going to take one of these and make it his sound. Remember Kurt Cobain with Nirvana? His little Mustang short scale guitar he played? Some people won't like this because it doesn't have the large block inlays, I looked at the EB3 and thought the Fake Pearl looked so bad
The dots looked much more professional. Let me know what you think.