S.U.B. X02 review by Ernie Ball / Music Man

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (57 votes)
Ernie Ball / Music Man: S.U.B. X02

Sound — 10
This bass fits in my style of music perfectly. I play mainly ska, punk and ska-punk so the bright sound of the bass cuts through the mix of guitars, brass and percussion perfectly. I am using it with an Ashdown MAG210 Combo amp and the sound is phenominal. It is very hard to tell that this bass isn't actually an Ernie Ball Musicman Sting Ray and considering the price, this is fantastic. The only difference between this bass and the Sting Ray is that the Sting Ray has a 3 band active EQ and it has a custom paint job. The only way you can tell it isn't a sting ray is to play both basses through the same amp at the same time. This bass has a vide variety of sounds and works best when I'm playing ska but also works well for rock, metal, power punk and just about any other genre of music. The bass sounds best when played agressively with a pick and a bit of treble rolled on but sounds good with both fingers and slap bass.

Overall Impression — 9
This bass is perfect for the styles of music I play, it was deffinitely the best bass I tried (I tried various other models such as Fender Highway One Jazz and Precision basses as well as Fender Active basses) and this one came out on top everytime. I am exceptionally pleased I bought one. This bass has been discontinued so if it was stolen, I would search ebay or save up and get a Sting Ray model. I would be able to sell it for near it's original price due to them being discontiued. I love the sound of the pick up and I love the ease of playing it, the only thing I dislike is the weight but I've become used to it. All in all, this is a fantastic bass made by a fantastic company, I reccomend this bass or any other Musicman product to any bassist.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This bass has and will easy withstand live playing in front of an audience. The hardware seems that it will last longer than I will and the strap buttons are solid and easily replaced with strap locks. I would easily gig without a back up bass, I would still however take my first bass, a Squier P Bass, just as a preacaution in case some horrid accident happened to my bass or a string broke during a song. I would also take a spare battery in case the one in it ran out during the set! The finish on the bass despite being low quality hasn't chipped or become damaged despite me hitting it against objects.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The bass was set-up near perfection. The action was a just a little bit too low and the E string would rattle ever so slightly when played but after a few minor adjustments all was well. The instrument did not contain any flaws or imperfections and is still in working order.

Features — 9
My Ernie Ball S.U.B. 4 bass is an American made bass made in 2006. It is made from selected poplar, has a musicman chrome plated steel bridge and has a Diamond plated aluminium pickguard. It has 21 wide profile frets, acitve electronics consisting of one volume and the two tone controls. The bass came with a voucher for a free set of Ernie Ball strings which was a good offer and quickly used due to price of bass strings but other than that, no case, cables etc came with the bass which considering the price, is annoying. The finish on the bass is a textured colour blue and although this isn't the best paint job in the world (my MIM Fender Strat has a better paint job), it's all about the sound which means you're paying all the money for a fantastic sounding bass.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WOW. I've owned this bass for about 6 months now. I paid $480 for it. (used) When i first plugged it in i was surprised at how quiet it was. My other bass buzzed and hummed when plugged in. (Of course this bass was the replacement for a squire p bass so anything was better than what i had) As for the price you can't get better than the SUB. I was also surprised at the tone it can achieve. THIS THING IS A TONE MACHINE!!! Whether you want your punchy low-end, or great treble filled highs, this is the bass for you. The single MM humbucker needs some getting used to but other than that this bass is amazin'! I highley recomend it.
    Hey guys can I ask your opinion? Saw this in my local music shop secondhand for 299 its got quite a few dents on it and a 2cm chip in it, around the headstock mainly has taken quite a bit of punishment im a guitar player and dont play bass much, but it caught my eye, any good for someone to learn for fun for the price? cheers guys
    Chrisiphone, It really depends on what type of music you'll be playing. I personally wouldnt buy any bass with a 2cm chip in it. I got this bass used in great shape for $480. I did a search on your currency to US currency and 299 THERE is about 469 HERE. Now i would'nt buy this bass.You should try to find another for a little more cash. If not this bass try anything Fender. Good luck, Mike
    It's a good bass, but I bought Jaguar Bass instead. When I got enough money to buy (3-5 years maybe) that bass I would like to buy it