Sound — 7
I mainly play jazz with this, but also use it for practicing many other styles (rock/folk/country/ska/reggae/whatever else I fancy learning), as it is convenient not to have to amplify it. I normally just use this through a P.A system, sometimes through an old Peavey amp (I'm not certain of the model, it's what I use when playing in my school jazz band). Acoustically it has a very warm, rich, smooth sound; it's beautiful. When amplified, it takes a fair amount of tweaking settings to get a nice sound, but then it is great, you get a very clearly defined sound, picking up all the nuances of the acoustic very well. With the onboard EQ and tone control, a great variety of sounds can be produced, but I tend to stick to a bassy, slightly dulled sound, as I find it works the best for the music I play.
Overall Impression — 8
I don't think that this bass would suit more rock-y styles when playing Live, but as an acoustic, why should it? It sounds wonderful, and feels great to play: very smooth neck and fretboard, low action. I've been playing about 3 or 4 years, and also own a Stagg bass, a DigiTech Whammy, a Boss BD-3 Bass Overdrive, an Ibanez PT-5 multi effects unit, a Jim Dunlop 95Q Crybaby Wah, an Ibanez S470, and a strat copy of some kind. If this were stolen, or I lost it, I wouldn't be able to afford another for a long time, and if I could, I might look at getting an electric bass in a similar price range (or a bit higher), but if I was going to get an acoustic bass, this would be the one I would buy. When I did buy this, I tried several other basses (the only 3 or so acoustic basses I could find) and this was the best I played by far, in the way it feels and sounds. My favourite feature is the incredibly smooth feel of the neck and the frets: it's one of those guitars which is just a pleasure to play. There isn't anything I dislike about it really, and I don't know what could be changed to improve it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar can withstand Live playing perfectly easily, I was actually surprised, the first time I used it, that it gets no feedback at all if you stay at a sensible volume, which has been a problem with other semi-acoustics I have played. Everything is solid, the finish is very good, it hasn't scratched at all (but then I am very careful and only play with my fingers). I've found that I can easily depend on this guitar for live playing, and have used it quite a lot Live with no problems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought the guitar, everything was completely fine, and it still is, almost a year later. I haven't noticed any problems with it; all the hardware is fitted well, the intonation is good, the tuning pegs are very sensitive (which is nice). The only bad thing I have noticed is that the battery compartment for the pickup has come a little loose, but it still wouldn't come out, and it's mainly my fault, as I have a habit of fiddling with (and often breaking) things when I'm sitting around not doing much (such as during a school band practice, a lot of which is simply the conductor telling the horns how to play things).
Features — 7
This bass was made in 2004, in China. It has 20 averagely sized (as far as I can tell) frets, a rosewood fretboard and dot fret markings. The neck is varnished, very smooth, and nicely thin for an acoustic bass. The body is made from mahogany and spruce, and has a very nice satin finish. The guitar has a slight cutaway, which for its 20 frets is perfectly adequate. Also, the back is rounded. It is fitted with a Fishman classic 4 acoustic pickup, with an active preamp. This has a volume slider, a 3-band sliding EQ and a 'brilliance' slider, which is, according to Fender's specs, a 'mid-sweep' controller, and just acts like the tone knob on any guitar, making the sound dull or bright. It came with a gig-bag, which although not amazing is good enough.