Sound — 10
Huge tonal range, from simple but gutsy single coils, you can blend the two, via the volume pots, to get an infinite variation, unlike my previous bass (a mid range Yammy)you can actually tell when you make a change! I find myself selecting different pups for different songs, which is a whole new experience. The tone pot is a joy, again I have never used this on my old bass, the "greasebucket" works and is great for rolling off the highs with out finding yourself in a puddle of mud a very handy little extra. I play a broad range of stuff and it handles it all, I use a number of pedals and they have all come to life, even the fuzz pedal, you really can tell which pup you have on.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for almost 30 years, bass for the past 5, gigging in a new band for a year, this bass has lifted my playing and the bands sound more than I could have hoped for, we play covers from the 60s up to today's stuff and there is nothing this bass can't handle, its a no frills bit of kit, just all the right bits, its easy to maintain, easy to play, has wonderful tone and flexibility, it responds to your playing style and inspires you to play better, it will last you a life time if looked after. Add one to your collection or if you are upgrading from a basic axe, you could do a lot worse than get one of these and they don't break the bank.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a working guitar, its looks like it will last a life time (with care and attention, like anything its going to let you down if you abuse it). I will gig with it with out a back up - I just sold my other bass - and will do so with confidence, the nitro will gain a worn in feel over time but that will add to its charm, I don't plan to part with this one, resale value is not important to me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The fit and finish is top notch, no complaints. The intonation was off but not too far, took me half an hour to sort, that Badass is a silky smooth bit of kit and that helped. The action is low, no buzzing anywhere and the wonderfully slimline neck with rolled edges to the fretboard makes it effortless to play (I tried a 50's P Bass at the same time, very cool guitar but like gripping an oak tree!). Everything is where it should be, tight and works as expected. The nitro finish is satin rather than gloss but will Shine up in the right places with age, I am told that the thiner coating allows for more resonance, hard to tell but I love it. The 3 tone burst is the one to go for in my opinion, its traditional/retro/whatever just fits this guitar like a glove. The pots are smooth and noiseless, no humm from the pups, even at gig volume, I swapped the strap buttons for schallers before I plugged in, if you are gigging do this without fail, its like insuring your car, just make sense. (why don't manfacturers do this as standard on their more expensive guitars?)
Features — 10
Standard Jazz Bass kit, this is a 2010 model, has Vintage alnico pups and a "greasebucket" tone control, more on this later, the truss rod(s) are graphite rather than steel and make a good contribution to weight loss, the maple neck and rosewood fretboard are as expected but it no longer has the skunk stripe, which is a shame as I like that touch, I guess the graphite does the job of the mahogany fillet. Mine is the 3 tone burst, which I think looks best, and finish in nitro, which takes a bit of getting used to but looks fabulous. The Badass 11 bridge is a great upgrade and I would have changed this but Fender did it for me. Tuners are stock and in keeping with the Vintage vibe (unlike the Badass!)