Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
This setup suits my musical style. Traditional finger style and pick. I currently have a Backline 250 Amplifier and a Carvin 1-15" bass bottom both of which I purchased used. Also an Acoustic B20 practice amp. The Barolini pickups are very quiet but still put out as much volume as the stock Fender pickups did. It has a full sound and the variety of sounds are enough for my playing style. I use flat wound strings mainly because I like the feel. I personally am not into the string popping funk style bass playing so I'm not looking for a lot of treble in the sound.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a variety of classic rock, blues, folk, jazz and some country. I've been playing for about 45 years. I've spent most of it as a guitarist crossing over to bass. If it were stolen I would probably get another one. I don't think you can do better for the price. It meets my needs. I believe there are a lot of working musicians that use these basses when they are on a budget. I don't think you can do better in this price range and still have what I consider to be a professional quality instrument. I definitely recommend upgrading the bridge and pickups but that isn't even totally necessary. I like to mute the bridge with the palm of my hand when sometimes using a pick and the ABM bridge I have chosen is very comfortable for that as opposed to the stock Fender bridge. I also think the stock Fender tuning heads are excellent.
Reliability & Durability — 10
These basses are very solid and should last a long time. The Fender hardware seems very high quality. I replaced the strap buttons with strap locking ones. I would definitely use it without a backup, it's my only bass. I think the finish is hard enough to hold up to long playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup of the guitar was OK but I had to reset everything after I changed the strings and bridge. The stock pickups were adjusted OK. I personally did not find any flaws in the craftsmanship of this guitar. The finish on the neck is a nice quality satin finish. The body seems like a nice quality high gloss black finish.
Features — 10
Made in Mexico, Gloss Black Finish, replaced pickups with two passive Bartolini pickups, replaced bridge with an ABM bridge, replaced pickguard with a custom made white pearloid pickguard, replaced round wound strings with flat wound strings and replaced the strap buttons with quick release strap locking buttons.