Stu Hamm Urge II Bass Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 03/19/2008 category: Bass Guitars
Fender: Stu Hamm Urge II Bass
Includes 2 Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups, plus a Custom P Bass pickup, for the utmost in tonal versatility. Controls for volume, blend, and 3-band active EQ, with 3-way Mini Toggle switch.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
Stu Hamm Urge II Bass Reviewed by: richgray5, on march 19, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Includes 2 Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups, plus a Custom P Bass pickup, for the utmost in tonal versatility. Controls for volume, blend, and 3-band active EQ, with 3-way Mini Toggle switch. Solid alder body, special shape maple neck, 6-bolt neck attachment with sculpted heel, 34" scale length, rosewood fingerboard with 24 medium-jumbo frets, Schaller lightweight machine heads, white shell pickguard, combination string-thru-body/top-load bridge. Designed under Stu's personal supervision, made in the USA. // 8

Sound: You can get all kinds of sounds out of this, thanks to the selector knob and the 3 way Switch. I suppose it most suited for the type of music Stu hamm plays, super technical rock/jazz, whatever, we all know he is great. Very easy to slap on this thing, and after adjusting the action, tappng is pretty smooth as well. Running it thru a Fender Bassman, straight in, no effects. No noise, no matter how hard you try. it's a little bright sounding, but I attribute that to the new strings the guy just put on before he sold it to me. The pre amp can handle whatever tone your looking for. You can play any style of music on this, like almost every quality bass in existence. Sounds very much like a Fender Jazz to me, with a little more pop to it. I have just played it for about 12 hours, and at practice volumes, but pretty sure this bass sounds great thru any amp, at any volume. But I think I am capable of a review after this amount of play time. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, I traded a bass rig for this bass. I had been trying to sell or trade the rig for a long time, and this guy bit. I figued I could sell the bass easier or trade it again for something I really want. The previous owner had never played it, as he bought 2 of them, this is the backup. Honestly, it is factory fresh, no evidence that the neck has even been touched. Restrung yesterday. The factory action is a little high for me, but guys that have super dexterity will be fine with it. I just prefer lower action. The pickups, frets, knobs, everything in this bass is 100%. It's typical, high quality Fender, that rivals their Custom shop. The neck has a great feel it, and it's fast. All 24 frets are easily accessable. One of the reasons this mihgt be Fender best offering. Harmonics seem to be really easy to pull out. If your into Jaco-type harmonics, you can have some fun with this bass. I can pinch some out too, which I cannot do on my Schecter. But come to think of it, the Schecters nickel wound strings could be the difference. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Obv. will withstand Live playing, like any instrument won't? Just check out Stu on Youtube. He is a normal dude, and doesn't abuse his bass. No strap locks, and typical Fender nubs that you need to be very careful with, or else your bass will fall off the strap. Honeslty, I have to say, like all Fender basses, the neck seems weak. I'm sure it will last a lifetime, but I just find that their necks seem to bend easily. On the plus side of that, you can do some cool vibrato by bending the headstock back. Plenty of other brands out there that don't seem to have that issue. I am realistic, and realize it's a bolt-on neck, but if I were a touring pro I would want something a lot stronger, but I am not. If you treat it right, it will last forever. Even though it's a high quality finish, pretty sure it will deteriorate with tons of playing. I would use this to gig without a backup, but I don't plan on it. I love my Schecter, and wouldn't want to risk hurting the Urge. I'd rather just keep it at home, until I decide if I will keep it forever or not. // 6

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a very high quality, pro-level bass. I am obv. not doing it complete justice. I have been playing guitar for 20 years, and in the last 5 or so have been buying some bass gear, and learning techniques, rather than just paying roots and 5th to help me write songs. I am not pro level at bass, but I can surely hold my own in most situations. I have a Schecter C4 that I like a little better, only it's the 1st bass I bought and I am so use to it. I am sure the Fender is better since it costs way more? I find the Schecter to play easier for me. The neck thru on that bass feels much sturdier than this. I had a Geddy Lee sig. for a few months, and got rid of it, bc I felt the neck was weak, much like this Urge. I just love Fenders. I think they are teh coolest looking instruments made. The matching headstock is so awesome, and I am glad Fender doesnt't overdo that with all their models. I don't hate anything about this bass. I just realize that bolt on neck basses are just not for me. If you like Fender basses and looking to buy an American made one, try to track one of these down. Superior to almost all Fender basses. I don't think Fender makes another with all these pickups, and conf. options for different sounds. The ergonomics are better, and weight distribution, and things like that were actually thought about before building it. It's meant to be played, not memorialized. I can only imagine that it did not sell well, bc Stu Hamm rocks a mullet, wears tight shorts, and wears high-top sneakers to top it all off. The guys isnt exaclty teh coolest. I suppose the kids would rather buy teh Mark Hoppus sp? bass. I think it was a pretty good deal on a mint bass. But, if I were in the market for a high quality bass, I think I would be looing at other brands. As much as I love Fenders, you can do a little better for the $$. It sold for $1699 new. If someone stole it I would be pissed, but would not replace it. // 9

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