AB-01 Semi-Acoustic Bass review by Fortissimo

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 6.6 Neat
  • Users' score: 6 (1 vote)
Fortissimo: AB-01 Semi-Acoustic Bass

Price paid: £ 69

Purchased from: www.amazon.co.uk

Sound — 7
My favourite style of music is country and classic rock, but I play the bass in many different styles of music. This bass is best suited to rock and roll and country rock. It can also suit jazz and blues music very well as it sounds very similar to a cello or double bass when not plugged in (due to the acoustic body). It can make a very soft almost orchestral sound at low volumes and with the presence set to the lowest setting, but can also be used to play rock and roll tabs in many different styles. It doesn't work as well as I would expect with the gain turned up on the amp and it doesn't sound good playing funk music but its good enough for what I need it for.

Overall Impression — 6
I initially bought this guitar because I am the music writer in my band (The Green Jays) and I needed to be able to write accurate bass tabs for my bass player to learn. I have known how to play the bass for about a year now but I had never owned one until now. I don't regret buying it despite all its problems as I am not the one who will be playing the bass (I'm the lead guitarist). My bass player has a good bass of her own. If it were stolen I definitely wouldn't buy another one. I'd buy one that is more expensive and by a well known brand, probably Stagg as they provide good quality instruments for low prices. Like most people say when you buy a cheap but bad product, you get what you pay for with this bass.

Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar would be good for live playing for when you want a quiet bass part in a song. The Equaliser can be changed quickly to play many different songs in quick succession. Because of the sheer size of the guitar you will need a rather large strap and a strap hook for the neck. I would use this guitar in a gig without a back up but I would need to buy a new one first due to the truss rod problem (won't mess with this setting again!). The finish is good to last if I look after it properly and keep it in a padded gig bag.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The action on the guitar was good when I got it but my friend told me it needed to be higher. I foolishly trusted him but it now produces the wrong notes at anything lower than the 8th fret and it wont revert back to the way it was when I got it so I've kind of ruined it. It has other flaws aside from human error though. The frets were well placed but were not filed very well and one of them was very sharp and made a nasty hole in one of my fingers (so I filed the frets myself). The body had a few chips on it and the fretboard was not finished properly and had bits of something stuck between the frets and I still can't work out what it is. The bridge piece where the pick-up is housed is very badly made and is rough and splintery, and the EQ looks like it came off a different guitar as it doesn't fit properly. Overall its not a very well made but you can expect some flaws from the cheapest bass on the internet (not including eBay).

Features — 9
This guitar is a very new model and is the only acoustic bass sold by the budget guitar maker Fortissimo. Before this guitar showed up on Amazon just recently, the average acoustic bass would cost you around 120-150. The cost of this guitar initially put me off buying it as I was worried it would be badly made and not sound very good. However, I did eventually buy it and I was surprised to find that it was very well built for the price and set up perfectly. This bass has 22 frets, a solid Catalpa wood neck and a Linden wood body. The body itself is a cutaway design (allowing easy access to the higher frets) and a black scratch-board. It has a natural wooden finish on the fretboard and a pale-wood, glossy finish on front of the body. The back of the guitar is finished in glossy, vivid red dyed wood which looks fantastic in my opinion. It has a 4 band equaliser with Bass, Mid, Treble and Presence controls as well as volume control. It has a Piezo pick-up underneath the curved bridge and comes with a black bass plectrum and an Alan key to adjust the truss rod. A lot of good features I wasn't expecting for the price.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Just for anyone who was wandering, The Green Jays no longer exists
    Ever release anything?
    No, We wrote just 2 songs but I retained ownership of one of them. It's called 'Journey With Me' and will be the title song of my first album... if I ever get round to recording it...