Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 6
This is the weakest point of this bass. The sound is somewhat limited to a very bassy sound. The higher end, while acceptable, is not up there with some other basses. Its not a punchy sound, rather more like a really low end "thud". I put flat wounds on this bass, and this improved the sound, and it makes an acceptable bassy sound without very much string noise, which i really love, especially for down tuning. This is a bass more suited to a rock style, and it sounds VERY good downtuned. I like to add some overdrive and it growls, making it a good rock bass. Other than this sort of setup, it performs simply average on most other uses I have tried. I play in a church band and this bass is simply too bassy and not enough punchy in this sort of use. The humbucker makes almost zero noise whatsoever, and some fiddling with the tone controls can make this bass sound pretty decent. The lack of diversity in tone hurts this score a little bit, but if you are looking for a unique sounding bass for a grungy-alt rock sound, this bass is pretty good.
Overall Impression — 7
As I have said in other reviews, I have been playing for about 7 years, and this bass is pretty much my 3rd string bass. However, in rock situations that require downtuning, this bass becomes the number one. In this specialty, you will be hard pressed to find a better suiting sound in passive pickups. The one thing I really do not like about the bass is the weight. It weights easily twice as much as the average bass, perhaps even more. It starts to wear on my shoulders fairly quickly, which can be a pain for my longer gigs. However, I love the fact that no matter when I pull this beast out, it will be ready to play. The setup never changes, and its always ready to plug and play. This makes up for the low scores it will get for versatility, and the uniqueness of this bass is a huge plus to me in a crowd of Fender copies. I think that the two pickup variety would possibly create more tones, and the active could help with the punchy-ness, but for the price, you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding rock-grungy sounding bass.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is where this bass shines. This bass is literally, built like a tank. It weighs a ton, the bridge is built to withstand a huge beating, and the neck is VERY solid. It came with stock "T" shaped strap buttons, which I think is a bit better than a normal "O" shape. This shape will hold your strap on much better than normal strap holders, though not as well as locking. This bass will never, ever need a backup. You could go slay a Viking army, and the bass would still play just fine. It is literally a tank. The weight may detract from the overall score of the bass, but you will not find a bass that is built like this one.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action on this guitar is pretty good, an average string height. The bridge is nigh impossible to tamper with, and I'm pretty sure you could throw this bass and then pick it up and the bridge would not have budged. The finish is pretty standard red color, with some dings from age. The overall quality of the bass is pretty outstanding, and it was clearly made to last for a long time. The screws in the pickguard are rusted a little bit, but other than this the hardware is in fine shape.
Features — 8
At the time I got this bass off of Ebay (In Delaware, it's hard to find decent guitars), I had never seen this style of bass. When I first looked at the listing, I was intrigued, which really helped propel me to order it. This particular bass was made in 1981, and they only made them until 1986, which makes this bass a little bit rarer to see. It is a long scale bass with 24 frets, and the cutaways in the body allow fairly easy access to every fret. The neck reminds me of a slightly thicker P-Bass neck, and is made of maple with a rosewood top. My particular model is a Standard, and as such has one humbucker (passive). The bridge is solid, and as such is not very adjustable (the string height is very hard to change), however, I have not had one problem with the bass. My bass is a fairly bright red with a black pickguard. It has a bass control knob and a tone knob, as well as a Switch (not too sure what to call this, one position is def. more bass heavy, and the other is "weaker" sounding bass) It came with an original hardcase in good condition. This is by far the heaviest bass I have ever laid hands on, and it really can Hurt your shoulder after a couple of hours standing up.