Price paid: £ 395
Purchased from: DV247
Sound — 8
Initial impression was that of a "bright" sound but. The supplied strings did NOT do it justice and they went straight away and fitted a set of Hofner short scale strings (yes, they do fit) and bingo! Play mainly blues "style" and it took me a little while to settle into its tone and get things adjusted right. It's capable of good dynamic range if hit hard with plenty of "edge", bottom end could be described as neutral and distinct, no boom or wooliness just full and rich, impressive. The tone control could perhaps have a little more range but I'm not that fussed, it's usually fully off anyway.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a beautiful bass and I love it. This and my Ibanez ARTB100 (also short scale) I own have become my basses of preference. It seems Ibanez are producing some real affordable beauties from China! To be honest this wasn't my first choice when I first looked around for a semi-acoustic bass but I definately made the right choice for my bluesy style of playing. It looks great and sounds great. Consider changing the original strings if you get one as mine were poor. If I lost it I would want another one.
Reliability & Durability — 8
There's little to wrong here and nothing's broken yet after many hours of playing. The paintwork still looks great and the gold hardware hasn't discoloured yet. I've taken it out many times on its own and never worried about it. I have no doubt it'll last fine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I find it difficult to find any fault with this bass. Paintwork 1st class and setup nearly spot on, slight adjustment to the neck needed, nut action perfect and action possibly a little high for me, but that's my preference. Only bad thing was the original strings that really didn't work for me, they also had bad intonation. Once replaced problems solved.
Features — 9
When I first saw this bass I was staggered by the quality of finish and it really is a beautiful instrument and made in China too! It looks like a real expensive instrument. This short scale bass is a delight to play. My transparent brown example has gold hardware (not my 1st choice) but I have to say it's pretty cool. The semi-hollow body is solid and strong although volume levels are pretty low when not plugged in (as you might expect). The passive electronics consist of single volume and tone, a three way Switch selects either or both humbucker pickups, it's kind of minimalistic but I love it. The Gibralter tailpiece and bridge look great and the Gotoh style machine heads work very well. All hardware, including humbuckers, are gold. One nice feature is a "flip over" style truss rod adjuster cover. Not that you'll be wanting to use it that often (hopefully).