Sound — 8
I play all sorts of different music on my bass and this guitar seems to handle all of them pretty good. Although I do find it very annoying that the strings are very close to the pickups so that they occasionally make a very loud disruptive popping sound whenever they touch each other! As well as this, the pickups seem to constantly pick up interference with other things in my bedroom; such as laptop, T.V etc... But this is just normal and nothing can be done about it. The amp I use this bass with is called a Peavey 'Micro Bass'. They seem to get on well with each other and generate a very warm sound. The only trouble I have is that I have very little control over the volume of the amp - it is constantly blowing out 20 watts! But the bass is not at fault here.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing bass for just over a year now and have been playing guitar for about 3. This bass seems to fit me very well for my range of styles which include punk, reggae and Indie. If this was to stolen/lost, I would definitely buy another one because I just love it to bits. There is nothing better which fits into the same price range as this bass. The best thing about this bass is that it seems to never go out of tune. On the other hand, I just hate the way it scratches easily and I hate the fact that I now have a missing control knob and cannot replace it in any way except for stealing one of a display model in a shop. All in all, a very good bass which suits many styles of playing which is also very affordable.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Well, lets just say this guitar is like a rock when it comes to reliability. Yes the volume control knob has fallen off, but apart from that every seems to work fine. This hardware will definitely last. It is now 3 years old and there are no signs of any rusting or anything of the sort. It seems to be built like a tank. Even when you tune it, it will stay like that for weeks, and this thing sits next to the radiator so it is constantly being heated and cooled. The strap buttons are rock solid, they are not loose at all and I have never had any problems with them. The one bad thing, is that the finish seems to scratch quite easily which is a terrible shame. But hey, if you look after it correctly, it shouldn't get that bad. I would use a back-up for this bass but I would use a back-up for whatever bass/guitar I was playing as I would never take the risk.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As I have said earlier, the strings were set very low. So low that they seemed to make contact with pickups quite often. An flaw which is very large indeed, is that one of the control knobs for volume has fallen off the body. Unfortunately I cannot find the knob and I also cannot find another knob on the internet which matches the other 3! This ruins look of the bass and makes me look as if I don't maintain my bass - which I do! On top of this, the finish of the guitar picks up dust and finger marks very easily. I end up having to give it a good wipe almost every day.
Features — 9
This model was made in 2005 although I bought it last year from an advert on the internet. It was made in China and has 22 jumbo frets which are all in perfect condition. There are 2 tone control knobs and also there are 2 volume control knobs. There are also no selector switches. The pickups are active which I feel are always important in a bass guitar. A bass guitar should not have passive pickups. These pickups that it came with do not belong to brand and they are not any model. I guess that they are just cheap Ibanez stock pickups. The bass came with a gig-bag which has no use what'soever as all it does is stop the bass from collecting dust. It has no padding at all! I am very disappointed in this.