Price paid: £ 160
Purchased from: Simply Music (small store)
Sound — 8
Well at the moment I'm playing all kinds of music and it can be used for near enough all of them, I just fiddle around with the volume on the pickups and then see what I can find. At the moment I'm using it with an Ashdown MAG300 combo which I find makes it sound rather lovely, with a little bit of compression it turns into a monster. The main problem with the sound is that the jazz pickup is slightly noisy with an annoying quiet hum, it's not noticeable in a band but when practicing I tend to mute the jazz pickup and use solely the Precision one. I've found I can make all the sounds I want with the bass but it isn't versatile enough to get the nice punchy sound of a Fender P-Bass or the slightly muddy tone of a bass with a humbucker. However it's done me fine since I've got it.
Overall Impression — 8
This bass works well with the styles I play and I have to say it's up for replacing very soon, a year in service isn't bad for a 160 bass! At the moment I've been playing around a year and a half (March '07)but I do wish I asked for it to be set up when I was in the store (too shy to ask) and it would have saved me the return trip 30 minutes later! If this bass got stolen I would probably be upset due to the memories on it but I would probably get myself the bass I'm currently after and then buy another one as a backup! I don't know what it is but no matter how much I try to doubt this bass it always comes back and wins my heart by doing something amazing like giving me the sudden urge to play something I've never attempted before or composing something I never thought I could. When I was buying this I was comparing it to the Squier standard P & J basses but even though I liked them there was something about this that I loved. But if I was starting now with bass I'd probably get myself a Squier Vintage Modern Jazz as there pretty amazing but nothing compared to my lovely bass.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've used this for gigging a couple of times and although I thought the battery was going at one point it continued to soldier on (which reminds me - must change that battery soon! ) without any problems. So far it's lasted fine for a year and a half which is always good, but the strap buttons could be a bit better (could be my strap) as I sometimes get the dreaded strap falling off situation at band practices which involve lots of awkward attempts fixing it. I have used this twice without backup but I have a bass to use as a backup if need be. So far the finish has had no faults apart from some general wear and tear it's all good so I expect this bass to last a long time unless I end up having some kind of freak accident!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I first bought the bass I was unhappy about a large amount of fret buzz and took it back to the store where they set it up properly and put a nice set of Rotosound strings on for free so I didn't complain. Since then there's been no problems since! Apart from a couple of buzzes here and there which I've managed to fix anyway! There were no cosmetic or playability faults other than the bad set up and humming of the jazz pickup which is always good!
Features — 7
I believe my bass was made in 2006 between March and May(not entirely sure, need to check the dating website again). It's a 22 fret bass with what feel like fairly small frets they certainly don't feel like the jumbo frets on my guitar. it's got a nice solid top and the body is agathis, overall agathis is a fairly average wood for budget bass guitars, personally I prefer it to basswood. The neck I don't have much idea on the material but I could show a guess at it being maple but... I don't know. The bridge is a pretty bog-standard Ibanez one according to Ibanez it's the 'B10' bridge. The body has a nice modern feel to it, and personally find it really comfortable. The electronics are active and in the year and a half I've owned it had no problems with the battery going but I keep meaning to change it. The controls have the standard volume for each pickup (jazz and Precision pickups)a tone and a EQ control that personally I don't use and would prefer to use the EQ on my amp, but that's just me. The pickups are a Precision in the central position and a jazz pickup at the bridge position these pickups are alright, nothing compared to anything up market but for the bass there decent. The tuners are good, they hold it in tune for ages I went on holiday for a month over the summer and it was still in tune when I got back, my other bass falls out of tune in days let alone weeks! When I bought it all I got was a Rockbag case and no documentation, I was a little bit annoyed about it but there was nothing I could do really. I'm giving this a 7 because it's good for what I paid for but it's nothing to write home about.