Price paid: £ 500
Purchased from: Chamberlain Music
Sound — 9
Like any Soundgear series bass, this easily suits any genre of music. The 3 band EQ has got you covered for any tone you could think of, and you can quickly change the tone dramatically with the balance control. It is capable of thumping P-Bass style sounds, woody Thunderbird tones and rich, near-Musicman quality brightness. Great Acoustic sound as well, with fantastic sustain and clear notes that will ring out. With the EQ completely balanced it can be a bit of a challenge to get a clear growl out of the low B without the G sounding too harsh. A little fiddling with the EQ and even pickup height can sort that out straight away.
Overall Impression — 8
As a 5 string bass, I'm not sure they come much better than this, especially for the price. The neck is very fast and very thin. However, it is just not for me. Mainly because I really don't need the low B. It's fantastic fun to play, even if I don't use it live. The string spacing is a bit of an issue for me, brilliant for my fretting hand, not so much for my plucking hand. Picking can prove a bit more difficult, and slapping definitely requires a lot of accuracy. Just as a note, the body feels so damn sexy. The curves and contours. My God.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't used this bass live (for reasons I'll explain later) but it is very sturdy. Very well put together. I imagine for live use it would be heavenly, due to its amazing light weight and unbelievable playability. I would take extra care with the finish though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Not being bought from a shop, it wasn't brilliantly set up. By no means was it badly set up, though. It was unboxed with superb low action, and the intonation was spot-on. I did however get a bit of fret buzz around the 8th fret on E and had to adjust the truss rod. No big deal, but perhaps not so for relative newcomers to the instrument. Pickups were fairly low, I prefer high pickups for a very high output. Again, not a problem. Otherwise perfect out of the box.
Features — 10
- Made in 2010 in Indonesia. - 24 Medium frets. Maple fretboard. - 5 piece neck made from Jatoba and Bubinga. - Mahogany body. - Brown Mahogany Finish. - Bartolini MK1 split coil soapbar passive pickups. - Active 3 Band EQ. Volume, pickup balance and mid frequency controls. - Two allen keys included, for the truss rod and bridge.