Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
I play a bit of old country, and bit of jazz from time to time. I usually stick to classic rock though. A friend of mine used this bass a few times to play some thrash/speed metal as well. I play through a 70's Kustom II Head, and an unknown year Vintage Peavey 115 cab. Occasional use of a cheapy chorus pedal when it's called for. It fits my musical style fairly well, though with the active electronics you can get many different tones out of it. It's quiet as far as extra noises go (or at least it was until I started messing with the electronics anyway). I never did like the blend knob, but that is just personal preference, it works fine. I'm giving it an 8, but only because you have to play with the settings every time you want to change your tone. Switches and non-stacked pots would have been much nicer.
Overall Impression — 8
Playing mostly classic rock, this bass' sound fits in well. Though it doesn't always look the part... This was my first bass, so I've been playing for five years now. If it were stolen somebody would have hell to pay. Failing that, I would try hard to find another. I like the phoenix better than the dragon, so I would look for one exactly like mine. I like the sound, and the playability, but the controls and bridge were not high on my list. I have started changing out the controls for something more to my liking, but the active wiring doesn't make it simple. I've had a few other basses, but of the modern one's I've had this is my favorite. My current player is late 60's Aria violin bass, but only because the sound is a better fit with what I'm playing, and it actually has a pickup selector switch. Overall would be an 8.5, but that is not an option.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The paint and clearcoat are nice and thick, and the black body color would be easy to touch up should anything happen. The hardware lasts ok. I had my E tuner lose one of the bushings at the head itself. And while you can't easily find replacements the same color, you could get a cheap set of tuners and switch the bushings over. I elected to just get black ones to match the other new hardware on the bass. The strap buttons are nice, but the bass seemed determined to leap to freedom every chance it got. I think it may have been due to the body design, or maybe I just have a crappy strap. Either way, strap locks were the first upgrade I did. While I have gigged it without a backup, it's not a good idea. First, being an active bass the battery likes to die at the least opportune moment(and takes a couple minutes to change). Second, I don't like to gig without a backup anyway, but my other bass was in a million pieces at the time. Having owned the bass for five years, and the only necessary repairs having been the one tuner, I would say it lasts well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I got it, it wasn't set up at all. It was put together nicely however, so the set-up may have just been because it was a 2nd. All of the routing is good, and the inlay work is tight. The frets were nice as well, and it didn't take long to have it playing fairly good. The mono-rail bridge is a massive pain to set up (in my opinion at least), and was subsequently replaced with a more traditional style bridge. The plastic nut isn't the best quality, but not the worst I've dealt with. Changing the battery is easy (two screws), but not as easy as I would like for a gig bass. I would have preferred the battery holder with just the clip to open it.
Features — 9
First off, my bass is actually the Luna Phoenix. It's all functionally the same as the Andromeda Dragon however. I bought this bass used around 5 years ago from a seller on eBay. It was a factory second, though the only thing I could find wrong was a small scratch on the back. It has a mono-rail style bridge, a MM bridge pickup, a J bass neck pickup, and sperzel style tuners. The electronics are active with one volume, a blend, and a stacked pot with high & low boost/cut. It has an interesting body shape, with a much longer upper horn than most basses. It has a fairly small body and is comfortable to play. The string spacing is narrow at the nut, making playing there very easy, and it is more "normal" at the bridge. The scale length is 34". The fretboard inlays are the phases of the moon, and there is huge, alabone phoenix inlay taking up a good chunk of the body. The hardware is a matte aluminum color, which while cool isn't easily matched. It was made in China.