Vantage 4 review by Retrovibe

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Retrovibe: Vantage 4

Price paid: £ 234

Purchased from:

Sound — 7
I play alot of different styles and this bass works for all of them. It doesn't cope with lower tuning too well (for example I use drop B quite often) but I think that may be down to me still using the strings it cam with, which I'm guessing are 45 gauge. So I'm going to upgrade it to some 55 gauge strings as soon as I can. I'm currently using a Line 6 spider IV 15, which is normally intended for guitars but it works just fine with this bass. I tend to stick to a clean sound with that bass at 50%, mid at about 75% and the treble on full. But I occasionally go on to the crunch setting wit bass all the way off and the treble and mid on full, I only really use this for white stripes. My other bass is a 1990's El Degas Precision Bass and the Retrovibe blows it away, for both playability and sound. The jazz pickup is very good and the humbucker is incredible. I doubt there are any genres you can't play with this bass. I had never considered a maple fret board, but after getting this bass I would definitely consider getting one again, it has such a good rich sound. The sounds can go abit distorted if you have the volume on the humbucker too high, but that isn't that big of a problem.

Overall Impression — 7
I play alot of different stuff, but I mainly play metal and rock. This bass is matched perfectly to all of that. I've been playing for about 3 years now and I've had alot of difficulty fining a bass that works well for all styles and is affordable (I was Looking at Warwick corvettes until I noticed the price). If it was stolen I would want to try and get another one, but seeing as they are so limited that would be difficult. I would probably go for a Thunderbird or ATK, from I've experienced of them I reckon they would be suitable replacements. The only thing I dislike about it is how the edge can sometimes dig into my arm when I'm playing, but this will hopefully go away as a wear in the bass more.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this bass could withstand anything I can throw at it live, it's very well constructed and I wouldn't be worried about throwing it about. I was worried about the strap buttons at first because on my Precision Bass the strap kept on falling of but I haven't had any issues so far. I wouldn't bother with a back up for this bass, it doesn't need one. But if I had to choose a back up I'd probably have something like a Music Man or an Ibanez ATK. The finish will almost definitely last, but I quite like the weathered instrument look so I wouldn't mind abit of wearing here an there.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
All that needed doing out of the box was for it to be tuned up. The action was perfect. The pickups are at just the right height for me (about 1 cm away from the strings). There is only one flaw with the finish on the bass and this is a Very small black line on the neck joint, to be honest I wouldn't have noticed it if the guy selling it to me hadn't pointed it out to me. The finish is beautiful, especially on the back of the body. The Electronics are all on the front, so the back of the body is just this one uninterrupted expanse of whiteness.

Features — 9
I think it was made in 2012 but I'm not sure, it's made in China. It's a 20 fret maple neck with a maple fret board and has a 34 inch scale length. The body is made from bass wood and I wasn't quite sure of this wood, but it has a great sound. I got the arctic white model, which features a black binding and black scratch plate. It looks amazing. It has a similar shape to a Rickenbacker 4003 or 4001, which works very well for my playing style (I have the neck tilted upwards slightly). The bass features a MM-style bridge and it has an incredible amount of sustain. The electronics are passive but I don't think the sound would benefit too much from actives. It has a 3 way selector switch (like you would find on a Les Paul) and a tone and volume control knob for each pickup. I'm not sure of the make of pickups, but at the neck it has a single jazz pick up which is great for stuff like green day, queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers and MGMT. At the bridge there is a humbucker pickup, which is incredibly loud and has a very thick sound. I normally use this one for stuff like avenged sevenfold and slipknot. I use both pickups for System Of A Down, Coal Chamber and Primus. All I know about the tuners is that they are open gear. It included a few alan keys for adjustments and a cable.

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