Price paid: $ 189
Purchased from: The Recording Store
Sound — 8
I play classic rock and a little country. The pickups can easily be dialed in to suit either genre. I'm currently using it with a Behringer BX1200 bass amp. This is a pretty low-end amp but produces an acceptable sound for now until I can upgrade it. The pickups are very quiet. Even the single coil J-bass pickup is fairly noise-free. The bass came with roundwound strings, but I prefer flats and installed a set of Daddario Chromes. The sound suits me very well. You give up some treble with flats, but I get a more authentic classic rock sound. One obvious downside to the flats is that it is hard to get that Jazz Bass growl with flats, but I rely much more heavily on the P-Bass sound anyway. It's just nice to have the security of that second pickup should the P-Bass pickup die in the middle of a gig. You can also get more treble out of the J-bass pickup, which can come in handy on certain songs.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing the 6-string electric guitar for over 35 years but have only been playing bass for about 5 years now. I started out with an inexpensive Ibanez bass, which was a good beginner's guitar, but it was long-scale, which felt clumsy to me. I switched to a short-scale Gibson EB0, which was imminently more playable, but I felt constrained by the single pickup and neck dive is an issue with the EB0. I had played numerous Samick/Greg Bennett 6-string electric guitars and been impressed with how well they were made to be such an inexpensive instrument. I decide to gamble on the Corsair 13 and it has paid off well for me. I wanted a P-Bass sound, but didn't want to spend a fortune on a short-scale Fender P-Bass or Mustang. I compared the sound of the Corsair's P-Bass pickup with a Fender P-bass. In my opinion there would be more difference between amps than between the pickups themselves. The sound was very similar when played through the same amp. The Corsair is getting the job done for me very well. I would not hesitate to buy another Corsair if my current one got stolen or lost. I looked at several other basses before settling on the Corsair, but the Corsair had all the features I wanted at a sub-$200 price. My favorite features are how fast the action is coupled with the light weight and what I consider to be a good P-Bass sound. The only criticism I have is that the upper horn with the strap button is perhaps a tad longer than it needs to be. Otherwise, it's about perfect for me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a very solid guitar. While impossible to accurately predict, I think it should last a long time, based on other Greg Bennett models I am acquainted with. It's light enough for an old geezer like myself to gig with at length. I always carry a backup, but so far have not had to use it. The Duncan Designed pickups appear to be a solid piece of gear, and I've had no problems thus far with scratchy pots or knobs falling off. The strap buttons are securely installed, and a big plus is that they are large enough that I don't need strap locks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I had to lower the action a bit, but the adjustable bridge was easy to adjust with a small screwdriver. The intonation was a bit off as well, but easily adjusted with the same small screwdriver. The neck was straight, the frets came leveled nicely from the factory, and the action playability is as least as good as a Fender MIM P-bass. All the routing was done nicely and I have yet to find any flaws. The pickups required no adjustment. The finish is perfect. The balance is very nice as well with no neck dive. In fact, it balances just a tad rearward, but even a slick nylon strap holds it perfectly in place. Since I also play a 6-string electric guitar, a short-scale bass like this one suits me better for switching back and forth. Most people prefer long-scale basses, but I think the 30" scale is better for musicians who have to Switch back and forth. I don't think there is a better value for the dollar bass than this one.
Features — 8
Samick/Greg Bennet Corsair 13 bass guitar, made in 2010 in Indonesia. Nato mahogany wood body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. 30" short scale with 21 frets. Comes with a polyurethane finish in either black or metallic red colors (mine is black). Body style greatly resembles a Fender Precision bass and has a passive split P-Bass pickup, but also has a passive J-bass pickup on the bridge. Pickups are "Duncan Designed". Duncan on their web site says that Duncan Designed pickups is the name for their Korean-manufactured pickups. Tuners are 2+2 (as opposed to 4 in-line) die-cast generics. The 2+2 arrangement makes the overall length a bit shorter. Mine fits into an aftermarket Stratocaster hardshell case with room to spare. The guitar has 3 knobs. One is for the P-Bass pickup, one is for the J-bass pickup, and the third is the tone knob. You don't Switch between pickups per se. You add or subtract volume, by which I mean that if you want only the P-Bass pickup you dial up the P-Bass volume knob and turn the J-bass pickup all the way down (and vice-versa). Although a bit more complicated than a simple selector switch, this does give the ability to custom blend pickups (70% P-Bass and 30% J-bass, for example). Interestingly enough, setting both volume knobs to maximum doesn't sound quite as good as using either the P or J pickup alone.