Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Furtados. India
Sound — 9
I mostly play Rock, Jazz, Blues and a little bit of Metal and this versatile baby suits all of it. Awesome sustain, great overall tone and the fast neck allows for easy playability. I obviously had a little difficulty switching from 4 to 5 string, but the thin neck was easy to get used to. A little bit of fine tuning on the knobs and on my Laney RB10 amp gives me any tone I want: from a low growl, a smooth bassy tone to a nice slappy treble-heavy sound for Funk which I'm learning to play. The pickups have almost no hum to them and give you lots of sound when you need it. The bass is really versatile and so far I don't have any complaints whatsoever.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing guitar for 5 years and the bass for about 18 months and I learned to play on a Fender Squire California Jazz bass. This bass comes very close to the kind of sound I'd expect from a much more expensive bass. If it were stolen or lost (God forbid!), I'd buy it again, even if I had to buy it at the store price of $450-something. Before buying, I'd compared it to my bass (obviously), some ESP, Fender and Ibanez basses - all 4-string - but this one stole my heart with the variety of sounds I could get out of it. Most people tend to ignore Samick guitars and basses, but I must say they make really good gear at almost half the prices of other brands. If this bass were a product of Ibanez or Fender I swear I wouldn't have got it below $550 at any rate. The only things I wish it had were strap-locks and humbuckers but that's just me being greedy. I'd recommend anyone this bass if they want to Switch from 4 to 5 string as it's really cheap, easy to learn and gives a nice clean sound.. I'd say it's a steal for it's price.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have a Fender California Jazz and I bought this one because I wanted to learn 5 string. The hardware is pretty basic, and I will change it in the future, but it will last. I'd definitely use this for gigs and from the few times I have played with it onstage, I know that it won't let you down. I would like strap-locks but the buttons are solid and if you don't jump around too much, they'll hold on. The finish is good and though it's only been 6 months that I've had it, I can tell that it will last if you don't throw it around and maintain it regularly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I haven't meddled with anything on the bass as it was really set up very nicely from the factory. Pickups are a little higher than I would like and my pick tends to scratch against them. The bridge and top were perfect and I haven't really had much to complain about except the pickups' height.
Features — 9
I bought this Samick GregBennett from Furtados, India for two main reasons: I wanted to learn to play 5-string and I got it really cheap at $300 (The price on the website and elsewhere is around $460). A little on the heavy side, but not heavier than those monstrous neck and back-breaking Gibson basses, this 5-string bass was made in China/Korea (not sure which) in 2009. It has a 22-fret, 34-inch scale and has a fast rosewood fingerboard. It has a double cutaway maple body and an extended bolt-on thin neck with a beautiful quilt top and has two active single coil pick-ups (neck and bridge). It has 4 chrome control knobs: Volume, Bass, Mid and Treble. And, it really looks good. Die Cast knobs which never go out of tune and came with a gig bag, strap, tools (Allen key, cleaner liquid) and a 10ft. Warwick cable (mostly stuff I convinced the salesman to throw in).