Price paid: $ 1850
Purchased from: Aage Jensen (Denmark)
Sound — 9
The sound is really nice, and the bass is incredible for slapping. The bass really has a lot of mids, i find that I always end up boosting treble and bass a lot for a "balanced" tone. When playing with a pick I always scoop the mids to compensate for the more nasal kick a pick provides. I play through a Crate BX-50 amp. Not very good, doesn't do the bass any justice what'soever. I play a lot of death metal when I play guitar, but when I pick up this bass I end up playing progressive metal and funk instead. I have yet to try a high-end bass with a neck pickup, so I can't really rate the bass in versatily. But I do think I can make it sound the way I want it to - almost. I have yet to get the TM Stevens bass tone, but I think its just my amp that is too bad. The low B string gives me some really nice versatility when playing along normal chord-based music, and who uses the g-string anyway. :-D I tried changing to a set of standard strings, and it worked fine, no real need for a set up and everything went well. But I ended up missing my low B and strung back to the B-E-A-D string set. I give the sound a 9 because it's awesome but I can't explore beyond the limitations of my amp.
Overall Impression — 8
I play death metal and progressive metal and this bass is very good for these genres. I have played bass for 3 years and guitar for 1 years. I'm planning on upgrading my bass amp sometime in the future, to do the bass justice. I got this bass when I had played for 1 year. It cost me all my money at the time and all the money I earned the following year (I was 15!) to pay for it, but it's definitely better than a Squier or some cheapo LTD bass. I wish, however, that I had gotten a 5 string instead when I bought this bass. I really love having a low B, but missing out on the G can be quite a restriction at times. Also, when playing in standard drop tunings, the low B can just end up getting annoying since it's basically just in the way. I also wish it had a neck pickup, but that just means I have an excuse for buying another bass with those features! :-D if it was stolen or lost, I'm not sure I would buy it again. sure, its a nice bass, but you have to try something new. plus, it was very expensive. I would most likely get a custom-made Carvin or something for the same money if I had them.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I think this bass is very reliable. Never had any problems whatsoever with it. I am getting straplocks on it soon, because the strap tends to fall off whenever I hang the bass too low. The finish appears to be pretty thick, but it also appears to go off quite easily. The backside has been scratched a lot from being played with a belt on or zippers or so in the shop, but I don't mind really. It's a nice bass.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The bass is set up just fine, and I have not needed to change anything so far. However there are a couple of things I would like to mention: the finish around the frets on the side of the neck is cracked about a milimetre around every fret. It's only visual however. So no worries there, you can't see it anywhere. The other thing is: after I've had it for 2 years now, it's as if the fretboard is tearing down from the string. Maybe the fretboard is lacquered or something, but it is as if something is tearing off the frets I use the most. I've heard something like it happens when you use roundwound strings on a fretless, but this one does have frets. I'm not sure what it is. Apart from that, it is the best bass I have ever played. I'm giving it 7 due to the weird fretboard thing and the bad fretwork.
Features — 8
This bass guitar was hand-built in Germany. I'm not sure what year, but I bought it new winter 2008, so it must have been around 2006. It has a 24 fret 35" bolt-on "extra thick canadian hardrock maple" neck with an ebony fretboard. It comes set up and strung for B-E-A-D tuning (like a 5-string bass without the g-string. The body is made of Alder, and the whole bass is in a sleek matt black finish. All hardware is Sandberg handmade, even the pickup is a custom sandberg. Talking about pickups, the bass has only one pickup. It is an active pickup and comes with a Sandberg three-band EQ and an active/passive push-pull volume knob. I would personally have preferred 2 pickups instead of one, so I have to give it an 8.