Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: crazydavesmusic (Ebay)
Features — 8
This bass was made in Indonesia in 2012 and has lived its life so far as a floor model that the shop finally decided to move on-line.
The specs are pretty easy to wrap your head around:
- 24 X-Jumbo Frets: I find these to be VERY good for allowing your hand to develop accuracy along big slides, they poke up just enough to get a nice grip of the distance travelled and this is especially useful on stage. The frets seem well finished on the edges as well, which is nice on a cheaper product.
- Rosewood Fretboard: We all know and love it, easy to find and cheap to make. I oiled mine recently since the change in climate had dried it out a little bit, a little bit of lemon oil later and it was sparkly and beautiful with quite nice wood grain highlights.
- Schecter tuners: A little bit hit and miss at times. I really don't look forward to using this one on stage in a pinch since it can fluctuate 10 cents either way with small movements.
- S-Tek Bridge: I don't mind this so far, and I think the individual saddles are a great idea. However, they seem a little unintuitive with the design in regards to having easy access for adjusting without pulling all of your strings off.
- Mahogany body: A reasonable weight with the Mahogany but unfortunately the shape of the bass doesn't let it sit nicely on your lap, it tends to slide off. Standing up isn't too bad though, it will get a little strenuous over about an hour, so be prepared to find a nice strap.
- 2x EMG 40HZ active pickups (Bridge and Neck) with 2 band EQ: I immediately dumped the treble down to 0 when I heard these suckers spank. They are BRIGHT! But I think for a lot of people that could be a great thing for cutting through the mix. More on that in sound.
- Knobs: The knobs can tend to come loose a little bit with the set screw construction, don't be alarmed since they do take quite a bit to come completely off!
Bits and pieces that only need a small summary from my experience:
- Flat Top
- Thin C Neck Contour
- Dual Truss Rods with 2 way adjusting screws. - A bit confusing at first
- Graph Tech XL Black
- 35" Scale - allows the B string quite a nice taught feel.
- 16" Radius (406mm) Feels similar to the curvature that my Ibanez guitars have, definitely a fan of this.
Came with Ernie Ball 6 string super longs, I'm glad I changed over to DR at this stage since the Ernie Ball's died pretty quickly!
Sound — 7
My style is progressive, so I tend to fluctuate quite a bit between thick distortion and mellow punches. The EMGs tend to cover it pretty well, but as I mentioned before - I'm glad there's a treble knob. The blend knob is useful for achieving a variety of tones out of just 2 pick ups. At the end of my video previously mentioned there is a play through of the main 3 options (Neck/Both/Bridge).
My main source of noise making is Guitar Rig 5 through a Presonus Firebox for home practice. In the studio it's an Axefx and live it's an Ampeg... 52R? It's quite a drive a way at the moment so please excuse my memory. So far I've only detected noise in the treble boost, but that's to be expected. When the bass EQ knob is cranked it can shake the floor/roof/walls and anything else that needs to shake!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It came BEAUTIFULLY set up for my preference which is legato and general laziness on the left hand. Nice low strings and almost no buzz whatsoever. However that has since gone downhill with the change in climate. Thanks to the dual truss rods I've been able to tweak the treble strings to get back to how it was when it arrived. I can't really speak for the adjustment in the pick ups since I have no reference for comparison.
All of the hardware seems to fit properly with no corners cut (except for where they're supposed to be) and there's been no substitution in quality. The only qualm I have is that the top seems a little bit 'fake' looking if you compare it to other basses with a textured finish. No big complains over here though!
Reliability & Durability — 7
At this stage it's my go-to bass. It'll be my best friend on tour and I'm confident it won't have any problem living up to it. I kind of hope the finish will wear down a little bit, but that's a personal aesthetic preference. The strap buttons have to go, although they're wide - I don't trust them and neither should you. Who doesn't have strap locks any more?
I'm not entirely sure about the longevity of this bass, although in my group of friends that have/do own this bass, I'm yet to hear a complaint. Those guys mainly use it to play metalcore/thrash and generally flog it pretty hard. Out of all of the shows I've been to of theirs I'm yet to see ANY issues with the bass.
Overall Impression — 7
For my style, this bass will definitely do the job until an upgrade into the higher market makes its calling! My incorporation of bass has only been in the last 6 months, but I've been playing guitar for 10 years and teaching for 6 of them. Throughout that time I've taught a few bass students with my limited knowledge and then passed them on to a more qualified teacher. Compared to my previous Ibanez SR 5 string, I truly believe I've upgraded but I can definitely see room for improvement.
Overall, if you're going to steal my bass, I'd rather you didn't and buy your own one (that's how that works right?). Please consult the video below and leave comments there if you want me to answer anything else in more detail since the "train of thought" typing usually ends up missing a few things.