Price paid: $ 175
Purchased from: Music Maker
Sound — 9
I play a wide variety (Contemporary Christian to R and B) and the bass suits all of these. I like a deep, "bassy" sound, which usually means I set the tone to full bass, crank up the neck p/u, and crank down the bridge p/u. If I need more treble, (such as early Motown), I simply reverse these settings. I play through a Fender Rumble 100 (2x10) and they really sound great together.
Overall Impression — 10
Although I started playing guitar at age 5, this was the first bass I'd ever played. I bought this to crossover and wanted a quality instrument to learn on at a fair price. I also tried out the Affinity P-Bass, but didn't like it. The P had one p/u that buzzed lightly and a control knob about to fall off. Plus, I love the color (metallic red) of my J-Bass. I think what I like most about the J is the overall value. It's a solid instrument that looks good and plays well. I think it actually plays easier than Squier's Jazz Bass. In fact, after playing a Fender Jazz Bass (Standard), the J is pretty close! If you're considering a bass to learn on, or to have as a spare, I think this is an excellent choice. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
Reliability & Durability — 9
As with most things, you get what you pay for. Would I go on tour with this guitar alone? Probably not. Then again, I don't see myself going on tour. Will I gig it locally without a backup? Yes. Take care of your equipment, and it'll take care of you.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory settings were way off. The action was insanely high and the intonation was way off. For $30, it's much more playable, although lowering the action did reveal a few high frets. I didn't have the pickups adjusted. The overall fit and finish was really pretty good. Aside from the set-up, all the electronics work, no scratches or dings, and it's a pretty solid instrument. Given proper care, it should last for many many years. I'm sure the electronics, nut, and fingerboard could be upgraded for a really nice axe. However, when I'm able, I plan to upgrade to a Fender Jazz Bass.
Features — 9
This guitar is actually called a "J-Bass," as opposed to a "Jazz Bass," although I'm sure most people can figure that out. Mine is a 2009 Model made in China, 20 frets with a Rosewood fingerboard. The body is made of Alder with a poly finish (metallic red). The split pickups are passive. The controls are indiviual volume and overall tone. No accessories were included.