Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Sword's Music (Ft. Worth, TX)
Sound — 8
I play a lot of Metal, and it sounds really thick. When finger-picking, it sounds really deep and tight, and when using a pick, the sound has a nice bite to it. Thus far, I have only used the 15W Fender "Rumble" amp that came with the gig pack, but I have a Line6 UX2 that I will be using. I don't notice a lot of background "electrical" noise, regardless of setting.
Overall Impression — 8
I play Metal. This bass can certainly pound out the notes, and sounds good doing it. I have been "playing" bass guitar for 4 days, but standard electric guitar for over two years. The rest of the gear I own is all guitar-related, but I can use my Line6 UX2 with the bass. There is nothing I wish I had asked prior to receiving this product, other than to have asked for it sooner! This gig pack is an Xmas gift from my wife. If this guitar was stolen, I'd be upset. Not only because it is a gift from my wife, but it is a high quality instrument, especially for its price. I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't upgrade if given the opportunity, because we all like to have the best of things, but I would not hesitate to replace this bass guitar with the same exact thing! I love the neck's slickness/radius, tight tone, deep finish on the body, weight, and of course, the price! I hate the location of the knob which is closest to the G-string. While using a pick, my finger is constantly hitting the knob. I also don't like the few "edgy" frets, sloppy looking nut, height of the string action, or low E-string hitting the neck-pickup from time to time, but all of those issues can probably be remedied with a proper setup. Prior to receiving this gift, I had played and compared the instruments included in gig packs offered by Gibson, Dean, Ibanez, B.C. Rich, and Rogue, and in overall fit, finish, playability, and quality, they don't even come close. The only things I wish this guitar had are things that can be fixed with a proper setup; lower string action, a few fret edges smoothed out, and possibly the cut of the nut worked on, if need be.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm not sure whether this guitar will withstand live playing, or not. I don't plan on playing live, so I can't answer that question. I've only had the guitar for about a few days, but the hardware seems sturdy enough to do the job. The strap buttons are located in optimal positions, and the guitar balances nicely while standing. Personally, I think I could certainly depend on this guitar without a backup if I chose to gig. I've been playing guitars for a few years, and I certainly feel that this guitar exceeds its price in overall quality and playability. The finish on the body is excellent. In fact, it's SIGNIFICANTLY better than the finish on my Warmoth "custom" guitar, which was painted at Warmoth's factory ($295 paint-job). The finish on the neck leaves a little bit to be desired, as the back of the neck feels slick and glossy, but the front and back of the head seem to have some thin areas.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The string action is what I would estimate to be about 1/4 inch high. Given that this is my first bass, I'm not sure how the pickups should be adjusted, but I did manage to have the E-string make contact with the pickup on a few occasions. The bridge appears to be properly routed, and straight. The only flaws I noticed were a few "edgy" frets, but not sharp enough to slice a finger. The nut is "messy" looking. I'm not sure if it's glue, dirt, or something else. It also appears to be cut quite shallow. There's a slight blemish on the fretboard, which looks like a scuff mark, but upon running my finger over it, it did not feel rough, or like the guitar had been damaged, or lacking a dressing. All of the hardware is in good shape, and the control knobs are tight and direct. The tuning pegs seem to be fairly accurate.
Features — 8
Not sure what year it was made, but made in Indonesia 20 frets Passive electronics Fender "Jazz" body style Two volume controls and 1 tone control Two single pickups Part of a gig pack including 15W Fender "Rumble" amp, chord, instructional DVD, tuner, and strap