Purchased from: Amazon
Features — 9
Year and Place of Manufacture: 2016 in Indonesia.
This is a 6-string bass tuned one octave lower than a standard guitar (EADGbe), which allows for some interesting possibilities. The neck is maple with a rosewood top and 21 medium frets. The neck scale is 30 inches, which allows for much easier maneuvering than what one would expect from a typical bass. The body is a maple solid-top, which I got in a black satin finish. The body shape is a version of the Jaguar-style, which looks classic, yet flashy enough.
The tuners are non-locking, but they're actually pretty good.
The bridge is adjustable with a non-floating tremolo (yes, this bass can whammy!). However, this is a weakness we'll get to later.
The electronics are passive, but there's plenty of options provided! There are three single coil pickups, and each of these can be individually turned on or off by correlating switches on the body on the upper part of the pickguard. There is also a fourth switch that's essentially used to deaden the bass frequencies picked up in order to give the instrument a more guitar like tone. This is especially useful for playing chords, as the low frequencies can really make chords sound not-so-good. These switches are paired with a volume knob and a tone knob.
The features on this thing are crazy for a bass.
Sound — 10
If you play with the controls, you can get any type of sound for any genre you could think of. It can do low thumping all the way to high-pitch, distorted bass shredding.
I played mine through a Peavey Max 115 and used a Zoom 2.1u, Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, DigiTech Bad Monkey, and a Dunlop Crybaby Wah. I put it through its paces by first playing some arpeggiated chord progressions to see how well it could articulate the notes. It did not disappoint. I then played chords both clean and with different types of distortion, and again, it delivered clear, defined tones. As for typical basslines, those weren't an issue either. Slap/pop, pick, or finger style, it sounded great.
There is one big issue I experience, and that's a buzzing from the bridge. Again, we'll get to this.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action was poorly set-up, but I'm willing to blame that on Amazon more than the factory. Everything else was properly set up, except for the neck pickup that I had to raise a bit to get more response from.
This is where the bridge is the big issue with this bass. This is one fucking noisy bridge. It will rattle if the strings are plucked or picked too hard. It's not too noticeable through the amp, but the player sure notices it. There are replacement bridges for this guitar by StayTrem, so it's definitely a recommendation to swap this part out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Despite the bridge, everything on this bass seems to be incredibly solid. It's withstood me doing fairly deep whammies and really giving it a good thumping. Be aware with the tremolo that with the stock bridge, going too deep will put at least one string out of tune about half a step. Nothing major, especially since you really shouldn't dive-bomb with this type of tremolo system, but be aware. Moving around, I didn't worry about the strap buttons failing me, and I still ogle this baby even a couple of months after purchasing it.
This has Fender reliability with a Squier price; I wouldn't be stressed about gigging with it.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I'm very impressed with what this bass is for the price. I definitely love its versatility, which it has in spades. I've been playing for 10 years now, and I don't think I've had this much fun with a piece of gear since I got my first bass processor. The only complaint I have is the damn stock bridge, but again, this is an easy replacement to do.
I'd be devastated if I lost this one, and I highly recommend it to any bassist or even guitarists looking to expand their sounds and experiment.