Price paid: £ 185
Purchased from: soundslive.co.uk
Sound — 7
Firstly I have a crappy 26W Watson amp which doesn't so the bass any justice, however I have tried it on several occasions with much better amps which showed off a lot more of its potential. I enjoy a rich deep sound, which I'm not sure it really can do. It has an active bass boost, which is great, but it can tend to saturate the amp very easily. It only does this on the lowest string (obviously) but this can sound pretty bad when the 3 highest strings are playing fine, you move onto the lowest string an the amp saturates. I don't tend to use the bass boost often for this reason, perhaps people with bigger and better amps could play around with it. What it does do extremely well is for that funky/jazz sound. Turn the Precision volume down and the jazz pickup up, play with the tone enough and it sounds fantastic. Slapping and popping are thoroughly enjoyable on this bass. Overall I would say that it exceeds in the funky/jazz side (as mentioned) but unless you have an amp that can handle the lower bass boost then its not much better than other cheaper basses without the fancy electronics.
Overall Impression — 8
I think this guitar would be better for someone who plays more funky/jazz music, but on the whole its a great bass. Been playing for a few years now, it doesn't have that rich sound that the real fenders do, but for the price reduction it really isn't that far off. My old bass was a bog standard Stagg, China import, this cost be about x3 more but the sound quality is incomparable, what I'm saying is that (perhaps not a first time bass) but for someone like myself who's been playing for a few years now and was looking a good step up, this is certainly a great value for money bass. I did wish that I'd asked how well it would play on certain amps, and how much more did you get from this bass compared to their other product which I was considering buying, the standard Precision bass. I chose this as it was a big step up in price from the Precision bass, it had a much bigger range of sounds, which make this bass really fun to play with. I certainly don't regret buying this bass over the precision, if this bass was lost or stolen I would happily buy it again. I love it look, its funky side and just its general ability to be a great bass to play with an experiment with different styles. I don't enjoy how the bass boost only seems to boost the bottom string and as said before saturate it. My favorite part has to be the electronics, I haven't got a fancy amp or pedal, yet so far it has been able to produce all the different sounds I need. I would really like a 3-position blade. Overall if I were professional I probably wouldn't get this bass, however I would definitely recommend it to (serious) players who need something to play with an broaden their styles.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar would withstand live playing (however as mentioned before about the amp saturation I'd be very careful when using it live!) I have no problem with the hardware, the electronics have all been fine for me too. Strap buttons are completely solid, haven't budged at all since I got the guitar. Saying this I wouldn't use it without a backup (or spare batteries) as it has a habit of going through batteries quickly, the electronics are pretty power hungry. And when the battery starts to die the bass doesn't just stop working, it keeps trying (not good) as then it just flickers on and off making horrible buzzing sounds, this would be really bad happening on stage. A battery would last a gig though so really this is easily overcome by just buying new batteries per gig. Finish is great, mine hasn't scratched at all. Only things are that the neck and strings get dirty quickly and the thing is like a dust magnet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Now's a good time to mention that the reason its cheaper is because its an ex-display, so it's not like its fresh from the factory. Still from what I can tell it was assembled fine, however the strings don't wind well at the head. The neck is extremely smooth and feels great to handle. Only real problems are at the back, the plastic covering for the battery and the panel to get to the jack socket have been poorly put on. The panel is too small for the hole cut and you can see white glue patches behind it, looks very ugly. It is also pretty scratched, I don't understand how they really could have gotten it that bad really. Apart from that there is no other real problems.
Features — 8
Model Name: Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special Made in: Indonesia Color: Crimson Red Body: Agathis Body Shape: Jaguar, so it has a sleek offset-waist body Body Finish: Polyurethane Neck Shape: "C" Shape, ultra-slim Number of Frets: 20 Fret Size: Medium Jumbo Fretboard: Rosewood Neck Material: Maple Neck Finish: Polyurethane Pickup Configuration: S/S Bridge Pickup: Single-Coil Jazz Bass Pickup, Standard 4-Saddle Middle Pickup: Split Single-Coil Precision Bass pickup Special Electronics: Active Bass Boost Circuit Controls: Volume 1. (Precision Bass pickup), Volume 2. (Jazz Bass pickup), Boost, Master Tone Tuners: Non-locking No accessories included.