Price paid: $ 370
Purchased from: G.A. Yupanco
Sound — 9
I run this bass through my laptop with Amplitube SVX on as my preamp (Compressor+ SVT CL+ SVT-810E cab+ Vintage Dynamic20 mic), then to an old SWR Workingman's 15 bass combo amplifier. I use a Boss CE-5 from time to time to add flavor. I also use Rotosound SH-77's (Flatwound). This bass has a powerful and bright pickup that can produce thundering lows with both volume and tone settings at maximum, but just rolling the volume down a bit softens the sound up and gives it a really nice, almost fluid characteristic. Rolling the tone knob down "fattens" up the sound, the lower you go, the fatter it gets. I mainly play Heavy Metal, but I do other genres as well, depending on the needs of the current band/ artist I'm working with. The Vintage TB has such a wide range of tones that I don't even need to Switch effects, all I need to do is either roll down the volume or tone a bit to get a whole new sound. The only tonal problem I've had with this bass is that since this bass has a really powerful neck pickup, the slightest bit of Drive can give it a really driven tone (something I'm not entirely a fan of).
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing the bass for about 10/11 years give or take, and in all my years as a bassist, I've found this particular one to be the only one that's given me a sense of security, just from trying it out at the store. As I've stated above, "it's built like an 'effing tank", and it sounds absolutely fantastic; you'd be hard pressed to find a bass of the same quality under the same price range. If this bass were lost or stolen, I'd first try to track it down. Should I fail, then yes, I would definitely consider buying a replacement. I've compared this product to my own "Yamaha BBN4III", a "Dean ZMetalman", and a "Yamaha BB414". This bass won out against the ZMetalman and the BB414, but didn't match up to my BBN4III just from the sheer amount of sentimental value the it has. I wish it had a "Badass Bass II" bridge, a slimmer nut width, and a "Seymour Duncan SPB-3" in the middle position along with it's own volume and output. I just don't see why I shouldn't expand it's already wide tonal range!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definitely use this bass without a backup on stage (dare I even say, on the road!); it's built like an 'effing tank! I've hit my drummers cymbals with it quite hard a few times, and it stayed perfectly in tune. I've also held it up using nothing but the 3rd and 4th strings and it still stayed in tune!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This bass played great out of the box! The only problem I had was with the string height; I like to have my fourth string a little higher than usual, so I had to adjust that a tiny bit. Just as a matter of personal preference; I find the 1.60" nut width a bit wide since I'm used to Jazz bass styled necks (I used to use a Yamaha BBN4III). But all that aside, this instrument's a pretty solid investment, craftsmanship wise, and tone wise.
Features — 9
First introduced on April 2007. This bass was made in Indonesia with a string thorough design, a basswood body with Ash veneers on the top and back, a powerful Fender designed humbucker in the neck position, four standard open designed machine heads, simple volume and tone knobs for tonal control, and a Vintage styled 2 saddle bridge. The neck is made of solid maple, with 20 medium jumbo frets (maple fretboard), classic "C" shape neck with a polyurethane finish, and a rather wide 1.60" nut width (plastic nut). This bass didn't come with a case, I had to buy one separately. This bass would have been perfect if it only came with a Badass Bass II bridge and a Jazz bass neck; then again, at this price, Who can really complain?