SPB-57 FL review by SX

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.5 (2 votes)

Price paid: $ 109

Purchased from: Rondomusic.com

Sound — 10
I was quite surprised by the sound of this thing. I play just about everything from praise and worship music to metal, and even some jazz and blues. The bass suits them all just fine, like a good P-Bass should. It's dead quiet for the most part... there's a little hum when I have the tone knob wide open, likely due to the lack of shielding, but it's not bad. I use it with distortion, chorus, and occasionally a DigiTech GNX3. The sound quality and tone is comparable to any Fender Precision bass, but it's not Vintage sounding. It's very hot and modern sounding, but still quite mellow due to the lack of frets. It's as versatile as any P-Bass, which is to say that it has one basic tone that can be altered to fit just about any style... it's very responsive to the tone knob. Overall, it exceeded my every expectation in this area.

Overall Impression — 10
This bass is an excellent match for me. I've been playing for about four years and own two other basses (a Squier MB-5 and Samick AB-2), n old Sears guitar, and a Carvin SBR410 half-stack, along with some random effects and practice amps. There's not really anything I wished I had asked about before I got it...it was exactly what I was after. If this were stolen or lost, I would likely buy a similar one, but this particular model is out of production. My favorite thing about the bass has to be the feel. It fits my hand very well, and the finish isn't sticky like some other gloss necks. The worst thing about it is probably the how input jack feels. My favorite feature is that the truss rod is exposed like a Fender, rather than having a cover that masks an unpainted access hole like many other low-priced instruments. This makes adjustments quite easy compared to my other two basses. I picked this bass because I wanted a fretless P Bass, and this was the only one that I could find within my price range. There really wasn't anything else to compare it to. If I could add something, it would probably be a J pickup at the bridge, but it's really not necessary.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This instrument has already withstood quite a bit of playing, both Live and in the bedroom, and I'm confident that it will withstand a lot more. The hardware is nothing special, but it's not flimsy at all and I would expect it to last quite a while. The strap buttons are solid and hold my $5 nylon strap well. I believe that this is a dependable bass, and I would confidently gig it without a backup, though I don't normally do so. The only thing that I can think of that would go wrong would be a loose solder joint, and they all look solid to me. The finish is quite thick and feels very solid and I don't expect it to come off anytime soon.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It came with a decent setup. A bit high, but good enough that I didn't bother to adjust it until three months and four gigs later. More of a preference thing, really. The pickups were a bit high, but not too bad. Again, it was nothing that required immediate attention. The body is a 3-piece, and like most any low-budget instrument they didn't pay much attention to matching the grain up. The routing is a bit big around the pickup, but it's all under the pickguard so it doesn't matter. There are no flaws that affect playability. The ones that exist are minor; The nut has small burs on the side from whatever process was used to manufacture it, the finish has a small uneven spot on the side of the neck (color only, I can't feel it), and the input jack feels strange when I plug a cord in, like it's not shaped right in there. Again, none of this affects functionality. For what I paid, I could have done a lot worse.

Features — 9
Made in China, 2007. It's fretless with 20 fret markers, 34" scale and a fairly meaty neck that you'd expect from a P Bass. The body is a 3-piece chunk of alder. The website lists it as having a photo-flame top, but I'm pretty sure there's no top on there. The neck is maple with a maple fingerboard and what appear to be black plastic position markers, though I don't know for sure. The body is a well-done 3-tone sunburst, with a typical thick polyurethane finish and W/B/W pickguard. The neck is also finished in poly, fingerboard included, and has a Vintage tint to it. (not the typical day-glo Orange, thankfully) The body is a typical P-Bass copy of average weight. It has a passive split pickup with volume and tone, same as any standard P-Bass. The tuners are generic SX models, and really aren't bad. They aren't Hipshots or anything, but they stay in tune, don't have any slack, and are fairly accurate. It came with warranty information and 4mm and 1.5mm hex-keys, for the truss rod and bridge respectively... a nice touch, I thought. It was strung with what I believe are D'Addarrio flatwound strings. Overall it's of excellent quality for what I paid, and has everything that I would expect from a P Bass.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mutant Corn
    Wait...what? UG did some editing for some reason. Should be GNX3000, not GNX3. It's also worded funny in the sound section...it sounds like a modern Fender, not a modern bass in general.