Price paid: £ 30
Purchased from: Abraxus
Features — 7
No model number or any other identifying features which normally is a bad sign. It's a Warlock shape design so it's a copy of a B.C. Rich Warlock bass guitar. These are made in China and the price indicates the use of cheaper electronics such as passive circuits. Despite the circuitry the bass itself handles well. The frets are well made and give a good sound including the regular problem of buzz on the top strings in the first to third positions.
Very little information available on the Warlock Wesley basses. The fingerboard appears to be rosewood and like the frets the finger board gives a good response to playing. It has a Floyd-Rose bridge style and surprisingly for a cheap bass it has 2 tone controls and a 3 way pole tone switch.
Sound — 7
Good solid sound nothing spectacular it has a mid range tone. Fret buzz is a problem until the bridge screws are adjusted. I often play through my old Demon amp which is designed for playing guitars but it s useful for practicing on and it doesn't matter if it gets damaged. However so far its held up to to a bass guitar going through it. No noise problems such as humming.
I use my bass as a 4-string version of a lead guitar to get a feel of a new piece of music including the soloing you would perform between fret 7 and 15. Having the greater space afforded by 4 strings instead of 6 helps master a piece before transferring to the guitar. I've tried running my guitar boxes through it but the response is usually poor as the pedals are designed to respond to the higher guitar pitches.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As this is second hand the action was already largely correct. The pickups work fine consisting of 2 boxes together and a third closer to the bridge. No flaws I can find on this guitar I'm choosy about what I buy in terms of the quality if I can get it at a cheap price. There is no noise on this guitar which for a cheap brand is impressive. The back of the neck appears to be spruce wood it has a very good and clean feel to it really nice to play. The rosewood fingerboard has withstood years of playing without any deterioration. I've never replaced the strings and they still sound clean and full.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Playing this guitar with no problems. It lasted through more than one owner without any blemishes. My folky guitar strap has come away from the strap buttons a few times so it needs adjustment first. In terms of gigging as bass is not my main instrument I can rely on this and have never had any problems with sound cut outs. Due to lack of information I'm not sure how old this guitar is but I've had it for nearly 6 years and it was probably built in the 1990s. Its condition looks as good as the day after it was made.
Overall Impression — 9
It's a Warlock design which is an incentive to buy it. Most people who own a Wesley bass have a design similar to a straocaster and often complaining about it and how they sold theirs in a few months. All the pictures I have seen have been of a perspex transparent bass whereas mine is a black wooden Warlock bass. Maybe I have a better quality model. I've had this bass for 5 years since I found it in the junk shop across the road from the 2 studios I've worked at in Deptford.
I like the feel and tactile nature of the bass and this has that quality. There's nothing I dislike about it. I would prefer a better and fuller bass tone and some more controls and a wider bass neck, but for £30 I got a good deal and all the improvements I would want would also cost a lot more money. I'm so satisfied with my Wesley that if I lost it I would replace it it was cheap and if it was another Warlock. I would be wary of other Wesley bass models