High quality bass at a very affordable price.
What is your overall opinion of this product?
Having been a fan of ESP basses for years and playing in a variety of tunings I decided it best to get a neck-thru bass to suit all my needs and I'm glad I did.
What is your opinion of the quality of this product? How does it work for different genres of music?
This is a versatile bass. I play everything in the spectrum of funked-out rock to heavily distorted black metal. Works well for clean picking style or hard finger style grooves. It is built to withstand night after night on the road.
Are the features on the product what you were expecting? What are your favorite features?
All the features on this fit in to the higher end spectrum of a mid-priced instrument. I personally like the ESP soapbar pickups ans 3 band EQ, the neck-thru design, and the bridge that allows top load or string-thru. It also does a real good job staying in tune between gigs and practices.
Heavy, fast, chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
The bass certainly prefers a very low action. The jumbo frets give it a small amount of buzz along with a metallic edge to the tone but this allows for exceptional playability. The neck-through and sculpted cutaway allow access to all 24 frets. The neck is almost as thin as my Geddy Lee jazz bass but feels more solid.
How is the tone? Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick or thin?
The tone is much much more versatile than a passive bass because of the 3 band EQ and dual pickups. As mentioned previously, the jumbo frets give a metallic attack but this can be rolled off and smoothed out by lowering the treble and boosting the bass. The treble frequencies really help to cut through the mix on stage though and I personally like that. If you want to be felt more than heard that is certainly possible too by boosting the bass.
How did the stain or paint job look?
This is a great looking bass. I opted for the bubinga because it is such a wild looking wood. I must admit I'm slightly disappointed with the piece they used for my bass as it's not as swirly as the one shown here. There is no gloss on this though so moving around the neck is effortless.
Did you get what you were expecting for the price? How does it compare to similar products in the same price range?
Having played LOTS of basses in a variety of live and studio settings over the past 14 years I have yet to find anything better in this price range. Unless you're looking for a more vintage feeling passive bass (i.e. Fender), you'll have to jump up to the high end price range to beat this bass...or you could just buy this and customize small things like upgraded pickups.
How was the action out of the box?
Terrible. When I took the bass out it was impossible to play. There was so much back-bow on the neck that the first 5 frets on every string were completely dead notes. I was quite frustrated and had to loosen the truss-rod a significant amount. Even still I get a little fret buzz but that gets lost with some overdrive. If I didn't have prior experience with such things I would've taken it to a professional for the adjustment.