A better micro-bass!
By: S. Fretless from New Bern, NC, USA
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
Hard to say, it's almost brand new. So far, so good. Being passive, you won't be worried about forgetting to bring a battery.
How has it stood up over time?
Not really applicable-- I've only had it a few weeks, haven't gigged with it yet.
Your general opinion of this product.
Very nice. I own two Ashborys- a 1987 guild and one of the reissues-- and I like this little bass a lot better. I will be trying some of Road Toad's pahoehoe strings on one of the Ashborys-- they are much more playable than the silicon rubber strings. The included gig bag is fine, but I don't believe in hauling around an acoustic instrument in a bag... Kala makes a plastic-shell hard case that fits it perfectly-- an upgrade I highly recommend.
Playability and Feel
How does it feel, Heavy, Fast, Chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
It has a rather "fast" neck, not bulky at all. The frets are mandolin-sized, just "speed bumps"-- I feel that is just right for these strings. There are no onboard controls-- one of the few possible downsides. You will have to adjust your volume and tone on your amp or your channel in the PA. That seems to be common with passive piezo setups. I recommend using a switchable/shorting cable with this bass, so you can "turn it off" more-or-less-on-board. Planet Waves make nice ones.
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
Tone-- just right. Very similar to an Ashbory actually, though with a more "woody", acoustic sound. For a passive piezo, the output is surprisingly high... It appears to be a very well thought-out design (thanks to Owen Holt the Road Toad)and very well made (thanks to Kala Ukes).
How did the stain or paint job look?
Beautiful satin finish, nice woods-- this has the look of a quality instrument.
How was the action out of the box?
The neck has no truss rod, and mine had a good amount of relief to it. Maybe that is deliberate-- I don't know. The strings don't push back much, and the compensation is right, so maybe it was designed for some neck relief.