The Cort Action PJ

As some of you may have noticed, I got myself a secondhand Cort Action PJ today. This is a bass that was recommended as a budget beginner bass in Josh’s instrument review.

This instrument is not pristine – it definitely needs some TLC, but considering what I paid for it, that was sort of to be expected – the tuners alone are worth the money I paid for it.

First impressions:
The action is not as low as I’d want. Sir Slapalot would probably be happy with this action height :wink: but I’m not. I’m going to use this bass to practice my setup skills, so the fact that it needs a setup is a good thing.
Playability is nice! I like the nice, thin neck profile, it has a Yamaha-like feel. The satin finish on the neck feels nice as well, and adds to me feeling at home on it. The neck feels slightly wider than on my J, but not overly so. It’s definitely not as wide as the ironing board that Fender uses for its Precision-fretboard.
It’s a fairly lightweight instrument, and to my taste, the balance couldn’t be better.

Electronically it’s pretty sound – it’s a passive bass, so there’s not much you can screw up. That said, mine is different from the one Josh tested: I have one volume control, and one pickup balance control – the middle control balances between the neck and the bridge pickup. The tone knob, as Josh said, doesn’t do much. That’s not a problem for me – I can use the Zoom B1X Four to take care of that.
When I use a preset I created using the J, the Cort growls less. With both pickups in use, the J (a Gregg Bennett Fairlane made by Samick) is positively gritty and very present, but the Cort is more peanut-buttery… more old-school-Motown, and when I take the bridge pickup out of the mix even more so. It currently has pretty-much-deceased roundwounds, and I’m thinking of getting flat-wounds on it – but on the other hand, this thing sounds so nice with rounds…

So here’s the plan:
Decide on strings
Restring and clean (the body and the chromke bits are a bit grimey, the fret wires could do with a wee polish, and the fret board could definitely use some cleaning and oil!)
Setup (to lower the action to an acceptable level for this plucker who refuses to slap)

Is this a nice beginner bass? abso-fornicating-lutely! I think it’s more than that.
Not only will it get you through the course, it’ll also be a worthy instrument when you’ve reached badass level. There’s just one thing you need to do: forget what you paid for it.
In that sense, it is very much a bass to my tastes – a member of the League Of Underappreciated Instruments.

And let’s face it: outside a studio, nobody, not even a trained ear, is gonna hear the difference between this and a P-bass. :smile:


She is a great looking bass. What you paid matters not. What you have is a f@$#ing shit hot bass , and bad ass . Enjoy the set up and clean up, a very nice trio you have Peter have fun :laughing: @peterhuppertz


That is freaking awesome. I love it. And the fact you get to tinker on it, is great, learn all you can, and if something goes wrong, REMEMBER WHAT YOU PAID FOR IT, and shrug it off as a lesson learned, an inexpensive one.
But I have confidence that nothing will go wrong.
I think the only thing you, everybody, need to be careful with, on a bass that has just sat around in unknown conditions, that is evident by dirt
Ayers and grime, is the truss rod. About the only serious thing that could be “sticker” for lack of a better word, from temperatures and environment changes.
On a brand new instrument, when adjusting the Truss, you are gonna be careful, go slow, and make small adjustments at a time.
If you do the same on this un cut gem, all should go well.
Hats off to a great find, and pulling the trigger to make it yours.

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… mission accomplished. I decided to do some adjusting with the old strings still on it, to see if I could do it.
I could – about 3/8 turn clockwise on the truss rod and then adjusting the string height fixed all my issues. Nice, low action, no buzzing (unless I screw it up myself, of course). It now plays as nicely as the Samick Jazz, which has been set up by a pro luthier.

New strings, a nice brown leather strap and some guitar polishing stuff are on the way, and tomorrow I’ll get some straight razor blades and steel wool to tackle the fret board.

This is going to be a very sweet bass.


Yeah, I just did the same on my new Subray.
I LOVE how they set up this truss rod. No covers to move, no strings to loosen, no trying to wedge a hex wrench in a tight spot, so easy.
They have a fixture on the end of it, at the body side, with holes clocked at 90degrees. Get a hex key, or a screwdriver that fits, or any rod that fits the hole, apply pressure and turn. So simple.

Well, the seller advertised it needed a new $20 input jack, GC looked at it and that’s what they recommended.

I got the thing home, looked at the battery compartment on the back side, and thought, “no, it can’t be that. GC couldn’t have actually missed checking the battery’s”?

Yes they can.

New battery in, problem solved.

The guy sold it so cheap because he knew it needed a $20 part, and that most people would probably have to pay $30 to $50 to get it fixed. Lol. Not the case. Just a $5 battery.

Action is now super low, plays like a dream. Later in the morning (it’s 3am here). I will put it thru my SWR and here the Stingray growl.

Then I am doing the same as you. Clean Er up, and put on different strings.
I say different cuz they are not new.
My SR300, bought used from GC, had what appear to be fresh strings. But I replaced them with DR Black Beauty’s, so those strings are going on the Subray, cuz the strings on it are kind of Grimes. The only thing on the bass that is like that, just dust collectors.

I will say I am shocked at how light this bass is. I expected stingers to be a heavy, beefy bass, but it’s almost as light as my Ibanez Mikro. Well, maybe not that light, but very noticeably lighter then any of my others.

This one will be known as “Mr. Slappy”. I am gonna do probably all my slapping on it. Maybe…will see, I love the, all.


Yeeeeessss… that did prove to be a bit of a problem with the Cort; I did need to use a little bit of elbow grease.

I had the same thing! It is my most lightweight bass by a rather large margin!


Old strings off.
Fretboard cleaned; frets polished. Fretboard oiled.
Tuners and bridge disassembled, cleaned and polished.
Put everything back together and fitted new strings.
Redid adjusting the neck, action height and intonation.

Fitted the strap, as a reward for it turning out so nice.

Without the strap, it’s easily worth four times what I paid for it, including the cost of the new strings. Which completely changed the sound of the thing – on the bridge pickup, with tone on full, it’s scaringly bright and bitey. I need to roll the tone off a bit to make it sound “polite”. :joy:

On the neck pickup with tone rolled down halfway, it is reasonably P-ish. :smile:


What kind of oil did you use on the fretboard?


Dunlop lemon fretboard oil.



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I’m Olivier, a Cort Action PJ bass. I’m the one in the middle, surrounded by my new friends! :blush:

Having spent my last five years unplayed in a closet, it’s a joy to be back out in the open and see the light of day – and actually being looked at, and photographed… and best of all: played!

Not sure how that happened, but it went fast. In less than a week, I was taken out the closet and handed to a new owner, who then cleaned me, polished my shiny bits, oiled my fretboard, gave me some badly-needed physiotherapy, and provided me with some new strings to make me sing again… and to top it all off, he dressed me up with a very suave leather strap to hold onto him.

… and then… I GOT PLAYED! For almost an entire evening… maaaan, that was so goood, I could tell you how good but that’d be inappropriate. :smiley:

So, here I am. Not in a dark closet, but visible for everyone who enters this place, and surrounded by some newfound friends. Who told me that I’m here to stay, and that I could possibly be looking forward to being played a few times each week!
Today, my player finished me off with two rubber bits – to make sure my strap doesn’t come off unexpectedly, or so he said, and then he took me off my bracket and played me again.

Yesterday evening, I also watched – and heard – him play the jazz bass to my right. Boy, does she ever growl – she is menacing, and somewhat intimidating. But I think she’s okay.
The black guy to the left is friendly too, but I haven’t heard him yet. He’s a bit of an introvert, I think.
I might have a thing for him, though, he sure is a looker. :heart_eyes:
He’s got the same strap as I got, only in black… which makes sense.

I think I’m going to love it here!


@peterhuppertz wonderful. I’m sure she will find love
:guitar: :heart_eyes: :guitar: Stuck in the Middle with you - Stealers Wheel - YouTube

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Ahhhhhhhh, the neglect!!! It’s killing me. I am going to have to make a phone call and report you to Social Services and BPS (Bass Protective Services).
That Bass needs to be fed food and water, and have physical touch daily, not a few times a week. Arghhhhhh!!!

Olivier, not only is already scheduled for neglect, but is witnessing what is to come. OMG, the torture going on, and it’s being boastfully written about as if it’s a good thing, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
It can’t be true.

Just playing. Looks great, Olivier looks Happy with her equally as happy friends. I still think they are a bit lonely, prob need at least two more, I mean, what if they get invited to play Volleyball, or Basketball, they will be outnumbered by 2.
Now if they want to play baseball, you are heavily under manned.

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Oliver @T_dub that’s a great name “O” as in orange is that not a coincidence?
It could be a good enough reason to “Rescue” another Orange Bass & Bass Amp again Orange :slight_smile:
I heard a rumour that you buy fret oil by the gallon :rofl:
:guitar: :slightly_smiling_face: :guitar:

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Lol @Jamietashi. There is an Orange Crush 50b up for grabs, at $250 it’s a great deal, but not good enuf for me to get it. Would look slick next to my Crush 20b, but would eliminate the need for the 20b, so one of the two would get neglect.
Having a 20, 50 and 160 combo is a bit overkill, even for me.

But you are on to something with

Or in Blue for that matter, or green. A little offset to make the Orange ones POP.


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Some of us do have a life to live.
In my case, that’s the life of a married man recovering from an ailment that almost did him in. Which implies that I need my beauty sleep (not that it helps, but one can always hope).

Also, when I’m practicing, I’m not going to interrupt my practice routine to grab another bass.

And by the way, I recently practiced Billie Jean on Bagheera (guess which one that is…), and he took that as an insult. He’s a picky fellow, he is.

Oh, by the way, Olivier will have you know that she’d appreciate it if you spell her name correctly next time. She also encourages you to go ahead and call Social Services and BPS and God knows, the IRS, all you want. It’ll be interesting to see if their jurisdiction stretches across the Atlantic Ocean.

Tonight, I’m playing the calico called Mammapoes. That doesn’t make sense, but I don’t give a single fornicate. :wink:


I stress the JUST PLAYIN

Spelling? The big man’s name?

Still just playin

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Evidently, both of us know where the “I can’t type to save my life” button is. :wink:


I have this awful spell checker, and auto fill that messes up more then you know. I only catch about 95% of it before I post.
Plus the iPad is really touchy when typing in this forum, especially when the post gets long.

That said, I mess up plenty on my own :joy::joy::joy:

All that said, I will always, only be playing around with things like this, no harm or ill will intended.


Just as long as you keep in mind to not take me too seriously, we’ll be fine.

Some clarification on the name business:

Bagheera was my first jet-black cat. Not a white hair to be found when she first walked into our house at about 6 months old. I was still living with my mother, but Bagheera immediately attached herself to me, so when I moved out, she came with me. She was quite the character, and she had a wide range of vocal expressions. So naming a black fretless after her was a no-brainer.

Mammapoes was a calico… and quite a fierce one. We rescued her from a neglect situation, where she had learnt about the necessity to fend for herself and her newborn child on her own, but without being given the freedom to do so.
When we rescued them (Mammapoes and her son), as soon as she had recovered, she morphed into a fierce hunter, and she also defended her child against the farm cats from the neighbouring farm, who grew to be terrified of her. Her fierce, somewhat unpredictable character, and her colours, fit a growly, meaty-sounding, sunburst-with-a-white-pickguard jazz bass well.

Olivier was an all-red cat, who was a youngster when Bagheera grew into old age. Playful, sweet, with a naughty streak. Smallish, slinky, and lightweight, like the Cort. Olivier came from a neglect situation too, from a family who thought a cat would be a fun companion for their toddler – who had quickly decided that a tail was an implement to hold a cat by.

Bagheera was acquired new from Thomann, but both Mammapoes and Olivier were rescued from a situation where they had spent years never seeing the light of day… and both of them were parted with at an amount which illustrated how hugely underappreciated they were.

Seeing as to how many cats I have had during my life, it is unlikely that I’ll run out of names. I still have a name reserved for when I get an upright bass – Pommetje was about as big as one. But there are many more to choose from. I even have a name for a blue bass if I would ever get one… but I am here to say that this is extremely unlikely.