YOUR Bass Reviews

I would be interested to hear your views on your basses. Is it good to play? If so why? How does it compare with your other basses?


Because quite a few of us suffer from GAS, and having insights from other people could help us decide what we should be GAS’ing over! :sunglasses:


And as a first offering, how about some thoughts on my ‘newest’ bass, a Hagstrom Viking…?

I bought this bass a couple of weeks ago, pre-loved, but having apparently languished in a case for four or five years. It is in very good condition, no dinks or marks, but it badly needed a set up and a new output socket, so it spent the first week or so of my ownership with the local guitar tech.

So what’s it like? Well, if I’m truthful, it’s a real mixed bag and I’m in two minds about it.

The negatives first:

  1. I frequently play my basses without plugging them in, grabbing one from the stand between meetings to play a song or two, so the unamplified sound is important. There is no other way of saying it, in this scenario, the Hagstrom sounds awful. While its tone is quite bright, unplugged, it actually borders on harsh. It also has an annoying metallic buzz coming from the bridge area when plucking an open E. This buzz is not a set up / neck relief / string height issue, it is something to do with the string retainer itself, which is secured to the bottom of the bass, but is on a hinge, and so floats. I’ve tried to dampen the buzz with a bit of foam underneath it, which has helped a bit, but I need to experiment some more…
  2. There is a lot of string noise when sliding between notes. I know this is easily solved with different strings, possibly some flats, but at present I’m not sure what I might put on it.
  3. It sucks when trying to play aggressive songs such as Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. What I mean by this, is it sounds awful if played aggressively with a pick. It’s clanky, buzzy, and just generally m’eh.
  4. While it’s got a volume and tone for each pick-up, in reality, the tone doesn’t seem to do an awful lot.
  5. The sharp edges to the body tend to dig into the forearm, which can become uncomfortable when playing in a standing position for a while.
  6. And talking about playing in a standing position, the thing neckdives like crazy - a function of a light body and pretty weighty headstock, that’s a long way out. I guess solved by a more grippy strap, but I won’t wear a leather / suede one, so need to find something else.

On the fence points?

  1. This thing is big. Wow it’s big! Even though it’s a short scale (30.75-inch / 781 mm), the overall bass is longer than my full scale Spector and the multiscale Dingwall, and has a larger body than both. Its size is not necessarily an issue, it’s just something that you are aware of. For comparison, here are photo with some other basses….

And finally, the plus points?

  1. Well look at it, it looks cool! I mean, freakin’ COOL! Just look at it!

  1. The tone, wow! Unplugged, it might sound like crap, but plugged in and played sympathetically, the tone of this thing is fantastic. It’s got a six-way selector on it, allowing for (ummm) 6 variations, that can then be further modified with the volume and tone controls. To be honest, I’ve just left it in position 4, Neck + Bridge, Humbucking, with everything open. This gives a real oOo to the tone, I don’t know how else to describe it. Bassey, thick, resonant, it sounds beautiful with the right song. I covered Hurt with it a couple of days ago , and it just worked. Straight out of the box, no effects, no processing, just the bass tone as it comes. I also recorded a couple of other songs, more ‘pop’ than the Cash song. Again it works. I’m also going to have another go at the acoustic version of Nirvana’s Teen Spirit. I recon it will work there too.

So do I like it? Will I keep it?

It’s not as versatile as, say, the Dingwall, or as easy to play, but when you’re in the right mood, and for the right song, it’s great. If I were to base the keep or move on decision purely on that recorded tone alone and its looks, the answer would be an unequivocal yes. If I can tame that buzz, then that would help.

As it is though, I think I’m going to have to play it for a few months and see. And hope something else doesn’t catch my eye that demands one of the basses to sold.


This is a great review. I like Bias reviews, it the most honest reviews. Hey I might join in.


Reviews of your basses would add a whole new wing to the library, my man! :guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar:


Come on then, what about your basses? :pbass: :+1:

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Coming soon to a post near you… :saluting_face:


In the interest of brevity…something I struggle with, mind you, I’m going to do some super short reviews of mine. Otherwise I’d be writing a novel.

Spector NS Dimension
Pros: sounds incredible, ergonomic to play, dangerous distortion, serious sustain. Very versatile on tones as well. The look and color always turns heads when I whip it out.
Cons: Neck dive, angled frets make smoothing them near impossible. Knick myself on them every now and then

Sire MM P5
Pros: Massive bang for the buck. Best feeling neck and fretboard out of all my basses
Cons: My muting still sucks and it is compounded on a 5 string. Not the bass’s fault, mind you.

LTD ESP Fretless 5 String
Pros: This is a solid bass and I think a lot of people sleep on the LTD basses. Looks and sounds and plays amazing
Cons: could have better shielding. I have to play it a certain way or I get bad electrical interference buzz. Also see Cons for the Sire.

Fender Jazz Bass
Pros: It’s a Fender Jazz Bass
Cons: It’s a Fender Jazz Bass

Fender Precision Bass
Pros: It’s a Fender Precision Bass
Cons: It’s a Fender Precision Bass

Bonus: Ampeg PF-50t with PF-115HE cabinet
Pros: Sounds just like the classic B-15 and loud enough to annoy my neighbors in the next community over. Outputs with pre and post eq selector makes recording nice and easy.
Cons: Heavy as hell. Like, really heavy. Like I’m glad this is meant to be a studio amp heavy because there’s no way in hell I’m carrying this down the stairs.


Squire CV 60s Competition Mustang Bass

I bought this bass last fall, I won’t go into my ailments here but I find myself playing short scale these days, and this (and my EHB1005SMS) is what I reach for.

Bad things

  • The neck is high gloss urethane. Eww. I play with a glove these days so it doesn’t bother me, but I don’t like glossy necks. I had a Squier P with the same finish, judicious application of a green 3m pad fixed it right up and made it super smooth. Would work here too.

  • The bridge is string through body only. Inexpensive bass, some corners cut, this is one.

  • Ugly classic Fender boat paddle, er, I mean headstock

  • No good place to rest your thumb


  • Curtis Novak Vintage Mustang Pickup. Before @Al1885 yells at me, it’s not my fault! I intended to get the Novak FAT Mustang pickup and somehow clicked on the wrong one.
    That’s okay, this is a nice pickup.

  • Stellartone Tonestyler. This is a unique tone control. It has 10 settings, 9 different caps with differing values and one bypass. It sounds great with the Novak pickup and is easy to dial into a tone. I’ll play this song at 8, that song at 4. It’s notched so you can feel when you change.

  • LaBella 760F-MUS flatwound Mustang strings. Any medium scale strings should do, but the classic string for a 'stang. Being string through body, some shortscale strings may not be long enough.

Good Things:

  • Lightweight
  • Nice fret job, no pointy places
  • Neck dive. With the Fender headstock, it’s a worry but if it has neck dive I don’t notice it.
  • Laurel fretboard is nice
  • Tuners keep it in tune surprisingly well
  • Fit and finish is very good


This is my go to bass. Super easy to play, comfortable, with the Novak has that classic bass sound, really thumps, when you play that riff from The Chain and you hit that open E, heaven. It’s a little baby P( p is for punchy).

The Novak pickups have really good clarity, the downside is the pickups are small and do not give a comfortable thumb rest when chugging on the E. Little space from the thumb to the string. I have a Zero Mod thumb rest on order which I hope fixes it.

Quality wise, it’s an 8. Playability, it’s an 11. Sound, a 10,

Fender makes a Player Mustang (which I also have one) and for the money, the Player is not worth it. This Squier is a good value. Even with my upgrades this is less than a Fender and sounds better.

My dream bass is an old Fender Pawn Shop Mustang, which is a mustang with a wide range humbucker. You can hear one on The Warnings Enter Sandman cover from when they were kids. Hard to find the bass, I am thinking of buying a second CV Mustang, and routing a hole for the big humbucker, and making my own PS Mustang. I like this bass that much. And it would be cheaper. CV basses are good quality, great mod platforms. Definitely consider them over the lower end Fenders.


I will give you the honest review of my StingRay Special. As you know, I have a Ray34 and it is a great bass. Plays well, sounds good, and the quality is okay (even the tuners, which I have heard can be problematic) But when I got this StingRay Special, oh my God. The build is perfection and paired with TI Jazz rounds, the playability is the best I’ve ever experienced. The sound is punchy and extremely versatile with the three band EQ. I can dial just about any sound I want. It can mimic a fairly decent P or Jazz tone but works best when pushed a little. It is absolutely flawless in the build quality. No gaps, no buzzes, perfect frets, etc. The neck is the best neck I have ever played. It is so smooth to the feel. The tuners are solid and hold tuning perfectly over time. I rarely have to adjust any strings tuning. The bridge is rock stable and easy to work with. The truss rod wheel is so easy to use. The finish, Emerald Green Frost is flawless. The neck/body juncture is so tight. Ernie Ball deservedly has a great reputation. Using it with my Boss GT-1B, I have a favorite sound dialed in that sounds similar to a more aggressive P-Bass but is open and airy with beautiful overtones. But with the turn of a knob, I can get old Motown thump fairly convincingly. From my admittedly limited experience, I could play this bass only and never get GAS again. It is that good. I cannot find a negative thing to say about it.


I was really interested to read about the NS Dimension. A 4-string Dimension was on the possible list before I bought my Dingwall. I assume by the ergonomics, you mean the belly curve to the back of the bass? My NS2000 has that, it’s pretty cool!

The fret issue sounds annoying, and rather unexpected. The Dimension isn’t exactly a budget bass, is it!

Regarding the neck dive, I hear ya! My Spector has a tendency for that, not as bad as the Hagstrom, but the headstock definitely has a relationship with gravity :wink:

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I’d be really interested to hear your views on the Ibanez!


It sounds like you’ve found the one! :metal:


Not only that but the wrist ergonomics of the fanned frets. Allows me to keep my wrist in a more natural position all the way up and down the board.

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Ibanez EHB1005SMS

Ibanez hit it out of the park with this one. EHB stands for Ergonomic Headless Bass and it really is ergonomic. They have a number of little comfort things added and it really works. Lets jump in.

Bad Things

  • The freakin Neutrik strap lock. This thing keeps you from stepping on the cord and yanking it out accidentally but what a PITFA to unplug when you are done. Now as you use it, the spring loosens up, or you get better at unplugging, or a bit of both, it gets lots easier. But that first time you will be cursing.

  • The dots. The neck is very dark, and both the side dots and the inlays do not have enough contrast, and they are hard to see, and in soft lighting, not at all. If you depend on these you might want to add some stickers.

  • The tuners are stiff to turn. I have an EHB1500 also, and the tuners are not as stiff. The Neutrik is still a PITA

Neither good nor bad

  • Fanned frets. Pick it up, play, you might not even notice them. Non issue

  • B string tension. It comes with DA EXL strings with a .130 B, 32" scale. It’s not flubby, I think a .125 would be flubby, but the .130 is fine. I have a set of EXLs with a .135 B to go on when these are done, but the B tension isn’t a reason to go an change strings; it’s good enough

  • Gig bag, keeps it out o the weather, not much more

Good things.

  • The neck. Dots aside, it’s a gorgeous neck, thin and comfortable to play, easier to play than many 4 string basses I have had. It’s roasted maple, with a birds eye maple fingerboard, and it’s just perfect. Smooth as a bassist’s bottom.

  • Balance. No friggin headstock, no neck dive, whatever position you want it stays.

  • Stainless steel frets.

  • Strap locks, it comes with them

  • Preamp. 3 band preamp with a mid sweep. Next to Sadwosky, the best preamp on a bass I have owned. With an Active/Passive switch

  • Bartolini H2 pickups. This could be a con for some. They are dark, and not as clear as one might like, but not as far as muddy and they sound good. My EHB1500 has Nordstrand Big Breaks, and they sound better, which they should as it’s essentially a double P in humbucker cases; and Aguilar has a nice ceramic pickup for a vintage sound; two possible upgrades but I’m happy how it is

  • Weight- the bass is chambered and weighs around 7 pounds.

  • Playability - 11

  • Tuners - super accurate, easy to tune with great precision. stays in tune really well

This is a super comfortable, playable bass. I cannot stress how nice the neck is and how easy it is to play. The bridge is adjustable so you can get more string spacing, but for a 5 I never found the string spacing to be a problem. 18mm I think.

Modern in sound, but a lot of tones available with the preamp and a good workhorse. A lot of resonance in the bass, you can feel it in the neck and body as you play. Really good bass, I like it so much I bought an EHB1500.

The EHB1000 is the same bass in a 4 string and without fanned frets. I would highly recommend this bass. I can see why headless is a thing


Fender Player Mustang

I will start out with the most controversial statement. This instrument is MIM and there are no quality issues. The current wisdom is that MIM is subpar in quality, but that’s not my experience. This is my third MIM bass and all have been superb in the quality department.

Now design is another issue…

The bad stuff

  • Neck divey. I put Hipshot Kickass bridge on to add some counterweight to the neck dive, that pretty much fixed it.

  • It doesn’t have the traditional Mustang bridge, which I really like.

  • Bridge Pickup. I know bridge pickups are weaker than neck pickups as a rule; on the mustang they are exceptionally weak.

Neither good nor bad stuff

  • The pickups in general. At least in the Squire and Player lines, my experience is the pickups are jack of all trades. Good sounding for everything, great sounding for nothing. Which is what they are going for, you can get a Fender Player and it will be decent at whatever you want to play on it. Same with Squier.

Stuff I changed.

  • Bridge. Like I said, I changed the bent metal bridge which is standard, and put on a Hipshot Kickass. I sold a bass the bridge was on a couple years ago, and put the OEM bridge on before I sold it, so I had it laying around. It fixed the neck dive and sounds good.

  • Electronics. The mustang comes with a 3 way switch - neck, 50/50/ bridge pickups. I don’t like that. So I put in stacked pots and each bridge has it’s own volume/tone, which I like lot’s better.

  • Pickups. I replaced the stock pickups with a DiMarzio Model P/J set. These are ceramic, hot, and fantastic pickups. The Model P is one of the best sounding P pickups out there. Strong lows, mids, and highs. Workhorse of a pickup, and one of the cheapest on the market. And hum cancellation in each pickup.

Good stuff

  • Playability. Bass is light, comfortable, and easy to play. Short scale helps

  • Neck - finish is satin, not gloss, frets are rolled. Maple neck, maple fingerboard, sublime. Small profile, easy and fast to play.

  • Sound. It sounds great.

  • Shell Pink. Can’t go wrong with Shell Pink. I actually bought the bass for the color, accepting I would do a pickup swap.

Fender Player Mustang versus Squier CV Mustang

I like the neck better on the Fender. The satin finish, the feels, it’s just a better neck.

30 seconds with a green 3m pad will bring the Squier neck into shape.

Neck dive on the Squier is much less of an issue. My guess is this is because the Squier has a mustang bridge on it, and the extra weight that comes with it. And is string through body. The Fender has one of the inexpensive bent angle bridges,

Fender is a PJ, Squier is a P

Overall, the Fender is $400+ more than the Squier. Is it worth it? No. Buy a Squier Classic Vibe (P, J, or Mustang); change the pickup, you will have a better bass than a Fender Player for less money. The Classic Vibe series is really a value.

The Player Mustang is a well made, playable, good sounding, great sounding with the Dimarzios, bass. Right now I play 3 basses, Squier Mustang, Fender Mustang, Ibanez EHB1005SMS. 90% of my play is on these. If I were to pick 5 basses, it would be these 3, and add in the Fender Telebass, and Squier Rascal


I absolutely agree with your review, except for two (negative) points:

  • the bass is really ergonomic, and still uncomfortable for me to play. I know it sounds strange, but I cannot pluck near the bridge - only (very) near the neck
  • I find the sound of the B string muddy. Less so on the E string, but that could be better though…

One more thing: the neck is absolutely GREAT! Must be because of the D shape…

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I find the bass very comfortable, no problems resting comfortably on the neck pickup. I think this is a difference in our bodies

I have an EHB1500 with the Nordstrand Big Breaks, rest of the bass is similar, same preamp, and the Nordys sound so much better. I wish they put them in this one.

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But the question is: can you play comfortably as well, closer to the “bridge”?
That is really my issue, everything else could be forgiven :frowning:

I’ll try it out and report back

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Yeah. You are going to find this is really common on short scale 5’s. Shorties are naturally darker than full or longer scale basses due to fewer harmonics due to the shorter string length. The lower you go, the more you notice.

I have never heard a short scale 5 that appealed to me; YMMV.

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