YOUR Bass Reviews

Though, on my 23.46″ Blackstar I kind of like the way some Drop D tuned songs sound, ie “Empty” by Garbage.

But I do understand your point. Tomorrow I get a Talman 30" 5 string. Let’s see/hear what that does…

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This is not an actual review, but some findings on the Vintage VS4CR Reissued Bass Cherry Red…


Hello. I’m a new bass player, but I do feel I may have some input. My first bass was a fender squire. Without any info or lessons yet this was absolutely the best deal with amp and case. I could get along just fine fumbling with my long fingers. When I really wanted to “get into it” I read a bit about who played what for their style of music. I love Rush. I did not go rushing out to buy the USA Geddy Lee 70,s bass replica. (On the list though). I have a local music shop and was welcome to sit ant sample a few. I chose an Ibanez sr400eqm with hard case for $500. Reasons, popping a string gave me over 45 seconds of smooth tone fading at almost 50 seconds. Not too many low cost guitars bass or other can give you that. I call it the lucky toothpick. It happens. The warm tone able to move to a bright sound was even more impressive. The salesman also a guitar tec, was able to show me how beautiful the sound can be. The neck is not clear coated, but oil rubbed. I work with wood every day, so I can appreciate this feel. This is the first Ibanez. I now own 3 including a hollow body that just came in and each is very different in sound but all very comfortable with the slim neck and super sweet tone and very long tone or sustain. (Sorry not familiar with the proper word for holding a clean note for a long time.) in a lengthy short. I’m happy with the 3 basses and after reading so many posts, I have no reason to purchase anything else unless it’s a rare collector to hang up or a super cool thing I have extra dough to blow.

I sold the fender amp kit to a youngster age 9-12 guessing. Awesome set up


I own one bass. MIM Fender J. The only other bass I have even played was a very entry level POS Ibanez so I don’t have a lot of reference here for comparison.

Sounds great and I love the tone I can get out of it. Playing over the bridge pickup just has a lovely punch to it. You can really dial in a tone between the volume & tone knobs. Small adjustments can really affect the tone.

The neck is fantastic. Nicely tapered towards the nut and makes playing on the lower frets very comfortable. Any bass I may acquire in the future will need to have a similarly tapered neck. It’s really nice to play.

Build quality is very good, just a very solid instrument, but that being said…

It’s heavy. Quite heavy. Haven’t actually weighed it but 10+ lbs I’m sure of. It is not comfortable to play while standing for more than 10 minutes. It also has pretty wicked neck dive which doesn’t bother me that much but it needs to be mentioned. Couldn’t imagine having to play for an hour with that sucker around my shoulder.

As I have come to find out some fender guitars have issues with the break angle of the A string behind the nut. This caused notes on the A to just sound flat and dead. I have a zip tie pinning my A string down currently and that just seems silly to have to do on an expensive guitar.

There’s not much more to it for me. Sounds great, looks great, plays great, just way too damn heavy.


I’ll review one that may be a bit more rare and that’s my Matt Freeman PBass which essentially a '70s style PBass but with a unique neck profile not found on other Squier CV basses and slightly hotter wound pickups.

I played the bass stock with it’s round wound strings for a bit before diving into the upgrades I wanted to make in order to get it into it’s Motown, Memphis Stax, Muscle Shoals mode tonally. That started with a set of LaBella Deep Talkin’ Flats. They’re about as classic old school PBass as it gets.

The next move was to replace the split coil pickup with a Bill Lawrance/Wilde P46. I will go to my grave believing it’s the very best PBass pickup anyone as ever produced and at just $72 an absolute bargain for a boutique quality pickup from the Godfather of all replacement pickups. P-46 – Bill and Becky Wilde Pickups

Here’s what the bass looked like at that time.

The last upgrades were new electronics with CTS pots and a Switchcraft jack and Babicz FCH Bridge in black. They’re somewhat costly but an ingenious design that adds sustain and allows me to set my action very low. For me that important when playing stiffer playing strings. Here’s that bridge installed.

Over the years I’ve owned five or six PBasses including a '63 I bought while still in HS. I can honestly say this is the best of the lot. It sounds and plays great and I’ve gotten all kinds of compliments on it over the years. I’ve owned it since 2011 and even though Matt Freeman models are selling for as much as 2 1/2 x to 3x what they sold for new this one will be buried with me.

I’m an old school blue/r&b/southern soul guy and I cannot conceive of a bass any better than this one for that task. I’m also a of the belief that ever bassist should own a PBass and for the money the Squier CV models are a great value and very easy to modify and upgrade for those who enjoy doing it.


Hey there, in my introduction post I didn’t mention anything about the weight of the Ibanez I chose. This was another factor. The very nice fender jazz and precision both were very heavy. Kinda crazy when we look at specs and only talking in ounces maybe a pound but the weight was noticeable. The Ibanez is lighter and very well balanced so no neck dive. This was a playable factor for me. Not to mention about $1,000 less on my budget.


I’m really I tested in your views on the Ibanez Semi-Acoustic. What is it and what is it like?

I bought a Hagstrom Viking based on its looks - it looks incredible and sounds fantastic when recorded, but I just don’t like the playing experience…

I honestly could not give you any feedback on the playing as I am so new. The sound is soft deep warm. The neck is much wider than the others I have. It was a spontaneous buy and I don’t regret it at all.


The Steinberger Sprit XT-2

Let me start by saying I am biased. Musically, I grew up in the 80s on a diet of Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, The Human League and ABC. While John Taylor was playing an Aria and the Human League were boasting that Dare was the first album to be entirely electronic, Curt Smith of TFF played a Steinberger. I wanted one, even though, at the time, I was bashing out chords on a cheap nylon-stringed acoustic guitar. Fast forward 40 years, I picked up a bass and within a couple of months of signing up for B2B, I had bought a white, pre-loved, Steinbereger.

You often see these basses ‘critiqued’ along the lines of they are nothing like the 80s original, the pick-ups are weak and uninspiring, and the playing position is a challenge. They are also critiqued on the aesthetics, I don’t like the style, I don’t like headless basses etc.

Tackling the last point first, what one likes and dislikes in terms of looks is entirely personal. So far, there is nothing from Fender in my bass rack, nor a Fender clone, because I don’t really like the aesthetic, or what I perceive the label to mean. But that’s just me, my opinion. I understand that people might not like how these things look, but what I find fascinating regarding how they look is the why. In a nutshell, Steinberger was not a bass designer, he started in furniture design, met Stuart Spector (yes, that Spector) and designed the early, ergonomic Spector shape. Following this, Steinberger went on to to design his own basses and guitars, unconstrained by prevailing design concepts. And that’s the point of this bass, it isn’t constrained by the shape of a Fender, or a Gibson (even though the company is now owned by Gibson :wink:), or anything else.

The shape does, however, compromise the playing position. There is no upper horn to place a strap button near the 12th fret. On the Steinberger, the upper strap button is more or less behind the 21st fret. This means that the bass hangs about 10cm to the left. If you are not used to it and close your eyes, you miss the fret you are after. But, and here’s the thing, it doesn’t take long to get used to it and then you are fine. I am quite happy swapping between it and my other basses. And that, my fellow buddies of the low end, is really the only negative about this instrument, you have to get used to where it hangs.

The upsides?

it looks freakin’ cool, if you’re into the 80s vibe
it sounds great. Really. You can pretty much get whatever tone you want out of it, especially with some EQ and effects
it’s light. You’ll not get back ache with a Steinberger
it’s portable. Not really small enough to put into the overhead bin in a plane, but I take it with me when I travel
the brand has an interesting backstory, linking the Steinberger to Spector (I’ve got one of those too, well, I had too :wink:)

In summary, I love the Steinberger. Would I sell it? Only to buy the one that has drop-D capability!


Another bass I own that’s somewhat different than the typical PBass or JBass format is my G&L Kiloton. I can review it as well. For starters for the very few who may not know it G&L was the company Leo Fender began with George Fullerton his former associate when he owned Fender. He’s “G” in G&L.

The Kiloton is a single MFD pickup full passive bass built around a redesigned PBass body style with a narrower waist and a slightly elongated upper horn. Much like a PBass it has a volume knob simple single passive tone knob. A three way switch provided a choice of series, parallel, or single coil modes.

What make this model unique is the placement of it’s MFD pickup in what Leo and others have called the “sweet spot” a location closer to the bridge than the position of the pickup on a PBass. The Music Man Sting Ray, another of Leo’s designs also uses this type of pickup positioning but is an active bass.

The combination of the high output MFD pickup and it’s position create an extremely powerful mid range tonality that can cut through any mix and stand out on a crowded stage. It’s loud and very punchy. I own the Tribute Series 4 string but there is also a Tribute Fretless and US Deluxe 4 and 5 string models.

Overall I would say that if a PBass isn’t quite the tone you’re looking for the Kiloton probably is. And to learn more about the MFD (Magnetic Field Design) pickups and the unique G&L Saddle Lock Bridge, another of Leo’s later advances, I would suggest reading about them on the G&L website itself.


I’ve had a G & L on my list of “need to try it out”’ for a bit. How do they feel to play compared to a Fender? All of the Fenders I’ve tried just haven’t felt right for me. If G & L’s have sort of the same kind of feel to them, maybe I can scratch that off my list without having to drive an hour to the other side of the metro area to test one in person.


I know I took a chance on G&L, and have no regrets. Like it better than every Fender I have played.

My only con on my G&L is I am not a fan of the polyurethane/high gloss on neck. At the time I thought I wouldn’t care, but lately it bugs me. Still, great bass and thats a minor issue in the grand scheme.

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Two things you can do. One is lightly go over it with a green 3M pad for a few seconds, two is play with a glove on your fretting hand, the latter takes a little getting used to but all necks are smooth as a baby’s bum.

This may be a hard question to answer without knowing more of what you don’t like about the “feel” of a Fender and which Fender in particular. Since I own and play both G&L and Fender basses and have for years I’ll do my best to describe the differences as I experience them.

The Kilo has satin finished neck with a 1.5" nut width whereas my Jazz Bass with the same nut width has a gloss finish neck. I prefer the satin finish. I also prefer the feel and taper of the G&L Medium “C” from the 1st fret to the 12th and basic profile. It’s 0.82" deep at the first fret and 0.92" at the 12th fret.

The other difference would be the redesigned body with it’s narrow waist being sleeker and more compact. It’s lighter and balances very well with zero neck dive. Weights can vary quite a bit from bass to bass so I would either buy from a dealer who posts weights or try several out yourself before buying.

Mine has a swamp ash body and weighs 8lbs 6ozs which is fairly light. Others may be over 9lbs and as much as 10lbs. The only other thing I can offer is that of the four basses I own; PBass, JBass, G&L M2000, and the Kiloton it’s the one I pick up first when I just want to play for a bit. It’s the most comfortable.

Hope this helps.

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Not all G&L basses have a gloss neck. My two have satin finishes. But removing that gloss finish with a 3M foam or Scotch Brite pad will knock the gloss off and give you the feel of a satin finish neck. Give it a shot.


Ya, I’ve considered it. It is mainly a cosmetic issue I have with it all of a sudden.

I will totally buy G&L again, have been eying the L2000 for a while. Major home repairs have prevented any GAS so far.

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A colleague has an L2000, it’s a lovely instrument!

I had an L2500 for awhile when I felt I needed a 5 string. It’s an awesome bass but it can take some players awhile to get used to it’s quirks and the passive tone controls and switching.

I sold it for more than I paid and bought a Tribute M2000 to replace it. That model is an active bass with a 3 bad EQ and a pickup blend control. It’s more straightforward to me and I like having one active bass in my rack. Maybe I’ll review it next.


I’m intrigued by the micro-switches, what do they do? Both my Dingwall and my Ibanez only have one, basically to switch between active and passive…. You appear to have three!

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The forward most switch controls the pickups. Neck only, bridge only, both. The middle switch gives the option of either parallel or series wiring. The third option that can be created or special ordered on US builds is called the “K mod”. It provides a single coil option using the inner or outer poles of each pickup.

The switch closest to the bridge controls the active boost and treble boost to compensate for extended cable runs. It’s the only active feature of the bass. Many remove the battery and don’t use it at all but it’s still a feature that exists for those who do use it. The other control are simple volume and bass and treble cut.

The MFD pickup are very powerful so one trick I learned early on is to both lower their height and roll off the volume 20%-25% for a more controllable “old school” tone. There’s still plenty of output and you have all of that additional boost when desired. The L Series bass are massively flexible tonally. Pretty much Leo’s “ultimate bass design”.