Review by Orin Isaacs, for
Global Bass Magazine.
Last issue through the kindness of Alan Hatswell, luthier and owner of Bassix Studios in England, we were able to offer a free giveaway Electric Upright Bass (EUB) to one of our readers. While waiting for the cut-off date to come around for the contest, we thought it might be smart to get our local acoustic bass expert, ORIN ISAACS, bassist and Bandleader for the Canadian award winning comedy talk show, OPEN MIKE with Mike Bullard, to review the bass for us. It turns out that for a modestly priced EUB, it gives a great sound and a lot of value for the buck, or Pound in this case!
"When I first saw the Bassix upright electric bass I thought to myself, "Cool, an electric upright that kind of resembles an upright bass." The major difference was in the body's design...although the bass is not made of wood it's shaped just like an upright, but just a lot narrower. I thought this was going to be a problem, but after a few minutes of adjusting, I actually got used to it. I liked the feeling of the neck on this instrument, although when I tuned it up, the action was a just a little high for me. This can be adjusted with a little work, but an adjustable bridge would have been ideal in this case.1 I was able to do all this without even having plugged the bass, in which was kinda nice. It has enough of a size, a solid feeling with a hollow body, and it contains acoustic properties in the construction so that in a fairly quiet room, you won't even need an amp. All this adds up to being able to do a lot of practicing, without driving the neighbors, the spouse or the landlord nuts."
"Lets jump to the most important quality of a bass, the sound itself, of course. I found it proved to be very realistic and I felt that was largely due to the onboard EQ. of the bass which produces a good selection of tones. The EQ had a lot to offer in terms of control. It gives you a presence control, a treble, midrange, bass, super bass boost, a low battery LED and volume knobs."
"For my own personal preference, I would have liked the controls on the other side of the body so that I could get to them while I'm playing and make adjusts on the fly if need be. Now I understand why they put it on the inside against your body, just so it looks cleaner. Also the output jack for your cable is placed on the back of the instrument, adding to the overall very clean look."
"I was very impressed with wide choice of tones that you could get out of it. I think that is one of the biggest advantages in getting an electric upright such as the Bassix over an acoustic. I loved the 'big sound' you could get with dialing a little of that Super Bass knob, while maintaining that top end the Presence slider gave you. The coolest thing is that with the hollow body of the bass, it helps with the realistic tone."
"It's very close to the real thing, you can actually feel the bass resonating against your body. When you hit it hard it reacts much like a wood upright would. That is crucial to the die-hard upright player looking to ease their load, but for the electric player looking to diversify their arsenal the Bassix is a great way to do it."
"Overall I found the Bassix electric upright to be a lot of bass for a modest budget."
1Since this review an adjustable bridge has been made available
Orin Isaacs, guest reviewer for Global Bass, is also producing a film score and continuing his work as bandleader for the Mike Bullard television show.(2001)
Orin's website is MocaMusic.Com