There aren't too many good choices on the market right now for basses with EMG pick up's.(Without spending several thousand dollars that is.) I was considering a Spector bass since I wanted a 5 string with a thin neck and EMG 40DC pick up's. I wasn't sure if I'd like a bass with a 35" scale so I was hesitant to spend the coin on the Spector.
That's when I was spotted this bass. I was unsure if the quality of the ESP bass would match that of the Spector. For the money I figured I'd be out a whole less if I didn't like it so I took the chance and ordered it. I'm happy to report that not only did I really like it, it's far better than I expected it to be. I've had this bass since October of 2016. I've used it on several tracks in a few recording sessions and played it live as well.
I'm very impressed with it!
First off I'm actually very pleasantly surprised that the build quality is as good as it is considering the price. The frets are dressed very nicely and the bass handles a very low action without any issue. Overall the instrument is rock solid and that neck, WOW!
The neck feels like a neck of a bass that costs much more money. It plays very nicely. It's buttery smooth and fast. I usually don't like any finish on the back of the neck but it's not a issue on this one. Although the neck is thinner than that of most other basses I've played, it isn't too thin. It holds it's tuning very well too. Man can you play fast on this thing! That's a good if you play extreme metal like I do.
The EMG pickups that come with this bass are the 40DC units. They have a very hot signal and can get really gritty (in a good way) if you push them hard. Just the thing for metal! Surprisingly the pickups and EQ are actually very quiet. I really don't notice much hiss at all even with the EQ cranked.
Of course if you really crank the gain of your outboard preamp and pedals then there is a slight bit of noticeable hiss. That's why they make noise gates. I don't find it at all a problem when recording and that's mostly what I'm using this bass for right now. The bass is active and only uses a single 9 volt battery.
While the provision exists to modify it over to 18 volts I don't see any need to do so. It sounds great the way it is. The only criticisms that I have of this bass are the knobs could have fit the pots a little tighter and there are very, very, minor imperfections in the finish. However you really have to look close to see them. For the price I have no room to complain. You would have to literally spend thousands more to get anything better.
Overall I'm glad I choose this over the Spector I was looking at. Not only did I save a lot of money but I received one killer bass that sounds as intense as it looks! This thing has everything I was looking for in bass for extreme metal. It has the great build quality, excellent playability, and the sound. Oh that sound! I honestly couldn't be happier with my purchase. This is one of the most under rated and best kept secrets when it comes to basses on the market right now. I highly recommend this one!
She's a keeper. You can have mine but you will have to pry if out of my cold dead hands first! I not giving it up! LOL!