Pretty happy with this little fella
Bass arrived in excellent condition. Can't really speak to the setup, because I immediately changed strings.
I wanted flatwounds, so I first tried a set of Rotosound 77 shortscale. Bad choice! The low E on the Rotosound 77s was too light, and it made that string muddy, flubby, impossible to tune and with nasty harmonics that sounded terrible.
So I switched to La Bella Deep Talkin' 760FS-S short scale flatwounds, and the sound is much, much improved!!! The low E is still a little bit less lively-sounding than the other strings, but that's not unexpected.
This bass is also pretty lightweight, I actually used it with a normal guitar strap, you don't need a wide bass strap for it.
It is definitely not shielded in the body cavities -- I checked -- which is not surprising at all for a bass in this price range. I definitely get a little noise even with the humbucker pickups, but my studio is very noisy that way, and I'm betting a weekend shielding project will take care of that problem. That is the reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5. Really no excuse to skip that step in the manufacturing process these days. Not a reason to avoid this bass, and the problem is mostly only apparent with the volume control at maximum.
Noise or not, those humbuckers have a nice, strong clear sound to them, I like them a lot. This bass definitely has a unique sound that is unlike any other bass I own, kind of old-school/retro/jazzy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
The other odd thing about this guitar is that, yes, as you can see in the pics, the neck is not a single piece of maple, it is two-piece. They did this so they could use a thinner piece of maple for the neck while still being able to have a bent-back headstock. I was a little worried about this, but it seems rock-solid -- I can't really find fault with how the neck performs. You could argue that with a one-piece neck maybe the E string would sound livelier, but again that E string problem is common on many basses, so I don't think it's the 2-piece neck.
After switching to the La Bella strings, I was able to adjust action and intonation perfectly to my liking with no problems.
Very nice acquisition, especially for the price!! Recommend it highly. Wish it came in some funkier colors!