Brice HXB-406 Quilt NatB Bubinga Reviews 4

History: I have been playing bass off and on for over 30 years. Instruments: I have owned a number of basses over the years and currently play a custom built 4 string fretless and a 4 string Tacoma Thunderchief. Music Played: I'm playing in a number of bands that play very diverse styles (rock, celtic rock, folk, traditional, 30's-40's standards and a touch of jazz).

Price: $295.00 US Where Purchased: Rondo Music (online) How: I stumbled across the Rondo Music eBay online store while looking for a 5 string bass. What I really wanted was a 6 string to round out my choice of sounds. Why: I liked the look and price of the HXB-406 and did some research online. I came across a small number of reviews online that seemed to indicate simular flaws and praises of the Brice instruments. I had been looking at instruments in the $800-2000 CA range and didn't see anything in my price range I liked.

The best feature of the bass is the neck. It is a very shallow and fast without been so wide that it feels uncomfortable (in fact after only about 10 minutes of just goofing around it felt natural). The frets are all well dressed and the finish on the front of the body is good. The body/neck balance is very good and the bass hangs properly from the straps. Amazingly, out of the box the intonation was very close. Even though the strings are fairly close together, it didn't take long to get used to the spacing and while slapping and poping is tight, it is possible. Shipping was very quick. I placed my order on a Saturday and received it the following Thursday, as an international order from New Jersey to Ontario Canada. Overall, it has a very comfortable feel both sitting and standing.

The front is a dark brown Bubinga wood grain but the body is ash. The back finish stain I feel is splotchy but everyone I show the bass to thinks it looks great, front and back. I guess it's just a matter of taste and besides, who looks at the back of the bass when you are playing it. The action out of the box was very low and requires some setup to eliminate fret buzz. And as every review I've read indicates, the strings that come on the instrument are pretty bad and need to be replaced with a Medium Light gauge set. NOTE: Because of the through body string setup, you will need extra long long scale strings (35 inches brige to nut, 36.5-37 inches required to clear the nut from the through body plug holes. Also, Dean Markley Medium strings will not pull though the B string body hole.

Solidly constructed, well finished, surprisingly great sound for such an inexpensive guitar. I would rate it equal to guitars in the $1000-1600 range.

Incredible value for the money. If this bass is an indication of the Brice line, then I would not hesitate consider purchase another Brice instrument. I'm still fooling with it and getting used to it. I'm so impressed I'm taking it to a gig tonight, less than 36 hours after I got it.

Mark Collis rated this unit 4 on 2006-04-07.

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