Brice V-2FL-5STR 5 String Fretless Reviews 5

I found and purchased the bass on Ebay from Rondo Music in Union, NJ. I paid $239, which included shipping and NY/NJ sales tax. I was looking for a 5 string fretless and this one fit the bill visually, had an unlined fretboard, active pickups and an unbelievably low price.

The pictures of this bass caught my eye immediately. It has a nice shape and a beautiful transparent red finish with a quilted maple top. I was expecting it to look and feel a lot different (meaning "a lot cheaper") than the pictures when I actually had it in my hands but was pleasantly surprised. It has a solid, well made feel and a quality, high gloss finish. The neck has a real good feel, the bass is balanced and the pickups are active. I play through a Hartke 3500 and 4.5XL cabinet and the sound is great. Lots of low end (where a "bass" should be, in my opinion). I put Rotosound Tru-Bass strings on it. Ditch the roundwound strings it comes with if you don't want your fretboard all scratched up. The bass is quite good as delivered but I plan to upgrade to EMG pickups.

I had to send the first one I received back because of a chip on the headstock. Rondo was great about it. They refunded the cost of shipping I paid to return it and sent me another one pronto. The second one looked fine. Setup needed some work that I took care of myself. I noticed a strange out of tune sound on certain strings and notes. One other reviewer of this bass on this site referred to it as a "phasing" sound. It really bothered me. I brought it to a repair shop and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was just about ready to send it back and get a refund. Then I found it was caused by the pickups being too close to the strings. The magnetic field was affecting the strings vibration. I brought this problem up to Rondo and I am sure they will address it because it would have been terrible for them to have lost a sale and I miss out on a great bass all because of an easily fixed problem.

Quality and construction is excellent. I have been to Rondo and have seen their line of guitars and basses and it's amazing that they are so inexpensive. Nothing comes close at over twice, maybe three times the price. They are great out of the box and really great for someone like me who likes to "hotrod" their equipment.

All the trouble I went through was definitely worth it. I got a killer bass at a ridiculously low price. If you receive one you don't like, ask for a replacement. You won't be diappointed. Just make sure the pickups are low enough before you play it. I do understand the idea of spending big bucks to buy "that bass" with the brand name which will impress your friends. But in all reality, you can take this bass and with a few upgrades, have an instrument that will give those basses a run for their money; and still have some money left to buy strings!

Andy rated this unit 5 on 2003-08-10.

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