Brice V2-5STG Fretless Reviews 1

I bought this bass for $250 from Rondo Music (rondomusic.com). My intention was to pick up a cheap but serviceable "first fretless" similar in quality to the Ibanez GSR-200 I bought when first learning to play bass. It's a 34" scale, 5-string bass mass produced in Korea.

The bass looks nice and, with an Agathis body, is quite light. It is inexpensive. The action "out of the box" wasn't bad. The neck and fingerboard were easy to work on.

The bass sounds terrible. Trying with several amps, it always sounded distorted. The four pots were, according to the promo copy, one for each humbucker, balance, and tone. Tone was pretty much meaningless, the effect being too subtle to hear through the poor quality sound produced by the instrument. When balanced between the humbuckers the bass would actually produce an interesting (not pretty) phasing effect reminiscent of brute force FM synthesis: the type of thing for which I prefer to use an effects box.

The construction is "mass produced". When you get a closer look at it, you can see all sorts of places where the manufacturer cut corners. The flame maple laminate has some dark glue spots around the edges. The finish is a little streaky... The "from the factory" strings were worse than most. The fingerboard seemed like it was finished with shoe polish. I played it a little to make a sound file for reference and my fingertips were black for the next 4 days.

This bass was a real disappointment, maybe because I was expecting something more comparable to the Ibanez I mentioned above. Maybe I got a bad one, but with its poor sound and mediocre construction, I couldn't recommend it to anyone, even as an entry level instrument. There are better options available even in this price range. I would describe this bass as having all the sound quality and construction one would expect from a toy. Not a real instrument. I did return the bass to Rondo Music and they were quite gracious about it.

Shineman rated this unit 1 on 2003-01-22.

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