Ibanez AxStar Headless 4-String Bass Reviews
I got the 1st one online, forgot where, at
about $250. The 2nd one from Daddy's Junky
Music in Albany for $190 incl OEM hard case
with EMGs installed and OEM PUs in the case
along with extra sets of strings in heavy,
very light, and half round. Obviously the
previous owner made several attempts to get
his/her tone [incl new PUs] before giving
up. Lucky me.
It's a 34" headless bass that uses normal strings via an excellent clamp built into
the top of the neck. The body is NOT the
typical mini-size "berger" style, but it's
more like a 2/3 sized "semi-normal" body
with a top horn. Having a top horn but no
peg head, the balance is terrific. It can
easily fit in most guitar-sized gig-bags.
PU config is my favorite, twin humbuckers,
as are the controls which feature a fader-
balancer rather than seperate gain knobs.
Sound is what I expect from 2 humbuckers,
mellow but responsive to the tone control.
Tuning is berger-style knobs and like most
berger-esque axen it holds tuning forever.
String change is slower than the double-
ball berger system, as you need a 3mm allen wrench and must take care not to
lose the smallish lock screw.
It's a made-in-Japan 1980s ax and has the excellent build quality of that period.
Finish is opaque, all over, incl back of neck but I've heard that the body is made
of poplar. Neck is 24 frets on rosewood,
4-bolt with reasonably unobtrusive joint
at the body. The rod is accessed under a typical small cover between the nut and
the string clamp.
PUs are passive twin humbuckers with knobs
for fade, gain, and tone. There is no
visible shielding in the control cavity
but a ground wire to the bridge is visible.
Bridge is 2-part, blocky saddles in a heavy brass locking yoke plus a seperate
tailpiece containing the tuning system.
BTW, there is a 5-string model but it's
weird: the 5 strings are in the same space and neck width as the 4 strings, it's very close spacing that I found was beyond my
finger-style ability. Maybe it was made
for playng with a pick.
I like it so much I avoided reviewing it
until I had acquired the 2nd one for back
up because these babys are quite rare and
I wasn't going to tell the world and then
have to compete with you all to find my
2nd one. I got mine, now get you yours!
I'm rating it a "5" as a production model
headless bass. I've had [and have] many
headless, both double-ball and std string
systems and I love the AxStar. If it were
made of 100% graphite like my berger, I'd
rate it a 7 or 8 [on a scale of 1 to 5].
rated this unit