Epiphone Jack Cassady Reviews 4

Bass Northwest [online] $600 including original case, all in close to perfect condition [as pertains to Epiphone stuff anyway...]. I had played two JCs previously but both were more expensive and one was not well cared-for, but from both I could tell that I liked the sound and feel of this model. So I felt OK ordering online and I have dealt with Bass Northwest a few times already.

It sounds great, has a standard 34" scale, plays easily [once properly set up], looks cool, and has a 2+2 peg head [finding a gig bag is hard enough for any oversized bass, and if an oversize body is combined with a 4-in-line peghead, it can prove to be impossible]. The simplicity is refreshing: Passive all around with two knobs for gain and tone, plus a coil tap switch in case you really need something to mess around with.

Strap button location typical for hollow bodies. A little reinforcement of the upper horn would have allowed the button to offer better balance instead of having it down at the neck joint. BTW, it's a set neck [I prefer bolt-on so I can shim/ tilt a neck to my taste]. Epiphone uses these awful 3-point bridges that ride in metal sockets just pressed into the wood. I had to glue these back into the body [as on my previous two Epis] and I had to file the A and D saddles to match the bridge to the fretboard radius, since there is no individual saddle height adjustment. The finish is worn through in small spots even though there is only minimal player wear and no nicks or sign of carelessness.

Although I have "issues" with the bridge, it IS top loading, and fairly heavy, so it has its good qualities. Big duck-foot paddle tuners are also OK. Neck is set into body [no bolts] and has a tilt-back headstock. It's a 20 or 21 fret neck so it's for rather tradition bass styles. Single humbucker in typical elevator ring mount adjusts easily, little or no wobble. The gain knob seems nicely progrssive in action and the tone knob actually varies the tone over a pretty wide range. Body is hollow double cutaway arched top f-hole type. The top is not glued to any sort of center block or keel, so it's a true hollow body, not a dual-chambered f-hole semi-hollow like so many others. Output jack is on the front. There is no rear access panel so spray-cleaning your pots or fixing the jack can become a real tedious project. I think the free top and location of the single PU must be responsible for the great tone of this ax, since it certainly can't be the EQ or pre-amp since it has none of that stuff.

Built well enough to last very long time if you take care of it but not something worth mention in your "estate planning" :) For $600 I've cured my longing for that $1200 Guild Starfire. Everybody should have one of these ! Sounds great, different from typical solid electrics, deeeeep lows, horn-like mid and upper mids, and a sweet transitioning from deep to uppers as you cross the neck. In some bands this could be the full time bass, there's nothing "special purpose" about it.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-08-05.

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