Fender Japanese MB4 Bass Reviews 4

Bought at a Guitar Show for $225 [usd] incl a very decent gigbag. I was just browsing about and picked it up to get a better look and as I picked it up, I was very impressed with how light it felt. One reason it drew my attention on display is that it has a "reversed" split coil [P- type PU], and that is how I like my split coils [treble side closer to neck].

It's very light, body looks like alder or poplar, and has a good "normal" bass tone. Simple 3 knob control with a fader/blender [which I much prefer to twin volume knobs]. It didn't cost much in almost un-played condition, which means even if I upgrade some components, in total it will still be a modest investment. It has the standard "Fender-5-screw" bridge for which direct- fitting [5-screw] upgrades are easy to get.

The control cavity is not shielded in the least [although for some reason it's not any noisier than similar axen that do have decent shielding]. The pots ARE grounded to the bridge. The bridge is that same as the Mexican 4- strings, a very light weight stamping that I knew I would change out.

Slim 21-fret neck, rosewood fretboard, P-J pups with reverse split coil, 2x2 Gotoh-type tuners, extremely cheap-ass bridge, no pickguard, passive exposed- pole pups, decent "brownburst" finish. 3 knobs: vol, fade, tone. Body seems to be poplar or alder, 4-screw neck joint with plate. Feels light but not flimsy. The whole bass is very much like the "P-Bass Lyte" in disguise, but I like the tone on this version better than the 3 Lytes that I've tried in stores. The reversed split coil may be a major part of that difference.

I'm rating it at "4", but that is WITH an upgrade to a cast bridge and with a silver dollar screwed to the back of the peghead. These additions have given it a good mellow tone, with some shimmer and a good bottom. The body is a 7/8 scale P-bass, which with the 2x2 head fits in a less bulky gigbag. It's light and compact enought to always ride with me, which it does, and is cheap enough to not be worried about that habit. It does what I bought it for.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-06-02.

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