Kramer Baretta 5 String Reviews 4

I bought this Kramer Baretta 5 String on Ebay and paid $177.50 for it used. The reason for the Ebay purchase was they were sold out on I bought it to use during band rehersal. My Fender Active Jazz 5 string is very heavy and the kramer is quite a bit lighter, more compact, easier to play with decent rock tone.

There is much to like about this bass. I set mine for medium-low action as I have developed a light touch over the years. Strings and neck are fine at this level with no buzz. Neck-thru,Gotoh tuners, 5 pos. rotary tone switch, good fret quality, nice piano black finish and great sustain due to the cast bridge and 14 deg tilt headstock. The thin neck profile was a nice surprise making this fiver easy to play for hours. Another surprise is the 3/4" string spacing at the bridge getting narrower towards the nut. Good spacing for slapping. The bass has an excellent rock tone. I play in a classic rock band and this is THE bass when I am playing Cream songs. It tends to bark as I lay into it in "Crossroads" making me sound much more like Jack Bruce than my Fender Jazz V. The PUs get my kudos for tone in this price range. The low B string is tighter than my Fender and has a clear sound.

My dislikes were a small list indeed. The strap buttons were kind of flimsy so I removed the buttons from my Squire P-bass and installed them on the Kramer. The five position "chicken head" knob looked like it belonged on a kitchen stove not a bass. So I removed it and installed a round knurled knob with no sweat. The last complaint is that small finish blemishes can be seen below the black paint when you look close.

Contruction is quite good. The neck-thru makes it feel very one-piece and solid. I would have no problem taking this to a gig with no back-up. All hardware is black chrome. When I received the bass the only adjustments I made were tighten the nut on the output jack (never loosened again) and lower the strings. I could tell the previous owner did nothing to the bass. Did not even put it in a case. It was covered with dust and fingerprints (yuk!).

I have been playing bass for about 25 years and have owned a few Fenders and Gibsons. This Kramer has replaced my Jazz bass at rehersals and will be taken to the next gig. I liked it so much I ordered the $59 hard shell case from Musicyo. The case is custom made for the bass with full neck support and an indentation at the top for the 14 deg tilt headstock. It looks just like an SKB case but much cheaper to buy. I'm surprised more people have not discovered this bass. If it were lost or stolen I would go right out and buy another only problem is the 5 string version is out of stock on Musicyo and they no longer show up on Ebay. Excellent bass for the seasoned player or beginner.

John G. rated this unit 4 on 2001-06-28.

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