Phil Maneri’s
BASS
LAB

This Article Was Originally Published On: June 3rd, 2015 #Issue 16.

Ampeg made some really interesting basses in their short run as an instrument maker. The Baby Bass is iconic with the salsa community. The Devil Bass was by far the most interesting, followed by the AUB-1 Scroll Bass and the Dan Armstrong “Plexi” bass. This particular instrument is a takeoff of the AUB-1 Scroll Bass. Traditionally, that instrument looked way cooler than it performed. It had construction problems that kept if from playing very well, or very well in tune. It had a weird pickup system loosely based on the Baby Bass construct, which while okay on the Baby Bass, didn’t work so well on the Scroll. Although it had its fans, for the most part, it was ignored as some kind of novelty.

This bass is another modern homage to vintage hipster instruments, where the stuff that didn’t work on the original is mostly ignored and modified to be more functional and then constructed where labor is inexpensive to keep the overall price low. This is a cool bass for $750. Compared to its other imported brethren, the “cool factor” sets it apart from the Fender lookalikes that dominate the market.

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Digging into the details, the body is a mahogany variant, with a maple neck and a rosewood slab fingerboard. The electronics are super simple: a single humbucker, placed roughly between the modern Precision Bass location and the MusicMan Stingray bridge position. Inexpensive passive volume and tone pots are nestled in an unshielded cavity beneath a mammoth pickguard. They went to the trouble of installing a foam mute pad under the bridge cover in vintage Fender style, but put it in a position behind the takeoff point of the strings over the bridge saddles, negating the typical function of a mute pad.

The bolt-on style construction is set apart by the full, through-body routes of the f-holes.
The polyurethane sunburst finish is quite pretty, albeit a little thick on the neck. I did observe a patch of bare wood in one of the f-hole “slots,” where the paint was either never applied, or didn’t manage to stay put.

As a result of the setup, the bass did not play all that well right out of the box. Raising the saddle height remedied this, though. The instrument is a bit neck heavy, and didn’t balance very well for me in either standing or sitting positions.

This is a kitschy bass, with materials and execution typical of the price range. It’s high on cool potential, but still quite affordable. It’s not really a “pro” instrument, but it is a cool entry level, or hipster bass, where an original vintage instrument is unaffordable or impractical.

bass test
Eastwood Bass

Eastwood EEB-1

CONFIGURATION

Strings:4
Style:Double cutaway
Overall Length:45
Body Dimension:18" long x 13" wide at lower bout
Body Contouring: Minimal
Weight:8.1 lbs

NECK

Scale length:34”
Neck width at nut:1.688"
Neck width at 12th fret:2.264"
Neck width at joint:2.401"
Neck thickness at nut:1.061"
Neck thickness at 1st fret:.822"
Neck thickness at 12th fret: .947"
Neck thickness at joint:1.076"
String spacing at nut: .430"
String spacing at saddle:.745"
Fingerboard radius:12"
Descriptor for neck shape:flat D
Peghead break angle:17 deg
Bridge break angle: 27 deg
Afterlength at nut:3” to 4 7/8”
Afterlength at saddle:1”
Attachment:Bolt-on
Pocket gap:.016"
Truss rod type/access:Single action / peghead access
Fret count:20
Fretwire:99x36

ELECTRONICS

Pickups:Proprietary alnico humbucker
Pickup location(s):12 5/16”
Electronics:Passive
Controls:Volume, tone
Shielding:none
Preamp circuit voltage:Passive

CONSTRUCTION

Body Woods:Mahogany
Neck WoodsMaple
Fingerboard:Rosewood
Body Finish:Polyurethane
Neck Finish:Polyurethane

HARDWARE

Strings:GHS Boomers
Gauge:.102, .082, .062, .042
Attachment:At bridge
Bridge/color:Proprietary / chrome
Nut:Bone
Tuners/color:Sealed / chrome
Knobs/color:Metal / chrome
Pickguard:Black (3-ply)
Control cavity cover:Pickguard

GENERAL

Company:Eastwood Guitars
Georgetown, Ontario
Canada
http://www.eastwoodguitars.com
County of origin:Korea
Warranty:3-years
Price:$949 (list), $749 (street)
Options:None
Accessories:Gig bag ($39), hard shell case ($99), truss rod tool, instrument cable
Available colors:Sunburst, Black
Acquired from:Eastwood Guitars
Dates:November, 2014
Locals:Columbia, Missouri(in-hand review), Ohio(technical review)
Test gear:Gallien Krueger 1001RB-II, Bear ML112

TEST RESULTS

1-5 (unacceptable to impeccable)

In-hand

Features: 3
Tonal Flexibility:3
Ease of Use: 4
Aesthetics:4
Ergonomics: 4
Tone: 3.5
Value:4

In-hand Score 3.64average

On-bench Score 3.06average

On-bench

Overall construction3
Wood choice3
Materials choice3
Joinery4
Fretwork4
Fit and Finish of adornments4
Quality of finish work2
Ease of repair 4
Potential range of setup3
Balance on knee2
Balance on strap2
Overall electronic quality3
Solder joints, wire runs3
Clarity4
Noise4
Shielding1
Quality for Price Range3

SONIC PROFILE:

Low: Big and powerful, but not overpowering
Mids: Rich, articulate, responsive
Highs: Clear, sweet, but somewhat muted


TONE-O-METER:

As a passive bass with one pickup, the tonal spectrum of this bass is somewhat limited. It delivers in much the same way as a good P-bass does, and sports nice fit and finish, at an affordable price point and with a great warranty.

Eastwood Bass