Fresh out for 2022, the new Cort Modern series of basses build on Cort’s reputation for instruments that pack in great value for money. The GB range has been a great seller for Cort for many years and the latest offering brings upgrades and modern appointments to the line: Hipshot® Ultralite® lightweight tuning keys, Nordstrand® pickups, Babicz® full contact hardware bridges, Markbass® electronics, roasted woods, eye-catching tops and weight-reducing combination timber bodies. A 5-string model and two satin finishes are available: Open Pore Vintage Natural and Open Pore Charcoal Grey. [Gasp!]

The 5-string model has a 35” scale for a solid low B. I’ve owned the previous model (GB75JH), so I know already that it’s a capable beast, but I will endeavour to check out the Modern 5 for you all as soon as I can.

Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass
Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass

As always, look at my full video review to see and hear more about the Cort Modern 4. Don’t let the “Indonesian made” label fool you, this instrument is a cracking little number and if weight is an issue for you, then you will be pleased to read that Cort chose an interesting method for keeping the pounds off this super-Jazz style bass. Rather than using a heavy, dense wood choice and routing it out to a mere shell of its existence, Cort has opted for a laminating method utilising solid woods. You will have already seen the eye-catching poplar burl* top as you glance at the review.

*Burl wood is callus tissue on a tree; a deformed growth that can happen for several reasons: pruning, storm damage, infestation or illness affecting sections of the tree, including the roots. Burl wood is strong and resists splitting. Its interesting growth form is ideal for instrument tops and furniture, alike.

Underneath the burl top is a centre section of maple wood that the neck and bridge are attached to. The wings of the body comprise Paulownia pieces, which is a very lightweight wood, thus it can be left solid, rather than chambered. Some manufacturers may choose to leave the back of the bass alone, as it’s rarely on show. However, to make up a laminate sandwich, Cort’s Modern range gets a light ash back facing, too. The attention to detail doesn’t stop there, either, as the shaped burl top features a dark strip of walnut defining its outline around the instrument body. Cort has opted to show off the layers of body wood over the forearm contour of the body. A nice touch with these wood choices.

On to the body, a tidy, roasted maple neck with a 15” radius (so fairly flat) is neatly fitted. Fret work, fit and finish of both the neck and body in this example is very good, as is the action, though I could tease a few buzzes out by digging in hard. From my experience, that would just be a setup adjustment to suit a player, rather than any issue with the fretwork, in this case.

Adjusting the truss rod should be a breeze too, owing to the spoke wheel at the end of the neck. No more fussing with taking necks, pick guards, or covers off!


Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass
Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass
Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass
Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass

The neck profile is akin to a Jazz Bass carve. The nut at 38mm is neatly cut. Twenty-two frets on the neck treat us to a high F when needed, and it’s a smooth journey all the way up the roasted maple fretboard. I like the dark block markers, too, which are pleasing to my eye, given the tone of the roast, which is more brown than I was expecting. On a dark stage, viewing the 34” scale neck is a breeze, thanks to Cort including Luminlay dot markers. Think “glow in the dark,” here. “Charged” with a bright torch, they need no battery.

The whole bass is resonant, and acoustically, has a sound rich in upper-mid frequencies, not unlike a lightweight Sen wood bass I have, here (Japanese ash). It is with that I find the electronics pairing on paper seems like a terrific idea. So, I reached for my reference bass rig and my thoughts were well founded. Two Nordstrand BS4 Big Single pickups deliver a rich Jazz Bass-like tone, but with a clarity and touch sensitivity that makes the bass feel responsive. Of course, Cort supplies its bass guitars with quality D’Addario strings as standard, and these EXL165’s are fresh and zingy, further adding to the rich sounds I hear.

The Big Single pickups are wired each to a volume control and through to a passive tone. By pulling the tone knob outwards, the active circuit bass, mid and treble controls are bypassed. You can expect to get those cool passive tones out of this bass if that’s your thing, or add in some tasty Miller top-end zing or low-end fatness with the onboard MarkBass MB Instrument Preamp. This preamp offers +/- 15dB at 85Hz, 500Hz, and 8.5kHz, with an input impedance of 1.1 MegOhm. Battery life is expected to last 500 hours (@ 350mA per hour).

Oh, and did I not mention that Cort includes a case too? Yes, they do! Although the example I am reviewing today came in a very solid and smart Cort-branded hard case, the specifications online point out that a deluxe soft case is included.

The Cort Modern range pairs top tier hardware and electronics with Cort’s factory production and delivers a bass guitar that you should consider, should you be in the market for a purchase soon. This is especially the case should you have an eye on a “super Jazz,” but actually, if you need P-bass tones, there’s a reasonable facsimile presented in my video aided by the fat Singles and the mid boost on the Markbass preamplifier.

It plays well, balances well, and feels pleasant to navigate, owing to the satin finish throughout. A solid performer.

Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass


Manufacturer: Cort Guitars
Made In:Indonesia
Warranty: 1-year (through original retailer)
Body: Paulownia wings with soft maple core
Top: Polar burl
Neck: Roasted maple, bolt-on
Fingerboard: Roasted Maple
Bridge/color: Babicz® FCH4 Full Contact Hardware, chrome
Nut (Guide): 1 1/2” (38mm) bone
Tuners/color: Hipshot Ultralite, chrome
Knobs/color: Knurled, chrome
Pickguard: None
Control cavity cover:Black plastic
Pickups: Nordstrand Big Single BS4
Preamp: MarkBass MB Instrument Pre
Controls: Volume, volume, passive tone w/active bypass, bass, mid, treble
Body Finish: Natural satin
Neck Finish: Natural satin
Scale Length: 34” (864㎜), 35” for the 5-string model
Number of Frets/Positions: 22
Strings: D’Addario® EXL165
Gauge: 45-105
Fingerboard Radius: 15.75" (400㎜)
Accessories: Deluxe soft-side case included
Options: 5-string, Open Pore Vintage Natural (OPVN) Open Pore Charcoal Gray
Price: £1149 UK
Cort GB-Modern 4 Bass