Founded in 1976, Spector has long established themselves in the world of bass as one of the very leading names of high quality instruments. That would include even the more budget-friendly examples, up to the US custom models available from their Woodstock, New York workshop. In this review, we are looking at the Euro4 LT model, a range of basses made to a very high standard in the Czech Republic.
Czech This Out
These instruments are available in four special translucent gloss fade finishes: Blue, Red and Violet, which are stunning, along with the Tiger Eye example we have in for review here, today. The glassy finish, as you can see, really makes the grain of the North American maple top pop out, all framed attractively with a slice of walnut underneath that creates a contrasting pin-stripe around the body edge. The body itself is two wings of European alder sandwiching the neck-through construction.
In my video, I can’t help but enthuse over the neck profile and how easy it is to navigate, so much so that I thought the nut width of the neck was that of Jazz Bass dimensions. Well, the specifications confirm that the nut in these basses is in fact 41.6 mm (which for my US readers is 1.64”) – very deceiving, as if it feels slimmer than it actually is!
Whilst reading the current specifications from the Spector website, we are told that the LT models feature a weight-relieved construction. As I only have just the one bass here, I can’t compare multiple models, but online, I am finding suggestion of around 4kg each, which is more than adequate for us with bad backs! The lightweight tuners installed and the small headstock help considerably in that this instrument does not neck dive, at all!
The slim neck of the Euro4 LT is a 3-piece laminate construction of maple. Again, the attractive grain is visible through the translucent finish. Around the front, the fretboard on the LT models is ebony, and that dark wood contrasts against the Spector crown inlays, further enhancing the overall look.
I am a great fan of Gotoh hardware. I love their tuners, and the four on the Euro4 LT are exactly the high quality I expect. They are lightweight Res-O-Lite models, weighing in at a mere 40g a piece, and are accurate and so very smooth in operation. On a personal note, I’ve always found the larger 11mm string posts more attractive than the smaller type. To my mind, they seem a better option mechanically, too, though I’ve no scientific tests to prove that, here.
I think the gold hardware looks elegant against the finish, and the Spector bridge here is a 19mm spacing and is of an aluminium construction. Looks are also important on a high-quality instrument, and Spector’s chunky, yet well-designed, bridge system doesn’t let us down, here, either. We are treated to quick string release slots and lockable saddles to improve tone.
All of this makes for a beautiful bass to look at, but how does it sound?
I’ve seen various Spector models offering us everything from active EMG to Aguilar and Fishman pickups and electronics. Euro4 LT, here, is special in that Bartolini return with a set of custom-wound P/J pickups. The P split-coil pickup is in reverse configuration and you can hear that isolated in my video review, but it’s the tone of both pickup volume controls full-up that “brings the smiles” for me. The pair are well balanced, tonally, when blended together. In my video, you will hear the J-style also isolated. There’s a rounded bark available from the pickup when digging in, and it responds well to further EQ tweaking. At the end of my video, I rolled back the top end and plumped up the low end for a distinctive bass voice.
Speaking of electronics, Darkglass’ Tone Capsule module makes up the pre-amplification on board. As a stock item, it offers Bass, Mid and High-Mid controls, in lieu of a treble control. The design is further tweaked by Spector to include alternate EQ centres. Have a look at the specifications in this review to see those. Again, these work particularly well with this bass and my set up in the studio – which, to let you know, for this review, the 4 LT was running “direct to desk,” so you really are hearing the bass, alone. There is a fair amount of boost available on the EQ controls, but I felt that keeping things “flatter” allowed the bass tone to shine.
Out of the box, I immediately noticed the exemplary set-up. I prefer a bass to arrive with a low, buzz-free action and this Euro4 LT is perfect, right down to the fit and finish of the fretwork. I am always a little cautious of an instrument that arrives with an unusually high action, as it sometimes suggests it can’t be lowered any further. At least if we start with a very low action, it could be raised to taste, as is the case here.
The Bottom Line
|Made In:||Czech Republic|
|Warranty:||Limited lifetime warranty (original owner)|
|Top:||North American maple with a slice of walnut|
|Bridge/color:||Spector / gold|
|Tuners/color:||Gotoh / gold|
|Control cavity cover:||Rear-mounted, black plastic, with separate pop-out battery box|
|Pickups:||Bartolini custom-wound P/J pickups|
|Preamp:||Darkglass Tone Capsule|
|Controls:||Volume, Volume, Bass cut/boost, High Mids cut/boost (Mids cut/boost accessible via control cavity)|
|Body Finish:||Tiger Eye translucent high-gloss polyurethane|
|Number of Frets/Positions:||24|
|Gauge:||.045, .065, .080, .100|
|Options:||Four finish options (Blue Fade, Red Fade, Tiger Eye, Violet Fade)|
|Price:||$3,791.99 MSRP, $2,899.99 street|