Review of Bass Collection Jive Bass Guitar
Is there anything left to be done with the classic bass designs?
The Bass Collection clearly thinks so - hence its Jive Bass. The
company has been selling them for a long while too, which suggests
users agree. Dan Veall checks out a classic take on a classic.
A lot of us start our playing days with cheap copy basses and
yearn for the 'real things' which one day (when we're rich and
famous, of course) we'll be able to afford. But don't be fooled
into thinking that replica, lookalike, or 'inspired by' instruments
( call them what you will - and what the lawyers will let you!) are
necessarily the lesser choices. Take the Bass Collection, for
example. The company has an almost unhealthy obsession with vintage
basses - especially in this case those from the '60s era and it has
won rave reviews for a succession of authentic vintage-style
instruments which, despite being made in one of Korea's top
factories (with all that implies for high quality) are very
There's a wide range to choose from. In the case of this Jive
Bass, with a wide selection of colour schemes, but also in other
body designs too. The Speak Easy Pro and Californian Bass cater for
those who might like something either more modern looking, or in
the case of the latter, a nod to another iconic bass shape that I'd
have called 'The Lemmy' or 'Yes Bass'! Also within the range is a
very tasty black Precision-styled instrument with a mirrored
scratch plate known as the 'Lizzy Bass' and also a distressed
sunburst finished fretless bass with the pickguard removed. No
prizes for guessing which jazzy artist's bass that instrument
As a side note, Bass Collection has also created the 'Bass
Centre Blockhead Bass' a premium recreation of Norman Watt-Roy's
original workhorse 1962 Jazz bass. This particular instrument
commands a much higher price tag but has been very well received by
reviewers. It's great to see the Bass Centre supporting one of the
UK's great bass players with what promises to be a superb
The Jive Bass features a maple bolt-on neck with a rosewood
fretboard, in to which 22 medium sized frets have been cleanly
installed. The neck's vintage '60s profile was immediately
comfortable to play, as well as having a quality finish to the fret
job. Naturally, being an accurate recreation, the bass has a 34"
scale length. The basswood body is home to the classic arrangement
of two single coil pickups and the standard 'volume, volume, tone'
control panel layout which again has been installed neatly and
tidily There are no signs of corners being cut. I'm really
impressed with the colour finish on the review instrument, too.
It's clean and even, fitting of any premium instrument.
The video review will give you a demonstration of the tones
available from the Jive Bass. In the studio those 'middle tones'
were easily attainable. We left the bridge pickup on full and
rolled off the front pickup just slightly to the point that the
tone changed. I liked a little boosting on the bass control on the
amp and the bass delivered a punchy and clear tone through the
in-house system. It's understandable that, at this price point, the
pickups will not be boutique or top name - but brand names aside,
they have a pleasing output and rounded sound, if being just a
little less tonally rich than some of the best vintage/modern
replacement pickups around. Of course, you could always add those
later and that could be a very tempting option for a perfectionist.
This bass is more than well enough made to justify that sort of
Don't assume that's code for saying the Jive Bass doesn't
already sound great, because it certainly does - amazingly so for
the price. Slap style bass sounded percussive and zingy and the
installed Bass Centre Elite Player strings are a very welcome
inclusion too! Some, like myself, may wish to remove the pickup
guard. As nice as it looks, I found it got in the way a bit. But
that's been a problem since the original was born and you can
hardly blame the Bass Collection for getting the details right!
Summing up, the Jive bass feels great - there's an attention to
detail that is welcome, not only in the feel of the neck profile
but also in that this instrument is nicely balanced and
surprisingly light in weight. I didn't have any scales to hand
myself, but according to documentation, they are in the region of
4Kg. That's pretty good I think. Tonally there's much on offer, its
palette may be limited in terms of not having active electronics
but on the other hand, plugged and played, it delivers the goods
Value for money, it's great and should see you through years of
service. A very good bass for not a lot of money, so specially high
Check out the full review inc. video of the Bass Collection Jive
Bass by Dan Veall featured in The Bassment of Guitar
Interactive Magazine Issue 16.