"BLACKBIRD: Think, 'Supersonic SR-71'"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
The pickups are wired together on this Nikki Sixx bass and there is just one way to play: all or nothing! The sound, to my ears, is spot on to Nikki's ... I'm sure there are other guitars that people would say sound better, but this has a very aggressive sound on the open A string and some very deep growl on the E string. Overall the guitar came from Epiphone with a great setup (they do a check-list) but I lowered the action just a little and made a minor truss-rod adjustment -- this plays like a dream. The 'opti-grab' is nice and useful, but takes some time to get used to it. The neck is good, fret edges smooth, everything was basically perfect ... sounds killer!
Well, Nikki designed it so that's cool enough for me ... but the DeepSixx pickups sound sweet - there are no adjustments for them and they are wired together - make a mean Motley sound. The 'opti-grab' is nice to have to swing around and just have better control of the guitar to lift/swing/move ... very functional feature - the on/off toggle switch is perfect ... this is not a Jazz bass, so who needs knobs to mess with? The selection of woods is excellent as is the fit & finish ... very, very nice. Fret edges do not protrude, appear to be even, inlays look nice - could use some tuner upgrades though.
Ease of Use:
Cant get too much easier than 'on' ... just dial in your amp (I have a GK 15 inch) and it sounds great! The manual the Epiphone sends out is small, but there are several papers and documents that come with the bass and it just shows that Epiphone is a quality company and takes pride in what they manufacturer.
As I said before, the fit & finish was perfect - no loose parts and everything was where it should be and no surprises. It is evident from the paperwork that some individual went through and checked string height, etc., before leaving the factory, to the craftsmanship itself that the quality control at Epiphone is second to none.
I wouldn't want to give this a low score and hurt this bass rating just because I haven't dealt with Epiphone before ... I've had no need too, but I did go to their website and typed in a question in the search box and it gave me one link -- the correct one and I was happy! They seem like a good company to deal with if there ever was a need to do so.
Definitely ... the quality of this instrument is absolutely worth the price - I would not be surprised if the price were to increased by $50 or $75 to still see this sell like hotcakes - I think they did good on the price-point they selected.
The Wow Factor:
I've read that this Epiphone is as good as the Gibson - I wouldn't know, but this is all black with white Iron Cross inlays and bird on the pick guard. It looks awesome - I like the look of the Thunderbird too but the Blackbird stands by itself - quite sexy!
Since I am do the 'Nikki Sixx' thing I don't suppose I will be looking to switch anytime soon ... I expect to wear this bass out! The only small complaint I would have would just be the tuners - I wish they were a little better quality but I can change them out later without much hassle.