BGRA: Fender Dimension V

Manufacturer Fender Model Dimension V
Reviewer Stephen Sheehy
Experience 8 Item owned 6 months to 1 year
Review Date 2006-12-18 Price paid 650
Bass type5 string fretted
Neck joinBolt-On
Neck constructionmaple & rosewood
Fingerboardrosewood, 24 frets, 34" scale
Bodyalder
FinishAmber tinted natural finish
Pickupsfender vintage spec Noiseless jazz at bridge, vintage spec American Deluxe Precision at neck
HardwareGotoh tuners & bridge in matte silver, controls in black
Electronicsactive 3 band EQ, pickup pan pot, volume
The body is a little smaller than the average fender which makes it very comfortable to hold. The neck is fast, flatter than most fenders though still with a slight curve and it's fairly thin depth-wise. The 70-74 string spacing may not be good for smaller hands or for someone who wants to play fast and light all the time, but overall I find it very playable. Having 5 strings and 24 frets is awesome.

The tuners and bridge are of an exceptionally high quality. The wood is great (though there isn't lots of it so don't expect lots of sustain) and the body is put together very well.

The electronics are pretty poor. This was immediately obvious when I tried it in the shop. The stock pickups have a cold and characterless tone and don't complement each other... they seem too specific about their roles, if you like, making them inflexible and inelegant. The same is true of the active 3-band EQ which is crudely specific about which frequencies to boost or cut, and behaves like a clumsy corrective equaliser where what you really need is subtle-yet-powerful enhancement.

I liked everything else about the instrument so much, however, that I bought it and replaced all the electronics with Seymour Duncan bits. The pickups are not quite a standard shape so these had to be custom made. If you can be bothered to do this I'd highly recommend this instrument.

Although I may one day buy other basses for their more unique sounds (a stingray, for example) I don't actually feel the need to own any other instruments because I get such a wide range of tones. They all sound amazing and this bass plays like a dream.

If I was rating my newly customised version I'd give it 98% for sound but with the stock electronics I'd give it 75% at most.

construction (90%)
tuners and bridge are rock solid.
playability (85%)
Fast neck, slight curve but flatter than most fenders
appearance (95%)
looks amazing without looking like it's trying too hard
sound (75%)
Stock pickups are bland and don't complement each other, EQ is very crude. I swapped all the electr
value (90%)
build quality & hardware is amazing for this price, even after swapping the electrionics it's great
overall (85%)
With new electronics you can get a wide range of tones which all sound great and it plays like a dr
The BGRA is generously underwritten by David King of Bass Guitar Systems.
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