In my experience, too much rattle and not enough tone is the fundamental issue with fretted acoustics, played unplugged. A fretless acoustic bass guitar is a completely different cup of tea. No fret rattle, just the pure and deep sound of wood. I have seen middle of the road reviews of these things in fretted versions, which I have no reason to distrust. But this fretless is loud. Unplugged it makes a snare drum rattle with ease, at normal drummer distance. And the soundhole projects. At least I'm told. Putting my ear against the body while playing, I get the punch of an upright.
Made in Korea i 1999 (?) - number reads 99120005. It was never owned before I got it in the summer of 2002. Since then the spruce top has gained a more mellow glow, and the sound has grown darker and stronger, with improved sustain.
The original silky finish on the back of the mahogany neck has been hand polished from playing. Now it shines. General woodwork is very good. Everything is safe and solid, without being chunky. Really nice binding along body edges and neck. Side markers are spot on, and it has a real bone nut. Finish on back and sides (rosewood) is deep and shiny, a bit thinner on the top. No stupid-looking cutaway. Just a great, round, fat, symmetric body profile.
Plugged, the piezo pickup and Fishman pre-amp works just fine, with near perfect balance between strings. Sound is everything from super-colored fretless "mwah", to a deep, dry thud. Volume is strong enough for keeping it up with a medium loud drummer and two or more loud electric guitars. But keep at least one hand on all strings at all times, or it turns into a vibrating, howling foghorn in seconds. This is when pushed to the limit. At reasonable sound levels feedback is no issue. In amplified mode, dead spots are negligible. Unplugged, don't expect too much at the 14th "fret" of the G-string.
To me, this instrument's decent unplugged tone and super playability has opened a new world of bass playing, especially when rehearsing and/or jamming in home settings. No need to lug ugly amps into friends houses anymore!