This German brand has been producing fine basses for some years, including models from 4 to 7 strings, solid or semihollow, fretted or fretless, with a wide choice of pickups and electronics.
This bass is a California JM model, which is the term that Sandberg use for their Fender style basses. JM means Jazz and Musicman style pickups. The bridge humbucker can be split with a miniswitch, so you get the best of both worlds. The active/passive 2 band preamp has enough power to adapt the bass to a number of situations.
Switching to passive converts the High EQ into a Passive Tone control that works only from the middle click downwards. Very smart and effective.
To sum up: a well built and finished versatile bass.
But wait...there's more: no we have not been trashing the bass around our shop, nor is it one of those used basses that are sold in some shops as "ex-demo". Instead, this bass comes with the upcharge (just 130€) of the aged or relic finish. You may or may not like this type of finish, but one thing is for sure: apart from being fashionalbe, it makes you feel you are playing an old beaten bass from the 60's, and you get some of that mojo when you play this Sandberg, even if it is a fake (who cares!!).
We have to admit that is probably the best Relic finish we've seen. To get it right, you just don't simply scratch and stain the bass randomly; you have to do it carefully so that is looks the real thing. The result is a bass with:
- Worn areas (top of the bridge pickup, forearm rest, etc.) as if bass would have been played if it had been made in the 60's
- Scratches and dents from thousands of gigs in pubs, low ceiling rehearsal rooms, etc.
- Even the burnt bit at the headstock from holding a cigarette while playing.
By the way, the upcharge for this special finish is a true bargain at 130€