Sorry for the low Light pictures.
On to the review.
1) The setup from the factory was atrocious. (action was unplayable, neck needed shimming, bridge was buzzing, trem wasn't even close to adjusted, string tree was loose, pickup heights were all over the place.)
2) The low E string is too small of a gauge as others have pointed out. (others strings are quite good)
3) The bridge wont allow for proper intonation on the low E.
4) Bridge pickup is not my favorite.
5) 5-way switch won't allow for all pickups on selection or bridge and neck for that matter.
6) Not nearly enough chrome.
1) Beautiful deep Candy Apple Red Finish. Matches my '66 reissue jazz bass perfectly. Pretty flawless actually. Best MIM finish I've seen to date.
2) Neck and mid pickups sound great.
3) Screw in trem (really makes me want to change out the one on my Jazzmaster guitar)
4) Fret work was impeccable. (real rarity these days)
5) Individual string height adjustment. (I feel this is a necessity on bass[Most Bass VI bridges were a set radius like the Mustang guitar])
6) Neck is really pretty comfortable. (Lot more playable than some bass players would lead you to believe)
7) No neck dive at all.
8 ) Tone, Tone, Tone.
9) Ridiculously fun instrument and versatile too.
All in all I'm very happy with it. Don't misunderstand I'll be changing a few things.
1) As much as I like the ease of use of the 5-way it's just not as versatile as the original style switches. 3 switch plate coming soon.
2) The bridge pickup will have a single coil very soon. Most likely a Jag pickup.
3) The bridge has already been modified to allow for proper intonation. (pictures at end of post)
4) Control plate will be added just for appearance sake.
5) Since a new guard will be necessary it will surely be a mint one since that looks fantastic with CAR.
I really thought this bass was going to go back before I did the setup. Fender has to get there act together here. Small adjustments are to be expected but damn! This was not even in the ballpark. It really worries me that this model will not do as well as it should just due to the bad setup and undersized low E string. That would be a real shame cause it is a really nice instrument. I also have trouble understanding why it is that they would put a bridge on that can not be intonated. The mod I did was really easy but how many will not do that? Not trying to look a gift horse in the mouth here cause we all know how long we've waited for an affordable Bass VI. Truth be told I'd really like to see it succeed. If some things don't change with the factory setups I doubt that many mainstream guys will give it a shot.
The bridge Mod
This is a really easy mod. All I did was take the low E saddle off, put it on a drill press with the bit going through the original hole to the other side. Drilled, then mounted the saddle from the opposite side. Intonates perfectly with room to spare for the new larger gauge string that is on its way.
I may end up doing the A and D for aesthetics but they intonate fine as is. The nice thing about this mod is that unlike the 1" bridge you can use the readily available jaguar mute and bridge cover. (Well on this the Jazzmaster pickup will probably get in the way of the mute but that is about to change for mine)