Picked it up yesterday at my local Guitar Center. I went in looking strictly for a Fender P-bass. Had a number of P's in my time, and I was certain I wanted one again.
What instantly grabbed my attention, was the finish. IMO, Surf Green is the ultimate
color for a bass/guitar. This Mint Green is just as cool.
The GC staff must have just
put it out on the floor, since it looked completely unmolested. Even the plastic on the pickup wasn't curling up/missing.
I just plugged it in long enough to make sure everything worked like it's supposed to, and left with it. With GC's return policy, I got 30 days to evaluate it, in the comfort of my own home, so why waste time messing around in the store.
Upon plugging it in to my Fender Bronco 40, I found the pickup to be quite hot. On the Sterling by Music Man website they have recommendations for the string/pickup gap. 4 mm (5/32") under the E string, 3 mm (1/8") under the G string. Set mine up accordingly, no more issues. Sounds great.
I replaced the factory strings with Rotosound Flats. Set the action at 0.4 mm (1/64"), measured at the 8th fret, (as per the manufacturer). Got the string height down to 2.2 mm (3/32") under the E string, measured at the 15th fret, (again, as per the manufacturer), and 2.0 mm (5/64") under the others. Lower than any other bass I ever owned. Plays beautifully. Played it for nine, out of the next 12, hours. Just could not
put it down.
Feels very solid. It weighs in at 8 pounds, 12.8 ounces, according to the bathroom scale. I use a nylon strap, and left to settle naturally, the neck rests several degrees above horizontal. Even when sitting, it balances/fits well, and I don't feel myself stretching to play up near the nut.
For $279, I think it's a fantastic bass. For the first time, (after buying instruments for 15 years), I can honestly say, even if I paid twice that amount, it would still be a good value. I'm extremely happy with it.