+ Here is what i like:
All in One Guitars is a big plus for this instrument. They were very communicative and set the bass up for me specifically (EADGC). Delivery was quick and the bass was well packed.
- Weight - the thing is heavy for sure at 12 lbs.
Volume loss on back PU with tone off. I have the same issue with "designed by" jazz pick-ups in 2 other basses in this price range, so not really a "con". More like "par".
I wanted a 5 string strung EADGC. I was also looking for 24 frets and active. And I wanted to stay below $500 all-in for the bass and set-up. I played quite a few instruments - new and used - and could not find one that felt right in my price range. Sure, the $1500 range is silly with basses that fit the bill and there are used available, but I wanted to play whatever I bought first.
So I did the only logical thing and order something off the internet with few reviews sight unseen (sarcasm). Seriously, what I could find about Wolf instruments seemed positive and their return policy made buying and trying low-risk. The bass hit most of my criteria (not active), they were on-sale (15% off through allinoneguitars.com directly), and All In One Guitars set it up EADGC as part of the transaction. Everyone else wanted at least $50 plus materials to do the set-up.
What I received is a really nice bass. It compares very favorably to the other new 5 strings I tried in the price range (usual suspects) and even to used basses that would have been $300 or more if purchased new.
Here is what i like:
Sound - you can achieve what you would expect for a jazz bass and that gives you a solid platform on which to build your sound. Neck PU with the tone rolled back is deep and smooth. Bridge PU, tone up is mid-heavy and musical without getting zingy. Blending the pickups and mid-tone gives a nice mid to low punch. Harmonics are strong. Awesome sub harmonics when doing the pluck up an octave thing.
Neck - D shape with nice satin finish. Fret work solid - no buzz, no uneven spots, no annoying overhangs. 23 frets are accessible without any contortion. String spacing makes chords a breeze.
Electronics - solid and quiet. Controls are smooth. The PUs are hot without being harsh like lower-line active basses. Not what I would call top of the line by any stretch but not junk either. There is a bass sold by a popular 2-letter named, on-line retailer in my house with noisy pick-ups, sticky knobs, and little tonal range - this Wolf bass is the opposite of that.
Ebony top - someone here said it was like a middle school science table. Not a bad description actually. However, I love the contrasting wood look and the satin finish with chrome gives the bass a bit of a sinister menace that my wife called "bad a$$".
This is VERY picky - the ebony top does not extend to the elbow contour. That is not a problem. But there is a knot in the wood right there. If this bass had been hanging in a store along with the usual suspects, the Wolf still would have come home with me knot and all. If there were 3 Wolfs and one did not have the knot and everything else being equal, the one without the knot would be here with me.
Solid thumbs up from me for sure. By way of establishing a basis of comparison, I do own a number of basses in the sub-$500 range (Squier, Sterling, Epiphone) as well as more expensive Peaveys and Fenders. I have had the Wolf a few weeks now and I can honestly say the Wolf does not have the quirks that one finds and lives with on other budget bass lines. This is my first gear review on TB and I did it because I think more people need to know about the great service from All in One Guitars and the solid Wolf brand.