I was in Ideal music here in NYC to by some rosin, so I figured I'd look in their bass room to see if anything had changed. In addition to the stuff they usually have in there, they had four plywood, ebony fingerboard Romanian basses with Helicore strings and basic setups for $750 bucks. I played two of them and they are certainly playable, although a better setup would probably help. I didn't love them compared to my well setup German ply, but they sounded a little unremarkable but useable. Arco is arco on a low-end student ply. If you need a bass that won't explode or hurt you for way under a grand, here you go. I got a bass there once, but I'm not affiliated otherwise.