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Galveston American Flag P Bass - review with pics

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Justice, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    I have been chasing one of these for several months now, and every dealer listing them did not have them in stock and had to order them from the distributor. The distributor did not have them and the model had been discontinued. I emailed every vendor I could find on eBay and the internet that had them listed. THey would reply with the "out of stock, discontinued" message and then remove their listings. Then last Friday night I did a search and found 2 listed on eBay. I was familiar with the seller and the listing indicated that they had only 2 available and that the model had been, of course, discontinued. The price was great $117 and shipping was free, so I hit the BIN and ordered one. It shipped from Florida on Monday and arrived here in Houston on Thursday.

    Anyway, specs are as follows.

    Galveston PB-Flag-4 bass - 4 string
    Neck - maple
    Fretbord - rosewood
    Body - Mahogany (actually it was listed as "solid wood" which it is. But the other Galveston P basses are listed as Mahogony)
    Electronics - 1 P bass pickup, volume and tone.
    Bridge - standard Fender style bent steel
    Tuners - Generic clover leaf
    hardware - chrome
    Country of origin - China

    I own 2 other Galveston basses (12 string and an acoustic) which were both made in Korea. They are both solid basses. I figured if the Chinese Galveston was 3/4's as good I would be OK, or at lest as good as an SX (which I have 3 of)

    Anyway, here are some pics....






    Out of the box its a simple, but good looking bass. The finish is well applied and does not seem cheap. The routing for the pickup is clean and the neck pocket is tight.

    The neck has a gloss finish on the headstock, but the back of the neck is satin finished. There are no sprouting frets and no sharp edges. The neck profile reminds me of my friends 75 P bass. It's chunky. It is the same width at the nut as my MIM Fender P, but is thicker front to back. It feels pretty comfortable right now but more time with it will be needed.

    It shipped with an instrument cable and wrenches for the bridge and truss rod.

    Out of the box, the action was high and the nut that holds the input jack in place was missing. I had a spare nut for the input jack so not a big problem there. This gave me a reason to open the control cavity. Just like SX basses, it has the smaller pots and a green cap. Wireing is OK, not bad but nothing to write home about.

    It has what look like fairly generic strings. They don't feel bad but will be replaced soon.

    After a few minutes doing some setup work, I have a playable bass. The stock pickups are quiet and the pots are not scatchy. Sound wise, they have a pretty round sound, that leans to the bright side. Brighter sounding than my latest SX P/J bass. Could be the strings. Volume wise, the bass is louder than my MIM P bass (which has ben upgraded with 62 Reissue pickups). I feel the overall sound of the bass will work well in a band setting.

    Acousticlly, the bass has a lot of presence (again, could be the strings), but it seems very resonant. It is also VERY light. According to my bathroom scale, this bass weighs in at just under 7lbs.

    At this point I'll just continue to tweak it and get it ready for gigs. I have a set of MIM P bass pickups and some new pots that I may install at a later time, but they are not needed now.

    Now I need to find a strap for it! LOL.
  2. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    wooo..bumping an OLD thread of my own..

    I recently had a pro setup (fret level, crown, polish, neck, nut and bridge adjustments) done on this bass and new strings (Webstrings Detroit Nicklels) installed to get this bass ready for its first show. July 4th of course!

    Now there was a few QC errors on the neck of this bass, mainly loose and high frets. I knew about the high frets, the bass was playable even with them, but did not know any of the frets were coming loose. but thats all fixed now. But something to think about should you be looking at purchasing a Galveston bass.

    I had this same setup done to one of my SX basses and its was great, the Galveston turned out fantastic as well.

    As I mentioned in the above review, the bass is very light. The body is solid, not ply. Galveston advertises their basses as having mahogany bodies. My Epi bird has a mahogany body and is very light as well. Being light made it very comfortable to wear all night, leaving my SX P/J to act as backup.

    The neck is a little chunkier than my Fender P, but not huge. Easy to play, with a simple satin finish on the back.

    What really suprised me was the pickups. I knew they were pretty hot. Side by side with my Fender P (with 62 Reissue pickups) the Galveston is louder/brighter and when played through my stage rig has a very cutting tone with some real grit to it. Not as smooth sounding as the stock pickups in my SX P/J. Depending on how I attacked the strings, the tone could go from piano like chimes to big P bass mud. And moving the plucking position towards the bridge brightend up the sound. Its definitly not a one trick pony as far as usable tones go.

    All the hadware on the bass is standard issue china ware, but the tuners are smooth and did not slip and the bridge is a standard Fender style and had not problems either. The bass stayed in tune all night with minimal adjustments, and thats with brand new strings with less than an hour of playing time.

    SO overall, I am very pleased with the bass, not only cause it looks good, but plays and sounds good as well. And I'm glad I got it after trying to find one for as long as I did.
  3. LCW

    LCW Inactive

    Mar 2, 2009
    I like the neck , the finish looks like a nice gloss and i am not a fan of sx orange tint.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    An American flag bass proudly made in... China? :eyebrow:

    What an age we live in :D

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