The Giannini GB-4 Beatle Bass I ordered a few days ago showed up this morning. I of course ended up an hour late for work because I had to crack open the box and play it. I didn't have much time with it. Just enough to get some first impressions. First, let me qualify this by saying I am at best an intermediate player. So my experience is limited. This is in fact the first violin bass I have ever seen or held in person. So many of the "quirks" I am noticing might be normal for this style of bass. Overall, I like it. Especially for the money I paid. Retail is $436 or so, which really means $256 that they really sell it for. I paid $102 shipped in an penny auction. So this is not a $1500 Music Man. I am comparing it to the $150 SX Ursa P-Bass I owned, the two $199 Squiers I've owned, and my favorite a Sterling SUB 4. This things doesn't even close to the $299 Sterling by Musicman SUB 4 bass I own with regards to playability. However, it does play MUCH easier and has a much lower action than the SX and Squiers I've owned. So when picturing how it plays, put it right in the middle between a Squier Jaguar and a Sterling SUB 4. And way above an SX Ursa P-Bass and a Squire Bronco. If I had experience with other basses I would list them as comparison. But I don't. Fortunately the ones I do have experience with are pretty common place. LIKES My biggest like is the way it looks. This bass is EXTREMELY sexy. It's the last thing that should matter. But I can't help it. It is just so darn pretty, and so darn flashy in this Gloss Red color. Absolutely perfect for the 12 year old girl it was bought for. She loves bright and shinny things. Size. This thing is small. Not only does it have a short scale neck, but it has a small body. Which again, is great for a 12 year old girl. It will fit her perfectly. Nothing she won't be able to reach. My original plan before finding this auction was to give her my SX Bass, which frankly is a beast. Way too big and heavy for her. So this is a welcome relief. Weight. This thing is light as a feather. Almost too light. Could be a con if the bass were for me. But since it is for a little girl, it is a major plus. Very low action. I might need to raise it a hair to eliminate the tiniest bit of fret buzz. But it is so low now that there is plenty of room to do that and still have an extremely playable bass. Even after I make that adjustment the action will be way lower than the SX and Squire Basses I've owned. Narrow neck width. The pictures are deceiving. Looking at them you would think it had a very wide neck. That's an illusion. The neck is actually very narrow. Which again, is great for a young player. My Sterling SUB4 also has a very narrow neck (at least at the nut) so I am used to that as well. I like it alot. Much easier to play than my SX P-Bass. Little touches that make it looks higher end than it is. From the pearloid tuner knobs, to the painted head and logo to the pearloid pickguard, this think looks high end. It isn't. But it looks it. There are just a lot of really nice touches I didn't realize would be there. The height/shape of the platform for the rear pickup sits in. The black thing in the pictures that the rear pickup is mounted to. This makes for an ideal thumb rest when playing figure style. Flat surface, just enough height to it that your thumb fits on it perfectly. Extremely comfortable, and natural feeling. This is a nice bonus feature I didn't expect. DISLIKES Let me qualify this by saying these are first impressions, and might be totally normal with a violin bass. Since this is my first one...I only have modern design basses to compare it to. Non-adjustable neck. If there is truss rod adjustment on it, I didn't see it. The neck looks and plays as if it is pretty straight. But as far as I can tell the only adjustment you have on this is the bridge (string) height. [strike]No way to adjust individual string height. Have to adjust the entire bridge. Again, I could be wrong. But it looks like you have to adjust the entire bridge. There is a dial on the top and a dial on the bottom of the bridge that you turn to adjust it up or down.[/strike] I was reminded to look under the cap on the head stock for the truss adjustment. Fancy. Thanks guys. Weak pickups. Now, this might not actually be true. This is a passive bass, and I was playing through my laptop which is adjusted for and has the settings for a much louder active bass. Once I change those settings the pickups might have punch to them. Not sure yet. I'll get back to you. Loud acoustically. I think this is a result of it being semi-hollow. And this could be a plus under the right circumstances. But for somebody who is not used it, it's a bit distracting. If your volume is low on your amp/headphones/speakers the sound coming from the bass itself can be easily heard. And since the is no tone setting to them, it can throw somebody who is not used to it off. But again, with a little time on it...you'll get used to it and over come it. It's minor. Upside is, if you wanna just pick it up and show off. People will hear what you're playing. Size and weight. I have both of these as pluses. And they can be. But it also feels really weird. Almost fragile. Almost like it is plastic and not wood. It's wood. It just feels like plastic because of the glossy finish and super light weight. Which has a lot to do with it being a semi-hollow body. All standard I presume. But an adjustment for those of us who never held a violin bass before. So any case...those are my 30 minute first impressions. I'll post a follow up when I know more. Please feel free to tell me if the quirks I commented are normal and standard for a violin bass or not. Would be helpful. The one I received has different style tuners than pictured here. Mine have pearloid knobs. Not sure if those are an upgraded feature or the new normal. But they are super sexy. When I get a chance I will snap a picture of them. The rest of the headstock is the same. Again...the one I received has different style tuners than pictured here. Mine have pearloid knobs. Not sure if those are an upgraded feature or the new normal. But they are super sexy. When I get a chance I will snap a picture of them. The rest of the headstock is the same.