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NBD (And this one is NOT a gimmick!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    Well, this is the first time in my life I buy a bass strictly based in the combination of looks + price (I wouldn't have done it if it was expensive), although of course the favorable reviews helped as well.

    And I agree: While not a high-grade instrument, this is definitely not the POS many might think it is. Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you my new toy: The GENE SIMMONS CORT AXE BASS.


    Axe09.gif Axe04.gif

    Axe06.gif Axe03.gif

    OK. First things first, and I have to talk about this bass' biggest (and only) flaw: The ergonomics. From that standpoint, it's definitely an awful instrument. Not only you can't play it while sitting, but the strap pin over the 17th fret puts everything really far left and generates a hardly controllable neck dive. It's terrible. The only way so far I've found to play it comfortably is hanging it on my right shoulder, as you can see on the first picture. BTW, while it's not the best solution, I think it's a very good one to deal with instruments with the strap pin at such bad location. Yes, the instrument doesn't feel that secure wearing it that way, but unless you do a lot of jumping and stage antics, it will stay there (specially if you use a rugged strap). I did a search and, as far as I could find, nobody has suggested that before.

    But aside from that, I am extremely happy with my purchase. It's a cheap instrument made in Asia, but it definitely doesn't feel cheap. The tuners are very smooth, the neck is pretty comfortable and, contrary to many other instruments you can see in music stores, this one arrived with a very good setup. Not exactly what I like and because of that I performed my usual setup routine on my new baby, but it had a dedicated setup job for sure.

    As far as I have seen, the only QC flaw I've noticed is that the 19th fret wasn't properly filed and it sticks out a bit.


    I was expecting a really unpleasant tone from this instrument, but to my surprise, the stock Mighty Mite pickups deliver both a clear and powerful tone. The noise level isn't bigger than the average expected from a passive bass with a single coil pickup. With the tone control fully open and both pickups engaged, its "brightness" is a little too much for my taste, but nothing that cannot be solved with some EQ. I was ready to order an EMG PJ set to replace the stock pickups, but now I'm having second thoughts about it. Time will tell. Actually, I think this is a great sounding instrument and its tone reminds me of the one heard on a very famous recording made with a really expensive bass. Right now I'm practicing that bassline to record a demonstration video, so then you'll know which song I'm talking about.

    I like the output jack location...


    Oh, and it arrived with this nicely padded gig bag:

    Axe11.gif Axe12.gif

    That "hat" on the gig bag is a protective cap for the axe body. It looks funny to me. BTW, the bass' finish is very nice and the bridge cover is a touch that makes it look even nicer. A beautiful, shiny instrument that seems to have gotten a lot of commitment from the manufacturer, or at least exceeding what could be expected from an Asian factory like Cort.

    So, those are my first impressions about this cool instrument. Of course, I think you must be (or have been) a real Kiss fan like I was in my teenage years to appreciate it. My fascination with the axe bass dates from 1982, when I saw Gene for the first time playing his Kramer Axe on the "I Love It Loud" video. BTW, young people (specially young Kiss bashers) will never understand the meaning of being a hardcore Kiss fan during the time they didn't show their faces to the public. For those of us who were also fans of superheroes (Superman, Batman, Spider Man... you name it) and the concept of keeping a secret identity, Peter, Ace, Gene and Paul were that: True music superheroes. An incredible mystique surrounded them during that era. Even such a cheesy movie like "Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park" was something to get crazy about just because of that: The materialization of their "superhero" status. Even better if you, like me, grew at a time in which our favorite musicians were like gods because you didn't see them that often on TV and, in the case of my country, seeing them in person was out of the question. Besides, when you don't play an instrument and don't know anything about music aside from listening it (as in my case at the time) you can enjoy it without thinking/questioning about your favorite musicians' skills as players. It's absurd to pretend denying or getting rid of the mark that an artist left in your life just because you later get to realize that he/she wasn't what you were convinced he/she was. :)
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    from the pics, it looks like the pickups aren't centered to the strings to me (especially the E & A p bass pickup half).
  3. RFord04


    Apr 8, 2009
    Flint, Michigan
    I thought you said this one wasn't a gimmick.... ;)

    Sweet bass. The ultimate KISS collectable.
  4. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I'll pass, it's all yours.
  5. Cosmo420


    Sep 10, 2010
    Roanoke, VA
    Yes, but can you play it sitting down?
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Read my post again. Definitely not. :)
  7. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cort makes surprisingly great stuff...I have a Cort acoustic guitar and I swear by it. I've put it through hell and back and it's never needed a setup or adjustments. I've heard great things about their basses too around here.

    That "axe" bass isn't much my tastes, but it's cool...and would make a sweet weapon if someone tries to attack you onstage.
  8. I for one love it. I can't think of an instance where I would ever play it on stage but intend to have one even if it just hangs on my wall with my other KISS stuff! Congrats!

  9. Never liked kiss or super heros, I am young tho but I dont think thats the problem as I like alot of old stuff Just not kiss.

    That bass will get alot of looks thats for sure, not something I would want but would kinda be cool to play a show with.

    Also is the bridge cover stock?
  10. you now have quite a crazy lineup there

    2 Bongos
    a Steinberger
    and now this

    I am a subscriber to your YouTube vids
    so naturally I am looking forward to a video
    maybe a crazy dual screen one
  11. The price is quite low for an Axe Bass. Maybe one of these should be part of my collection. You'll rock the place if you're suddenly called to fill in for a Kiss-cover show.
  12. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Yes, it is.

    I'm seriously thinking about it, man.
  13. Just cuz it's a Cort doesn't mean it's not a good instrument. My first bass was a Cort Action and it was extremely nice. I own two Cort guitars, and one has sat on the stand for about 5 years, only occasionally being picked up to be played and is still in tune from the last time I played it on stage. It's great.

    When I was younger, in the 70's, I was a KISS and Gene Simmons FREAK. I would have killed for one of these then. Now not so much but it's still a very nice looking bass.

  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    BTW, Gene isn't the only famous guy who has played the Axe on stage:

  15. DaLoCo


    Jun 16, 2010
    South Africa
    That bass might draw the chicks, or at least get them to stare, and figure you are really an ax muderer......
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    [SUB]... you scaring me ...[/SUB]
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
  18. I didn't even know scott ian played bass.
  19. Noseferatu


    Feb 12, 2010
    Hermitage, PA
    Definitely want one of these and am definitely very jealous! From what I've heard, the neck is very Gibson-esque and the tone is very bright and clear and pleasing. Nice to hear. I would totally play this onstage because I'm not one of those people who takes themselves extremely seriously.;)

    Great pics!

    From these two video, it does indeed sound pretty good. I'd still throw the EMGs in it, however.

    BTW, be careful not to chop your leg off!

  20. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Actually, I'm seriously thinking of bringing it to a wedding party gig I have tomorrow with my tropical music band. I'm pretty sure that, if someone among the attendants notice it, it won't be considered "ridiculous" but "scandalous" in the worst of the cases (and I like that).

    After a couple gigs with it, I'll decide if replace the stock pickups with an EMG PJ set (the ones in the "real", ultra expensive Cort Axe). Again, right now I think this version of the axe has a very decent tone. :)
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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