NBD: Musicvox Space Cadet 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CPplaysBASS, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    New year, new bass :) A bit of an impulse trade here. I already have 5 basses - two MIA Fender Precisions that are my main gigging basses, a Gretsch Electromatic G5440 Long-Scale, a Fender PJ fretless, and a Squier P. Happy with them all and certainly didn't need another bass.

    However, I saw the Musicvox Space Cadet 4 and thought "Hmm .... interesting. I don't have any basses in blue." LOL

    I could find information on the Space Cadet 12 (12 string bass) online and the consensus seems to be "fun, different, bought on an impulse, then sold." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Musicvox and I couldn't find any reviews on the Space Cadet 4.

    I was still intrigued though and traded a Gretsch G5420T straight up for it. The guitar I traded was beautiful to look at and it was the perfect match for my Gretsch Electromatic G5440 bass ... but other than strumming a G or D chord, I don't play guitar so it was a totally painless trade to make. Both sides of the trade gave up guitars in mint condition that sell for around $900 new. Even trade value-wise for both sides.

    I haven't spent a lot of time with it yet, but first impressions are very good. I'm mainly a Fender P guy and that will never change. The Musicvox is pretty much the opposite of a Fender P in every way - shape wise, tone-wise (look at those pickups), overall feel. However, I wanted something that was totally different for me ... off the beaten path.

    The body is mahogany and relatively light - a shade lighter than my P-Basses. I'm going to guess around 9-and-a-bit pounds. The bass is 34" scale, and tip to tip is the exact same length as a Fender P. However, for whatever reason, the Space Cadet feels longer than it actually is. It feels more like my Gretsch which is a 34" hollowbody but several inches longer than a P-Bass from tip-to-tip. I have to stretch a little farther to reach F. I guess it's just how the Space Cadet sits naturally sits on my body. It feels more like the Gretsch despite what my measuring tape says. It doesn't bother me at all, and the bass feels very balanced. Just a very different feel. Fits in a standard bass case.

    Workmanship is awesome. I'm not sure whether this bass is Korean or Indonesian as it doesn't indicate the origin anywhere on the bass. There is just a serial number of "4" on the back of the headstock (the previous owner told me there were only 4 of this model model with this finish). Anyway, the neck pocket is a perfect fit. I'm more anal about that than I need to be, but it really is perfect. Frets are filed with no sharp edges. Bridge is hi-mass and seems to be a quality hunk of metal.

    The profile of the neck is the biggest difference when you're used to playing a P-Bass almost exclusively. The Space Cadet is 1/16th of an inch wider than a P-Bass at the nut. Looks like a small difference on a ruler, but the overall neck profile - flatter but thinner front-to-back - makes it feel wider than it actually is. So different, but it doesn't cause me any issues in playing. I prefer the P-Bass "C" profile, but like I mentioned before, I wanted something different simply to have something different :)

    Tone-wise ... this is hard for me to judge at the moment. The previous owner was nice enough to put a brand spanking new set of strings on the bass before I arrived to pick it up. Awesome guy and a pleasure to do business with. However, there's that unmistakable harshness of new stainless steel strings that I absolutely 100% know can only come from new stainless steel strings. I prefer nickel wrap strings, well worn for warmness, if using roundwounds or, more typically, I use flatwounds.

    So give me a week or so to settle my opinion on tone, but it seems to be a very middy, punchy bass with lots of clarity (trying to separate the new string influence as much as possible). I think the best tone is with the neck pickup by itself. Given it's position on the bass, and the impression the size of the pickup gives visually, the neck pickup is full range and bright. No mud even with the tone turned turned fully counter-clockwise. It is not a "Mudbucker" despite its appearance.

    Bridge pickup on its own is a bit weak despite those over-sized pole pieces. Simple solution to that though is to not play the bass with only the bridge pickup. (Edit: see my next comment after adjusting the pickup height).

    Overall ... Very happy with a "no-money-exchanged, traded something I wasn't using" exchange. Would I purchase one new for full price? Probably not. However, as someone who already has his ultimate gigging basses but is still addicted to trying new gear for fun, the Musicvox Space Cadet 4 fits the bill perfectly.

    It's a head turner visually, the workmanship (on this bass at least) is flawless, and the tone - while not heavenly or righteous with brand new strings - is punchy and full range. Definitely worth the asking price (although I'll stop short of saying it beats all other basses in it's price range. It's not over-priced - let's put it that way).

    Ahhh .... who am I trying to fool. I really own traded for it because it looks cool (and totally happy in that regard) :)





    My other basses (for context). For some reason, that song from Sesame Street - "one of these things are not like the others ..." - is going through my head right now:

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  2. CPplaysBASS

    CPplaysBASS Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Quick update ... Really enjoying the Musicvox Space Cadet more and more as I spend time with it. I changed the strings from whatever was on it before (really high tension whatever they were) to my favourite nickel wrapped Fenders (7250's).

    I also set it up properly. For some reason, the bridge pickup was lowered on the treble side and the action was too high, resulting in a a weak G string relative to the other strings. I was able to lower the action on all strings, and now I'm not noticing the wider / flatter neck so much (compared to the Fender P). The bass plays like a dream now.

    VERY VERY happy with the trade I made :) I'm actually the third owner of this bass in 6 months. I think the bass has finally found a home (cue uplifting romantic film music) ...
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  3. Six basses only? You are nobody!!!

    P.s.: the Cadet is a pleasant entry in your collection of beautiful basses!

    CPplaysBASS likes this.
  4. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Nice bass. And the Gretsch is beauty, too. Best of all, you've got a once metallic Pewter silver, now metallic olive green Jazz Bass Special just like mine! Interested in that vox, though.
  5. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    I *love* the blue Cadet, man! if you ever decide to move it...

    Side note: I wish they made 8s like their 12s. The 12 is just a little too much for me, and I think just removing the second octave string would leave too much space to be comfy on.
  6. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    updates, or any others of these out there?