With Ash body, Maple neck and Maple fretboard. Built in Japan. This one has the Single Coil pups not the hum canceling type.(std is the HC pups) Awesome. My only regret is that I had not purchased one sooner. This is my first Sad and let me say, I am very impressed with the build quality and I've had some very nice basses in the past. This one only weighs 7.6lbs and is a dream to play. Very articulate tone with great midrange and sparkling highs and deep lows. The VTC preamp is very cool. Can dial up a variety of tones. Absolutely no dead spots. I set it up for low action without fret buzz. Easy as pie. I can't compare this model to the Metro or NY series because I've never had those. If you're riding the fence on whether to get an Express or not- this is a recommendation to go for it.