Fretted & Fretless Bass Guitars

The neck is straight as an arrow with no buzzing…quite playable out of the box. Width at nut is 1.67″”, 0.86″” front to back C shape and 1.03″” at 12th fret transition to D shape. The neck itself is quite rounded and fairly deep which took a little getting used to but familiar to many with a 42mm nut. Worth mentioning is the fretwork – it’s extremely tidy!! No high frets I can detect, not yet at least – and although the fret ends are cut a little roughly they can be easily addressed.

In my opinion, they don’t seem to sound terrible once they’re set up. Musical journeys need to start somewhere and finding a reasonably priced, decently performing bass removes a huge barrier. Glarry music offers a good selection of basses from $130-$160, available in both 4 and 5-string models, that can fit anyone’s needs and budget. The model I reviewed was the Glarry GIB 5-string bass guitar in black gloss. Let’s take a closer look at the details, including sound samples, and my review at the end. I think what’s most impressive about the newly improved Glarry GP II Bass is the new finish.

I found the neck pocket to be too deep, so I ended up adding a shim to lift the fretboard up, allowing a lower action. Even by normal standards, with the bridge saddled flat on the floor, the action was quite high and I noticed how close the fretboard was to the surface of the body, almost more like a neck thru design. I’m not sure if this is normal or whether mine was cut a little deep, but I added a shim of about 2mm to bring the action into line. I should note that I also had to file the saddle of the G string down another 2mm in order to get a super low action – again, not something everyone would need to do. Yes that’s right – this bass costs about the same as an effects pedal or a couple of packs of strings.

My own worry would be that some people might not realise and it could put them off playing. I’m looking to buy a bass to learn on and I have a very tight budget. I know the FAQ recommends saving up for a Squier or something in that range, but I genuinely cannot afford that at the moment. At the moment, I’m leaning towards buying one of the Glarry bass + amp combos for a little over $100 USD. I’ve looked into reviews of Glarry basses and most of the reviewers seemed pleasantly surprised that they aren’t complete garbage, but I’ve also seen a lot of criticism around.

That’s partly why Jazzmasters and Mustangs entered the picture; they were cheap. Of course, as with the vintage Silvertones and pawnshop Harmony holdovers, success inflates the prices and the now ubiquitous presence of the Fender offset is in no small part down to Sonic Youth’s influence on the wider alt-rock culture. Plucked from the Sears catalog once upon a time, but now passed down through generations via Reverb, eBay and garage sales across the country, this particle-board oddity only cost Beck some 60 bucks or so, but listen to the tone he gets. It’ll surely have a big old neck like St. Vincent and Derek Trucks’ Silvertone, but when it sounds that good, who’s complaining? Just put it through an old tube combo amp, use a slide and be talented. Instruments in this price range are best seen as something to spend some time working on, or simply as a platform for modification.

When I first reviewed the Glarry GP Bass I didn’t realize that it would become one of my highest viewed articles of all time on this site. I also wasn’t expecting Glarry to issue a new and improved version only one year later. But here we are, and I’m happy to say I’ve gotten to plug this new bass in and put it through the ringer and see how it stacks up. At this point, the bass is now seen as a legitimate instrument that is one heck of a deal.

Get a bad one and you will have to return it or fix it. The pickups have been upgraded, as the new bass sports a Wilkinson split-coil set. These do more closely resemble a true P-bass pickup, with more bite and output that are about on par with a solid Squier bass. I’m very happy with the upgrade, which made the bass much more useable, regardless of your skill level.

After some poking about with a screwdriver I found the cap on the tone pot had one leg touching the wire to the volume knob – the post are quite small and the legs are quite close together. I probably bent it a little bit whilst removing the plate, so I bent it back into position and all was fine again. I’m not sure that would have been a problem otherwise. Several reviewers pointed out their interest in making modifications to the bass – particularly from reviewers that were more experienced bassists. Several explained how the bass was very “modification friendly”.

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