Sunday, October 13, 2013

2005 Spector Euro 5 LX Bass Guitar Review


Hi there! Ever since I saw my first Spector NS bass, I have thought they are the sexiest basses ever built, and it turns out that they are really nice basses too. Today we are looking at an NS variant that was yet another failed attempt by me to take up the 5-string bass: 2005 Spector Euro 5 LX.

The Euro 5 LX shares the same contoured body shape as the NS, at a considerably lower price than the US-built Spectors. The Euro models are made in the Czech Republic, so the Euro designation is not just a clever name. This Euro models have been in production for over 10 years.

Other features it shares with the US model are the neck-through construction and the electronics package. The build quality is very good. I have played quite a few of these basses and have not found build issues with any of them.

The bass we are looking at today has a an oil finish over a figured maple top and alder body. There is a pretty large control cavity routed out of the back, which needs to be removed to access the battery. I have never been a fan that the control covers on these instruments are mounted over the body so that they are over flush. If they could break out the router and countersink the cover into the body it would look a lot cleaner. Maybe when I hit the Powerball and buy the company I can change that…

This Euro 5 LX has a 3-piece rock maple neck with the optional 35-inch scale (34-inch is standard). As I said before, it is neck-through, and the neck is graphite-reinforced. There are 24 frets lovingly stuck into the rosewood fretboard, along with a gaggle of mother of pearl inlays. The fret work is pretty good, but not quite up to the standards set by other basses in the price range. This one had to have the frets leveled and dressed. This one also came with a factory-installed brass nut (1.84-inch), which kind of takes me back to the 70s. The fretboard is fairly flat with a 16-inch radius.

The hardware is first-rate. Besides that retro brass nut, Euro models come with Schaller tuners, Schaller strap locks and a solid brass zinc alloy bridge. The gold finished hardware is standard, which is my only visual gripe about the bass. Gold hardware is played (like brown Louis Vuitton), and shows fingerprints and smudges like nothing else on the planet.

The electronics are where I think these basses really shine. This Spector Euro 5 LX is outfitted with EMG 40DC pickups, and a TonePump pre-amplifier. Controls are two volume pots as well as treble and bass pots. The treble and bass controls are boost-only, which would not be my first choice, as I would like the option to cut as well. The output is thunderous, and it cuts through a mix as well as any bass you have ever heard. If that is what you are looking for, that is. The guys in your country band might not be too cool with its sound.

How does it play? Well, that is a problem for me, as I just cannot get used to playing a 5-string, let alone a 35-inch scale 5-string. I think it will take giving up the 4-string completely and switching over to a fiver to make this work for me. That just is not going to happen.

What I can tell you is that it is very well made and that it is not terribly heavy, coming in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces according to my digital scale. This is not bad for a neck-through bass. It balances nicely, and does not feel heavy on a strap. As it is a long scale bass with a small body those first few frets are quite a reach…

Spector in New York is only a phone call away and they do a great job of customer support, plus they also stand behind these basses with a limited lifetime warranty for the original buyer. Which is a good thing, because the list price for a Euro 5 LX is $3299 with a street price of $2299. You can usually find them in good used condition for around $1200. You will be hard-pressed to find a better bass for the money, but make sure you play one before you buy because they are a lot different than the Fender-style basses that most folks play.


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