High quality guitars do not need to be of a jaw dropping price to be considered high quality. While the idea that the more expensive the guitar is the more likely you are to get a better sound out of it is true, there is a balance between price and quality that most of us can enjoy. Which is why I would like to introduce you to a guitar that is expensive, but is not out of the world expensive, and has a great level of quality in terms of sound and lifespan. Let us take a look at the ESP RB-1004 and see why it is so great.
The design of the guitar is something of an interesting beast to me. The idea of one wing being larger than the other in a double cutaway electric bass guitar has been present for a long time, but the execution of the style often falls short and results in a more or less lopsided look. In the case of the RB-1004 though, we get an instrument that actually looks rather interesting. The straight wings, double cutaway and the wood grain revealing coloring option, leaves the guitar looking and feeling like a great instrument.
The body of the guitar is made out of swamp ash, which is a tonewood that has a load of known and loved qualities. While less expensive than the northern ash, this tonewood provides the instrument with very similar, albeit weaker qualities in exchange for a lighter weight. This means you have a very expressive mid tone resonance, with a well rounded bottom tonality resonance that northern ash offers, but you also get to feel comfortable with playing the guitar for long periods of time. The top of the body is made out of solid maple, which provides the instrument with a bright high end resonance. Overall, a well balanced body for a well balanced sound.
The neck of the guitar is made out of 5 pieces combined into a single neck, with parts made out of walnut and maple. The combination of these two sturdy hardwoods results in the guitar having a warp resistant, lightweight and long lasting neck that is also very handsome. The set through the body neck joint provides some further stability and sturdiness for the neck of the guitar. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of maple, which is in the same vein in terms of the design as the rest of the guitar.
The bass guitar comes equipped with a Gotoh bridge system. This bridge provides the instrument with a great look first of all, as well as allowing some nice action and string stability out of it.
The nut of the guitar is made out of a decent synthetic material. It provides some nice action, as well as a nice, clean sound.
The tuning machine of the guitar is designed to look consistent with the rest of the guitar. The tuning stability is definitely nice and a great quality to have in your guitar.
The guitar comes equipped with two pickups, one located at the middle of the guitar and the other at the bridge. The setup is rather well known, with the middle pick up being a split coil and the bridge pickup being a single coil. The Aguilar AG 4J-HC (B) and the Aguilar AG 4P-60 (N) pickups do a great job of providing the guitar with interesting tone and powerful output, while also being rather versatile and interesting to play.
The guitar comes with a nice control scheme, with one master volume knob, one master tone knob and two band EQ knobs.
The sound of this bass guitar is rather lovely, with enough versatility and flexibility in its sound to allow for some great and fun times in any genre the musician wishes to play in. The bass tones are full, thick and warm, while the mid and higher tones are expressive and well defined. Definitely a great sound in a very versatile package.
This is one of those guitars that provide you with a lot of value in what they offer. While not cheap, the guitar is of high quality and great sound, so that you get a whole lot of it for its price.