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This article was originally published in issue #36
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Back in GI 26 we reviewed Jeff Berlin's new 'Rithimic' signature bass, which the great man has devised along with manufacturer Cort, and now we're back with another beautiful Cort bass that also isn't too heavy on the pocket. Coming from the company's Artisan range, the A6 is the six string model and stands shoulder to shoulder with four and five string models from the same range.
The A6 is a bass that immediately felt comfortable from the moment I picked it up and it looks every bit premium. That's not just a visual thing either - Cort is using premium grade hardware here and it shows. The tuning hardware, for example, comes courtesy of Hipshot.
This neck through bass guitar has a maple and wenge laminate neck with a 15” radius fingerboard of rosewood taking you right up all 24th large size frets. Dot markers on the neck are really tasteful and inlays are abalone dot with a black circle.
Access isn't denied 'up the dusty end' as the lower horn of the body is sculpted back with rounded edges like the rest of the body profile. Speaking of the body, it is mahogany but that eye catching top cap is figured maple. Wonderful.
The 34” scale stretches to the back of the body with a Hipshot Trans Tone bridge taking care of anchoring the strings and vibration transfer. A sturdy block for sure!
Underneath the D'Addario EXL strings that come as standard, gauged 032-130 (and sound great) are a pair of Bartolini MK-1 pickups that are paired with a Bartolini MK-1 EQ that do a good job of transferring the sound of this machine to your amplification. I totally agree with the marketing blurb for this bass - it does indeed have a wonderful 'piano-like' tone from its brand new bright strings but the EQ carries a nice amount of weight too, meaning you'll get heard in the mix whatever your style of music.
Controls on board give you a master volume and pan between the two pickups. Underneath there is a three band EQ that also includes a bypass switch allowing your pickup tone direct to volume control unadulterated. You could set this up for different playing styles, maybe the active EQ favouring slap or tap playing styles as an example, with bypass for fingerstyle.
The A6, with its short headstock and lightweight tuning keys, balances well and the body curves make it incredibly comfortable to navigate. Don't be put off by that neck either - it looks wider than it really is and you won't spend too much time getting used to the physicals. You'll need to get used to the extra string notes if you are more familiar with four strings though. The profile of the bass neck is slim and fast, but wider, obviously. I'd also say that the bass is easier to get used to owing to its closer string spacing that might otherwise make the neck even wider (in the case of something like a 19mm bridge spacing)
The action of this review bass was superbly low, though I was caught a little off-guard with my tapping technique at first. (Hopefully that was edited out of the video!!) Later, off-camera I became much more comfortable with the bass and had to put it away after some nudging from my camera team.
So here's yet another Cort bass that comes highly recommended, as do the other Artisan models, I have tried. This review model we had in was an excellent example of a well set up and playable bass. Elsewhere in the range, the A5 'Custom 20th' looks stunning with a bird's eye maple top and back no less! Make a point of trying one of these if you can and check out the very impressive price.