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This article was originally published in issue #43
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The Legend 8 continues the no nonsense approach of the well respected, Korean-made Spector line that we have featured previously. Clean lines and smart looks: yes I am a fan of that classic Spector outline - but it doesn’t stop there. Even though the Legend line is considered a more ‘affordable’ range than the USA custom models, it certainly does not mean the basses are anything less than well made and feature quality hardware.
We’ll start up top with the recognisable headstock, but this time, of course with eight tuning keys instead of four. There are the standard size keys for the usual E A D G strings you’d find on a four string, but on this model, each string is doubled with another an octave higher. Guitar sized tuning keys take care of these and they fit neatly in between the standard tuners. It didn't take long to get used to them being there and interestingly, given the extra weight, I noticed that neck dive was no worse than some ‘long nose’ basses I’ve reviewed previously!
I’ve said it before, I’ve always loved the Spector headstock of these models and the sleek body outline and the clean black look on the headstock with the Spector logo. The neck itself is a pretty standard three piece maple laminate for strength and has always been a good neck wood, used on countless instruments over the years, so there's no issue there. On to that has been applied a rosewood fingerboard with a 16” radius, home to 24 well dressed frets. Dot markers are also simple, up the 34” scale length fret positions.
The neck is rounded, not too chunky, with a fast feel that I think will help you get used to the extra strings rather than fight you. That's a reasonably low action too, though it may feel a bit different fretting those dual course string sets!
The body on the Legend 8 model is a lovely figured maple top which you can see over the ’NS’ curved and carved maple body
On to said body is fixed a nice chunky bridge and of course pickups and electronics in separate cavities. EMG provides two 'Stuart Spector Designed' passive dual coil pickups. They are similar to the EMG HZ range but feature more midrange frequencies in their output. Added 'growl' you could say! They are paired with a Spector TonePump Jr active pre-amp featuring boost only for bass and treble frequencies. Like the TonePump pre-amp, there are no centre detents. I remember reading that Spector encourage you to find your own settings without having a 'centre zero' position to be guided by. Personally I've liked to have had that centre click to use as a guide if a bass has unmarked knobs in them. Each to their own of course.
The Spector Legend 8 Classic is a good bass for the money and the review model that we have here is pristine, having a great set up straight out of the case. It's hard to find any criticisms to be honest. It's a no nonsense instrument where everything just does what it needs to and that's not a bad thing. You may feel a bit limited if you are after a wider tonal palette, but the core sound with both pickups on is full with the option of a little rasp if you dig in hard.
If you are sure you want an eight string there aren't too many around, certainly not affordable ones from a respected brand like Spector, so this has to be at the top of your shopping list. It's a specialist instrument and a very well made one. Go on - you know you're itching to try one.