Side by side with DM-206, Aria's DMB-206 fully inherits the heritage and tradition of the original DM series as well as updated specifications to suit modern players' needs. Featuring a short-scale length, the entire body is physically smaller and user-friendly for players with smaller hands—also ideal choice for the six-string players who want to explore the bass. Sam Bell tells us more.
The time has come for me to review my first bass here at Guitar Interactive. Those who are regular may know me as a Guitar player, so Bass players, please take my opinion on this (as with all reviews!) with a pinch of salt. Being a Guitarist, however, I do create lots of music, and when I write & record, I play bass, and I think it is important for Guitarists to play bass (and vice versa!) as it helps your overall musicianship and no better than looking at this short-scale groover.
In this issue, I took a look at the Aria DMB-206; this is a retro style, short-scale bass from Aria, who makes affordable & quality instruments. The DMB is part of Arias' Retro Classics series, featuring model lines that were originally launched in the 1960s.
The DMB206 features a Basswood body, Maple Neck, and Rosewood Fingerboard. The body design features a double cutaway with a slightly protruding lower horn on the cutaway, which gives the instrument a quirky look. The neck has 20 frets and has a scale length of 30 ½ which can be considered short scale. This gives the bass a unique tone compared to a standard scale length four-string bass which can be between 34 – 36 inches. It's also important to state the neck is a bolt-on neck with four screw holes connecting the neck to the body.
The electronics include two punchy Mini Humbucker pickups, one volume, one tone and one pickup selector that gives us three position choices (neck, both, & bridge). This is all offset with good solid chrome hardware. The model I reviewed featured the standard Black finish and white pickguard; however, the DMB 206 also comes in Vintage White and a 3 Tone Sunburst. All look fantastic!
How does it sound? If you're into Rock, Alternative styles, then the DMB206 will be right up your street; the short scale length emphasises a slightly more mid-range tone that's in your face and punchy. Experimenting with different pedals and amps, the humbuckers will give you the clarity and punch you need for those styles. In terms of playability, well… I'm a Guitarist playing a Bass; it's perfect for me; it doesn't feel too far from a regular guitar neck due to the short scale. The fretwork is great, super smooth, no harsh edges on the bass that I played and a very smooth fingerboard for moving around. As I'm not a 'proper' fingerstyle bass player, I'm not best qualified to say how this instrument fares with that style of playing; there are several places on the pickups to rest a thumb, however, but it might not be standard as far as I'm aware.
The verdict? If you're a rocker or an alternative indie guru or a Guitarist looking for a great sounding and playing bass – the DMB 206 is well worth a look, it's reasonably affordable, looks really cool, and it's built incredibly well considering the price. Go check one out!
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