GI 72......Bassment...Cort B4 Plus AS RM and B5 Plus AS RM .…. Dan Veall
Cort B4 Plus AS RM and B5 Plus AS RM
Vid Count: 1 Native
Guitar Interactive star rating: 4
Lots of bass for your money
The open-pore finish won't be for everybody
MSRP (Cort B4 Plus) £TBC (Cort B5 Plus) $TBC
Swamp Ash Body
Panga Panga / Walnut Bolt-on 5-piece neck
Roasted maple Fretboard
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Dan Veall reviews the B4 Plus AS RM and B5 Plus AS RM from Cort Guitars. Featuring Cort's latest material innovation in the Artisan Series as seen and heard though the "RM" roasted maple fingerboard. The maple has been treated in an oxygen-free oven at a high temperature, stabilizing the wood for a bigger, bolder tone while also developing its golden-brown look for the vintage appeal. Dan tells us more.
Cort builds on its already strong product line of instruments and certainly, over the years (that specifically the Artisan series has existed for example,) it seems to me Cort are always updating their products in the shape of better hardware, wood choices and accoutrements.
Things that you know I already like in any review instrument include:
Well balanced headstocks that don't exacerbate neck dive. Cort Artisan has this well under control while utilising Hipshot lightweight hardware that not only looks great but offers superb tuning accuracy.
The downsized body on all the Artisan models will be welcomed by all player sizes, to me being an attractive outline that echos classic curves and, well, just looks' right'. Even sat on 6'3" me!
A tremendous out-of-the-box tone: We'll look at the electronics later in the review.
I'm enjoying this Burgundy Red finish over an 'open pore' resonant and fairly lightweight Swamp Ash body. It has a certain tactile feel to it and maybe there's something to be said for not dumping 20 coats of lacquer on a bass body? (Ok, slight exaggeration, but you know what I am getting at.)
Incidentally, the B series models we are looking at today are available in Aqua Blue and Trans Black. All models come with a roasted maple fretboard as standard that Cort says, along with the body wood choice offers a more natural feel as well as enhancing the instrument tone.
On to the fretboard are 24 frets neatly installed. No harsh edges as I position my left hand up and down the neck. On the subject of the neck carve itself, the fit and finish of the five-piece Panga Panga and Walnut laminate is comfortable and manufactured to a high standard. If you have diminutive paws, then seek out the 5 string before handing over your hard-earned. That said, these certainly aren't fat necked basses.
The Artisan models are all 34" scale so, nothing too scary there, pretty familiar territory. We head on down to the body whose double-cutaway generous scoops will help you upset the most die-hard "first-five-frets-only" bandmates. Ha ha!
Being heard isn't too much of an issue either as Bartolini offer up their "superb sound quality and value" MK-1 pickups. Markbass, of amplifier fame, has been providing Cort with preamplifiers for a little while now and the MB-1 onboard these basses provides boost and cut of the bass, midrange and treble frequencies.
Oh and there's a bypass switch for sending the passive tone straight out to your rig though I'm unsure why it is chrome and not black like the rest of the hardware. Cost of parts?
I… ummm.. like these knobs! The rubber rings around the circumference of each feel nice and grippy, especially if you are used to rolling the volume up and down with your little finger in between busy musical passages.
Cort basses come as standard with D'Addario strings; again no scrimping on components. These are the EXL type.
Rolling up this review then, for the money, we've got a good pair of examples to show off. I might tweak the set up just a wee bit, but the 'out of the box' set up is very good indeed here. I mean, for most people they are fine, I'm trying to find something negative in an otherwise all-round nice pair of examples.
Pricewise, I guess we are looking at the mid-range market judging by current online prices, but there is a lot on offer here. Get your hands on one of these and let me know what you think. I don't think you'll be disappointed.