I loved the look of this instrument and thought I would take a chance on it rather than the Kala models. The instrument is really fun to play and gets a fair bit of attention due to it's quirky nature. The 3-band pickup is also very good with plenty volume and tonal shaping on offer. I played it through a Trace Elliot amp for a jazz gig at the local town hall. It sounded massive!!!
However, there are some issues. Firstly, the fitted strings are awful and sliding is almost impossible. I bought the fretless model for this purpose. The individual string volumes are also quite unbalanced, getting quieter as you move to a thicker, lower string. Therefore, I changed the strings for the red copper infused ones that were supposed to address these issues. They do improve the volume discrepancy between to some extent. However, I feel a compressor is needed just to help bring them all in line.
I also discovered a design issue upon changing the strings. Three screws hold a wooden disk in place on the back of the instrument. Removing this allows access to the underside of the bridge. However, the wood for the screw holes is very thin and has already started to break. It could be easily fixed even by glueing pieces of a lolly pop stick would reinforce the screw holes. However, it should have been addressed by the manufacturer.
Lastly, one of the wooden 'fret' markers is sitting proud of the fingerboard. Again, it's an easy fix, if you know what you are doing.
To sum up, it's a great looking instrument that has some issues with the factory finish. However, these issues are fixable. I'd like to try other strings for comparison. I also think the sound could be evened out with a compressor. Would I recommend it? Hell yeah!
Great little instrument with just one problem, the Aquila Thundergut string
Nicola P., 30.01.2014
The u-bass feels great, it sounds great and it's a lot of fun to play with. Acoustically it's good just for practice alone but when plugged in its sound is massive, like a big double bass :) The integrated tuner and equalizer are a big plus. The only thing that unfortunately didn't please me are the strings that this bass came with, the Aquila thundergut white. Nothing wrong about the sound, on the contrary their sound is brilliant. The big minus is that they are unbelievably sticky! :( Reading around on different forums it seems that I am not the only one having this problem, but in my case they seriously let down the potential fun to play this instrument. Hopefully I will find a good alternative to these strings soon and then I am sure the Ortega Lizzy will definitely become a 5 star instrument ;)
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