Gadgets 690

Published on November 2nd, 2009 | by Greg


MadCatz Brings The Bass

It’s November now, and you know what that means- the holidays are upon us! Along with shopping mall Santas and pumpkin pie, the season should mean a bit more time to sit inside and play videogames. Yes, your family could try to sit around and talk, but you remember how that went last year, and the years before, right?

And what better family video game is there than Rock Band and it’s various cousins? Sure, you might not be able to impress the folks with your stunning rendition of Toxicity, but it’s worth downloading some of the classic tracks to be able to hear Mom belt out Blondie. It’s what the eggnog is for. It’s what the MadCatz Wireless Fender Precision Bass Replica is for as well- serious music, taken a bit less seriously.

Arguments will be fought over who gets what instrument. And unless you’ve already shelled out a bit more cash for the Stratocaster Replica, this MadCatz instrument will be the one your bassist grabs. Larger than most of the other plastic guitars, it offers a split strum bar, allowing you to flick with two-fingers. It can take some getting used to, but definitely can help during harder sections on those extreme songs.

In keeping with the realism, the bass doesn’t include a whammy bar, but instead a harder-to-use whammy dial. A sacrifice, yes, but a sacrifice in the name of realism! You aren’t going to be adding much vibrato to your bass lines anyway. Ours was the Xbox 360 model, but a PS3 version is also available. And yes, there are color options- ours was a cherry “Hot Rod” red, but green and white lovers can still find a bass to suit their style. And yes, this one works with The Beatles: Rock Band, the original Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and even Guitar Hero 5.

We had no issues with the battery life or wireless- it works pretty much the same as others. In terms of feel, the strum bar felt quite solid, but the knobs seemed much less so, and the tuning pegs attractive from a distance but really loose and cheap close-up. The length of the neck was a big plus, as it felt much less like a toy, and the strap was the best that we’ve tried. We would have liked a few more touch cues on the buttons- many instruments offer a small ridge on certain buttons to help keep your fingers aligned (kind of like the nibs on the F and J keys on most computer keyboards). As with changing between any instruments, this one does take some time to learn. But it’s easy to enjoy the look and feel, and real bassists will appreciate the realism and two-fingered strumming. Around $90, available online and in stores.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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