Looking for a new short scale hollow body bass?
I’m not going to bury the lede in my Eastwood Classic 4 bass review: it’s a very good, unique bass for its price ($549), but probably won’t be your main bass. In short, there are so many things to like about Eastwood Guitar’s Classic IV bass, from its great semi-hollow body look to its round, thumping tone. But there are also some issues with build quality and, for me personally, playability.
First a little background on me: I’ve played bass for about 20 years, and owned an Epiphone, a Gibson, and a couple of Fenders. My current main bass for gigging is an American-made Fender Hot-Rodded P-Bass with EMG Active electronics. It’s a discontinued model, but I absolutely love it.
But I was looking to add something a little different to my collection, so I started exploring semi-hollow body basses. I’ve owned my Classic 4 at least a year, so I feel comfortable giving a detailed Eastwood Classic 4 bass review. Before buying it, I also tried out the Epiphone “Jack Casady” Signature Semi-Hollowbody Bass(affiliate) and the Fender Modern Player Coronado (affiliate) semi-hollow body. In my opinion, not only are they both more expensive, they both left something to be desired in terms of tone. And both were more expensive.
If you’re interested in hearing the bass in action, here is some audio of me demoing and reviewing the Classic IV. The bass was recorded clean, directly into my DAW without amp emulation or any special pre-amps or processing.
Ok, let’s dive in.
Eastwood Classic 4 Bass Review – Tone
The first thing to notice about the East Classic 4 is that its a hollow body bass guitar with a shorter scale. It retails for $549, direct from Eastwood. If you enjoy the look and feel of semi-hollow bodies, than you should definitely consider this one.
The Classic 4 features 2 EW retro pickups and they sound great. Its tone is low, warm, and growly, with a little punch. I would describe it as very “round.” And it’s the type of sound that excels in classic rock, country or soul.
However, it has very little “bite” or “cut,” and would not get through a mix in a harder rock or punk setting.
The Eastwood Classic 4 also features a three way pickup selector switch, with independent volume knobs for each pick up, and a tone knob. I don’t find the tone knob to be that effective at shaping the tone, but the pick up selection definitely makes a big impact.
Eastwood Classic IV Bass Review – Build Quality
My Eastman Classic IV bass review has to note that the build quality is generally good. With especially good work on the bindings and the neck. However, one of the screws in my front pickup is stripped, causing it to pop loose sometimes. This effects both the playability and the tone, because sometimes it will actually hit the strings.
Eastwood Classic IV Bass Review – Playability
As for playability, it plays very well, objectively. The fret board is fast and even, and the strings are light and responsive. You can bend notes for days. And the string spacing is very comfortable. Due to the Eastwood Classic IV’s easy playability, I think it would probably make a perfect bass for a guitar player who was looking to grab a bass, or for someone with smaller hands.
However, it is not the type of play style that I prefer. I like a bass that is sturdy and pushes back. I find it really hard to play ghost notes and more muted, funk type phrases on the Eastwood Classic 4. It’s simply too forgiving and easy for me to play.
It’s kind of like the difference between a sports car and a sedan. The sports car is harder to drive, but you can feel the road and tear up the highway way more.
And just as a note to this Eastwood Classic 4 bass review: it really does not work well with slap and popping techniques. But to be fair, I don’t think it was in anyway designed for that.
The bass feels very well balanced when sitting down. However, standing up with a strap, it gets a little wobbly.
Concluding thoughts for the Eastwood Classic 4 Bass Review
This is a great bass for the price, and I plan on keeping it. I do genuinely enjoy playing it, and have used it on recordings that have been used by some big name clients. I don’t think I’d use it for gigging, though. It just feels more fragile than a solid body bass (and there are some clumsy mother suckers in my band). BTW, it does not come with a case. And it doesn’t fit into a standard bass case.
I also just want to give a shout out to Eastwood Guitars for making a left-handed version.
Update: I eventually sold my Eastwood Classic IV, as I just found I wasn't playing it enough to justify having it around. I do miss it though!
From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!
My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.
While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.
My songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” They've also been streamed millions of times.
In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.
Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.