September 21, 2008

Mad Catz Fender Precision Bass Arrives

One of the more intriguing fake plastic guitars is finally hitting the market — the Mad Catz Fender Precision Bass Replica, for $70.

One thing is immediately noticeable. See if you can tell what it is from this picture of someone’s complete fake plastic guitar collection. The new Mad Catz Fender Precision Bass Replica is on the far right.

mad-catz-precision-bass-size-comparison

Yep, it’s enormous! (insert that’s what she said joke here.)

Short of the oddball actual guitar conversions, this has to be the nearest to actual size fake plastic guitar released yet. Here’s another shot of it next to someone’s rather cool looking Van Halen customized Rock Band stratocaster controller:

mad-catz-precision-bass-size-comparison-with-strat

Bear in mind that the strat is much bigger than the old Guitar Hero III Les Paul, too.

A few other interesting items about this controller:

  • Xbox 360 only.
  • Wired only (a wireless version will arrive next year).
  • No whammy bar — real bass guitars don’t have a whammy! Instead, there is a “whammy knob”.
  • Split strum bar for “authentic” two finger bass strumming action. I’m not a bass guitarist so I don’t entirely know what this means, but supposedly it’s more realistic.
  • Strum bar is clicky, like the Guitar Hero controllers.

Beyond that, it has the same effects switch and dual fret button setup of a typical Rock Band Stratocaster. Reviews have been somewhat mixed, with some reporting strum registering problems on fast note sections, and some issues with star power tilt activation. However, it is generally rated about the same in “feel” as the newer Rock Band 2 Stratocasters, which is definitely a good thing.

Overall I’d say the emphasis on realism and size is impressive. I am all for premium fake plastic guitars. It’s great to see the bass position get some love, too. But unless you’re a bassaholic, I’d wait for the second revision next year — it’ll be wireless, and hopefully by then they’ll have all the kinks worked out.

About the “split strum bar”: bassists use their right index and middle fingers to thump away at the string. It’s a pretty awesome addition IMHO.

Josh Kim
September 21, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Hey, those guitar’s are mine! That’s actually the pictures I took to compare the size of the guitars when the bass was released. That’s ok that you used it though.

SharkX

SharkX
September 22, 2008 at 9:22 am

Hi SharkX! Sorry for the lack of attribution — your photo was great! How are you liking the Bass controller??

Jeff Atwood
September 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm

I play bass and I’m not sure what their intent was with the split strum bar. I already played Rock Band bass by up-strumming like I would on a real bass and that felt just fine. I can’t really see any advantage to the split strum at all and I much prefer the spring of the Rock Band guitars over a clicky strum bar – especially for playing bass because you get that sense of ‘string tension.’ Looks great though.

Kyle
September 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm

FYI bass guitars do have whammy bars. My brother has one, and so does my dad. Its pretty sweet. We’ll be jamming along and he’ll do a dive on his bass and everyone will be like whoa!

Just letting you know.

James
October 16, 2008 at 6:45 am

Hi does it have a whammy bar i like the kill switch should have a 3 tone wall switch if it is a exact replica

Hey i love you
February 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

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