|Body And Neck:|
Acoustic basses may not be on every bassist’s wish list, but they do have their place. They’re great either in a live, softer acoustic setting or even if you just want to hear your playing better when practicing. The Dean Exotica Quilt Ash Bass is an attractive model with some quality features, and proves a good competitor in the acoustic bass guitar market.
The dreadnought shaped body on the Exotica is constructed with quilt ash for both the top and the sides. At this price point, it’s most likely a laminated top, but there’s no denying the striking visual appeal that quilt ash can bring. It’s an impressive look with a natural glossy finish, and it is even more striking in the deep trans blue color that Dean also offer this model.
The set construction of the mahogany neck appears to be well executed, and it’s very comfortable thanks to the ‘D’ shape profile. Topping it off is a rosewood fingerboard to bring warmth to every note, along with a total of 21 frets.
Looking at the hardware on the Exotica, the first thing that stands out is the flexibility of the Dean DMT G05 Preamp system, coupled with the under-saddle piezo pickup (more on that later). The system also offers a built-in chromatic tuner that allows you to alter the reference pitch from A 440 Hz.
This model also has a low battery indicator as well – a minor detail, but there are much higher-priced options on the market that won’t tell you when you’re about to go ‘kaput’ in the middle of a gig, so it’s a useful feature!
The remaining hardware is typical of a model in this price range, with Dean-designed sealed die-cast tuning machines with a chrome plated finish. There is a case available, but unfortunately it is not included with the purchase price.
Overall, the acoustic sound that the Exotica produces isn’t top-of-the-line, but it certainly isn’t bad either. Unplugged it has a good top-end but it lacks somewhat in depth and it might not be as loud or project as well as other models. However, that may be more of a non-issue if you aren’t planning on performing in a live setting.
Where the Exotica truly shines sound-wise is when it is plugged in. The onboard EQ allows you to dial in great tones with relative ease thanks to the integrated 4-band EQ (low, middle 1, middle 2, and high). Many more expensive models have only two bands, if none at all, so we appreciate the versatility on offer here.
The Dean Exotica Quilt Ash is a good choice for any bass player looking to add an affordable acoustic to their collection. It works well unplugged, but excels when amplified, while the visuals – thanks to the figured quilt ash top – make it a head-turner wherever you are playing.