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With legendary models like the Precision Bass and Jazz Bass, Fender has earned its reputation as the bass world’s premier manufacturer. Now, the Californian company is bringing its experience to a new acoustic bass model – the Kingman V2. With stylish construction, some serious tones, and a top-tier pedigree all on offer, this bass has a lot going for it – and that’s before mentioning the attractive midrange price tag! Let’s break down why the Kingman V2 is one of the top acoustic basses available for players today.
The Kingman V2 borrows its auditorium shape from Fender’s Newporter acoustic guitar. This means the body is a little smaller than a full-size acoustic, and its sculpted cutaway and curves feel great while playing. While the increased depth of the acoustic bass might take some getting used to in comparison with solid-body electric basses, it’s not serious enough to affect playing.
Visually, it’s a handsome guitar, with a unique vintage vibe. The top is made of solid spruce, with laminated mahogany used for the sides and back. The entire body is painted glossy black, along with a cool Jazz Bass-shaped headstock. The short scale (30.3”) mahogany neck is also shaped like that of a Jazz Bass, with the C-shaped profile instantly recognizable to any Fender player.
A 20-fret walnut fingerboard, block inlays, golden pickguard and aged white binding round out the package nicely.
The Kingman V2 may be an acoustic bass first and foremost, but it still carries a Fishman pickup and preamp onboard to help you plug in and keep up with the band. The pickup sits under the bridge for a discreet, clean aesthetic. Fender notes that the preamp was specially voiced for this specific model. With 3-band EQ controls, a tuner, and volume, notch, brilliance, and phase controls, it’s certainly one of the most in-depth preamps on any acoustic guitar.
This means players will have no problem dialing in their perfect sound. On the technical side of things, the walnut ‘Viking’ bridge leads to a Graph Tech NuBone nut and open-back geared tuners on the other side of the neck. While the action on this is slightly higher than some basses, it’s by no means as high as the ‘acoustic’ description might suggest. Electric bassists should be able to transition to the Kingman V2 without much of a change in feel.
Like any acoustic bass guitar, the Kingman V2 offers better natural projection and a warmer, woodier tone than most electric basses on the market. While it’s designed to be played plugged in, the acoustic capabilities are certainly helpful for jamming with friends or for use in quieter situations.
When amplified, the Kingman boasts a broad range with full, resonant projection and a noticeably more ‘natural’ tone – the sound of the strings is more present in the sound, and the decay and sustain behave more like a traditional acoustic guitar than an electric bass.
The range offers a lot more treble and mids than many electric models. The Fishman pickup creates a surprising amount of low end for an acoustic, though it still doesn’t deliver quite as much of a deep, bassy punch as heavier electric basses when the volume increases. Because of that, the Kingman is probably best suited for pop, rock, indie and lower-volume jams. It can hold its own in heavier settings, but mellower moods give the increased mids and highs a chance to shine.
With its classic Fender styling, Jazz Bass-influenced neck, and warm woody tone, the Kingman V2 is one of the best acoustic bass options available. Able to take on jam sessions, quieter gigs and even full band settings, this axe can handle any player’s needs at a budget-friendly price. Bassists looking for a unique option in their arsenal should give this model a try.