|Body And Neck:|
It’s hard to browse the affordable section of the acoustic bass guitar market without lingering on the T-Bucket 300 from Fender’s California Series. This medium-scale concert electro-acoustic bass is certainly an eye-catcher, but it equally grabs the attention with its tone, playability and price tag. It’s worth a closer look…
As is the case with most Fender acoustics, the T-Bucket offers a style with its own individuality and a bit of flair. The non-cutaway 32” scale length body in particular, which offers a beautiful dark cherry paintjob and an intricate soundhole rosette. This all-laminate body uses figured maple for the top with mahogany on the back and sides, all with a glossy finish.
Joined at the 15th fret, the mahogany neck is a pleasure to move around too, with a comfortable C shape and sleek oiled finish. This features a rosewood fretboard with 22 vintage-style frets and specially-designed Fender inlays running the length. It’s an affordable production model, but this doesn’t stop it being well-made, with a sturdy feel and good fit and finish.
This electro-acoustic bass is loaded with a Fishman Isys III pickup system, which comes with volume and 3-band EQ controls accessible via a panel on the side of the bass, along with a built-in digital tuner, which is an essential addition for beginners and performers alike.
Elsewhere, the T-Bucket 300 is equipped with a vintage-style Fender Viking bridge made of rosewood, with a compensated GraphTech NuBone saddle. There’s also a set of large vintage open-geared chrome tuners with a NuBone nut just below. All very reliable and durable, and quite commendable at this price.
Overall, the tone of the T-Bucket 300 really impresses both plugged and unplugged. The non-cutaway body and quartersawn scalloped bracing offers a robust projection, with a crisp and bright tone that remains well-balanced thanks to the inclusion of mahogany. The Fishman system proves reliable for stage and recording scenarios, with a natural replication of the instrument’s acoustic tone, with the sound shaping capabilities proving handy.
With a sub-$500 price tag, the Fender T-Bucket 300 will be very appealing to beginners wanting an acoustic bass to practice and jam with. However, with such vibrant style and quality electronics, it’s equally suited as a performance instrument. Nice job Fender!