The Spector team has been remarkably busy since Korg took over the reins from the company founder Stuart Spector, with new bass guitars landing regularly over the past few years.
This new Euro 4 RST incorporates a three-piece roasted maple neck and utilizes some unexpected body timbers. Along with the lightweight hardware, these contribute to an overall weight of just 6.4 pounds – yes, you read that correctly. Want to know more?
Pick up this bass, and you’ll find that the familiar NS2 body shape and 3D contouring that has served the design so well for decades remains supremely comfortable. The detail lies very much in the timbers and the construction.
Our review model’s flame maple top is sumptuous in Sundown Glow, with an organic, woody vibe. Paulownia has been used for the body core: this has similar density to swamp ash and, along with the roasted maple neck, contributes considerably to the lightness of the instrument.
The roasted neck possesses a solidly rounded C-shaped profile, in stark contrast to the reduced weight of the body. The neck is a comfortable handful without being hard work, aided by the slim heel.
With the bass sitting across your knee, there is an obvious headstock bias, but this should be expected with a body of this weight. Played with a strap, the RST takes up a very comfortable playing position. The setup is exemplary, the fretwork is superb and playing across the whole neck is a breeze.
The matching headstock facing, mother-of-pearl crown inlays, side dot markers and brass nut combine with the aluminum locking bridge and lightweight machine heads for high-quality function. Aguilar’s Super Double humbuckers and OBP-2 electronics make a change from the EMG/Haz preamp/TonePump preamp packages used in the past: It’ll be interesting to hear them in action.
Sounds and Playability
Spectors are well known for their array of usable tones, from smooth, rounded warmth to biting top end and an aggressive midrange bark. Here, there’s a resonance and sustain that’s mightily impressive from the off. There’s no lack of fundamental tone, and the reduced weight does not mean that this is a tonally lightweight instrument: There is depth and sparkle in equal measure.
The Aguilar humbuckers are a different tonal platform for a Spector four-string compared to the usual P/J setup: Likewise, the voicing of the circuit is a little different to that which fans of the brand will recognize.
With two volume controls, finding the tonal sweet spots requires some experimentation – but once you find them, they will make all the difference. The bass and treble controls offer significant adjustment, with 16- and 18-decibel cut and boost options at your disposal.
Despite being a through-neck instrument, this RST model bubbles along with a skip in its step: note definition across all four strings is clear and resonant, and no matter what your playing style, you’ll feel the notes across the front and rear of the bass as you play them.
There’s no lack of clarity, and both pickups display a usable warmth, with the neck unit being warmer based on its position. The bridge pickup performance is impressive as it offers power, bite, and grit.
In the playability stakes, this model is a real winner. This is not only due to the quality of the finishing, the wisely selected hardware and electronics and that oh-so-playable neck, but because the weight factor also ensures you aren't fighting against this bass. The 19mm string spacing and 42mm nut width merely add to what is already a very comfortable playing experience.
Having played many Spectors over the years, I can heartily recommend this latest addition to the stable. The price is a little heady for a Euro model, but price increases across the industry in the past year or two have made that inevitable.
If you consider the weight and playability benefits, and the concomitant health implications that this bass offers, you may think that it’s a price worth paying. If so, I strongly suggest that you audition one of these basses at your earliest opportunity.
- PRICE: $3792
- MADE IN: Czech Republic
- COLOR: Sundown glow matte, matte satin finish
- BODY: Paulownia core, flame maple top
- NECK: Roasted maple (three-piece), 34” scale, matte satin finish
- NECK JOIN: Through-neck
- FINGERBOARD: Roasted maple, 24 frets
- PICKUPS: Aguilar Super Double 4SD-D1 humbuckers x 2
- ELECTRONICS: Aguilar OBP-2 (+/- 18dB @ 40 Hz, +/- 16dB @ 6.5 kHz), active, 9-volt
- CONTROLS: Volume, volume, bass, treble
- HARDWARE: Chrome; Spector aluminum locking bridge, Gotoh GB-350 machine heads
- WEIGHT: 6.4 lbs
- LEFT-HAND AVAILABLE?: No
- CASE/GIGBAG INCLUDED?: Gigbag
- CONTACT: Spector (opens in new tab)