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Spector NS Dimension 4SFB review

Multi-scale, super-playable, with a build quality to match, the NS Dimension has it all going on...

Spector NS Dimension 4SFB
(Image: © Spector )

Guitar World Verdict

Top-quality tonewoods, electronics and construction add to an elegant and timeless design.

Pros

  • +

    Beautifully made.

  • +

    Impressive electronics.

Cons

  • -

    I’d like to see the rear control cavity tidied up a bit.

The Dimension is the second of two new bass guitars from Spector released last year, the first being the Ethos. Both are made in Korea and share a similar body shape and through-neck construction. 

We were particularly impressed with the Ethos, as its combination of superb craftmanship, top quality materials and some of the very best pickups and electronics available made for a great bass.

It came at a cost, but given the spec and superb sound, it remained very good value. How does its successor compare?

Build Quality

The Dimension is Spector’s first ever multi-scale bass and is available as a four- or five-string, with a finish that shows off the gorgeous figured burl poplar used for the top and headstock facing. 

The main body consists of two premium swamp ash wings, fixed either side of the five-piece maple and wenge through-neck. At the headstock end there’s a small, elegant volute, which is important for adding strength given the slender dimensions of the two-octave neck.

Spector NS Dimension 4SFB

(Image credit: Spector )

Fretting on a multi-scale bass is always going to be more complex compared to that of a regular bass, but the quality of the work here is exemplary. The fret ends are cut and filed perfectly smooth to the fingerboard edge, and the narrow crowns are neatly dressed without being over-polished.  

The glossy black hardware includes a set of generic M4-style cast tuners and a bridge consisting of individual saddle blocks, staggered to facilitate the changes in scale length across the strings. These are all high quality, functional and stylish, and other thoughtful details include knurled aluminium controls and Luminlay glow-in-the-dark dot markers on the edge of the fretboard.

Spector NS Dimension 4SFB

(Image credit: Spector )

On the back, the control cavity is covered by a black plastic cover: at this price I’d like to see this recessed and flush to the body. Inside, although neatly shielded, it’s a bit of a bird’s nest, although all the solder joints look neat and the electronics are completely silent when the bass is plugged in. 

The pickups are a pair of splendid Fishman Fluence humbuckers. These are angled across the strings so that they remain directly over the correct harmonic nodes for the differing string lengths. 

The preamp is also a Fishman Fluence unit, meaning that the controls on the front of the bass consist of Volume – pulled out for single coil – Pickup Pan, Bass, Treble and a three-way toggle switch for different mid-cut voices. Time to plug in and play. 

Sounds And Playability

My first observation is that the Dimension bass has the most gorgeous mids voice: I can’t stress enough how important this is. When recording or playing with a band, these frequencies will determine the nature and quality of the bass sound within the context of a song. Here, they ring out clear and full, no doubt due to the quality of the tonewoods and the Fishman electronics.

Spector NS Dimension 4SFB

(Image credit: Spector )

The second thing that I noticed was just how distinct the voicing of the bridge and neck pickups are. Each has a really individual sound, and blending the two using the pickup pan control gives you the benefit of both, without losing any of the tonal quality of the individual units. 

In addition, the three-way toggle switch for the mid voice options is a great way of quickly changing the character of your sound in mid-song. For more subtle changes, the bass and treble tone controls give plenty of cut or boost to well-chosen frequencies. Overall, this is an intuitive preamp with which you’ll quickly find your preferred working sounds.

If you’ve never played a multi-scale bass before, it can feel a little daunting at first, especially if you’re playing over the first four frets or soloing above the first octave. However, within a short time it should feel completely natural. 

In the Dimension’s case, the shallow C-shaped neck makes this bass a pleasure to play. Adding to this great feel is the ergonomic body shape: although this Ned Steinberger design is now over 40 years old, it still looks as fresh as ever. 

Its arched back and smoothly contoured profile are a great example of form following function. 

Conclusion

If you’ve already played a multi-scale bass, you’ll be aware of the benefits of the higher string tension and a clear, ringing tone on the lower strings. Getting used to the angled frets takes some time, but once you do, you hardly notice them. 

The benefits that the multi-scale system brings are perhaps more pronounced on a five- or six-string bass, but even on a regular four-string like this one, you’ll notice the tautness of the E string. 

Like Spector’s Ethos, the Dimension bass is a fantastic instrument which, given the quality of its materials, spec and sound, represents great value. 

Specs

  • PRICE: $2,099 / £1930
  • MADE IN: Korea
  • BODY: Maple, burl poplar top
  • NECK: Five-piece maple/wenge, 34”-36” scale 
  • NECK JOINT: Through-neck
  • FINGERBOARD: Wenge, 24 frets
  • PICKUPS: 2 x Fishman Fluence 
  • ELECTRONICS: Fishman Fluence active preamp
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Bass and Treble cut/boost, pickup blend, three-way mini toggle switch
  • HARDWARE: Gloss black
  • WEIGHT: 8.4 lbs / 3.8 kg
  • CASE/GIG-BAG INCLUDED?: Yes, in USA
  • LEFT-HANDED?: Yes, in Haunted Moss finish
  • CONTACT: Spector

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