Rogue LX205B Review – Should your first bass be a 5-string?
This is a great beginner bass, a solid intermediate bass even. Seeing that this puppy can be yours for as low as $190 from the right retailer, all I can say is awesome job, thumbs up!
Is it a wise decision to start playing bass on a 5-string? Absolutely, we even recommended with the way music is becoming more and more bass-driven. And coming at ya at a very fair price and with some quite strong specs, we bring you the Rogue LX205B. Let’s see what this fella’s like!
Kicking things off in the aesthetic department, we gotta say that this thing is gorgeous! The white finish is very, very smooth, and the mixture of black details is oh so pretty. Also, the headstock is really cool; it has a distinctive pointy, arrowhead-like shape that is actually distinguishable as Rogue. In day and age we live in, it is not easy to be even somewhat unique and developing signature features is getting increasingly difficult, yet the company absolutely managed to accomplish the mission with that headstock.
As far as other, more practical aspects are considered, we’re mostly talking quality build and good craftsmanship. The body is quite light for a 5-string bass, the neck is firmly adjusted to the body, and it’s also quite slim and easy to play. Frets are nicely in position with not a whole lot of buzz going on, and the electronic bits also also quite firmly in place.
What we don’t like, however, is that while the instrument has 24 frets, you can only reach about 21 of them. Frets 22, 23, and 24 are deeper in the body and there’s no way you can play on them unless you reach out all the way around the neck. 21 frets is quite enough, but why put 24 if three of them are pretty much unreachable? Still, we love the design in general.
The bass utilizes a double cutaway basswood body, a bolt-on maple neck with a classic rosewood fingerboard, the aforementioned set of 24 frets and standard white dot inlays. These are standard components of a budget-friendly instrument, nothing to complain about here; nothing to be surprised about either.
In the electronic section, we’re looking at an active bass, which means that you get more power and more sonic variety via control knobs, but a less delicate instrument that doesn’t react to even the most minute changes of your finger performance as passive models. We’re looking at a set of single-coil J-pickups with four control knobs – two Tone knobs and two Volume controls. These allow solid versatility, realistically more than enough for just about any beginner.
Other notable features include a fixed black five-saddle bridge, a pack of five die-cast tuners, and elegant black hardware. A battery is not included in the mix, so make sure to provide one upon the instrument’s arrival or purchase. Guitar case is also not included in the price. But seeing how low that price is, it’s cool…
Massive and punchy this boy is. We’re glad to say that each of the strings delivers a fine groove, with a low level of fret noise even on the fat B string. Those active electronics secure a high level of versatility, and you can get just about anything from bass-driven low-end mild grooves to middles-packed punches to shake that mix up. This also means that the instrument is capable of covering a vast array of musical styles, ranging from light pop all the way to thrash metal.
Another thing we like about this fella and one of the reasons why we included it on the list of best beginner bass guitars is the fact that it’s quite easy to adapt to it and it rarely produces bad sounds. This is awesome for beginners, as they get a good image of the instrument’s overall capabilities. They will give you everything a beginner needs, all while leaving to yearn for more.
Additionally, those active electronics secure a significantly higher amount of power than passive basses, and that’s cool for band rehearsals or live shows. Beginners don’t tend to start out with powerful amps, so anything that helps in kicking out the jams is more than welcome.
- Cheap price for a 5-string
- Quite good sound for a cheap 5-string
- Stellar design for a cheap 5-string, stellar design in general even
- Strong active electronics
- Frets 22-24 are unreachable
- No battery included