Cost: $399.99 new or find it cheaper on Reverb
Generously lent for review by Jennifer and Corey from the Korg and Spector companies!
Overview and Final Score: 7.5
The Spector Performer 4 combines the companies the company’s intelligent design plans and ultra playability with a more traditional PJ tonal palette to create a lightweight, gig worthy bass. Featuring a 3-piece maple neck paired with an Amara fingerboard, this 34″ scale length bass features stellar intonation. The nato wood body helps keeps it lightweight, while the Spector designed J- and P-bass pickups give it familiar tonal options controlled by dedicated volume and tone knobs for each pickup. Coming in as their cheapest option, Spector’s Performer is a reliable option for players who need playability but don’t want to own just another Squier P bass.
When played side by side with its Legend series big brother, the Performer stands up for itself in the tone department, but lacks in output and clarity. The good news here is that this bass is punchy, and has a ton of tonal options. With volume and tone knobs for each pickup, you can get a variety of familiar bass sounds thanks to the Spector J-and P-style pickups. The spread on the tone knobs wasn’t perfect, and it sometimes muddied up the neck pickup well before the bridge.
The best sounds came with both pickups activated and with just the bridge activated. The bridge pickup was bright and had a lot of slap and spank to it, something that really came out when the bass was played with fingerstyle and slap techniques. Mixing and matching the output of both pickups together allowed for incredible control over the tone and the pickups responded well above their price tag.
The neck on this guitar was just phenomenal, it was fast, comfortable, and the 24 medium-jumbo frets were all easy to reach. The 3-piece maple neck was very responsive to different techniques, touch, and seemed to come out of the box almost perfectly in tune despite my humid climate. The action was also great out of the box, actually better than the Legend’s was, even though that neck was also superb. The bass held tune the whole time me and my roommate played it and really impressed in this department when compared to its tonal score.
Finish & Construction: 7.5
The white finish that came on this bass was strong and had no noticeable dings or scratches, but might be too bland of a finish option for some. Especially considering the finish options on Spector’s higher priced options, some players may be uninspired by the simple, white-blue-red-black options. The construction was great overall, with the 5 bolt neck really catching my eye and providing an extra layer of stability and security. The bridge and tuners feel cheap, something furthered by the low quality spread of the tone knobs, but everything did work without any issues. With the quality of the pickups and neck in this bass, I would highly consider swapping out the hardware to really upgrade it. My main concern was that I feel you could get better hardware on other similarly priced basses like MIM-Fender’s, high priced Squier’s, or Yamaha’s.
The Performer 4 is an excellent bass capable of producing a wide range of familiar tones while sporting ultra-playability. However, I’m not settled on it being the best $400 bass out there. Especially because it sports J- and P-bass replicating pickups, this bass really just appeals to players who want those tones in an unfamiliar package. Its saving grace is the comfortable and stable neck, which makes this a great option for players who are looking for a gigging bass in the price range. I would have no issue trusting this bass to perform night after night on stage. If you need a comfortable, reliable gigging bass in a slightly more unique package, go with the Spector Performer 4!