Simply put, this bass absolutely rocks! I was initially looking to replace the Ibanez 5 string I sold a while back, but instead I stumbled across the Pilot Pro in my local GC's used section. Pulled it down, plugged it in, and was blown away by how natural and ergonomic the neck felt to me, as well as how natural it sounded, despite having active pickups. All that and under $300! You can really tell that DeArmond was paying attention to detail with these - the nut is perfectly cut, the frets are level and well finished, and the fretboard, neck, and body woods are all very well finished and of good quality. I'd expect a bass like this to cost at least $100 more than I paid. If I could locate a replacement, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Hell, if I can find the 5 string version on Ebay in the future, I just might pull the trigger and buy it!
Model Year: 2001
Where Obtained: The almighty GC
Korean made, 35" scale, 1 piece? ash body, 5 piece maple/mahogany neck, 22 medium frets, 4 string, active eq with bass mid & treble boost/cut, master volume, and pickup blend, 2 active humbucking "soapbar" pickups, natural finish, nickel finished bridge and hardware, Grover style tuners
This thing plays incredibly well for the price, and fits my smaller hands like a glove. The neck is the perfect marriage of my favorite bass necks - the classic Fender Jazz and the flat radiused modern Ibanez. String tension is not too tight, even though it's an inch longer scale than standard. I was able to obtain a very low action (3mm above the last fret) with very little string buzz only when I really attack the string. It's the fastest, most comfortable setup I've ever had - bar none.
I'm not often a fan of most active basses, since most of them sound too harsh or sterile for my taste. The Pilot Pro is quite a departure from that. It has a very "organic" tone with a nice emphasis in the low mids. I tested the bass through a 1X15 Acoustic combo and am playing it through a modified 1X15 Crate combo, and it sounds fantastic. It can obtain the typical p-bass tone with the neck singled, a great funky slap/pop with both pickups and the mids rolled back a tad, or a nice "Jaco-esque" Jazz bass sound with the bridge pickup singled. Overall, very versatile in the tonal dept. The only flaw I've found is that the treble boost can generate quite a lot of hiss when turned up (this is only an issue when a tweeter is involved). Nothing a simple capacitor tweek on the pre-amp board won't fix, and not really an issue for me, since my amp doesn't have a tweeter