The Brute arrived safe and sound from AP Intl last Friday. It spent a very cold day outside, so I didn't open it up until Saturday. I've had family visiting Sunday through Thursday, so I apologize for the lack of time to take pics. I didn't even touch my basses at all during that time.
I did have a little time on Saturday (between cleaning the house ) to play her...and she's a VERY nice guitar. Tonally, the Brute's about as different from my Rick as it's possible to get. Where the Rick is aggressive, bright and barky, the Brute is still aggressive, but darker and growlier. I was VERY happy when I opened that box and saw that it was the MMJ pup option...that's what I would have picked.
The red with white pickguard is perfect. I actually much prefer it to the red/black combo on the website.
There's no comparison to other bases at this price point. The fretwork is excellent. All frets ends are nicely filed and the slots filled with putty. The attention to detail on the build and finish is much better than any other bass I've played in this price range, and better than many that are much more expensive. The carving on the headstock gives it a nice touch of class and helps make it stand out.
The neck is nice. It's a nice flat D. It tapers more than my Rick at the nut, but less than my Ibanez Soundgear. I find it a nice "tweener". Very easy to play.
The electronics are really quite good on this bass, although I know that it was meant to be an easily-modifiable platform. Lots of tone range available. I'm currently playing with the neck/bridge pups mixed. But haven't quite played it enough to decide if that's where I want to stay.
I'm taking it out tonight when I play out to put her through her paces. Only thing I have to figure out is a hard case. I'm not a fan of gig bags (although they are SOOOO much lighter than hard cases). I took it to Guitar Center this weekend to try to find a hardshell case with not much luck. The headstock cants back quite far.
Thank you Brubaker and TMBG for the opportunity to own such a fine instrument!
Pics will come this weekend, I promise!!! I also picked up a Tascam recorder, so some recordings will be forthcoming as well.