Review of the Kramer Disciple 4 String Bass

Review of the Kramer Disciple 4 String Bass

This is a GREAT bass, especially at the relatively modest price. My bottom line is that I highly recommend you test it before you buy anything else in the $400 – $500 range. I say that knowing there are a lot of great basses in that price range including Fender’s new Modern Player series, Peavey Millennium, Schecter Raiden Elite (scorching good bass), and the MTD Kingston Saratoga. All great basses; so is the Kramer Disciple and the Disciple has some unique features that truly set it apart from the crowd.

We took in a beautiful white Disciple into our shop as a factory 2nd and as we examined this full scale, 34” scale length, it was obvious that in spite of the scale length, this bass was signficanlty shorter than what I usually see. I put it in a stand next to an Ovaiton 1771AX acoustic-electric and the Kramer Disciple was only slightly longerr than the acoustic guitar right next to it. The Disciple is also very light with an extremely slim, assymetrical maple neck. Visually, the ebony fretboard and black hardware were a striking contrast to the white body and looked great.

This combination of light weight, slender neck, and compact size immediately seem to make this bass a good option for a guitarist who wants to play bass, a young bassist who’s outgrown his Fender Starcaster and wants a serious bass to fit the emerging skilland the still growing body, and female bassists who would appreciate the bass’ size and feel and with no compromise on sound. I’ll get to the sound in a bit and promise no disappointment there either.

Setting up the bass was easy. It set up beautifully and quickly. The literature says the bridge is a “fully adjustable flush mounted bridge.” We examined it and have no idea on how it adjusts. If someone out there knows, please write back and share it with me. Thanks. Fact is, we didn’t need to adjust it. The action, intonation were superior and landed perfectly.

The heart of the sound for the Disciple is an oversized EMG MMC5 pickup and EMG BTS preamp (uses a 9 volt battery) is pure EMG: versatile, powerful and clearly makes the list as “the good stuff.” I was able to create tones of remarkable clarity that would please any jazz quarter and sounds of a jumbo jet taking off.  The sound quality rivals my far more expensive Fender Marcus Miller bass. I handed this instrument to master bassist Andy Lalasis who played it, reflected on the experience and stated firmly “I love it man.”

My advice is pretty clear: check out the Kramer Disciple bass. It’s worth looking at and if you buy it, a great value.

What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tested or own this bass or of your observations, shopping experience, if you discovered a great deal or just want to tell us about you guitar or bass. Please reply on this blog. Thanks for reading. Prof. Dave

2 thoughts on “Review of the Kramer Disciple 4 String Bass

  1. I bought it as I was shocked at the amazing specs (EMG pick-ups, ebony fingerboard, etc) at such an affordable price!

    Too good to be true? … unfortunately yes. the build quality is extremely poor. you will never read on the net that its made in Indonesia, It is literally thrown together by inbred blindfolded children whilst they are crying. It has rough edges and the Intonation/Action was so bad on mine I am certain it was sent out of the factory like that. The frets are sharp it has a plastic nut. Replacing the battery requires unscrewing the backplate but unfortunatly the screws are made out of chocolate. After about half an hour of farting about I managed to put a battery in and get playing it. Playing it lasted around 3 minutes. It sounds like an EMG pick up in s cheap guitar. I put it down after my three minutes of playing and I have never touched it since. If anyone wants it at half price it is now on ebay.

    • But how do you really feel? Let’s hope your perspective eBay buyer doesn’t read this review before they palce a bid.

      I’ve had some very well made guitars from Indonesia, and you make a good point that I don’t think is universal for Indonesian manugacturing, but it does happen. Some shops produce quality goods and don’t behave in ways that we, at best, see as illegal and low. Some do though. I’m going to take you comments and revisit the bass and take a closer look. When I played it, it clearly wasn’t Fender Custom shop quality, but for the price, it seemed well put together. After reading your comments, a closer look is in order.

      Some of the concerns you noted are important for me to hear: if you’ve read some of my blogs, you’ll know that I’m blind and depend on hearing and feeling and don’t trust my very limited vision.
      Thanks for writing, thanks for your candor and willingness to “be heard.” Please let me hear from you again.