I aquired the Kramer Focus 420s bass guitar online from MusicYo.com. The main reason I bought this guitar was because we were starting a band and I was the bass guitarist who had no bass guitar. The Focus 420s was the cheapest bass they had. It costs around $99 which isn't very bad. I also bought some cables, a bag, a tuner, and a stand and altogether it came out to be a very outstanding $160.
I still have my Focus 420s and it has served me well over this past year. There is a lot of things i enjoy about it. The design of it makes it easy to hold. The neck is made of maple and is very durable. It is a very simple and straight forward instrument. You don't have to worry about it breaking because i have dropped it plenty of times and i haven't got a major scratch on it.
The guitar is very enjoyable but it does have a few draw backs. The first thing is that it only has 2 knobs. I feel that i don't have much control over the sound and feel very limited to controling most of the effects from my amp. The second thing is that it is quite heavy. I never had another bass before nor held another one in my hands besides the one I have so i don't know if it is like this with all basses. I do know that after a while you'll get used to it though. The third thing is that the plug for the cable is on the side and sometimes it causes a problem with my cable. The cable is bent at the ends because of it.
The construction of the unit is very well done. Very strong and I do not fear of breaking it. The guitar also provides a decent sound. You will however need to buy other equipment like a Bass Effects Unit or a good amp to have more control over the sound.
In conclusion, the Focus 420s is worth what you paid for. No more, no less. I like it because it is all i have. I have been shopping around for many other bass guitars and found that there are some like the Focus 420s but they are priced like $50 to $100 more. If your budget is somewhat limited and you just want to buy a bass, go for the Focus 420s. If you want something a little more professional, just be willing to pay A LOT more.
Purchased off the 'net from MusicYo.Com in 2001. $90. Sounds like it, too (i've owned better quality).
1. Fast neck.
2. Light weight (curse in disguise, see below).
3. Cheap price.
4. P-Bass style.
1. Sound is lifeless, like bass from a cheap, portable radio.
2. The volume control no longer works.
3. The volume knob came off with HALF OF THE POST STILL ATTACHED!!!
Turns out it's 1 3/4-inch plywood. I took the pickguard off to swap out the cheap pups and discovered the truth. This also explains the flat, cheap-portable-radio bass sound. I don't listen to music with my eyes, so I thought the pickups were responsible for the lifeless sound--until I removed the pickguard. I own (and have owned) quality basses and my ears have relagated this axe to the upstairs closet. If it was stolen I probably wouldn't notice for a couple of years.
This is OK for helping a beginner learn the fretboard. You can practice on it at the house and chuck it in the corner without worrying about putting wear and tear on your other instrumemts.