The Legend 4 Classic and Legend 4 Custom basses are Spector Bass’ affordable, Korean versions of the company’s NS-2-bass, the famous model that Stuart Spector designed in co-operation with Ned Steinberger.
The Spector Legend 4 Classic (current RRP in Finland: 672 €) is a long-scale active bass.
The body is crafted from three pieces of maple, with its frontside spruced up with a very pretty quilted maple veneer.
The bass’ bolt-on neck is put together using three long strips of hard rock maple.
The neck joint features rounded edges for added comfort, while five screws with separate, countersunk washers make for a very precise and sturdy fit.
The pearl SSD-logo has been cleanly inlaid into the back-angled headstock.
A self-lubricating top nut makes tuning a smooth experience. The nut’s corners have been rounded – a nice upmarket touch in this price bracket.
Black is the colour of choice for all of the Legend 4 Classic’s hardware. The modern, sealed tuners keep the tuning rock steady.
The rosewood fingerboard sports 24 jumbo frets, which are well seated and nicely polished, making for a smooth playing surface.
The Classic-model’s passive SSD-humbuckers are manufactured by EMG. These units – designed specifically for this bass – use the EMG-HZ-pickups as a starting point, but add a good helping of mid-range for a meatier tone.
This Spector’s controls comprise two separate volume knobs (one for each pickup), as well as active boost controls for bass and treble, respectively.
The preamp – which is boost-only – is Spector’s own Tone Pump Jr -circuit, which has been glued to the control cavity’s side wall.
To minimise interference buzz the whole cavity has been covered in conductive paint, and the lid lined with aluminium foil. The lid is fixed to the body using machine screws and threaded inlets – a much better choice on an active bass than plain wood screws.
The Legend 4 Classic’s bridge is a hefty design. The saddles are locked in place with grub screws to prevent any rattling, thus enhancing the instrument’s sustain.
The Spector Legend 4 Custom (current RRP in Finland: 855 €) is the Classic’s higher-spec’d sibling.
Here the body uses two, centre-joined pieces of basswood with a quilted maple veneer on top.
The Custom’s neck is glued into the body, and features graphite rods reinforcing the neck.
Just like the NS-2, both basses reviewed here feature curved bodies, even though the arch is much less pronounced in these more affordable instruments.
The beer-belly chamfer adds to the bass’ strapped-on comfort.
The Custom features the same graceful headstock as the classic…
…but here the back of the neck is finished in gloss lacquer, and all the hardware is gold-coloured.
The fretwork on the Legend 4 Custom is of an even higher standard than on the Classic – you can clearly spot the well-rounded fret ends in the photo.
EMG’s HZ bass humbuckers are known for their excellent, wide-range tone.
The preamp is an EMG B30, which offers you a full three-band EQ-section in addition to the separate pickup volume knobs. The mid-range has it’s own full-sized control, while the stack knob deals with treble (tip) and bass (ring).
Here’s a peek into the Custom’s control cavity – everything’s clean, neat and tidy.
And here we have the excellent Spector-bridge in a golden finish.
The neck profile on the Spector Legend 4 Classic is a very comfortable D-shape. The neck is a close cousin to a Jazz Bass neck, but offers a slightly more contemporary, flatter slant on the theme.
The large fretboard radius combined with the jumbo frets lends this bass a slick and fast action and feel.
Our test sample’s considerable weight is really the only point that I can criticise – get yourselves a wide, comfortable strap, and everything will work out fine.
The Legend 4 Classic’s SSD-pickups have quite a high output, with the signal being rich in deliciously growling mids. I also enjoyed the Classic’s clear, yet warm high-mid presence, which keeps the sound nicely organic.
This bass’ basic tone is really good, so I didn’t particularly miss the ability to cut any frequencies – the Tone Pump Jr’s bass and treble boosts work fine in this context.
I recorded the audio clips via a Focusrite Saffirer 6 USB -soundcard straight into the audiosequencer, without any kind of amplifier modelling. Each clip starts with the neck pickup:
Spector Legend 4 Classic – fingerstyle
Spector Legend 4 Classic – Reggae
Spector Legend 4 Classic – slap
Spector Legend 4 Classic – pleck
The Spector Legend 4 Custom’s neck profile is a tiny bit meatier and rounder, when compared to the Classic. Together with the gloss finish this results in a slightly more grown-up and steadier feel. Somehow the Custom feels like a more expensive bass to this reviewer.
Due to the set neck and the stiffening graphite rods inside the neck the Custom’s acoustic tone is clearly punchier and fatter, with a nice bit of “wire” in its attack.
The neutral-sounding – in the best sense of the word – EMG-HZs, combined with the bass’ nice preamp, lend the Custom an air that is distinctly “active”, with a healthy dose of presence, clarity and a fresh top end.
The three-band EQ – offering boost as well as cut – naturally is a more versatile tone-shaping tool than the Classic’s more concise Tone Pump Jr.
Here are the same bass lines as above, this time played on the Legend 4 Custom:
Spector Legend 4 Custom – fingerstyle
Spector Legend 4 Custom – Reggae
Spector Legend 4 Custom – slap
Spector Legend 4 Custom – pleck
I think it is great that Spector is offering us bassists more affordable versions of its US- and Euro-models. Both the Legend 4 Classic as well as the Legend 4 Custom are quality instruments and a pleasure to play.
The Spector Legend 4 Classic is your key to Stuart Spector’s world, offering you a straightforward, streamlined and easy-to-use active bass for a very reasonable price.
The Legend 4 Custom, for its part, clearly is a large step towards the full-blown Spector-experience, in both playability and sound. This beautiful quality instrument could easily become a professional’s main squeeze.
Finnish distributor: Musamaailma
Spector Legend 4 Classic
Current price in Finland: 672 €
+ high-output SSD-pickups
+ easy-to-use preamp
– review sample’s weight
Spector Legend 4 Custom
Current price in Finland: 855 €
+ graphite-reinforced neck
+ versatile preamp