Gear4Musics Black Knight basses come with a 14-day trial period. Worth a spin
In last year’s November issue (Vol 19/11) we unearthed the excellent and jaw-droppingly cheap White Horse BP150 combo from internet discounter Gear4Music. Black Knight is the sister range of instruments, with the same focus on insane value for money. Unsurprisingly, the CB042M bass emanates from China and the body is made from the king of the budget woods, basswood. It’s loaded with active electronics and a two-band EQ, hooked up to a pair of covered humbuckers with master volume and pickup balance controls.
The matte black finish is cool, if a little dull; there are minor finishing blemishes to be found, but nothing catastrophic. Two pieces of Canadian maple make up the 34" scale bolt-on neck, with 24 medium frets plus dot markers on a rosewood fingerboard. It’s not a Rolls-Royce in a playing sense, but it’s better than catalogue offerings of yore, and the black chrome hardware – diecast tuners and a Fender-esque bridge – is solid and well-fitted.
The Black Knight‘s twin humbuckers give a clean sound with a trace of high-mid bias. The neck pickup is fat and earthy and the bridge pickup is funky and gurgly, if rather thin. Adding Bass EQ makes this setting more practical, though, and the active Treble facility adds cut and bite while rendering the neck pickup raspy and rocking. Boosting both EQs with both pickups on gives a clean, fat sound with open highs.
The CB-42M sounds a great deal more expensive than it looks. Good for the money? Absolutely.