Cort Gs-Punisher-2 Gene Simmons Signature Series
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- Surpasses its predecessor
- Has Gene's stage presence and experience built into this guitar
- Built in the KISS spirit
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For over 35 years GENE SIMMONS has been defining Rock with his unique flair. Now he has teamed with Cort to produce a signature bass with the all new GS-PUNISHER-2
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However, that was the Axe, an older instrument. The Punisher II was released in May of this year. I had my work cut out for me, if I was going to avoid paying the full $560.
I found an auction on EBay for a bass place in AZ selling a Punisher II for $454, shipped. This was an auction, and there was no telling if it would stay at that price. Plus, the seller offered NO return policy. I call Musicians Friend to see if they could match the price. After verifying my claim, the customer service rep matched the price, and they had a promotion for a $50 gift card if I spent over $299! In short, I saved $106 off the price of a Punisher II, received free shipping, got a 45 day return policy, and I received a bonus gift card for $50! Sweet!
-The case this bass comes in is so much nicer than that cheesy gig bag that is included with the Axe.
-The case zipper is nice, and the bass is well protected in its foam cocoon.
-This bass seems to be better made than my Axe. It's almost as if the Cort factory was learning on the Axe, and figured it out when they started making Punishers.
-Unlike my Axe, this bass's tuners were all pretty straight.
-The finish has no bubbles or blems, and the white binding is part of the finish.
-Much lighter bass compared to the Axe. My Axe is a touch over 9 lbs and the Punisher weighs in just over 8. The lighter weight made a huge difference after two hours of practice. No wonder why Gene plays his Punisher most of the night.
-The neck is the exact same as the Axe. I nice beefy P-Bass profile, but not like a campfire log/baseball bat.
-The strap pins are installed in the normal position, unlike the Axe.
-I love the white binding on the headstock, and the diamond inlays.
-The back of the neck is finished, but I never had an issue with it.
-Unlike the Axe, you can play the Punisher seated! A huge benefit when I'm trying to learn new songs for the band.
-The case is nicer, but still has cheap parts to it. For instance, the felt material pealed away from the cavity when my strap pin rubbed against it.
-The case lid doesn't stay open on its own. I would use a different case, but the pointy end on the body makes the bass too long to fit in most cases or bags.
-The biggest surprise to me was the neck dive. I for sure thought this bass would have less neck dive than the Axe. After taking measurements, both basses pretty much have the strap button in the same place, in relation to the fret board. Due to its lighter weight, the Punisher neck dives more easily. If you have a nice wide leather strap, it isn't bad, and stays pretty much in place.
-The bass sounds okay with its stock pickups, but nothing to write home about. The tone knob has no gradual roll on/roll off. The tone is kind of brittle, and lacks any punch. I replaced my Axe with EMG's, and I will do the same with the Punisher.
-The Punisher has a barrel input jack. I dislike that jack because they fail so often. The Axe has the standard jack, which is simple yet effective design.
-Lastly, the Axe gets a lot of attention. While I prefer the way the Punisher looks, it definitely takes a back seat in the shock & awe department, compared to its "Simmons sibling".
I now have the complete set. These are both great basses if given new EMG pickups, good strings, and a setup.
ROCK N' ROLL!!!!