Recorded direct into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1: Passive mode, neck pickup soloed, flat EQ.
Clip 2: Active mode, bridge pickup soloed, flat EQ.
Clip 3: Active mode, neck pickup soloed, flat EQ.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Impressive, clean build for a “budget” instrument. Well balanced. Plenty of tone options.

Cons:
Volume pot sensitivity.

Street:
$349

Cort Action HH4
cortguitars.com


Tones:


Ease of Use:


Build/Design:


Value:
 

Cort’s budget line has a new player in town with the Action HH4, but its low price should not spark prejudgment. This well-balanced 4-string has a body cut from meranti (aka Philippine mahogany) and weighs in at a tidy 8 3/4 pounds. Our test bass was finished in a chic-looking blood-red metallic, and when I scanned the bass closely from top to bottom, I didn’t find an errant glue drop, finish bite, or non-tight component to speak of. The fast, lightly finished Canadian hard-maple neck and damn-near-perfect fretwork kind of had me wondering if I was really sent a bass in the company’s budget line.

The fast, lightly finished Canadian hard-maple neck and damn-near-perfect fretwork kind of had me wondering if I was really sent a bass in the company’s budget line.

The Action HH4’s electronics package provides a bucketful of options with its pair of alnico-5 humbuckers, a 2-band EQ, 5-way switch, and passive tone control, but the tone control’s degree of effectiveness seemed to vary depending on the pickup selection. Though the HH4 is a mid-prominent instrument, I was able to pull some old-school warm tones—yet not overly murky—from the neck pickup in both modes. After cycling through the different configurations in active mode, I parked myself in the third position with both humbuckers fully engaged for a good all-around rock tone with warmth and a nice amount of bite. If I had a single gripe about the Action HH4, it would be the sweep/taper ratio of the volume dial, which was not so gradual from closed to open. Other than that, the Action HH4 is simply a well put-together bass that offers a ton of bang for the buck.

Test Gear: Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Orange OBC212, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4