Review – Cort Jeff Berlin Rithimic Series 4-String Bass
Anyone that knows bass surely knows, or has heard of, Jeff Berlin. Jeff is one of the finest bassists of our time and gives some of the best clinics. Aside from his many solo releases, he has recorded and/or performed with some of the greats such as Patti Austin, T. Davits, Bill Buford, Allan Holdsworth, K.D. Lang, and many others. Agree with him or not, he is a fine and great bassist. Knowing what Jeff Berlin expects as a player, it shows in his signature line of basses from Cort. The Cort Jeff Berlin Rithimic Series 4-String Bass is no exception and is a finely crafted instrument. I am truly honored to have the privilege to review a bass designed by such a master as Jeff Berlin and built by such a great company, Cort.
The Cort Jeff Berlin Rithimic Series 4-String Bass features a double cutaway custom body with Alder as the main wood and a Spalted maple and Padouk top. The design and the way that the Spalted maple and Padouk top fit together seamlessly is a true work of art. The 34” scale neck is maple with a 21-fret rosewood fingerboard, complete with abalone inlays on the front and side of the fingerboard. The pickups are Bartolini custom soapbars, which have been designed by no other than Jeff Berlin himself, and the electronics consist of volume, balance, and tone. All of the hardware is gold from the Hipshot Ultralight Tuners, right down the Babicz FCH4 Bridge. It’s nice to see a custom bass with a Babicz bridge, as they seem to proceed a more dynamic range, being full contact with the body, and also offering more sustain and stability. Strings are DR-DDT (40-100).
The Rithimic Series 4-String is a bass players dream, all the way from the first fret to the last; not too heavy, not too light, and the neck feels just right. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing this bass on live gigs and even just for practicing. One thing I noticed is that this bass, when played in a seated position, has no neck dive. This has to be one of the most balanced basses I have played in quite some time. With the combination of tone woods, even being a passive bass, can be warm or bright.
It doesn’t end there, as it is available in a 5-string version as well, all with the same hardware and electronics; the only difference, other than being a 5 string version, is that the alder body has a walnut burl top, which is absolutely gorgeous.