Review – Sire Guitars Releases New Bass Guitar Model, the Sire P7
The Sire Revolution continues with the recent release of the Sire P7 electric bass guitar.
This new model follows in the well-established footsteps of its sibling models, the Sire V7, the Sire Vintage V7, the Sire M3, and the Sire M7 electric basses. Like the other bass models made by Sire Guitars, the Sire P7 is just as well made as the other basses in Sire’s stable of bass models.
The Sire P7 is a very different bass from the jazz bass inspired Sire V7. The obvious differences are that the Sire P7 has a jazz type pickup near the bridge and a precision type pickup near the neck. Also, the control knob configuration is laid out in a very practical, yet aesthetically pleasing manner. A difference that is especially noticeable when playing the Sire P7 is the wider neck than the Sire V7. The sound of the Sire P7 is also another thing that sets this bass apart from the other Sire models.
All of Sire Guitars’ bass models share the same powerful and versatile 18-volt Sire preamp, as specified by Marcus Miller.
The Sire P7 also shares many of its high quality finishes with the Sire V7. The headstock on the Sire P7 is the same as the headstock on the Sire V7 jazz type bass. The body, neck and fingerboard wood options are also the same for the Sire P7 as they are for the Sire V7.
Okay, Tell Me About It
The Sire P7 has a noticeably wider bolt-on neck than the Sire V7 jazz type bass (neck width listed below). The wider neck really works for this bass. The comfortable neck profile, along with the wider neck, makes for an easy to play bass. The Sire P7 has a 20-fret fingerboard. The neck is made of Maple. Players can choose either a Maple fingerboard, or a Rosewood fingerboard. Sire Guitars continues their tradition of using high quality percoid block and binding on the Sire P7’s fingerboard.
The scale length of the Sire P7 is a comfortable 34 inches and neck is affixed to the body with four bolts. The nut is made of bone. All 20 frets are easy to access due to the generous body cut-away. As with other Sire Guitars basses, the Sire P7 can be strung either through the body or through the high mass bridge. The open tuning machines are tight and feel smooth when turning the tuning machines. The hardware (bridge & tuning machines) has a beautiful chrome finish while the control knobs only come in a sort of black rubberized plastic.
The Sire P7 shares the same phenomenal preamp with all of the other Sire bass models. Its controls are stacked volume/tone, pickup blend, treble, stacked mid/mid sweep, and bass. There is also a two-way toggle switch to put the bass in either active or passive mode.
Currently, the available options for the Sire P7 are either four or five strings. The body wood options are either Alder or Swamp Ash. Fingerboard options are Rosewood (on the Alder body models) and Maple (on the Swamp Ash body models). The finishes are Black, White, Natural (Ash models only), and Sunburst.
But How Does It Sound?
The bass used for this review is a five string bass with a Swamp Ash body and a one-piece Hard Maple neck with a Maple fingerboard. It was also used to record, practice and perform live.
In passive mode the P7 has a huge, warm and muscular sound. The precision type neck pickup does an excellent job of bringing warmth to the sound, while the jazz type bridge pickup adds articulation. Soloing the precision type neck pickup results in a beautiful, warm and settled vintage precision sound. In passive mode, the three-band EQ with a sweepable mid-range is not functional, which is typical for passive/active preamps. However, the tone knob is available for tone shaping in passive mode.
In active mode, the Sire P7 turns into a percussive, deep sounding, articulate tone machine. Once the active mode is turned on, the three-band EQ with a sweepable mid-range becomes available to the player. The 18-volt preamp offers plenty of headroom, and the EQ allows for an incredible amount of tonal adjustment. The sound of the bass in active mode retains its bigsound, however, the bass gains more sonic presence and a wonderful percussiveness. The combination of the precision style neck pickup and the jazz style bridge pickup work together beautifully. The low end, mid-range and high end are very well represented without being unbalanced.
Thumping or slapping the Sire P7 is a lot of fun, thanks to the wider neck and the great sound! The slightly wider neck, the sound for the precision and jazz pickups, and the percussiveness come together to make the Sire P7 a great platform for this type of playing. A player can dial plenty of bottom end, enough mid-range to achieve the desired articulation, and some high end for a little sizzle.
As an added bonus, the Sire P7 comes with a highly protective gig bag. The Sire gig bag has two pockets, one of which is large enough to fit a music folder or iPad. The neck gets a neck pillow with a Velcro restraint to keep the bass from moving around while in the gig bag. Although it offers good protection, the Sire gig bag is very light in weight.
In designing the Sire P7, Sire Guitars has again designed a bass that continues the company’s tradition of quality at an affordable price. The Sire P7 is capable of playing highly articulate parts as found in jazz or pop music. It is also easily at home anchoring a rock band or any musical situation requiring a great bass sound. Audio engineers will also find this bass a very easy instrument to work with in the studio.
For the bass players who already have a Sire V7 jazz bass, a Sire M7 or some other make and model of a bass, the Sire P7 is a great addition. It provides a very different and wonderful sound and feel.
Okay, How Much Does It Cost?
- The Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard 4 string Sire P7 is $499.00
- The Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard 4 string Sire P7 is $599.00
- The Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard 5 string Sire P7 is $599.00
- The Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard 5 string Sire P7 is $699.00
Although it is very reasonably priced, this bass is not a bass that needs upgrades. It is ready to gig right out of the box!
Sire Guitars managed to surpass themselves with the design and construction of the Sire P7. The quality, playability and sound of the Sire P7 are truly amazing at any point, however this bass is reasonably priced. The Sire P7 will make a very capable workhorse for a working professional, or a very affordable quality instrument for a new bassist. It also makes a great addition for a bass player with several basses.
- Material: Swamp Ash / North American Alder
- Shape: Sire Precision Bass Type
- Color: Ash Body – NT (Natural), TS (Tobacco Sunburst), WB (White) | Alder- Body-4 TS (Tobacco Sunburst), AWH (White), BK (Black)
- Pickguard: Ivory Pearl (Swamp Ash) / Tortoise (Alder)
- Material: 1 Piece Hardmaple
- Shape: C-Shape
- Scale: 34”
- Neck Joint: 4 Bolt Steel Square Plate
- Material: Hardmaple(Swamp Ash ) / Rosewood(Alder)
- Radius: 7’25”
- Frets : Medium Small, 20 Frets
- String Nut: Natural Bone 38mm width(4 string)
- Binding: 1 ply Ivory
- Inlay: WH Pearloid Block
- Pickups: Marcus Super Precision(Neck) + Jazz(Bridge)
- Preamp: Marcus Heritage- 3 with Middle Frequency Control
- Controls: Volume / Tone (Dual Stacked Pot) | Pickup Blender | Treble | Middle / Middle Frequency (Dual Stacked Pot) | Bass, Mini Toggle (Active / Passive )
- Knobs: Modern Black Plastic
- Bridge: Marcus Miller Heavy Mass Standard
- Tuning Gear: Sire Premium Open-Gear
- Hardware Finish: Chrome
- The approximate weight of the Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard Sire P7 four string bass is in the range of a little over 8.5 pounds. The five string is around 9.5 pounds. The weight of the Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard Sire P7 was not available during the writing of this review.
For more information, visit online at sire-usa.com