So, I've been wanting to try one of these for a while. 30" scale, six strings, tuned E-E an octave down from a guitar (same low E as a normal bass.) Found this one on Craigslist for a reasonable price, cleaned and oiled the hell out of it (thing reeked of cigarettes), tossed a fresh set of GHS .025-.095 Bass VI strings on it, and commenced setup.
It's an OLP MM5.
Not a bad little axe overall. Pickups aren't great, but are way better than I expected, especially with the new strings. I can barely get it to intonate with the GHS string set, and the action is comfortable, with only one high fret. Beautiful neck carve... narrow and rounded. My only complaints aside from the single high fret are that the tuners are kind of crappy and the tone control is all wrong, as it basically just acts as a mid scoop instead of a variable LPF like it should.
Super comfy little neck, and really fast-playing. Lots of fun. Forgive the flash in this pic:
Here's a shot of the .025-.095 bridge cables it's strung with:
Tension is pretty good actually, playable and clear. The low E is a little thumpy but not nearly as bad as I expected (or as it was with the Ernie Ball .020-.090 set that was on it when I got it)
Despite it's 30" scale, it's not very big.
Here it is next to a 25.5" scale Jackson SLSMG...
...and a 35" scale Ibanez ATK305.
Really cool-sounding instrument. Played clean through a bass amp, especially favoring the neck pickup, it sounds like a bass. Played distorted through a guitar amp on the bridge, it sounds like a beastly downtuned guitar. I'm going to bring it to band practice next weekend and see how it sits in a mix through the Ampeg in the practice space instead of a standard bass, as in the three-piece I'm in currently it would be nice to be able to double up on chords more effectively at times.
I'm considering swapping out the pickups for some clearer units. I'm looking for a vintagey wide-band sound, and I'm probably going to go (GASP) GuitarFetish since I don't really want to drop $150 on pickups for a cheap little axe I'm only going to use occasionally. I'm tempted by their Memphis, Liverpool, and DeArmond-style Retrotron pickups... anyone have any experience with them? (Besides RockQ, apparently)
Add two more strings to that thing and I'm in.