Review Demo – La Bella Olinto P/J Bass

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Why would a reputable string company like La Bella jump into the crowded sea of bass production? The Mari family has been manufacturing strings for well over 350 years, and they’ve tested their products on a lot of instruments. Their electric bass strings—particularly their flatwounds—are many a player’s partner for P-style instruments.

Enter the new Olinto PJ bass. It represents both La Bella’s familiarity with the Precision and the ingenuity of luthier Mas Hino.

The Olinto PJ is influenced by Fender’s famous 1963 design. The body is alder, and our tester was coated in a dark, Lake Placid blue finish protected by nitrocellulose lacquer. The complex color frames the gold pickguard beautifully. It’s an eye-catching combination.

Traditional P-bass bodies block access to the truss rod, and the neck bolts must be loosened to make adjustments. But here, lifting the pickguard reveals a small body cavity for truss-rod access. This is a thoughtful solution, though you must still remove the pickguard.

The hand-carved, flat-sawn maple neck is coated in nitro lacquer. A Madagascar rosewood fretboard provides classic looks and an environmentally friendly alternative to Brazilian rosewood. The classic motif continues with a C-shaped neck and a period-correct 7.25″ radius. Other features include a 1.625″ bone nut, 20 vintage-style frets, a Hipshot Vintage bridge, and Hipshot HB3 reverse tuners. The Aguilar AG 4P/J-HC pickups are hum-cancelling. They provide familiar timbres, but are free of 60-cycle hum.

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