First, let's sample the Rimini with both humbuckers on
and no tone control roll-off. This gives a well-projected sound with
decent growl and plenty of weighty thud courtesy of the chambered body.
It's no surprise that the top-end isn't laden with fizzing harmonics:
this bass wasn't designed for contemporary cutting-edge sounds, but
despite the lack of active electronics the clarity is excellent and
higher notes cut through without brittleness. Even the thinner strings
have enough weight to sound good, but we did notice a slight high-mid
bias, giving a burpy edge to the sound – a sign, perhaps, that the
bridge pickup is the dominant one. Each pickup can be raised or lowered
via a pair of Phillips screws, so if you find this annoying, there's a
quick, easy antidote available.
Backing down the tone control does very little until two-thirds off, which gives a slight softening of the tone and a reduction in honk, and almost fully off gives a smooth, silky, neutral sound. Inevitably, full-off gives a woolly and fairly unpleasant sub-aquatic result.
Switching to the neck pickup produces a tone that will please fans of the earthy P-Bass vibe. There's more detail in the midrange, which is punchy with a dark, brooding quality; the highs speak softly and evenly, and overall there’s a lively, almost acoustic presence, for which we salute the Rimini’s hollow body. Chopping the tone control all the way back is expectedly woofy and impractical but there are a couple of good variations available at lesser settings: there's one around halfway, which involves a slight increase in width, inducing a rubbery edge across the spectrum that shrouds the Rimini's growl a tad – a fine setting for propulsive fingerstyle – and another at about 2/10, much like the above but with a combination of silk and retained clarity that puts us right in the mood for some old-skool blues and soul.
The bridge pickup is far more aggressive and snappy. It’s crisp and funky, with the high-mid emphasis providing plenty of colour without any nasty nasal trade-off, and the evenness of response of the lowest three strings is particularly pleasing. The G string is a touch brittle but it’s not too unpleasant, and backing off the tone control provides an effective antidote. Rolling back to halfway thankfully doesn’t remove much of the spiteful edge but focuses and fattens the tone and increases the versatility. Cutting back further produces a smooth sound that’s splendidly even across all four strings, with barky detail just poking through enough to give the requisite bite: extremely practical.