Cort refreshes Artisan B4 and B5 Element bass guitars with updated hardware and rounded ash-topped mahogany body

Cort B4 and B5 Element
(Image credit: Cort)

Cort has refreshed its Artisan B4 and B5 Element bass guitars, giving them a more rounded body profile and applying high-mass MetalCraft bridges as standard.

The four and five-string models now arrive with a solid mahogany body with ash tops in a trio of transparent finishes. 

While the rounded body profiles will make them more ergonomically satisfying, the MetalCraft bridges are engineered to improve resonance and enhance sustain, with both M4 and M5 bridge designs featuring a dual-string loading system that allows you to string through the body or through top of the bridge for a slinkier feel.

Once secured in the saddle, each saddle is nested in its own individual slot, which Cort promises will aid in tone transfer. Elsewhere you've got much of the same features that have made the B4 and B5 Element so popular.

Cort B4 and B5 Element

(Image credit: Cort)

The basses all feature five-piece panga panga and walnut necks that are bolted to the body with a neat sculpted heel. Cort has made the body more rounded, but there is nary a sharp corner anywhere to be found on these basses.

Roasted maple has been used for the fingerboards, with the wood heated in an oxygen-free environment until it turns a dark golden-brown and its stability enhanced by the process. 

In terms of proportions, the four and five-string versions are quite similar, with both having a 34" scale length, 24 frets and a 15.75" fingerboard radius. The M5 MetalCraft bridge on the B5 however has a string spacing of 18mm, with its four-string M4 counterpart measuring 19mm between the strings at the bridge.

The MetalCraft bridges are not the only quality hardware appointment, with Cort opting for Hipshot Ultralite tuners to help maintain the instrument's balance.

The Bartolini MK-1 pickups and active preamp set remains on both models, and offers a three-band EQ, a balance control, volume, and a toggle switch for alternating between active and passive modes.

The Artisan B4 and B5 Element basses are available now, priced £409 street / $599 for the B4 and £569 / $649 for the B5. See Cort for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.