Category Archives: Bass

Spectrasonics Trilian Total Bass Module

trilian-screen_med2Spectrasonics has released Trilian Total Bass Module a new virtual instrument dedicated to all types of Bass sounds Acoustic, Electric and Synth.

The new acoustic and electric basses in Trilian are sampled at an extremely high level of detail. The combination of the software's intuitive, automatic selection of legato and release articulations as the user plays – and the extensive ‘Round-Robin' variations introduced for natural sounding bass lines with repeated notes – create a more dynamic and subtle playing experience. Newly developed multisampled dynamic slides let notes realistically slide from one to another. Each of the new basses feature multi-channel mixing between phase-locked microphone/amplifier and direct outputs of each bass.

Over sixty different 4, 5, 6 and 8 string Electric basses are presented in fingered, picked, fretless, slapped, tapped, and muted technique variations providing a huge variety of sounds for any musical genre. Highlights of the new Electric Basses include a Music Man 5-string Studio Bass, Chapman Stick®, Lakland Rock P-Bass, Clean Fender® Jazz Bass, a Hardcore Rock Bass, a Retro 1960's Epiphone® Viola Bass and much more.

For Synth sounds, Trilian features newly-developed 4-Pole Juicy and Power Filter algorithms with oscillating resonance that are ideal for electronic bass. Hundreds of synth soundsources were created using over 30 of the most exotic and coveted hardware synthesizers from the original Moog® Taurus Pedals to the latest boutique analog modular synthesizers. A multitude of extremely powerful editing controls are available for sound design including the FlexMod modulation system, Dual Filters with more than 19 filter types, 6 multistage looping envelopes, 6 full-featured LFOs, dual morphing modulation, modulatable FX racks and much more.

Trilian's FX racks include all of the renowned FX processors from Omnisphere and Stylus RMX including a wide variety of amp and speaker models, distortions, dynamics processors, equalizers, chorus, phasers, flangers, delays, reverbs, unique specialty FX and more.

Trilian is now shipping, and the MSRP is $299US and $229 Euro.

More information: Spectrasonics

TC Electronic Staccato’51 bass head

large-staccato51_frontTC Electronic and Rocco Prestia made their new product called Staccato’51 bass head – a custom-tuned version of the RH450 that’s been made to Rocco’s exact specification and ear. Rocco’s sound design on Staccato’51 fits his legendary finger-muting technique like a glove. The full-bodied tone with plenty of highs and lows as well as the ultra fast precision response enhances the percussive elements of Rocco’s playing to perfection.

In addition to the sheer tone shaping, Rocco has added a touch of TC’s SpectraComp per-string compression to tighten the sound even more. And finally a touch of TubeTone brings out the growl of Staccato’51 when really digging into those low-end notes with his powerful right hand technique.

Staccato’51 features:

Classic Tone section Based on the classic virtues of bass tone stacks, tailored to Rocco’s liking

TubeTone TubeTone emulates every characteristic of both pre-amp and power amp to deliver the full tube sound. Rocco has this dialled in so the TubeTone gives him to growl when diggin’ in

SpectraComp Most bass players know that integrated compressors generally don’t sound that good. A regular compressor tends to be dominated by the lower string, but Staccato’51’s SpectraComp technology allows virtually ‘per string’ compression that evens out the compression across all strings.

Integrated Chromatic Tuner Ultrafast chromatic bass tuner built in.

Wide range instrument input Covers both Active and Passive pickup instruments.

Integrated Linedriver Output Quality can vary wildly with built-in Line drivers, but Staccato’51’s DI is transformer balanced and galvanically isolated from the rest of the amp, which means no ground loops or hum. And don’t worry about long cable runs Staccato’51 will draw at least 100m of cable with no drop in audio quality.

Speaker Output and Linedriver Mute

Effects Loop Insert point (pre-amp out, power amp in)

Auto-sensing PSU The ultimate in convenience for you if you are a gigging musician. The built-in power supply operates from 90 to 240 Volts, making your life a lot easier as there’s no complicated fuse changing just plug and play!

Speaker output Combined Speakon and ¼” speaker output for maximum versatility

4kg / Compact package

450w power handling (800w peak) The high power output level of Staccato’51 is accomplished by using Class D amplifier technology in combination with our Active Power Management. APM effectively means that the amp behaves very much like a tube amp when getting close to maximum performance by optimizing the power impact, contrary to the hard clipping tendencies of transistor amps and most other Class D amps.

Staccato’51 is fully compatible with all of our RS cabinets and it will drive any triple combination of the existing models (RS112, RS210, RS212, RS410).

Staccato’51 bass head will be available for $1559 MSRP (USD) from October 2009.

More information: TC Electronic

Bass and guitar CruzTOOLS GrooveTech tool kits from The Music Link

large-CRU-GTGTR1The Music Link is presenting its latest products – the CruzTOOLS GrooveTech tool kits for both guitar and bass setups.

The guitar and bass GrooveTech kits are designed to help musicians become more comfortable at doing their own basic setups. For the price of a typical professional setup, players can purchase a GrooveTech tool kit and keep their guitar or bass in top playing shape.

Included is a 6-in-1 screwdriver, five metric and six fractional hex (“Allen”) keys, 15-blade thickness gauge, six-inch steel ruler, diagonal cutters, capo, 3-LED flashlight, and string winder (string winder in the guitar kit only). The screwdriver includes two Phillips tips (#1 and #2), two slotted tips (1/4″ and 3mm tip for vintage-style bridge saddles), and two nut drivers (1/4″ and 3/16″ to handle Gibson and other brand truss rods nuts). Hex keys are long pattern, color coded gold for metric and black for fractional, with all truss rod sizes having a ball-end on the long side for easy access.

A key component of the kit is its Easy Setup Guide, which is designed to educate the average guitar player about basic setup and maintenance, with a tutorial on neck and bridge adjustment, pickup height, and intonation.

Tools are stored in a tough 600-denier PVC-backed polyester pouch with woven elastic and a clear vinyl front. A compartment is provided for the Easy Setup Guide, guitar owner’s manual, and spare strings. A pick storage pocket is also provided.

The GrooveTech Guitar Player Tech Kit is available for $61.95, and the Bass Player Tech Kit for about $59.95.

More information about the products:

Arnoud Faber introduces The Faber PaddleBass


The Dutch luthier – Arnoud Faber, has designed a new bass in series – The Faber PaddleBass.

This bass is made of a single piece of mahogany and a bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, wich results in a rich sound combined with the two singlecoil pickups. The exact placement is the result of extensive testing and the addition of a series/parallel switch results in a wide and usefull range of sounds. This is further enhanced by a modified tonecontrol in the passive electronics, wich gives extended control over the high frequencies.

The eyecatching design is ergonomically clever, giving the bass exellent balance both in standing and sitting playing positions. The handy ridge on the body can be used as a thumbrest: The strings can be played over the full length of the body very easily.

It gives you the freedom to put your right hand anywhere you like and create any sound you like. If you choose the upgrade with a buffer pre-amp, it has a True-Bypass switch just in case. A pragmatical bass for the active musician! So, this is it, it’s a great bass, it plays like a dream, it sounds like a dream and it’s affordable! So now of course you’ll want one too!, explains the creator of this unique instrument Arnoud Faber.

Specifications of the instrument:

Body: 1-piece Mahogany

Available colors: Allmost every color

Neck: Maple, rosewood fretboard

Scale length: 34″

Pickups: 2 x singlecoil passive pickups

Electronics: Passive, 2 x volume, 1 x tone, series/parallel switch

The Faber PaddleBasss is available from September 17, 2009 and the price is somewhere around the 850 euros.

For more information about the product:

MXR Bass Auto Q


If Parliament were condensed into a genie-in-a-bottle like place, they would live here. The MXR Bass Auto Q

This little black box is basically an auto-wah effect – with full tweaking controls coming at not extra cost. It runs on a wall-wart (not supplied) or just a standard PP9 battery. As far as external links go, that’s about it. Not forgetting the obvious input/output jack-ins. A nice touch to the design of this pedal is how the knobs are arranged, in a scowl-like fashion. Link this with a personified pout and you’ve got a funk player.

Volume is joined by Range (how low the effect goes) and Q (wah intensity), and on the right there’s Decay (how long the wah effect lasts relative to note sustain). All very clever stuff but the icing on the cake are the two knobs Blend and Rate. Blend controls the mix of wah and trem (left for wah only, right for trem only), and Rate handles the intensity.

When fiddling with all the settings and trying to find the sound to pound to, I quickly rendered this pedal absolutely useless if I were even to think about shredding. You will just hear nothing. It’s best to sustain your chords if you want to get the potential out of this pedal; and it has bucket-loads of that. Rotating the Q clockwise adds a harsher edge to the overall tone while Decay will dictate how quickly the wah and tremelo peak and lull. All these settings really make for a nice three-dimensional sound.

For an ‘out there’ player who’s not afraid of experimenting. In fact, you’d better welcome that idea!

The MXR Bass Auto Q retails at <!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
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Sandberg Panther Special Bass Review


The undeniable appeal of Sandberg has always been it’s wallet-friendly pricing compared to its vintage counterparts. So how special is this Special Panther? …

When looking straight at it, while keeping Music Man’s back catalogue at the forefront of your mind, it does take a lot of its styling from the Stingray. This Panther Special version has an exotic wood body with a walnut top, a mahogany back and added layers of maple and more walnut. The bolt-on neck is slim and fast, and arguably by the means of a nice rosewood, really feels great to play.

The bypassable active electronics are powered by a PP3 housed in a quick release chamber. The pickups are fantastically elaborate, parallelogramically shaped, designed by Sandberg themselves and encased by Delano. But don’t think that their both the same spec… A Power Humbucker hugs the neck while a Split Coil sits on the bridge. To further pursue tonal perfection and reach that ‘unique’ stature, Sandberg run both pickups through a three-band EQ, before sending relays to the player via tone and volume pots.

The Panther is as clean as a whistle in the twin-pickup mode. A lot of low end grunt is apparent in the bridge split coil whereas the Humbucker is reserved for fashioning funk. Increasing bass EQ adds a silky sheen to the bridge pickup, ideal for slaps and pops; the twin-pickup setting does make the overall tone lose its flick and speed though.

Sandberg’s build quality is simply marvellous. Splicing materials the way this company has, while carefully and accurately considering the electrical hardware, has given Sandberg the edge. For a handmade forefrontal company flagship of a bass guitar, the price questions logic.

The Sandberg Panther Special retails at £1299.

Hartke HyDrive 115C bass combo


Kicking back at the bass combo competition, Hartke aren’t failing to deliver…

This small (by comparison) 250 watt combo is perfect for both small gigs and larger venues. Besides, if either one of these venues get a bit tightly packed with people the entire HyDrive range can cope with it; sporting internal bracing, a high quality plywood cabinet and corner protectors. This all sounds a bit heavy to be lugging around giggable venues but it is surprisingly manageable. The sound ratio far outweighs its own weight.

The 15 inch speaker is more than enough to cause more than a stir in your local. With good low-end capabilities, made possible by Hartke’s own seven band EQ, you can also expect a good punch in the mid to top range. Hartke has always been about tone and power but things have changed here – for the good. It still hits all the right spots with power but the tone has been harnessed somewhat in its mid-range deliverance.

With all this power you would have though that there be a bit of background noise when cranking bass attack overdrive; it’s minimal to non-existent. The bottom end is expansive and controllable whereas the top end is crisp and clear.

Many bass combos leave you high and dry; wanting something more. But with the HyDrive 115C there is none of that. It’s like there is an animal trying to get out, but held back by the sublime EQ. Just as well there’s a massive steel grill on the front!

The Hartke HyDrive 115C retails at £672.

Ibanez JTKB200 Jet King Bass


Tough territory, revamping a past icon. Has it worked?

Taking into account that in past months there has been a trend for bass guitars to feature loads of strings, over extended body curves and active electronic hardware, this retro model could struggle. But these looks… come on!

Design features include two separate scratchplates; no idea why, but it does look pretty retro. The colour scheme echoing Horner’s later years in their design, but perhaps drawing parallels from more up to date hardware, one can see a close resemblance to the JTK4 guitar.

The large bridge is just another bit of evidence which shows how well this bass was made. The string spacing is just right and offers a good base for those who are intent on picking, slapping or picking.  The fretboard is very square indeed but, on the upside, it offers the player a wide, well profiled space to work.

As for the sounds of this bass, the stylish good looks really draw on influence from days gone by. Those infamous pickups are a bit misleading though. They aren’t humbuckers but single coil pickups. This makes the bass very capable in lower ranges but not so much when you’re really going for it. Think of the noise a ball hitting a bat makes, but more toneful. It’s all down to the position of the pickups. With passive circuitry they feel warm and fruity at times.

The JTKB200 is a fantastic all rounder. Vintage sound coupled with hardness for gig use this is a perfect old-fashioned revamp. It’s the king of financial conservatism in these times, that’s for sure.

The Ibanez JTKB200 Jet King retails at £249.

Mesa/Boogie M6 Carbine bass combo



While Mesa/Boogie have always been known to pummel guts and project sound comparable to that of a stadium gig, the M6 Carbine is surprisingly reserved…

When getting down to the nitty-gritty tech features of this bass amp it isn't hard to see why Mesa/Boogie have always been unparalleled in sound quality and optional extras associated with their hardware. The amp has a pioneering tone control set-up by incorporating a pull-out feature on the volume knob to mute the mix. Also the rear of the speaker enclosure has a setting panel for the horn. Not only is there a choice of three settings when customising crossover range but also rotary attenuator to determine the degree of horn involvement.

The Mesa/Boogie ‘informed' will recognise the layout identically matched to the short-lived ‘Fathom.' The two-wheeled combo theme carries on here with more tonal features to make any bass player crave one.  While the bass and treble controls are active, the mid sound is passive making for a more analogue feel while playing in a low register. Additionally, if you are a M/B virgin the layout is staggeringly easy to grasp tonal settings are presented around the knobs by diagrams, making tweaking much easier.

The build quality is very neat indeed giving the impression it could have been made from weapons-grade materials. Also, giving a 600 Watt all-valve output and including balanced XLR outputs this is a very versatile bit of kit.

The M6 Carbine may put a few people off at £1,499 but if you're serious about your amplification nothing else comes close.

TC Electronic Announces RS410 Bass Cabinet

TC Electronic RS410 bass cabinetTC Electronic this week announced the RS bass cabinet, a product designed to complement their RH450 bass amp and the existing RS range of cabinets, the RS210 and RS212.

The RS410 is an 8 Ohm, 600W cabinet that can take any bass player's loudness and power to an eleven while simultaneously providing the quick response time musicians demand. The RS410 is a 4 x 10 (plus High-Frequency driver) unit that TC Electronic promises will get the job done in any locale, whether on-location at a show or in the studio.

TC Electronic has also been trumpeting the stackability of the RS410, which allows it to be stacked with the other members of the RS family (the RS210 and RS212) and thus provide for some serious setups. When on its side, the RS410 can be stacked with the RS210 and RS212, and since the RH450 bass amp can drive three separate RS cabinets, the expanded utility of the RS cabinet line thanks to the inclusion of the RS410 is immediately obvious.

Other features of the RS410 include an adjustable center HF driver, two Speakon connectors, and an anti-scratch, anti-skid design (key for stacking). Pricing details aren't yet available, but TC Electronic will start shipping this cabinet model come June. For more information on the RS410 and associated cabinet announcements, head on over to

Source: TC Electronic