Creation Audio Labs’ Grizzly Bass pedal packs a bevy of features into its small chassis: tube overdrive emulation, grunge distortion, a mid scoop for thumpin’ and pluckin’, and a high-cut filter for speaker simulation. The pedal’s power boosting and protection circuit accepts standard 9V pedal power and steps it up to 36 volts inside for more headroom and dynamic range. Street $225
ALU112 BASS CABINET
An 8-ohm, 400-watt 1x12 in an aluminum hardshell? Believe it. The Alusonic is loaded with a 12-inch aluminum cast frame woofer, and thanks in part to a neodymium magnet, it weighs in at around 20 pounds. You can get it with or without a oneinch compression driver (and a 2.5kHz crossover with a variable tweeter control). The feature set is rounded out by rear bass ports, a top-mounted, recessed handle, input and link Neutrik Speakon connections, and an epoxy-polyester finish.
Street $870; with tweeter, $1,000
This new product from Mike Biegel, who helped bring us the Musitronics Mu-Tron pedals back in the ’70s, sports controls for bass, bass tone, dry mix, and a knob for the built-in ring modulator effect. It also has bass stabilizer switch, a solo mode switch, a solo footswitch, and an effect footswitch, and it boasts two quarter-inch inputs, one for true-bypass and another for active bypass switching.
French luthier Paul Lairat’s passive, 32"-scale, mahogany body Travel Basses weigh in at about eight pounds. They’re available with maple and wenge tops with matching 24-fret maple and wenge necks and outfitted with black hardware, ABM bridges, custom Delano soapbars, and DR strings. Options include Glockenklang electronics ($140) and left-handed models.
Direct 4-string, $3,300; 5-string, $3,700; 6-string, $4,000
JACKSON STEEL GUITAR COMPANY
Ready to try a whole new take on fretless? Check out a 4- or 5-string version of the Jackson Steel Guitar Company SlideKing Bass, which comes in black, turquoise, red, and white and boasts a classic Sho-Bud style fretboard with hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs. The price includes the instrument, adjustable legs, pedal rods, pedal bars and three foot pedals. The case is an extra $250. Custom options are available.
ADAM CLAYTON SIGNATURE
JAZZ BASS Inspired by U2 bass man Adam Clayton’s Sherwood Green 1965 Fender Jazz, this 4-string has all the makings of a classic: rosewood fingerboard, alder body and maple neck, gloss urethane finish, 34"-scale neck, 20 frets, bone nut, pearl inlays, Custom Shop ’60s single-coil Jazz Bass bridge and neck pickups, and 4-ply white pearloid pickguard. What’s custom? That “C” neck shape and those Fender vintage-style “lollipop” tuners.
SG STANDARD & THUNDERBIRD
Gibson’s reboot of two classics, the SG Standard and Thunderbird, upgrades them with thicker and smoother rosewood fingerboards, pearl inlays, upgraded output jacks, and more robust cables. The new T-Bird is fitted with Alnico V pickups and two coil-tap switches, giving players access to eight distinct sounds. The Thunderbird’s 9-piece laminate mahogany and walnut neck is flanked with mahogany body wings. With its rosewood fingerboard, the 30.5"-scale, mahogany-body and neck SG Standard Bass is loaded with a T-Bird Plus pickup in the neck position and a T-Bird Mini pickup in the bridge position.
Street SG Standard, $1,700; Thunderbird, $2,600
BH550 & BH800 HEADS
TC Electronic’s remixes of its BH550 and BH800 heads, which already featured mute switches, balanced XLR outputs, auxiliary inputs, headphone outputs, and pedal jacks, now boast expanded EQ sections and dual switchable Toneprint effect locations. The 550-watt BH550 and 800-watt BH800’s built-in tuners can handle 6-string basses, and their 4-band EQ sections (bass, low mids, high mids, and treble) give users ultimate tone-shaping control.
Street BH550, $500; BH800, $600