This 34"-scale 4-string screams old school: Besides its proprietary humbucker, the Dakota features an alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, aged bone nut, Gotoh tuners and bridge, and a tortoise pickguard. Choose between “knock-around” (light relic) and “drag around” (heavy relic) finish styles. The Dakota comes with a G&G vintage-style black Tolex case.
Street $2,900 (base price); $3,150 (with Aguilar DB1 preamp)
Big Boy 300 Bass Tube Amp
This 300-watt beauty boasts custom-wound transformers, six KT120 power tubes in ultra-linear operation, a 5-band EQ, true bypass master volume, external class AB bias and balance adjust, parallel effect loop with preamp and power-amp access, and a host of other high-end features.
Street $3,700 (with vinyl/Tolex-covered head); $4,100 (with solid wood cabinet)
Giants of Bass, Volumes 1 and 2
The 152-page first volume tackles the baddest bass players of the 1960s and ’70s, while 170-page Volume 2 gets into the ’80 and ’90s. Each player gets a bio, selected discography, gear notes, and a detailed analysis, and each chapter includes an original track by Clayton that highlights each player’s technique. You can download full-band and bass-free play-along tracks from Clayton’s website.
Street $30 each
Cloudlifter Zi Vari-Z Instrument/Mic Activator
This DI is more than just a DI: It uses a premium CineMag transformer to bring out your instrument’s natural character, and it lets you contour your tone by manipulating the impedance load and choosing from three gain levels (up to 12dB) for a lower noise floor.
Platinum Series e-volution DBS Bass
The Chicago-based boutique bass company’s new Daric Bennett signature bass is a neck-through with a three-piece quartersawn maple neck, alder body with a soft maple center-block, and burled walnut top. The singlecut standout also sports a bird’s-eye maple fingerboard with glow-in-the-dark side and top position markers, and Bartolini dual-coil pickups matched to a 3-band preamp.
Direct $5,300 (4-string)