Ashdown MiBass Combos
Ashdown’s latest offerings include four new MiBass amps: three 220-watt combos (a 1x10, a 2x8, and a 1x12) and the 550-watt MiBass 550 115 1x15. All MiBass combos feature active/ passive instrument inputs, EQ, DEEP and SHAPE switches, Ashdown’s signature VU input meter, a mini-jack line input with level control, and headphone out.
Once you own a hardware iStomp pedal, you can download one of 26 effects for $0.99, load it from DigiTech’s Stomp Shop—with an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad and a proprietary cable—and you’re off and running. Your first pedal comes with overdrive and digital delay, and you can try any effect for fi ve minutes before you buy.
Studio Devil Virtual Bass Amp Pro
This Mac- and Windows-compatible bass amp modeling plug-in, an update of the company’s $69 Virtual Bass Amp, is full of useful features, including a tunable bi-amp mode for separating highs and lows, dual tube preamps with tone controls, dual power-amp limiters, five cabinet emulation modes, a 12-band EQ, effects, and a tuner.
Mike Lull Bryan Beller BBM5 Signature Bass
Solo artist, sideman extraordinaire, and writer Bryan Beller gets the signature bass treatment with an active 5-string inspired by his 35"-scale Lull. Like his ax, this one’s equipped with a Bartolini NTMB preamp, Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickups, a quilted maple top, an ash body, maple fingerboard, a Hipshot bridge and tuning keys, and an asymmetrical neck.
Dean Markley Helix HD Bass Strings
Dean Markley’s Helix HD Bass series— which includes NPS (nickel-plated steel), SS (stainless steel) and Nikki Sixx SS sets—aim for a more relaxed feel, less squeak and sliding noise, a tighter wrap, more mass, and a longer-lasting string. The SS and NPS sets come in light, medium light, and medium 4- and 5-string packages, while the Sixx signature set is .050-.110.
Aquila Thundergut Strings
Looking for an alternative to the rubbery Pahoehoe strings that come standard on Kala U-Basses? The company now distributes these white, synthetic gut strings, which were developed by Italian company Aquila, well known for supplying the stock strings on many ukuleles, including Kala.
Genz Benz ShuttleMAX 12.2 Bass Amp
The latest Genz Benz powerhouse weighs just under seven pounds, but it features dual power amps, switchable or blendable FET and tube preamps, XLR out, and a 4-band EQ with parametric mids. Oh, and the dual power-amp can pump out up to 1,200 watts for two 4Ω loads.