New Gear June 2010

Ukuleles are so cool nowadays, there’s even a Uke Bass, or U-Bass for short.

KALA U-Bass Acacia & U-Bass 2

Ukuleles are so cool nowadays, there’s even a Uke Bass, or U-Bass for short. KALA’s 20" short-scale models come in fretted or fretless versions, with polyurethane strings, four individual piezo elements, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a solid mahogany neck. The new U-Bass 2 features a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, while the upscale model is made of solid acacia and comes with a hardshell case. It even meets airline carry-on standards for go-anywhere fun.

Price $580 (Acacia), $399 (U-Bass 2)


Sadowsky Will Lee Model

Will Lee has been playing Sadowsky basses forever, and finally there’s an official Sadowsky Will Lee signature model. Will’s wants included a chambered lightweight swamp-ash body, 22 frets, Sadowsky single-coil pickups, and most crucially, a custom Will Lee onboard preamp with controls for master volume, pickup blend, treble rolloff, bass boost, treble boost, preamp bypass, and a switchable midrange boost. There’s even rear trim pots for adjusting the preamp gain and midrange function. Tone geek alert: Dig deep enough on Sadowsky’s website and you’ll find Will’s favorite midrange EQ and “Q” setting.

Price $3,975

GNI Bass Shaper


Try a word-association exercise on Brazil: Rainforest, samba, soccer … high-end bass overdrive pedal? Newcomer GNI looks to make it so, with its highly versatile, all-analog Bass Shaper. It’s loaded with a custom preamp, 3- band active EQ, independent pre/post drive controls (with a “super” button for, you know, super distortion), noise gate, headphone amp, balanced XLR out with ground-lift switch, and a variety of audio output options—serious stuff, even if it’s not appropriate for a bossa nova.

Price $369

Demeter COM-2 Compulator Pro


When Demeter Amplification releases something it says is “perfect” for bass guitar, we’re curious. Demeter’s handmade- in-the-U.S.A. Compulator Pro compressor puts studio- rack features like adjustable attack and release into a user-friendly pedal configuration. A GAIN BOOST switch allows for easy flipping between more and less squeeze, or two instruments with different output levels. It’s like Demeter’s award-winning Opto-Compulator on steroids. Stick it at the end of your pedalboard—after you lose that bit of gain from all those effects—and you won’t be sorry.

Price $310

DR DDT Bass Strings


DDT actually stands for “Drop Down Tuning,” so you know exactly what you’re getting from DR: heavy-gauge strings specially designed to hold their intonation and tone amidst heavy, detuned music. They don’t even come in “light” gauge; they start at a .045–.105 medium and progress to an “extra heavy” set (.065, .085, .102, .125). The low B goes up to .135 at its heaviest, and probably tunes down to F# if necessary. That’s brutal.

Price $27

Ashdown BTA Heads


You want big, you got it: Ashdown’s BTA series combines its classic ABM preamp—with its simple rotary tone controls, four EQ sliders, variable tube/solid-state input stages, onboard compressor, sub-harmonic generator, balanced DI out with pre/post-EQ switching, effect loop, tuner out, and yes, the VU meter— with your choice of tube power amps, either 200 watts (loud), 300 watts (louder), or 400 watts (OMG). That’s bloody loud, innit?

Price $2,699–2,899


EBS Classic Session 60

High-end Swedish rig-maker EBS has a new affordable combo amp, the 60- watt tilt-back Classic Session 60. Loaded with a pre-shaped EQ for user-friendly tone, simple controls (gain, bass, treble, volume), one 10" speaker plus a tweeter, and EBS’s trademark “character” and “enhance” filters, it’s ideal for rehearsals, club gigs, and even upright bass and acoustic guitar. It also comes with an aux input and a headphone jack for practicing, as well as an xlr balanced out for larger stages.

Price $399



New Gear February 2010

Ampeg SVT-7PRO & SVT-8PRO Heads Ultra-vintage Ampeg is going decidedly modern—as in super-light Class D power sections—with its latest additions to the venerable SVT amplifier line. The SVT-7PRO head throws down 1,000 watts while weighing only 15 pounds, while the SVT-8PRO shoots the moon with a scary 2,500 watts of power in a similarly compact and lightweight package. Both units feature familiar Ampeg front-end tone controls—so essentially it’s the same preamp many know and love, just stronger and lighter on the back end. And there’s a line of lightweight cabs (called PRO NEO) debuting in early 2010 to go with them. Prices SVT-7PRO, $799.99; SVT-8PRO, $2,399.99 Contact

New Gear August 2010

TC Electronic PolyTune iPhone App On the heels of its recently released PolyTune pedal tuner (look for a review soon), TC is announcing an iPhone App that duplicates many of the pedal’s functions, including the ability to tune multiply strummed

New Gear: June 2011

Germany’s AER (Audio Electric Research, for those keeping track) has come out with a 200-watt, 2x10 combo with 3-band semi-parametric EQ and a built-in compressor.


New Gear : Holiday 2010

Modeled after a mid-’60 Fender Jazz-style pickup, the AG 5J-60 uses period-correct parts, like heavy Formvar wire and Alnico V magnets, to capture that much-desired vintage-J vibe.