The Ibanez ARTB is nothing like the pencil-necked fast-fingering Soundgear basses Ibanez is known for. The simple Les Paul-ish bass is all about low-slung rock & roll, and it delivers a tone of vibe for the price. The tone recipe is solid: a 30"-scale maple/mahogany neck set-in to a mahogany body with a pair of passive humbuckers handling sound.
Euphonic Audio Micro, Doubler & Pro
EA is shipping its latest trio of light-and-loud heads. The 550-watt Micro features an upgraded output section, while the Doubler adds upright-specific features to the Micro design, like XLR input with phantom power, phase control, and notch and high-pass filters. The top-of-the-line Pro boasts 1,200 watts, but weighs only 9 pounds. It shares many features with its celebrated ancestors, the iAmp 500 and iAmp 800.
Price Micro, $675; Doubler, $750; Pro, $1,195
Human Base Roxy
German luthier Siggi Jaeger is known for his ergonomically thoughtful high-end instruments. His new Roxy line brings these qualities to an affordable price-point, thanks to construction in Indonesia. The simple-but-effective B4 and B5 design couples a 3-piece maple neck with an ash body. A single Delano Oval pickup is mated to a Glockenklang 3-band preamp, and a series/parallel switch enhances the single pickup’s versatility.
Price B4, $899; B5, $999
Radial Forest F15
Many a professional recording studio has a DI drawer full of Radial’s well-regarded passive and active models. The Forest F15 is their top-of-the-line flagship DI, and it’s especially well suited to acoustic basses. One channel is tuned for miniature condenser mics, while the other is appropriate for piezo transducer input. Radial designed the F15 for optimum fidelity.
Alfred Rush Songbooks
Sure to please just about every fan of Mr. Lee, Alfred has just released a pair of songbooks compiling a few Rush hits from their vast archive. The Deluxe Bass TAB Collection 1975–2007 is a collection of transcriptions of tunes like “Tom Sawyer,” “YYZ,” “Freewill,” and “Red Barchetta,” all in easy-to-read tablature. Even better, the Ultimate Bass Play-Along: Rush includes full-song transcriptions of classic Rush hits in notation, plus play-along tracks on the included CD. The coolest bit? The CD contains embedded software that allows you to slow down, loop, and transpose the backup tracks. Price Deluxe Bass TAB Collection 1975–2007, $25;
Ultimate Bass Play-Along: Rush, $20
Fender Kingman Bass SCE
In addition to its definitive lineup of electric basses, Fender also makes some intriguing acoustic bass guitars. Its latest, the Kingman Bass SCE, incorporates a J-style neck with an acoustic bass body. The single-cutaway body allows easy high-fret access, and the solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and proprietary bracing pattern should make for a resonant and rugged instrument.