Reviewed: Fender American Performer Precision Bass
Fender has made some tweaks to their range over the last few years adding features, colours and options to meet an ever demanding public. The newly introduced American Performer line is Fender’s most affordable Californian made instruments. Of course continuing the classic J and P basses the line also features a Mustang Bass model for those wanting something different. Anything different with the P I hear you ask? Read on!
Reviewed: Warwick Custom Shop Corvette $$ Bass
In the November issue of Mixdown we reviewed one of Warwick’s Masterbuilt basses, the Streamer. This month we had the pleasure of sitting down with one of their Custom Shop Corvette basses, and this one was just as mind-blowing as the previous. The Corvette is one of Warwick’s more popular models, even at budget levels, with its iconic body shape, dual pickups and very playable neck. While the Masterbuilt Streamer we reviewed in November is a specialist bass, the Corvette is noticeably more playable as it feels more like a workhorse bass for a more modern player. The Warwick Corvette $$ four-string is a 34” scale length, neck-through electric bass with active MEC pickups, an eye catching buck-eye burl finish and what is maybe the smoothest ebony fingerboard I’ve ever seen, let alone played.
Reviewed: Warwick Teambuilt Pro Series Corvette
I remember growing up and seeing players like Norwood Fisher (of Fishbone fame), Stuart Zender and Aussie guns like Craig Newman playing these basses that had slightly different shapes, a square-ish kind of headstock and a distinct fat and rumbly, yet articulate tone. I was always intrigued by their sound and looks. Upon learning they were Warwick basses made in Germany, some additional mystique was added to my perception of the brand (in the fact that they weren’t the standard US-styled instruments). Instantly recognisable in looks and with a highly identifiable sound, Warwick have since continued to make quality instruments that are used by a huge range of players worldwide.
Reviewed: Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special
An update to the much loved StingRay – is that playing with fire? The guys at Music Man know how to knock out a quality instrument and have the impeccable track record to go with it, so I’m guessing the answer is no. From funk to rock and pop to country, the StingRay is an iconic instrument that has held down the low end on many a classic (and not so classic) album.
Reviewed: Sterling by Music Man Ray24
Since its inception in 1976, Music Man’s StingRay bass has been a doe-eyed dream for young bassists. Its sleek cut outs and ovular pickguard frame a peppy tone, signature growl and pouncy low end. The fantasy for many of us deflated like a school fete balloon as we flipped over the multi-thousand dollar price tag. This year, Music Man have sought to repair hearts with their affordable 2018 range of Sterling by Music Man StingRays, matching the distinctive aesthetic cool with surprising tonal emulation. The Ray24, the mid-range offering wedged between the S.U.B Sterlings and the Ray 34, is a resounding success.
Reviewed: Warwick Streamer Stage I 5 Limited Edition Bass
In August of this year, wandering around the Melbourne Guitar Show at Caulfield Racecourse, I spotted a Streamer Stage hanging from the wall in the Warwick booth. The price tag was as eye-catching as the European ash burl top over the swamp ash body, and the gold hardware and bronze frets stood out against the wenge fingerboard and deep, rich burls. Warwick is the bass of choice for some of the biggest names in music, such as Metallica, Pantera, Alice in Chains and U2. The list really does go on. The Warwick Streamer Stage I 5 Ltd is a 34” electric five-string bass. It features dual active Aguilar pickups, a brass Warwick bridge and Warwick tuners.
Reviewed: Fender Player Series Basses
Modern bass playing was invented and continues to be re-invented by players with their eye on the essence of style. Slap techniques may have become gaudy in the hands of pale imitators, but came to life firmly in the hands of people who lit up rooms with it. The name ‘Lemmy’ may be synonymous with gruff power, but he played like he had a job to do and would let nothing get in the way of doing so. It takes a particular type of player with their eye on a particular prize to excel in a field where you are building foundations upon which other people drop houses. The more instrument makers are aware of this concept, the better. Bricks and mortar, bread and butter, meat and two veg, learning your ABCs – the low end of the frequency spectrum is the absolute bedrock upon which everything we listen to these days is formed and grown. Fender’s new Player Series basses are thoroughly and thoughtfully abreast of the duty they are designed to perform.
Reviewed: Warwick Rockbass Corvette $$4
Where would the world of storytelling be without the humble bridge troll? That stumpy, much maligned antagonist whose sole purpose is to provide the privileged hero a stumbling stone in their road to everlasting grace is at once a source of almost universal disdain and indispensable fictional device. In spite of all the ugliness and trickery there is really only one wicked name to look up if you want dramatic upturn done right. They’ll probably hate me for saying this but I mean it as nothing less than a compliment. Warwick basses to me have many of the same traits as Rumpelstiltskin and his ilk; far from beautiful, but irrepressibly and sincerely good at their job.