Reviewed: Fender Bassbreaker 45 and 18/30 Combo Amps
The way I see it, being a household name has got to be more trouble than it’s worth. Leo Fender, the progenitor of modern musical instruments, must not have slept for decades trying to keep his beloved script logo from being eclipsed by any number of upstarts nipping at his heels, poor fella. Fender has consistently stayed ahead of the pack not only by building time-tested classics, but also by using these as springboards for new and improved versions of holy tonality. For many, the be all and end all of ear candy is the behemoth Bassman that has graced stages since almost forever. It is from this well that its direct descendants, the Bassbreaker Series of amplifiers, spring.
REVIEWED: TRACE ELLIOT ELF ULTRA COMPACT BASS AMPLIFIER
Is this a joke? What is this tiny thing I see before me and how in my right mind am I to expect anything resembling power to come out of such a little box? It’s the size of a greeting card for God’s sake; if I open it up will it play a low bit-rate version of Happy Birthday to me? *Flicks on switch and tentatively punches low E*… Holy hell, what kind of sorcery is this?
REVIEWED: MARKBASS BASS EVO 1 MODELLING HEAD
Bass players and guitarists are two completely different animals. Where six stringers are offered every option and opportunity on a silver platter, our four stringed friends are paid much less heed than they deserve. Mark World have consistently painted all of their products liberally with the same brush of innovation so it’s no surprise that their Markbass branded heads are the go-to beef machine for sub-conscious players everywhere.
REVIEWED: DV MARK 212 GH CABINET
In order to find out what’s going on behind the black tolex we must first hit the spec sheet. Weighing in around a modest 13kgs, the closed back of the enclosure hides two of Mark World’s patented neodymium speakers. I’ve reviewed these before and remember being impressed by the distinct absence of abject heft without sacrificing an ounce of power or throw. I carried it in its cardboard box from my car all the way into the house on one shoulder like a case of beer, a feat that no other 2x12 owner would dare attempt lest they stare a lifetime of chiropractic work dead in the face.
REVIEWED: MARKBASS NANO MARK 300 BASS AMPLIFIER
This isn’t the 70’s, and we’re not all getting around with panel vans or Kombis capable of stashing an 8X10 cabinet and a massive tube head. But Markbass understands that we still want big, loud, powerful bass tones, even if we don’t want to put up with the backbreaking impracticalities. To that end they offer the Nano Mark 300, their smallest ever bass amp.
REVIEWED: LANEY RICHTER R500H BASS HEAD AND R410 CAB
When people refer to things as ‘workingman’s’ versions of other things, nine times out of 10 they mean it as an insult. I didn’t figure this out until way later than you’d think, and for ages I couldn’t understand why people were using that term to refer to things they didn’t actually like. Sheer snobbery I say. The workingman is the salt of the earth, the guy who leaves home the pretense, trickery and flab that comes with his opposition and gets the job done efficiently and properly. Now, this credo should by no means apply only to the coarser trades; it’s also true so often in the music world that it should be written on the cover of the guidebook. Workingman musicians need supremely reliable tools and few are more trustworthy and forthright than Laney’s new R500H Bass head.
REVIEWED: LANEY NEXUS SLS112 BASS COMBO
Bass players really do get a tough run in the grand scheme of band things. Their rig is almost always the heaviest, their parts the least showy and they get the least attention from the audience, Geddy Lee notwithstanding. Truly, the keepers of the rumble deserve more affection, surely those responsible for making the lower half of the frequency spectrum full and rich deserve to have some of the heavy lifting replaced by sheer tonal satisfaction. Laney Amplification sure think so, and in response offer up one of the simplest yet most effective 500-watt combos available, the Nexus SLS112.
DV MARK MULTIAMP FG
Nothing splits a room full of guitar players in two quite the way a conversation about modelling amps does. When talk turns to these tonal smorgasbords you’ll find the gulf between which side of the argument considers themselves the purists is never wider with both parties at the mercy of points of various validity and relevance. Love them of hate them, the steady march of technological advancement has found no smoother passage than the digitised, option rich path carved by companies like DV Mark who confidently tread that route time and time again.