When the idea for a gear section on the website was originally discussed, the first question we asked ourselves was, “who will read it?” Clearly, the answer is, people like us, musicians who are forever curious of the never ending quest for the perfect sound and therefore interested in what kind of stuff the other guy is using. Tone however, comes first and foremost from the player, so the equipment that will perform well for some, may not work so well for others. Nevertheless, I am always interested in what does what for whomever even if it is not the sound or style I’m desirous of. Some use Warwick or Gibson Basses I use Fender.
If technique is the most important aspect of one’s sound, then so it would go down the line the next link being the bass itself. Wishing to achieve somewhat of a classic fender bass sound, the Fender Precision American Vintage 57 reissue with Roto Sound strings is my obvious choice. This bass features truly vintage finish and hardware, as well as; cloth covered wiring, and authentic 57 pickup, not to mention two-color sunburst, a gold anodized pickguard and an inch and three quarter c shaped neck that feels wonderful. It is lightweight and the soft finish helps to give it a dark rich true voice when played acoustically. When amped, it has tons of low end but with a cat like growl definitive of that precision sound I mentioned earlier.
This instrument has an aura of dependability about it, which tells me with a number one like this, who needs a backup? I guess if a wrecking-ball came through the window and destroyed it during a gig, what I would play for the next set would be the least of anyone’s worries.
At the end of the line, I have a Trace Elliot AH600-12, a 1048H cab, and a 1818 cab. The head delivers a loud, clean 600 watts @ 4 ohms, which is what I believe you need for a great bass sound. However, it does have many tone options due to features such as, tube and solid state circuits in the preamp section with blend and drive control, a pre-shape circuit, 12 band E.Q. and a two-knob, duel-band compression circuit. All of these features are foot-switchable with the midi controller which comes with the amp.
The cabinets have custom designed Celestion speakers and recessed back plates offering Speakon and 1/4″ connections. Alone, the 1048H has a very strong midrange response. This 4×10 benefits greatly from adding a 1×15 or 1×18 as deep bottom is not its primary strength. I recently used the 1818 on its own for a smaller gig and found it to be a killer rig. For all the bells and whistles, the pre-shape setting through the 18 and a little valve, makes for a great R&B and Soul sound.
To sum up, this amp is a beast; a real pleasure to play through. Definitely the best rig I have ever experienced.
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