A bass rig from Italia that cooks up a tonal dish of tasty low-end flavors with plenty of power.
Recorded direct using PreSonus FireStudio and PreSonus Studio One 3.
Clip 1: Passive Fender P: Low end and high mids boosted on amp. Pure switch engaged/disengaged intermittently.
Clip 2: Active Yamaha BB734A with bass and highs slightly boosted on amp.
Excellent tone and excellent features in a compact housing.
Oh, those lights.
GR Bass ONE800
Ease of Use:
Tight, efficient cabinet.
It’s a little large, as is the logo.
GR Bass GR 212
Shopping malls, paddleboats, pianos, and Ferrari automobiles are all Italian creations. Just try to think of our world had these inventions been limited to the confines of Italy’s borders! While the brand GR Bass is not as notable as Ferrari, musician and engineer Gianfranco Rizzi’s amps have been used by discerning players in Europe since his Italy-based company’s inception in 2015. They’re now available in the U.S., so we tested the Bass ONE800 head paired with a GR 212 cab.
Potenza dei Bassi
The ONE800 has a streamlined appearance and conservative weight at about 5 pounds, keeping it well within the backpack club of compact bass heads. The controls are plentiful and powerful, with a full compliment of EQ adjustability to really fine-tune tone.
The layout is pretty straightforward, with a few treats thrown in for good measure. All the usual refinements are in place, including dials for gain, 4-band EQ, and master out. GR has included frequency switches for mid-lows (185 Hz, 375 Hz, 800 Hz) and mid-highs (600 Hz, 1,200 Hz, 1,800 Hz). There are deep and bright switches that will boost the signal +5 dB at 50 Hz and +6 dB at 9.6k, respectively. I also appreciate the easily accessible aux-in, 1/8" headphone jack and dedicated headphone volume control, and the mute switch, for true silent practice.
Around back, the necessities are in place, with an XLR out (pre- and post-EQ selectable), effects send and return, and dual Speakon connectors. The kicker is a 9V power supply at 300 mA that can power four to five pedals. This is great for players who don’t use a ton of outboard gear, and because the ONE800 also boasts an onboard tuner, there’s room for one more stomp!
The matching GR 212 bass cabinet supplied for the review proved to be a good compliment to the ONE800. The ported cab brings 700 watts at 4 ohms, which is plenty of power with which to work. It’s not super light, at 44 pounds, but it’s not overly cumbersome, either. In addition to the pair of proprietary 12" neodymium speakers, there is a 1" tweeter with a volume control.
Bright Lights, Big Tone
I used both a Yamaha BB734A in active mode and a ’78 Fender P for this review. Starting with the BB, I set all the amp’s EQ controls flat, where the bass sounded pretty nice. I then dialed up some sweetness by bumping the lows and low mids (with the frequency set at 185 Hz), and went for the deep and bright switches simultaneously. The tones soared. I had bump, articulation, and shimmer all at the same time, and then I had a little fun.
There is one control I intentionally left out of my initial description of the front panel. Smack dab in the middle of the ONE800 is the itty-bitty “pure” switch, which is a preamp EQ bypass switch. On paper this control doesn’t sound very exciting, but with a true (aka pure) translation of our tone to A/B against, we can see how the amp is helping or hurting it. (It should be mentioned that the pure switch has an indicator light so strong it could probably help you read your charts.) While I liked my “pure” tone, it also reinforced that the amp was taking my tone to the next level—like a sweet aural exciter with a ton of volume.
The P bass loved to swim with this amp and cab combo as well. The ONE800 gave my P life and energy without coloring the tone. Again, the amp is like an aural exciter: You hear your bass, but on stun. And after running through as many genres as I could think of with the P, I felt that most any style of music would be at home with this amp/cab combo, which overall was clean sounding, tonally efficient, and had power to spare.
In all my years of writing, I never thought I’d dedicate a paragraph to the lights on an amplifier, but here we are. The row of 24 LED lights at the top of the control panel are functional and somewhat useful, but, like the aforementioned indicator light for the pure switch, they are also eye-numbingly bright. By pressing the LED button, one can engage the onboard tuner mode, scroll through four different VU meter settings, or, for more conservative players, turn the light show off. (One VU setting reminded me of KITT from Knight Rider.)
The LED switch also allows access to a fantastic noise-cancelling function. When pressed for eight seconds, the amp will switch to “studio” mode. (Repeating the process will jump back to “live” mode.) Studio mode turns off the cooling fan for quieter performance when recording, but the fan will still kick on automatically after several hours to keep the amp from overheating.
The ONE800 impressed. The tone is great. The EQ is great. The layout, features, and the size are all great. The tones from the amp are arguably more modern, so don’t look for tube color here, but this amp/cab combo is beastly in power and tone nonetheless. I’d happily take this rig to any gig, and the amp is compact enough to bring into a studio setting without hassle. GR Bass may not be a household name in the U.S. yet, but with offerings like this, the stateside bassists might have some new things to talk about.
Watch the Review Demo:
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This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials