This P/J hybrid offers Precision-like tone with a medium-scale build and small-scale price.
Recorded direct into Focusrite Saffire 6 interface into MacBook Pro using GarageBand.
Clip 1: Both pickups engaged. Flat EQ.
Clip 2: Slap riff with neck pickup soloed. Slight bass and treble boost.
A value-rich instrument for bassists of all sizes. Solid P-style tone, great playability, and awesome looks.
Our test bass had fret issues. J-style pickup lacks characteristic bark.
Ibanez SRMD200 Mezzo
There’s a certain level of fearlessness to Ibanez’s designs. For decades, they’ve walked the line between function and form, developing basses aesthetically distinguished from the pack. Drawing the attention of NAMM’s low-end attendees this year, Ibanez’s showing ranged from the resurrection of the cult-classic AFR to a compact adaptation of the legendary Soundgear bass. The latter is called the Mezzo, and it’s a fun hybrid of SR models with a few unique additions.
Built for Speed and Comfort
Ibanez’s latest derives its name from the Italian word for “middle.” It’s an appropriate moniker, since its 32" scale seats itself between the conventional 34" of the standard Soundgear models and the small footprint of the Ibanez miKro bass at 28.6". This reduced scale provides significant advantages in both playability and comfort.
The Mezzo’s poplar body is offered in a spectrum of colors. We received what I think is one of the model’s most eye-catching combinations: seafoam pearl green paired with a pearloid pickguard. Matching the color on the headstock also enhances the look of this bass.
Despite the shorter scale and slightly smaller body, the Mezzo shares the same neck width, thickness, and radius as the standard Soundgear basses. Ibanez selected maple for both the neck and fretboard. Add 22 medium frets into the mix, and you have a neck ready for fast passages and comfy fretting hand activity.
Ibanez went with their proprietary electronics for this bass bambino, pairing their Dynamix P- and J-style pickups with a 9V preamp. The 2-band EQ offers boost and cut in the treble and bass, and there is no passive-mode option for the Mezzo.
With its stunning sparkle finish and pearloid pickguard, I was really struck by the looks of the Mezzo, which has an unexpected vintage vibe even with its characteristically contemporary shape. When I first pulled the bass out of the box, I noticed that several fret ends were protruding from the fretboard. By no means was it a hazard to play, but it could be a bit of a nuisance with an occasional scratch against the fingers.
Despite this, the playability of the Mezzo was quite nice overall. I’m a fan of short-scale basses, and I enjoyed traversing the extreme portions of the fretboard with effortless motion. Interestingly, the Mezzo’s neck felt a bit more substantial in my hand compared to other members of its family, even though they share similar dimensions. It should also be mentioned that our test bass balanced wonderfully and held its position well while I was sitting or standing up.
I explored the Mezzo’s tonal palette in my home studio with a Bergantino B|Amp head and HD112 cab rig, through which the Dynamix pickups produced pleasing tones. The neck pickup was powerful and produced P-style sounds that oozed from the speaker. There was initially a bit of modern zing (courtesy of the 2-band preamp), but dialing down the treble gave the Mezzo a mellow, mid-friendly growl. The bridge pickup’s sound was a touch disappointing: It lacked the aggressive snarl that many bassists have come to associate with a J-style pickup in this position. I was, however, able to get closer to that authoritative tone at louder volumes and with a boost on the bass EQ. Balancing both pickups equally produced a tighter tone with a slight ding in the top end.
I also did some live experimentation in Nashville’s Broadway bars, where bands play four-hour shows with no breaks. I took the Mezzo out during a double shift, and I ended up playing it for nearly eight hours. GK rigs were provided at both venues, with very little EQ enhancement.
Whether a country ballad or pop favorite, the Mezzo had the right tone for the song. Soloing the neck pickup was my preferred setting for most of the duration, with just a slight boost in the treble for presence. I did occasionally employ the bridge pickup, which had just enough bark for disco-style numbers.
With any other bass, eight hours of playing could have been physically taxing. Thanks to the Mezzo’s balance and playability, I felt no fatigue in my shoulder, back, and hands. And it’s safe to say that musicians would rather invest in a reliable instrument than their chiropractor’s BMW.
In our quest for tone, it’s nice to play an instrument that’s, well, fun! The Mezzo’s comfortable design, cool looks, and practical tones could please just about any player. At $300, the price point also makes it a pretty guilt-free investment. Whether you’re looking for a portable workhorse or a cool beginner bass, saluta il Mezzo.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.