Designed to offer both warm, rich tube tones in a compact combo, the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp is a tribute to the U2 bassist's achievements, as well as his sound and harmonic style.
“I’ve worked very hard with Fender on the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp and I’m immensely proud of our creation,” said Adam Clayton. “I always found when I was starting out that it was very hard to find an amp that offered the mid-range distorted sound that I liked. This amp offers it in spades. It’s also very versatile, and if you’re moving around a lot or if you don’t have much space where you practice, then this is the amp for you.”
Featuring two distinctly different channels – a classic Fender sound and a more modern hi-fi, flat EQ tone, the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp achieves all the sounds needed in any musical situation and is the perfect companion for any bassist, whether they’re playing in a studio, a club or on an arena stage. Classic Fender cosmetics: black textured vinyl, chrome panel, chicken head knobs and an aged silver grille cloth give the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp a look that players around the world have come to love. The Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp includes a lightweight Eminence Neo 15” speaker that helps accentuate its fat, powerful sound and features an XLR line out to send that great tone to your home recording rig or front-of-house.
Exploring The Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp | Fender Artist Signature | Fender
“Adam Clayton is a true icon and working with him on the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp has been an absolute privilege,” said Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President of Products at FMIC. “This is the first signature bass amp we’ve ever done and the first all-tube bass combo Fender has produced for over 40 years. We are extremely excited by the project and we’ve worked tirelessly to make it extra special. Designed for the pros, by the pros, the amp has a unique combination of that classic Fender look with contemporary style and features like the dual channels and the lightweight Eminence speaker that we’re sure are going to make it incredibly popular with bassists.”
ADAM CLAYTON ACB 50 BASS AMP ($2199.99 USD, £1,999.00 GBP, €2,399.00 EUR, $2,199 AUD, ¥253,000 JPY) Inspired by Adam Clayton, the Fender Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp offers warm, harmonically rich tube tones that are perfect for the studio, club or arena stage. Featuring two distinctly different channels – a classic Fender sound and a more modern hi-fi, flat EQ tone, the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp achieves all the sounds you need in any musical situation. Classic cosmetics: black textured vinyl, chrome panel, chicken head knobs and an aged silver grille cloth give the Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp a classic Fender look that players around the world have come to love. The Adam Clayton ACB 50 Bass Amp includes a lightweight Eminence Neo 15” speaker that helps accentuate its fat, powerful sound and features an XLR line out to send that great tone to your home recording rig or front-of-house.
For more information, please visit fender.com.
Four strings, a stack of Sunns, and plentiful pedals allow Jared Warren enough viciousness and volume for bass and guitar.
Facing a mandatory shelter-in-place ordinance to limit the spread of COVID-19, PG enacted a hybrid approach to filming and producing Rig Rundowns. This is the 31st video in that format.
Through the last 15 years and over six LPs (plus 6 EPs), the gruesome twosome of bassist/vocalist Jared Warren and drummer/vocalist Coady Willis have carved out their own surly, pulverizing sound. Sure, they’ve welcomed a guitarist on two occasions—Toshi Kasai and Scott Martin—and beefed up the Melvins for nearly a decade, but as a duo they are their most dynamic, grinding, and careen like the cannonball in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Jared Warren virtually welcomed PG’s Chris Kies into his L.A.-based jam space. In this Rig Rundown, bassist opens up why he chose a J over a P, demystifies his three-amp-four-cab-two-pedalboard setup, and proves that with a few unique octave and synth pedals, he can cover two instruments with four strings.
“When I joined the Melvins, I felt compelled to have pro gear as well as a pro attitude [laughs],” says Big Business bassist/singer Jared Warren. Before buying two identical Fender Jazz basses (his main one above is all stock), he trusted Squier Js and always leaned more J than P because he felt the Jazz was a clean palette enabling him to color and twist his tone with pedals and amps. He goes with Dunlop Stainless Steel Extra Heavy Drop Strings (.060 –.120) and is typically locked into drop-B tuning (B–F#–B–E).
Warren has three amps blowing and going at all times. Up top he has a Hilbish Design Beta Preamplifier (electrical engineer Nate Hilbish’s take on a Sunn Beta Bass) that’s powered by a Crown XLS 1002, in the middle sits a Sunn Beta Bass, and the bottom slot belongs to a Sunn Coliseum-300.
Sonically, the Hilbish Beta handles the highs (and works with pedals such as the EHX Mel9, an original POG, and a Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive). The Sunn Beta Bass resides in the middle frequencies and has a MXR Custom Badass Modified O.D. and a Malekko B:Assmaster running through its circuitry. Lastly, the Sunn Colisuem-300 manages the low end and it only has the EXH Micro POG to deal with.
The Hilbish Beta Preamplifier hits the top two cabs—a no-name 2x12 and a Mitchell 2x12 (top row). The Sunn Beta Bass and the Sunn Colisuem-300 each crank into their own Monolith 1x15 cabs.
Here is Warren’s core stomp station that is home to guitar and bass pedals including a MXR Carbon Copy, Electro-Harmonix POG, EHX Micro POG, EHX Mel9, Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive, Malekko B:Assmaster, Boss Bass Chorus CEB-3, and a MXR Custom Badass Modified O.D. Everything rests on (and is powered by) a SKB PS-45 pedalboard and his bass is kept in check with a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner.
Jared’s auxiliary board (literally) holds an Ekko 616 Analog Delay, EHX 720 Stereo Looper, TC-Helicon Ditto Mic Looper, a Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X) pedal, and off to the side a DigiTech Bass Whammy.
With 500 powerful watts and an exceptional optical compression circuit, there’s nothing little about this Thing's tone.
Recorded using an Mbox and running Logic X.
Clip 1: Yamaha BB3000S - slap with light compression - treble at 1 o’clock, mids at 10 o’clock, and bass at 1 o’clock.
Clip 2: Yamaha BB3000S - old-school with heavy compression - treble at 11 o’clock, mids at 12 o’clock, and bass at 2 o’clock.
Clip 3: Spector Euro4 LX - modern pick-style with mid scoop - treble at 11 o’clock, mids at 9 o’clock, and bass at 2 o’clock.
Industry-leading onboard compression. Great parametric mid control. Tonal flexibility.
Front control locations. No character/contour one-stop EQ control. No pre/post or level options for the onboard DI.
Orange Little Bass Thing
Ease of Use:
The brand Orange is as quintessentially British as, say, Mini Cooper cars or Triumph motorcycles. Even during the few years when Gibson owned the rights to the name, Orange continued manufacturing in England. The brand has certainly come a long way from its humble small-shop roots in London, where it started in 1968. And while Orange holds iconic status in the guitar universe, many of us bassists, me included, have not been exposed to the brand as often as our guitar playing friends. A few years ago, however, the company made a noticeable push to boost their presence as a major player in the low-end world. More recently, Orange has released the class-D, 500-watt Little Bass Thing, which is quite a playful name from a brand known for some seriously mean, overdriven rock tones.
Using a Different Road Map
First off, it’s not orange. It’s mostly white! But my initial impression was that it’s a great-looking amplifier and has enough of the signature orange color to where there can be no mistake about its pedigree. The layout of the 6 1/2-pound amp’s front panel is quite unorthodox to those of us who are not frequent Orange users. The input jack is located on the far right, while the main volume control is on the far left, next to a second input jack for a footswitch (not included) to turn the onboard compression on and off.
The EQ section moves from right to left, starting with the bass control, which took me a little getting used to. The EQ also features parametric midrange, with one control setting the amount of boost/cut and the other selecting the frequency. As part of the company’s visual legacy, all the front controls are labeled with symbols rather than text. Another unorthodox visual touch is the main-power indicator light, which is located near the middle of the front section, between the EQ panel and the compressor/master volume panel. The only other feature on the sparse frontside is a -6 dB input-level pad switch for active basses, located next to the input jack.
The back of the class-D amp is also quite minimalist, with a DI out, an effects loop, two speaker outputs, the main power switch, and a power-cable input. The most noteworthy feature on the rear panel is a switch between voltages for worldwide travel. This switch is smartly covered by a piece of plastic which is screwed into place for protection from the potentially catastrophic results of unintentional switching.
Smash That Tone Some More, Please!
I plugged in my trusty 36-year-old Yamaha BB3000S and played some old-school slap lines to get the basic feel of the amplifier. Within the first minute, I started closely examining the compressor, for a couple reasons. First, I’m just very skeptical about onboard compressors in general, and second, when turning up the compressor dial on the Little Bass Thing, the amp’s volume increased pretty dramatically.
That said, my jaw dropped upon hearing the tone, because the Little Bass Thing’s onboard compressor literally produces a sound on par with some of the best studio compressors I have heard. It actually feels the same. What I mean by that is that it grabs the note, evens out the attack, makes the sustain improve, and, most important, adds warmth without necessarily adding low end. This was by far most noticeable in the upper register, where the onboard compressor quickly added body to melodies and rounded off pops beautifully when slapping, without sacrificing the directness of the attack.
Curious as I am, I contacted Orange to get some more information about this particular compressor. I learned that the circuit in the Little Bass Thing is a simplified version of the same circuit found in the company’s Kongpressor pedal, an optical, class-A compressor. Once I turned my ear to listening to the rest of the sound, I was presented with a clean, punchy slap tone that did not get overbearing in the highs. The Little Bass Thing does not sound “vintage” by any means, but it stakes a tasteful claim to the land slightly less bright than many modern, more hi-fi amps.
With the same bass, I engaged the compressor to a much more drastic setting, dialed back the tone control on the bass, and cut some high mids on the amplifier. The result was a slightly less-dark version of a Motown sound, with the extra compression adding a drive and intensity that I enjoyed. It is worth noting that the Little Bass Thing does not have a control to actually add overdrive from the preamp, like many other models, but the simple volume control really helps set the Little Bass Thing apart from the pack.
Later, I grabbed a Spector Euro4 LX and played with a pick. It was simple finding the frequency that needed cutting in the mids with the frequency selection control. I added some lows on the amp as well, to give the modern, focused, active Spector a looser and more vintage feel. I found that the Little Bass Thing overall delivers a tone slightly firmer in the low mids than many other amps from traditionally rock-leaning manufacturers. This became especially usable when recording.
The Orange Little Bass Thing doesn’t sound like other amplifiers I’ve reviewed, mainly because it doesn’t try to be completely clean and transparent, nor does it place a very strong fingerprint/character on the tone. This amplifier lands in the middle, where it adds just enough personality to know your bass has gone through an amp. This will make the Little Bass Thing applicable to so many more styles than just traditional, groovy, British-style fuzz-rock. Yeah, baby!