With the NAMM show in the books and lots of companies revealing their newest products for the year, we’re breaking down the latest and greatest in bass gear for the summer of 2022. Whether you’re in the market for a new bass, amp, accessories, or some fresh pedals to spruce up your sound, check out these options to satisfy all of your low-end needs.
Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet II Short-Scale Bass
With a slick look, great feel, and excellent playability, this new bass from Gretsch is the perfect short-scale for players of all levels. Its key features include a 30.3"-scale maple neck, basswood body, and 12"-radius black walnut fingerboard with 20 medium-jumbo frets and dot inlays. The versatile bass is also equipped with a four-saddle adjustable bridge, synthetic bone nut, and die-cast tuners. The most impressive feature is its $300 price tag, which makes it a must-have bass for fans of great-sounding short-scales.
Boss Waza-Air Bass Headphones
In one of the coolest bass releases of the year, Boss has introduced the Waza-Air Bass Wireless Personal Amplification System, which is one of our favorite practice and woodshedding tools that we’ve ever tested. Equipped with breakthrough spatial technology first introduced with the Waza-Air system for guitarists, Waza-Air Bass provides a rich and immersive playing experience. It includes premium bass-tuned amps and effects and onboard rhythms. All-wireless connectivity enables freedom of movement, remote sound editing, and the ability to jam with music from mobile devices via Bluetooth audio streaming. Waza-Air Bass comes with loads of amps and effects specially tuned for bass, with full customization and ready-to-play presets available via the free Boss Tone Studio app. Five bass amp types provide everything from clean and punchy modern sounds to vintage and driven tube-style voicings. In all, over 30 effects are available from the vast Boss bass effects library. Onboard rhythms are included as well. And with six memory slots, users can store favorite setups and scroll through them with dedicated buttons. Trust us, these headphones are an amazing tool for any player.
Markbass MB58R Series Heads, Cabinets & Combos
Markbass has unveiled their latest in amplification innovation with the release of their MB58R series of amps, cabinets, and combos. Made of 100% recyclable materials, these amps look to the future in sustainability, while also listening to what gigging bass players want, as the entire series only weighs an amazing 20-30 lbs. In not compromising portability for power, these cabinets can handle between 400-800W of pure bass tone.The MB58R line—the name of which is comprised of the brand’s initials, Marco’s age and the letter R for Revolution—includes a dazzling array of 20 new cabinets, 8 combos, and two new heads.
Walrus Audio Badwater Bass Preamp and DI
The Badwater Bass Preamp & DI is a bass tone magnification device that sonically highlights what makes bass so crucial to music. The all-in-one bass preamp and DI features optical compression that your signal hits first, then feeds it into an adjustable and blendable 3-voice overdrive, followed by an extensive 4-band EQ section. Among the tones it’s designed to provide are warm and clean lows, gritty and crunchy chord tones, punchy midrange, and bright and crisp slap sounds. The Badwater has both ¼" and XLR-out options, with a ground lift — use the XLR to connect directly to the front-of-house or use the ¼" out to an amp. Both outputs can be run simultaneously for direct and live amp stage monitoring.
Dingwall Matte Celestial Blue NG3-5 Bass
If you’re a fan of playing fanned-fret basses, then you’re definitely aware of the beautiful instruments made by Dingwall. And if you like the bass playing and tone of Adam “Nolly” Getgood, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a new addition to the NG3 series of basses. This limited-edition run features a unique matte Celestial Blue finish that’s been designed to add a more retro vibe to the NG’s existing sleek and streamlined look. The spec list also includes a three-band Darkglass Electronics preamp with active/passive toggle switch, smoked chrome hardware, Dingwall FD-3N pickups that feature neodymium magnets for a smooth yet aggressive tone, Hipshot UltraLite tuners, and Dingwall’s multi-scale neck design.
Ashdown ABM EVO V Bass Amp
It’s now 25 years since Ashdown Engineering shook up the bass world with the ABM bass amp. With its distinctive vintage VU meter and a simple but versatile EQ section combining straightforward rotary controls with miniature sliders, the ABM partnered solid bass tone with variable tube grind and a feature set that gave players just what they needed to perform onstage and in the studio. Now Ashdown has unveiled the ABM EVO V. Under the hood, it’s all about power and headroom. A new 750-watt output section is the most dynamic ever used in an ABM, gifting the amplifier with stunning power and response. All the much-loved ABM features remain in evidence, including 9-band EQ, 12AX7-powered Valve Drive, onboard compressor, and sub-harmonic control, with the U.K.-built EVO V adding mains voltage switching, temperature-controlled low-noise cooling, and a transformer-isolated DI output.
BackBeat Generation 2
One of our favorite bass innovations of all time is back with the second generation of vibration packs that are redesigned and full of new features. BackBeat is a tactile device with a transducer that shakes on a spring. In principle, it's a speaker without a cone. You plug in your bass via a ¼" cable. If you play the A string on your bass, the moving mass will oscillate 55 times a second. You'll feel this through your body, and your brain will instinctively know you're playing that note. The feel makes your bass sound loud without creating any volume in the room. If you're on a quiet stage, or play without an amp, or use in-ear monitors, your bass will feel huge regardless of the mix onstage. Pretty cool, right? This device is perfect for both quiet, intimate gigs, or big outdoor venues where your bass tone can get lost. With BackBeat you can feel every note and every nuance of your playing. We’re thrilled about this new edition and can’t wait to get our hands on one.
Music Man DarkRay 5
After the success of their DarkRay bass, which showcased their collaboration with Darkglass Electronics, Music Man has just announced the release of their new 5-string version. The DarkRay 5 is all about tone and features a new 2-band EQ preamp designed specifically for this 5-string model. It offers three distinct and useful tones: Clean, Alpha (distortion), and Omega (fuzz), each fully mixable via an onboard gain knob and blend control set to the player's preference. Available in two striking new finishes, Starry Night and a limited-to-100 White Sparkle. The DarkRay is every bit a Stingray Special with neodymium humbucking pickups, roasted maple neck, comfort-contoured body, 22 stainless steel frets, and the familiar 4+1 headstock configuration.
La Bella Watermelon Delight White Nylon Strings
We have to include these strings not only because they’re from La Bella, who are responsible for some of the greatest bass strings of all time, but also because they look and smell like watermelon. Yes, you read that right. These limited-edition strings introduced at the NAMM show are not only stimulating to your ears and eyes, but also on your olfactory system! They smell like watermelon when you crack open the package. These are the perfect strings for your summertime gigs. They’re in season now, too.
Spector NS Pulse II Bass Series
Spector has expanded their NS Pulse series of basses with the introduction of NS Pulse II instruments, which include several new colors and wood choices, as well as a 6-string model. These premium basses are designed to provide a comfortable playing experience for all players. They feature a carved body that represents the core of Spector’s trademark, iconic design. These models are equipped with EMG active pickups and a TonePump Jr. preamp, a combination that yields a range of impressive and aggressive noise-free tones. Additional features include a locking bridge, illuminating side dots, and a custom 12th-fret inlay.
Minuendo Lossless Earplugs
When it comes to your livelihood as a musician, your hearing is everything. We bassists often find ourselves in front of big stacks, loud drums, screeching guitars, and booming wedge monitors. That’s why Minuendo’s lossless earplugs are one of our favorite new products. Minuendo’s mission is to increase awareness about hearing-loss prevention, and to make the auditory experience safe with a product that doesn’t degrade the sound. The handy earplugs are a must for performing gigs and attending concerts, with their variable passive HiFi filter and stepless manual adjustment (7dB–25dB reduction). Get yours today and your ears will thank you.
Fender Meteora Bass
Fusing innovative design with player-centric features and killer new finishes, the Player Plus Meteora Bass delivers superb playability and unmistakable style. Powered by a pair of Fireball Bass Humbucking pickups, the Player Plus Meteora Bass offers punch and growl. A 3-band active EQ provides precise tone shaping, with switchable active/passive operation for flexibility. The Meteora Bass neck is sleek, fast, and smooth thanks to its silky satin finish, comfortable rolled edges on a 12"-radius fingerboard, and modern C-shape. A rock-solid HiMass bridge provides sustain, resonance, and perfect intonation. And, this bass just looks very cool.
EBS Reidmar 752
The latest generation of Reidmar amps combines EBS’ world-famous analog preamp technology with their lightweight power amp design. The new lightweight power amp in the Reidmar 752 is optimized for bass. It delivers 750 watts RMS at a 2-ohm load and provides the optimal output for any EBS speaker cabinet without risking blowing speakers. The tone is solid, with lots of punch and clarity. EBS-developed Soft Clip technology protects the amp from overload while preserving bottom and solid bass tone at higher volumes. The analog preamp’s powerful EQ helps dial in any sound you desire with ease, and the drive control adds harmonics and dirt when needed. The built-in adjustable compressor helps create a more consistent and controlled sound without losing dynamic response.
Tech 21 Character Plus Series Pedals
Taking the concept of their original Character Series pedals a step further, Tech 21 broadened the range of tonal options to include additional building blocks. The new SansAmp Character Plus Series celebrates the unique chemistry between specific historic amplifiers and pedals, and cleverly unites them together in single packages:
- Screaming Blonde = Fender-style + Tube Screamer-style
- English Muffy = HiWatt-style + Big Muff-style
- Fuzzy Brit = Marshall-style + Fuzz Face-style
- Mop Top Liverpool = Vox-style + Rangemaster Booster-style
The result is a new line of pedals that give bassists tons of possibilities when it comes to their tone. Tech 21 has always been on the cutting edge of sound crafting for low enders, and this new series of 100% analog pedals raises the bar even higher. Whichever one you choose, you can’t lose.
Price: $280 each
G&L Guitars CLF Research L-1000 Series 750 Basses
Embracing the spirit and tradition of instrument icon and G&L founder Leo Fender, the new L-1000 Series 750 5-strings offer 19mm string spacing at the bridge, just like Leo’s 4-string basses. The 750 is the “Widebody Wunkay” built with G&L’s “Wide 5” Saddle Lock bridge plate, which houses five of the very same saddles used on G&L 4-string basses. That extra space is neatly packed into a curvaceous new body drawing on classic Fender Avenue forms. A new MFD humbucker has been modified for its largest footprint ever, but special care was taken to ensure harmonic fidelity while capturing deep B string energy. Covering a wide range of tones, this bass is fun to play and delivers a truly professional sound.
Tronsmart Bang 60-watt Portable Speaker
This brand new, bass-heavy portable Bluetooth speaker is a must for listening on the go. Whether you’re at the beach grooving to Thundercat or in your home rocking some Red Hot Chili Peppers, this powerful speaker covers all of the low-end frequencies we love. Designed for superior sound via its two tweeters and two woofers (for a cleaner treble and bass), Bang covers all frequencies at a high standard, with professional acoustical tuning. The in-app equalizer allows users to switch to multiple pre-set modes such as Hi-Fi, Classical, Vocal, Deep Bass, Rock, and 3D, as well as customize the EQ. All supported by voice assist. And to top it off, it’s waterproof, so you can take it anywhere.