Steve Harvey heads to Frankfurt to report on Europe's biggest M I show
ast month, Frankfurt Musikmesse - Europe's largest trade show
- opened its doors to more than 108,000 visitors, who were
greeted by all manner of instruments, amplification and
accessories presented by 2,257 exhibitors.
Bass Guitar Magazine
was there, pounding the corridors while shunning the
distraction of wheat beer, to bring you highlights of the most
exciting gear for the world of bass.
First up is a new range of bass combos from Swiss-based Schertler, a company
who in recent years has built an enviable reputation for high-quality, high-fidelity
amps in the acoustic guitar market. Schertler are now turning their attention to
bass amplification, kicking off with three all-new combos; the B10, the B12 and B15.
The numeric value in each product's name refers to the size of the woofer and each
unit offers 300, 400 and 500 watts respectively. Schertler has focused on balancing
portability with performance with the combos weighing in at 18kg, 21kg and 24kg, as
well as being loaded with Class A, transistor, NFB pre-amps. These stylish amps are set
to be popular for those sufficiently well-heeled to consider purchasing one.
Elixir Strings chose Musikmesse to launch its improved and extended range of
bass guitar strings. As it did with acoustic guitar strings a couple of years ago, Elixir
embarked on a programme of extensive field-testing last year, engaging over 1000
bass players from around the world. The goal was to redevelop and improve the
protective Nanoweb coating. Elixir claims the resulting range of nickel plated steel
and stainless steel strings provide greater durability, response and grip during hard-
hitting attacks. String tension profiles have also been optimised which will offer
greater flexibility and feel.
Bass amplification giants Ampeg launched what it describes as, “The most bass-
friendly DI ever created” - the SCR-DI. The unit combines a classic Ampeg preamp,
EQ pedal and overdrive stompbox. The SCR-DI also
features a headphone out and aux in for practising
along with your favourite backing tracks. Surely a
must for the regular gigger.
Vintage was showing the V90 Series basses, which
come loaded with hybrid Wilkinson WJMB-N and
WJMB-B pickups. The V90 also features a rosewood
fingerboard, an adjustable Wilkinson WBBC bridge
and chrome hardware. Coming in around the £250-
260 mark, the V90 is a great 'first upgrade' bass and is
available in pearl white or candy apple red.
Orange Amplification used Musikmesse for the
European launch of the new OB1 series of class A/B
rack-mountable bass amplifier heads. Capitalising on
the trend for bass players to combine the overdrive
from a guitar amp with the traditional clean tone of a
bass amp, Orange asked, 'Why take two amps to a gig
when you could take just one?' (On which note, the
eagle-eyed visitor to this year's London Bass Guitar
Show would have seen Mark King combine his TC rig
with a Mesa Boogie Mk V guitar amp). The OB1 is a
bi-amp with a footswitchable blend circuit which adds
a veneer of controllable gain and increased harmonic
content to the upper registers of the input signal. The
lower frequencies and clean signal are left untouched,
as they would be with a dual-amp set up. The OB1