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Cool Bass Items You May Not Have Known Existed!
Believe it or not, there are still lots of neat new innovations being created
for upright bassists. Despite the fact that we play an instrument that's
hundreds of years old, clever manufacturers are still making neat new
items that can improve your bass-playing experience.
Here is a list of a few cool products that may be new, unique, or just something
you never thought of before. Click the links in the title for more extensive information, photos, and order information.
Hipshot FreeRange Extender
This nifty, easy-to-install device allows you to
quickly switch the tuning of any string on your bass to another pitch. It's
commonly used on the Low E-string to detune to D or C, but is tuneable to most
any interval within a 4th. You could even put three of them on your bass to
quickly tune from standard "4ths" tuning to cello-style "5ths" tuning in a
snap! For a casual orchestral bassist, it's far less expensive than a
C-Extension - and doesn't involve any modification to your valuable instrument.
Radial Engineering H-Amp In-Ear Monitoring Headphone PACKAGE
Who knew it was this easy to add in-ear monitoring to your
bass rig? No need for expensive wireless, very few of us bassists are moving
around very much on stage! This passive (no power adapter!) device simply
"taps" into your bass amp's speaker output to provide a clear, controllable
output to an earbud, pair of headphones, or custom-fit in-ear monitor. We even
throw in the speaker cable and a mono earbud for you so you can get started
PAM5A Personal Powered Monitor Speaker
Another useful method for hearing yourself
better onstage (like the headphone system above), this one frees you of using
headphones if you're not a fan of in-ear monitoring. It's simply a small,
lightweight powered speaker that you can optionally mount on a mic stand, which
you simply plug into a "line out" on your amp. Viola - it's "More Me!" Gives
you the confidence that comes with hearing yourself on stage - no worries about
your sound or intonation.
Kolstein Deluxe Adjustable Ebony Upright Bass Tailpiece
Now, you might ask, "why would you want to adjust the
saddles on the tailpiece - that doesn't affect the playable length of the
string?" Good question! The short answer is this: Having more control over the
"afterlength" (the non-playable range of the string between the saddle of the
tailpiece and the bridge) can actually have a notable impact on tonal quality;
its own vibration, audible or not, can work for or against the overall sound of
the string and the total instrument. Who knew? Well, you do, now!
H-Clamp Light Upright Bass Microphone Mount
Ever tried to play your bass into a microphone on a
stand? It's not easy; there's a real "sweet spot" on the bass, and for the mic
to stay aimed at it, you've got to stand very still - no swaying or
turning, or your sweet bass tone goes "bye-bye!" But who can play like that?
With the H-Clamp, you don't have to - it's a specially designed lightweight mic
holder that clamps onto your bass, moving with you (but keeping the mic
steady). You can use it with most any reasonably compact mic - and you're
finally free to move with the music again!
Upright Bass Buggie Bass Transporter
Let's face it - moving your bass around is a chore. It's
big and bulky, and hard to manage. I've often lamented that "I should've played
flute." (Of course, I'm happy to be a bassist - but where's my roadie?) In any
case, the Bass Buggie is an alternative to a regular bass wheel (or bass case
with wheels) that allows you to roll your bass around with an ease similar to
that of pushing a hand truck. Beautifully made, easy to "drive", and
well-designed, this makes moving the bass almost fun! (Almost.)
Ehrlund EAP Linear Microphone
Most of us, if we had a choice, would prefer to use a
microphone for live performances. They take the actual sound waves out of the
air, for the most accurate and nuanced amplified sound. But mics can be
impractical. They pick up the snare drum and ride cymbal, they can be prone to
feedback issues, they require very delicate placement... it's aggravating. And
that's why pickups were invented! They solve (or at least minimize) most of
those problems, but they tend to sound less, well... mic-like. The Ehrlund EAP
offers the convenience of a pickup, with a sound that is virtually
indistinguishable from a mic (on most basses.) And no modifications to your
U-Bass Electric-Acoustic Bass Ukelele
Hey, I thought this was a BASS site! Why are you
showing me a ukelele? Well, here's the thing: This tiny little bass instrument
sounds immense through an amp. Its special synthetic strings create a
warm, organic sound that's chock full of gooey bass goodness. Is it a
substitute for your upright? Not really, but it's a great alternative bass for
pit work, singer-songwriter stuff, and jams - and it's a heckuva lot
easier to tote around!