When I first started playing bass the first instrument I owned was a Fender Telecaster (1972) that was modded into a Precision. It took me almost twenty years to fully appreciate this instrument.
Because I was heavily into metal, I had to get my hands on an Ibanez Soundgear. Which I played for years until I thought I knew what I was looking for. The next bass was what I consider my first high-end bass. A Mayones Comodous. The neck-through construction in combination with the Aguilar preamp made this thing blow away any bass that I had touched before. But I quickly noticed it was super heavy. So I went deeper into researching what parts make a bass sound which way and how I could possibly reduce the weight without compromising the sound.
I realized that the instrument I was looking for didn’t exist. It was a combination of many instruments I tried and the ones I owned. The only way to get what I wanted was to have someone build it for me. Fortunately, Adrian Maruszczyk was willing to execute every last detail of my “mad” design. In fact, after demonstrating my custom shop instrument to the world, he got more and more people asking him to replicate it for them. So many that he made it one of his regular instrument. You can find them in his shop under the name “Sputnik”.
After logging around a (1000 watts)Warwick X-treme that weighed around 30kg for years, I decided to look for something with the same power and less weight.
I couldn’t believe how much more power and punch you can get from an amp so light. Almost a tenth of the weight, but three times as reliable and versatile I found a winner: The Markbass Little Mark Tube 800. And that little tube you can decide to use or not really adds some nice warmth to the sound, which I couldn’t live without, now.
The Line6 Echo Pro Studio Modeler. Still a classic as a stompbox for most guitarists. The rack version has been discontinued, unfortunately. This device, in combination with a Behringer FCB1010, has been with me since long before my solo bass time. It’s also one of the only FX units that I keep using until today and it got me started exploring loopers.
The BOSS RC-300 Loop Station. One looper to rule them all. I recently did a research on what is out on the market, but I couldn’t find anything that would be able to pull off what I need without either sacrificing sound or simplicity (in particular not using a laptop on stage). The limit of “only” having 3 loop tracks available was a big part of my progress as a looping songwriter. It forced me think harder and come up with simple solutions that work, rather than experimenting for days without ever getting a result that I am satisfied with.
The BA12 by Rheingold-Music is the most amazing speaker I have ever heard. I still can’t believe how much detail gets lost in pretty much all other speakers that I’ve tried, used, and heard someone else play over. This speaker made me clean up my technique big time. Every little nuance of my playing comes through this unique piece of gear. But also every little unwanted noise ;P
I originally bought this speaker for my practicing setup when I started studying at the ArtEZ Hogeschool poor de kunsten in Arnhem. But it turned out to perfectly fill out the bottom end of my high-end Rheingold cab.
Even when using FX I try to keep the signal chain between bass and amp as clean and direct as possible. That’s why I use the radial Twin-City ABY switch to make sure I can bypass my FX and get that sound you only get when plugging directly into the amp.
Being an audio engineer, I make no compromises when it comes to cables. Bad cables can ruin the best pieces of gear. that’s why I only use handmade instrument cables by Rheingold.