If it’s the first week of June, then it’s got to be Herts Bassbash time! And again, organiser Mick The Greek – with help from Bassface2k10, Lozz196, Grangur’s wife Louisa and Sibob’s parents – did a sterling job. The ream created an excellent opportunity for us to meet up, ogle and try each other’s basses, amps and pedals, catch up with old friends and meet new ones, as well as attend the customary tests and talks, and also gathered an astonishing number of high-value prizes for one of the most successful Basschat raffles ever. All proceeds from ticket sales and the raffle go to the youth centre hosting the bash, Breaks Manor in Hatfield.
The Middle Hall was where the action started; Andrew of D’Addario had set up his mini-stall in a corner, and everyone else placed their rigs around him, until most of the space was taken.
The undeniable star of the show was Mick The Greek’s no-name bass, which was transformed from woodfire into a stylish, great-sounding bass by Andyjr1515 of AJR Guitar Modifications.
Meanwhile, nearby, Valentin of ForteVio was displaying his hand-made upright bass and cabs.
Another star was Happy Jack’s Takamine TB10.
After GASsing and socialising, we moved to the Main Hall for the much-anticipated DI/Pedal test with Lozz196 and Sibob.
Here is the recording of the entire test. Please note: the humming noise wasn’t added by the camera – it came from the PA system, and could be heard in the room as part of the test itself.
This is how Lozz summed up the shootout:
Ok, great day at the Herts bass Bash, and the Preamp/DI Pedal shooutout went as follows.
First off thanks to Gary Mac for letting me use his new Handbox 400 amp (with groovy lights), secondly thanks to Sibob for assisting on the technical side of the test. Given that each pedal had different features, such as sweepable mids, dedicated gain/no gain etc, I decided that I would play a few notes/lines with all settings at 12 o’clock (hoping that this was the flat setting for the pedals) then adding some highs, then reducing highs but adding some gain. Pedals tested were as listed below. After the test the audience had the opportunity to mark their fave for each setting, which will be listed alongside the pedals.
Aguilar Tonehammer – Clean 0, Highs 0, Gain 0
Sansamp Bass Driver – Clean 0, Highs 0, Gain 0
Zoom B3 (on Sansamp Bass Driver simulation) – Clean 2, Highs 0, Gain 0
Sansamp Parea Driver – Clean 0, Highs 0, Gain 1
Behringer BDI21 – Clean 0, Highs 1, Gain 0
Tech21 VT – Clean 0, Highs 0, Gain 3
MXR M80 – Clean 2, Highs 0, Gain 1
Zoom B3 (on MXR M80 simulation) – Clean 2, Highs 0, Gain 0
Sadowsky – Clean 3, Highs 0, Gain 0
Radial Tonebone – Clean 0, Highs 0, Gain 3
So, for cleans we have the Sadowsky in first place with the MXR M80, Zoom B3 MXR Simulation, and MXR Sansamp Simulation in joint second.
For highs we only had one preference, that being the Behringer, and as was explained to me by said voter, that’ because they weren’t too shrill.
And then for gain we have the Tech21 VT and the Radial Tonebone, very interesting as the Radial Tonebone had no added gain, that was its stock sound.
So overall impressions then – well the core sound of all of the pedals was very similar, only the Sadowsky and the Radial Tonebone offering any real difference, the Sadowsky being much warmer and richer sounding, and the Radial Tonebone, as we see, being a bit naturally gainier. But my main thoughts were I could get a good workable sound with any of them, and the Zoom B3 especially surprising me as the simulated sounds of both the Sansamp and the MXR were so near to the originals. Im sure with a bit of tweaking they could be made identical.
And yet again, in one of these shootouts I`ve managed to get zero scores for my own gear, namely the Aguilar Tonehammer and the Sansamp Bass Driver. Bah
The Main Hall was also where other Basschatters’ rigs had been placed, which meant more ogling and GASsing while we waited for Nick ‘Doctor of the Bass’ Smith’s talk.
Walking further towards the back of the Main Hall, there was Ordep’s rig.
Walking round the room we saw Jabba The Gut’s amazing array of hand-made basses that used to be doors, tables and what-not!
Closing the circle were fashionably dark-coloured basses, and Gary Mac’s weirdly decorated vintage P.
Here is the video:
The Small Hall also saw activity, and that’s before the raffle too. Sibob’s Dad, Graham, was again offering his professional photography services for free to those who wished to be portrayed with their gear.
At the end of the day, the Raffle!
There were a lot of prizes and all of them highly covetable.
The first prize: a Musicman SUB Ray offered by EBUK.
So I’m very happy to report that this was another very successful bash, with a well-judged balance between talks and time to catch up with friends and try their rigs. And the raffle was the icing on the cake (of which there were several types, courtesy of Valerie and Louisa). When’s the next one? I’m in! 😀