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Sire V10 – Second Generation Review



Review of the Sire V10 – Second Generation

Sire Guitars has just released a new bass model to add to their already impressive line up of bass models.   This new model is called the Sire V10.  It is the new flagship bass for the Sire brand.  The combination of features of the Sire V10 result in a bass that is unmatched on the market, especially for the price.

The Sire V10 has the immediately distinctive feature of a roasted flame maple neck and flame maple fingerboard.  

This gives the V10 a very unique, beautiful fingerboard and headstock coloration.   

Roasting the neck and fingerboard also result in a stronger neck that is lighter in weight.  According to Sire, the neck ends up being less susceptible to humidity variations. Another positive attribute achieved by roasting is that the roasted wood takes on similar feel and sound characteristics (tone density & sustain) of old bass necks.  Visually, the Sire V10 stands out and is easily identifiable.

The V10 joins the Second Generation of Sire basses. 

This means that it also benefits from Sire’s latest pickup design as well as the “rolled” fingerboard.  (Rolled fingerboards, usually only available from custom shops, are have rounded edges that make the neck feel very comfortable, similar to a very old, well played bass).  These two features alone have been a big and highly sought out improvement on Sire’s entire line of basses.

Other spectacular and aesthetically beautiful features of the V10 are the fingerboard inlays and the flamed maple top.  The natural mother-of-pearl block inlays are the most beautiful this reviewer has ever seen. The colors are extremely striking and vibrant, with vivid and complimentary coloration to the rest of the bass.   The body is made of swamp ash with a maple top and flamed maple veneer.  

The combination of these woods along with the finish works extremely well together.

The Sire V10 also features an asymmetrical “C” shaped neck.  

This means that the neck shape is thicker at the low strings and thinner at the high strings.  This shape contributes to the extremely comfortable feel of the V10 neck.  Additionally, the neck has a satin finish, which helps to make the neck a fast feeling neck.

Just as in other Sire models, the Sire V10 also has the Marcus Heritage 3 preamp.  The preamp is laid out as follows: stacked volume/master tone, pickup blend, treble, stacked midrange/midrange sweep, and bass.  The toggle switch is for active or passive selection.   This proprietary preamp is one of the most versatile on the market.

The reviewed instrument had a very well balanced sounds from string to string.  

As with Sire’s other basses, the fit and finish of the Sire V10 was impeccable.   The weight of the bass felt noticeably lighter than the first generation V7 and the second generation Vintage V7 previously reviewed.  However, the bass feels well balanced on a bass strap, or when played in a seated position with the bass supported on the player’s thigh.  The roasted neck and fingerboard may be the reason for the reduction in weight.

Sire Guitars uses a bone nut on the V10, consistent with all previous models.  The Sire V10 also comes in an optional Sire gig bag.  Sire also ships the V10 with an uninstalled clear pickguard and an uninstalled chrome neck pickup cover, giving new V10 owners the option whether to install them or not.  The hardware on the Sire V10 has a chrome finish.  Sire’s tuning machines are accurate and smooth.  The V10 comes in two beautiful finishes, natural and a subtle tobacco sunburst.

How Does It Sound

Although most active/passive basses have a tendency to have a weak passive sound, Sire basses are known for their impressive passive & active sound.  The Sire V10 does not disappoint with its authentic vintage jazz bass sound in passive mode and a fantastic modern jazz bass sound in active mode.  The V10 has a big, full, articulate and authoritative sound.  The mid range is smooth, full and warm.  In active mode, the V10 sounds great with the EQ set flat.

Of course, the EQ is not available in passive mode, it is only available in active mode.  However, the master tone knob offers an incredibly wide variety of tonal choices while the bass is in passive mode.  The Sire V10 would be a great sounding bass even if it were available in passive mode only.  When combining the use of the master tone knob, pickup selection knob, and varied plucking hand placement, the V10 offers a very wide palette of sounds in passive mode.

In active mode, the Sire V10 is very percussive with a clear uncompressed musical sound.  Once active mode is engaged, it becomes a great sounding modern jazz bass.  The master tone control and the EQ offer a huge variety of tonal possibilities. It’s capable of a brilliant and authentic “scooped” modern sound when thumping or slapping.  For those who prefer to generate heart thumping plucked sounds, this bass is for you as well.


The Sire V10 is a fantastic jazz bass that is a very capable workhorse for every style of music.   It is a great bass that competes extremely well with production and custom basses well above its price.   With the V10, Sire manages to hit the trifecta of value, function and aesthetics.   In other words, the Sire V10 is a great value, it plays & sounds great, and it looks fantastic.    Without a doubt, the V10 is the new flagship of an impressive line of Sire bass models.  The “Sire Revolution” rolls on…

Sire V10 Specifications:

Body Material: Swamp Ash + Solid Maple Top + Flamed Veneer
Body Shape: New Marcus Miller Jazz Type
Body Color: Ash Body – NT, TS
Neck Material: 1 Piece Hard Maple(Roasted Maple Neck / Satin Finish)
Neck Shape: C-Shape
Scale: 34”
Neck Joint: 4 Bolt Steel Square Plate
Fingerboard(Rolled Edges): Flame Maple
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5?
Frets: 2.4 medium
String Nut: 4 String – Natural Bone 38mm width / 5 String – Natural Bone 46mm width
Inlay: Abalone Block
Pickups: Marcus Premium-J Revolution Set
Electronics: Marcus Heritage-3 with Sweepable Mid Frequency Control
Controls: Volume / Tone(Dual Pot) | Pickup Blender | Treble | Middle / Middle Frequency(Dual Pot) | Bass, Mini Toggle(Active / Passive)
Knobs: Modern Black Aluminum
Bridge: Marcus Miller Heavy Mass Standard
Tuning Gears: Premium Open Gears
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Pickguard: Transparent Pickguard

More information available online at

Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp



Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.


Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.


At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.


True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.


The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.


While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.


In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at

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Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Scylla Compressor



Review: Joyo Scylla Compressor

Joyo Scylla Compressor: When Quality meets Budget-Friendly

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the diverse landscape of effects pedals for bass guitar, finding a compressor that strikes the balance between performance, versatility, and affordability can often feel like a daunting task. 

However, amidst the sea of options, one pedal stood out as a true diamond in the rough – the Joyo Scylla compressor. Despite its wallet-friendly price tag, the Scylla boasts a great array of features and controls typically reserved for pedals with much higher costs. Let’s take a closer look at why the Joyo Scylla is turning heads and earning praise among bassists on a budget.

Specs: The Joyo Scylla compressor measures in at 109 * 72 * 48 mm and weighs a mere 234g, making it both compact and lightweight – perfect for gigs or studio sessions where space is at a premium. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Scylla is efficient and versatile, compatible with a wide range of pedalboard setups.

Controls: What sets the Scylla apart from its direct competitors is its comprehensive control set, offering bassists a good amount of flexibility in shaping their sound. With six knobs, the Scylla allows for a very precise adjustment of key parameters:

  • Input Gain: Adjusts the amount of signal being fed into the compressor.
  • Output Volume: Controls the makeup gain after compression, ensuring consistent output levels.
  • Compression Ratio: Unlike traditional compressor pedals with preset ratio options, the Scylla features a continuous knob, allowing for seamless adjustment from subtle compression to limiter-like effects.
  • Attack and Release: Determine how quickly the compression engages and releases, offering a range of tonal possibilities from punchy and aggressive to smooth and subtle.
  • Output Tone Control: A unique feature not commonly found in compressor pedals, the tone knob adjusts the coloration of the compressed signal, adding warmth or brightness to your bass tone.
  • LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal, adding a touch of visual flair to their setup.
  • Performance: In practice, the Joyo Scylla delivers where it matters most – in sound quality and performance. Whether you’re aiming for a tight, punchy bass sound or smooth, sustained notes, the Scylla excels in providing transparent compression that enhances your playing without sacrificing dynamics. The granular control offered by its knobs allows for precise tailoring of compression settings to suit a wide range of playing styles and musical genres.
  • Pros: The Scylla’s strengths lie in its granular control, versatility, and compact design. Its sturdy build quality and diminutive size make it a welcome addition to any pedalboard, occupying minimal real estate without compromising on functionality. However, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Scylla is its price point. Despite offering professional-grade features, the Scylla remains accessible to bassists of all budgets.
  • Cons: While the Joyo Scylla excels in many areas, it’s not without its drawbacks. One notable omission is the lack of metering, which may pose a challenge for users seeking visual feedback on compression levels. Additionally, the plastic knobs, while functional, may feel somewhat less premium compared to other pedals. 
  • Conclusion: In conclusion, the Joyo Scylla compressor emerges as a great option in the world of budget-friendly effects pedals for bass guitar. Its comprehensive control set, transparent compression, and compact design make it a compelling choice for bassists seeking professional-grade performance without breaking the bank. From its intuitive interface to its thoughtful touches like the tone knob and customizable LED lighting, the Scylla delivers a level of versatility and functionality that belies its modest price tag. For bassists looking to elevate their tone without compromising on quality or affordability, the Joyo Scylla compressor is a clear standout.

For more information, visit online at

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Bass Videos

String Instrument Humidifiers



String Instrument Humidifiers

String Instrument Humidifiers

After living in some very humid parts of the country for decades, we moved to a dryer, much sunnier location. As a result, I started noticing some fret sprout on my string instruments and recently did a video on fret sprout correction.

It occurred to me that I should take a more preventative approach to string instrument humidification. Of course, I turned to my instrument maintenance experts, Music Nomad Equipment Care, for a solution and they suggested their Humitar series. (Note: They sent two press samples and I purchased the remainder online.)

Join me as I look at these useful tools for keeping my string instruments in tip-top condition.

The Humitar series is available online at Music Nomad Equipment Care, as well as

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Bass Videos

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks



Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

CrystalBright Rombo Picks

PR Sample

Playing bass with a pick is still a touchy subject in our community. I believe you should be able to use whatever you need to get your sound. Even though I mostly play with my fingers, I like to check out innovative new picks that might have something new to offer, sonically speaking.

Judith and Carlos from Rombo recently contacted me about a new material called CrystalBright that they have been researching for the last 12 months and offered to send some prototype picks. After trying them out, I put together this video with my findings.

For more info check out @rombopicks

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New Joe Dart Bass From Sterling By Music Man



Sterling by Music Man introduces the Joe Dart Artist Series Bass (“Joe Dart”), named after and designed in collaboration with the celebrated Vulfpeck bassist.

Above photo credit: JORDAN THIBEAUX

This highly-anticipated model marks the debut of the Dart bass in the Sterling by Music Man lineup, paying homage to the Ernie Ball Music Man original that all funk players know and love. The bass embodies many of the original model’s distinctive features, from its iconic minimalist design to the passive electronics.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The design process prioritized reliability, playability, and accessibility at the forefront. Constructed from the timeless Sterling body, the Dart features a slightly smaller neck profile, offering a clean tone within a comfortable package. The body is crafted from soft maple wood for clarity and warmth while the natural finish emphasizes the simple yet unique look.

Engineered for straightforward performance, this passive bass features a ceramic humbucking bridge pickup and a single ‘toaster’ knob for volume control. Reliable with a classic tone, it’s perfect for playing in the pocket. The Dart is strung with the all-new Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flatwound Electric Bass Strings for the smoothest feel and a mellow sound.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The Sterling by Music Man Joe Dart Bass is a special “Timed Edition” release, exclusively available for order on the Sterling by Music Man website for just one month. Each bass is made to order, with the window closing on May 31st and shipping starting in November. A dedicated countdown timer will indicate the remaining time for purchase on the product page. Additionally, the back of the headstock will be marked with a “2024 Crop” stamp to commemorate the harvest year for this special, one-of-a-kind release. 

The Joe Dart Bass is priced at $399.99 (MAP) and can be ordered globally at 

To learn more about Joe Dart, visit the official Vulfpeck artist site here

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