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Reviews: Genzler Amplification’s MG350-BA10-COMBO-S2  and the BA10-2-S2



I’m of the opinion that just about every pro bassist needs a good small, portable, and great-sounding combo amp.

It’s just one of those essential tools for practice, rehearsal, and the gigs small enough to warrant it.  The problem is that many small combos aren’t just light on size and weight, they also often have fewer features and less than great tone. 

…But every once in a while, a stellar small combo amp comes along and fills that niche beautifully.

Genzler Amplification just released the updated ‘Series 2’ of their popular MG350-BA10-COMBO and BA10-2.  The 1×10 cab features higher power rating, extended low-frequency coverage, better clarity and detail, and even lighter weight.    The 10” combo and extension speaker feature Genzler’s unique “Bass Array” technology, with its striking vertical array of (4) 2” drivers bisecting the cabinets woofer.  This design provides wider horizontal projection and dispersion of mid and high frequencies, and results in a quick and articulate yet natural sound. 

Ever since I got a chance to review Genzler Amplification’s line of bass pedals a few months back, I’ve had a growing interest in checking out their amps and cabinets, particularly to see what the Bass Array design was all about.  When the boxes showed up, I was struck by how small and light the gear was, and how well-built it seemed.  The combo, including the Genzler Magellan 350 and mounting hardware weighs just 23 lbs., with the extension speaker weighing in at only 19 lbs.   Both cabinets feature an angled baffle, which tilts the speakers up slightly at the player, and when stacked, are reminiscent of a high-end PA array that you would see at a big concert. 

Both cabinets feature an angled baffle, which tilts the speakers up slightly at the player

It’s a slick design that effectively gets the sound up toward your ears.  Edge-lift handles on the cabinets make carrying a breeze, and the amp and cabs are connected with locking Neutrik Speakon connectors. 

Genzler’s MG350 Magellan 350 head is mounted to the BA10-2-S2 via a hidden cradle, which securely mounts to the top of the cabinet using high-quality hardware.

Genzler’s MG350 Magellan 350 head is mounted to the BA10-2-S2 via a hidden cradle

The Magellan 350 is a full-featured head that pumps out an impressive sounding amount of volume and tone. 

In addition to its “Dual-Curve Variable Contour Circuitry” (Curve A — Classic to Modern — Mid Scoop Curve, Curve B — Thicker to Vintage — Low-Mid Bump w/Tapered Top End), the MG350 offers a 3-band active EQ with semi-parametric midrange for precise tailoring of the all-important mids. The amp puts out 175W @ 8 ohms; 350 W @ 4 Ohms, or 2.67 Ohms.  

I had a chance to take the MG350-BA10-COMBO-S2 and BA10-2-S2 for a handful of gigs and rehearsals, and I am happy to admit with all honesty that it just plain sounded GREAT.  

Not only was the overall volume and low-end output shockingly good for a “pair of 10’s”, but the tone was also super rich, balanced, and natural.  I took the full rig to one of my favorite local events, the always fun Asheville Bass Hang get-together, where we local low-enders gather to talk shop, network, and drool over each other’s gear.  There were a handful of great-sounding rigs in the room, but the Genzler combo got consistently high marks from everyone for BOTH its tone and its volume capability.  Everyone loved how it sounded on everything from a 60’s P bass to a modern 6-string. It was impressive to all how well the Genzler kept up with other rigs with much higher power ratings and bigger cabinets with way more speaker cone area.  

I also brought the single 10” combo along with my trusty and great-sounding Roscoe fretless 5 to a rehearsal with a flamenco guitarist and percussionist. 

I honestly don’t think it could have sounded much better.  The voicing, warmth, clarity, and articulation was astoundingly good, with almost no need to EQ anything.  I love this particular fretless bass, and it has truthfully never sounded better, all the way down to the low B, which if you know Roscoe basses, is one of their hallmark attributes and no joke. The single 10” cabinet had no problem pumping out deep clear notes at the bottom of the register. I was already bummed to have to send the rig back, but this experience made me want to abscond to South America with it.  When I did mess with the EQ and filters, they were very musical and effective, particularly the global shaping filters. 

I can’t find much at all to complain about with the Genzler rig.  It excelled in pretty much every category:  tone, volume, weight, build quality, aesthetics, and features. Occasionally I wished that the head and cabling was integrated into the cabinet as opposed to being mounted to the outside, but then again, the hardware bracket actually keeps it truly modular, in the event you want or need to separate the head from the cab for any number of reasons.  

Genzler knocked it out of the park with this little beast of a rig, and it punches well above its weight class. 

The only problem I seem to be having is that now I need to check out the Magellan 800 and the bigger Bass Array cabinets.   Jeff, if you’re reading this, please send a Magellan 800 and 410-3 to my anonymous PO box in Tierra Del Fuego.

The Genzler MG350-BA10-COMBO-S2 and BA10-2-S2 retail for $1,249.99 and $799.99, respectively.

Check them out online for more info:

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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Gear Reviews

The Frank Brocklehurst 6-String Fretless Bass Build



The Frank Brocklehurst 6 String Fretless Bass Build

A few months ago, my Ken Bebensee 6-string fretted bass needed some TLC. You know, the one rocking those Pink Neon strings! I scoured my Connecticut neighborhood for a top-notch luthier and got pointed to Frank Brocklehurst, F Brock Music. He swung by my place, scooped up the bass, and boom, returned it the next day, good as new. Not only that, he showed up with a custom 5-string fretted bass that blew me away. I couldn’t resist asking if he could whip up a 6-string fretless for me. 

Alright, let’s break down the process here. We’ve got our raw materials: Mahogany, Maple, and Holly. Fun fact – the Mahogany and Maple have been chilling in the wood vault for a solid 13 years. Frank is serious about his wood; they buy it, stash it away, and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s stable.  

First up, they’re tackling the Mahogany. Frank glues it together, then lets it sit for a few days to let everything settle and the glue to fully dry. After that, it’s onto the thickness planer and sander to get it nice and flat for the CNC machine. The CNC machine’s the real star here – it’s gonna carve out the body chambers and volume control cavity like a pro.

While the Mahogany’s doing its thing, Frank goes onto the neck core. Three pieces of quartersawn maple are coming together for this bad boy. Quartersawn means the grain’s going vertical. He is also sneaking in some graphite rods under the fingerboard for stability and to avoid any dead spots. The truss rod is going to be two-way adjustable, and the CNC machine’s doing its magic to make sure everything’s just right.


Now, onto the design phase. Frank uses CAD software to plan out the body shape, neck pocket, chambering, and those cool f-holes. I had this idea for trapezoid F-holes, just to do something different. The CAD software also helps us map out the neck shape, graphite channels, and truss-rod channel with pinpoint accuracy.

Once everything’s planned out, it’s CNC time again. Frank cuts out the body outline, neck pocket, and the trapezoid F-holes. Then it’s a mix of hand sanding and power tools to get that neck just how we like it. Oh, and those f holes? We’re going for trapezoids of different sizes – gotta keep things interesting.

Next step: gluing that neck into the pocket with some old-school hide glue. It’s got great tonal transfer and can be taken apart later if needed. Then it’s onto hand-carving that neck-body transition.

For the custom-made bridge, Frank uses brass for definition and Ebony for tonal transfer and that warm, woody sound.

BTW, for tunes, Frank went with Hipshot Ultralights with a D Tuner on the low B. This way I can drop to a low A which is a wonderful tone particularly if you are doing any demolition around your house! 

Now it’s time for the side dots. Typically, on most basses, these dots sit right in the middle of the frets. But with this bass, they’re placed around the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets.

Frank’s got his pickup hookup. Since the pickup he was building wasn’t ready, he popped in a Nordstrand blade to give it a whirl.

It sounded good, but I was itching for that single-coil vibe! And speaking of pickups, Frank showed me the Holly cover he was cutting to match, along with all the pink wire – talk about attention to detail!

A couple of things, while it is important for me to go passive, it is equally important for me to just go with a volume knob. Tone knobs are really just low-pass filters and the less in the way of a pure sound for me, the better. 

Finally, it’s string time! As usual, I went for the DR Pink Neon strings. Hey, I even have matching pink Cons…Both low tops and high!


Once we’ve got everything tuned up and settled, we’ll give it a day or two and then tweak that truss rod as needed. And voila, we’ve got ourselves a custom-made bass ready to rock and roll.

I want to thank Frank Brocklehurst for creating this 6 string beast for me. 

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Gear Reviews

Review Transcript: BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass



Review - BITE Custom Bass - The Black Knight PP Bass

This is a written transcript of our video review of the BITE Custom Bass Black Knight PP Bass originally published on March 4, 2024

BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass Review…

Bass Musician Magazine did a review on a Steampunk bass from BITE Guitars about three years ago, it was an amazing instrument, and we were very impressed. Now we’re happy to bring you another BITE bass, the Black Knight PP.

Everybody needs a P-type bass, it’s the standard of bass. If you’re recording, they want you to have a P bass. So why not have something that gives you a little more by having two instead of one P pickup. That’s the idea of this bass, it’s the first thing that leaps out: the double P pickup configuration.

Installing two of their 1000 millivolt split-coil pickups, BITE then went one step further and wired them up in a 4-way parallel/series circuit, a look at the controls reveal a 4-way rotary selector:

The first position, marked “B”, gives you the bridge pickup by itself.

The second position, marked “P”, gives you the bridge and neck pickups in parallel mode, that’s the traditional J-type circuit, it reduces output due to the physical law of parallel circuits.

Position number 3 is marked “N”, it gives you the neck pickup by itself.

And finally, number 4, marked “S”, gives your bridge and neck in a series (humbucking) mode which adds up resistances and thus boosts output. The other two controls are master volume and master tone.

What’s more, like every BITE bass, this one also has a reinforced headstock heel designed to give it extra output and sustain. The BITE website features a graph and explanation of what they have done to the heel, as compared to traditional headstocks.

A look at the body reveals a beautiful Black Blast body finish and underneath that we have alder wood. The bass has a matching headstock with a 4-in-line tuner setup and the traditional bite out of it, so everybody will know what kind of bass you’re playing. The pickguard is 3-ply black, the neck is vintage tinted hard maple and it has a satin speed finish at the back which keeps your thumb from sticking.

On top of that, there’s a clear-coated roasted black locust fretboard with black blocks marking the frets. The nut is a black Graph Tec nut, we’ve got diamond dome control knobs, and the tuners are lightweight compacts with cloverleaf buttons and a 1:17 ratio precision gear. The bridge is a Gotoh brass bridge with 19-millimeter string spacing.

Overall measurements: we’ve got a standard 34″ scale, a 1.65″ width nut and a C neck profile. This bass weighs 8.2 pounds, or 3,7 kilograms for our metric friends, and it uses standard 18% nickel silver frets.

Taking a closer look at the sound, this bass is a joy to play. The BITE proprietary 1000 millivolt pickups deliver an extraordinary amount of output which is surprising considering this is a passive instrument. You may even want to set your amp to active mode because of all of the juice you’re getting out of this guy.

The tonal possibilities are very versatile, it’s a straight P if you want but also much more with those different arrangements of the circuitry. So why have multiple basses when you’ve got one that can give you your basic P plus a lot more?

To sum it up, the Black Knight PP is an amazing instrument. The attention to detail that BITE puts into their basses is second to none. This bass is also amazingly balanced and gorgeous to hold and feel with the satin neck finish.

For more information, visit online at

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