My gear

A page about some of the gear I’ve used down the years’:-

Q: What was the first Bass guitar you played?

A: The ‘Pro II’ by Aria was my first electric Bass guitar and a ‘Cobra 90’ combo by Carlsbro was my first amp.

They were paid for with two weeks wages from my first job at 17 years old. Here they are in 1990: –

My gear | First Bass and ampThe ‘Pro II’ Bass had a high action, which made it difficult to play because I didn’t have much of an idea about making adjustments to the action at this time.

I used ultra light gauge strings (90-70-50-30) at first, so that my fingers didn’t get too sore.

The strings would sometimes rattle around on the frets a bit too much.

The combination of strings, bridge pickup, and the amp produced a bright, full and punchy sound.

The ‘Cobra 90’ amp was not too heavy and fairly easy to move around, but noisy (hum and hiss) and the 15″ speaker sounded boomy but did the job.

I remember the knobs were quite small and flimsy. They would fall off or break easily.

The Bass and amp were both moved on after a couple of years’.

Q: What’s your ‘go to’ Bass?

A: My Jaydee Supernatural Series 2A Bass which was built by John Diggins in 1986.

This was my 2nd J.D. Bass and I acquired it in 1995. The finish is Volcano red with front face LEDs retro-fitted by Martin Sims.

The original active circuit was replaced with an integrated circuit board in 2001.

Jaydee | Series 2 Supernatural Bass | made in 1986I Love this BASS! because it has a fast neck, fantastic tone and it’s really comfortable to play.

I almost always play this Bass with light gauge strings, which tends to bring a more percussive sound.

John told me that ‘The Shadows‘ Bassist used it when the band played on the BBC TV show ‘Pebble Mill from Birmingham’ in 1986. And here it is: –

Q: What’s your rig?

A: I’m using a pre-loved US-built David Eden WT550 Traveler amplifier head into a Trace Elliot 1048 (4×10) cabinet.

I first heard the Traveler amps at ‘The Gallery‘ (Bass Merchant) in London during the 1990’s, and I promised myself that one day I would own one.

However, the amps were expensive and with rumors of reliability issues on early units, I put it on the back burner – for about 15 years!

To sum up, This is the most natural sounding head I’ve ever owned. I really like the warmth of valve/tube at the pre-amp stage, with a solid-state amplifier for the output.

David Eden | WT550 | Traveler Hybrid Tube Bass amplifier

The WT550 has a 5-way semi-parametric equalizer, which I use with a fairly flat setting because I use the active EQ on by Basses. It also has a built-in compressor.

I’ve had my 1048 (4×10) speaker cabinet for more than 15 years and it sounds great, but weighs a ton!

Maybe not a real ton, but it feels like it. The original Trace Elliot speaker drivers and most of the vinyl covering are still in excellent condition. I fitted some castors underneath which means it can travel too.

Trace Elliot GP12XV valve preamplifier

In 1997, I was given a tip by Nick Owen and Chris Ward at ‘The Bass Centre’ (Wapping High Street, London) that Mark King from Level 42 would be moving on some of his gear through the shop. Would I be interested?

I managed to acquire Mark’s Trace Elliot GP12XV valve pre-amplifier from his home recording studio on the Isle of Wight, called ‘The Summerhouse’, and has also been used on tour.

I am very pleased to say I’ve used the preamp on almost everything I’ve recorded at home since.

The GP12XV sounds warmer than the GP12 SMX preamp, which is all solid state. In effect, the GP12XV is the front end of the Trace Hexa Valve amplifier.

Trace Elliot | GP12XV | Valve Bass pre-amp | ex Mark King | by Simon Edward | Updated: June 21st, 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.