"Finding the right gear is a journey. a bass must FIT your body, have the sounds you seek, weigh and balance comfortably.

 if you're lucky, have a bit of sex appeal."

 

Fender Precision Bass

 

As you can probably tell by the website theme i've got a lot of love for the Fender Precision Bass. This particular Candy Apple Red variety comes in the form of a modded 'Nate Mendal' Signature model. Although Mexican in origin, Fender have faithfully reproduced Nates original USA '71 Precision. Apparently in this particular year the necks are slimmer at the nut that other models, kind of inbetween a Jazz and a regular Precision profile. This and the faithful 70's aged tint to the headstock, along with an ash body constituted a great combination, with good visual appeal and more importantly a good base to do some tonal tweaking of my own. 

I stripped out all the electrics, pots, input jack and Seymour Duncan 1/4 Pound pickups. Im looking for an authentic Precision sound from the 60's, so none of the aforementioned guts fits that tone profile. Pots were replaced with Fender Vintage CTS 250k audio taper varieties, with a 0.1uf tone capacitor, the jack socket swapped for a nice new switchcraft unit, new period braided wiring throughout, and finally dropped in a 1962 RI Fender Pickup. The tone was there for sure as soon as I re-strung the bass with a set of La Bella 760FL flatwound strings, a great low mid "thump". Finally a Wilkinson vintage spec bridge replaced the Badass II and a nice tortoiseshell pickguard to finish off the look. Quite simply I love it! it sounds old, it looks old and feels great to play! 

 

Glockenklang - steamhammer

 

Having played through a vast array of amplification over the last 2 decades, I have never quite been satisfied with the combinations of tone, weight, power, build quality & Eq options available. Often you can satisfy some of the elements but not all, and thus I have been on a journey for that "perfect rig". Granted this is all subjective, what is right for one man is perhaps not another mans cup of tea, but I really do think I've found my soulmate in this head. The Steamhammer differs slightly from Glockenklang's extremely "hifi" offerings, using a Class D power module has made the tone more forgiving and relaxed. That said, It really does have clarity that still outperforms the competition, every note is evenly weighted and present in the sound, it truly has to be played through to be believed. 

There is plenty of power on tap with the new ICE 700w power module at its heart, I have yet to run anywhere near out of headroom, and there is no faux compression at higher volumes that often occurs with other Class D heads. Eqing options are fantastic, especially the Bass cut/boost which cuts at 20hz and boosts at 60hz!! perfect for controlling the low end in difficult venues. My main love is for the mid controls of which there are two, low and high mid. This is common on other amps but the frequency points are fixed, and in my opinion rarely at points that you want. My sound focuses on the 250hz Low mid, which the Glock accommodates beautifully because both mid controls have 2 switchable options (low mid 150 or 240hz & Hi Mid 770hz or 1.5KHz), perfectly voiced for my needs. Granted these amps are not cheap, but the reason is that Glockenklang have not, and will not, ever compromise on their components in order to meet a certain profit margin..... and that came direct from my now good friend Helge Glockenklang, son of the company founder. When you hold it in your hands you can feel it, with each turn of a knob or press of a button you know this thing has had a lot of love put into the design, and thus is built to be an amp for life.