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The Product Spotlight Archive

2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005


October - Evidence Audio

Evidence Audio
Specializing in high performance instrument, microphone, and speaker cables for both live and studio applications, Evidence Audio was founded by Tony Farinella in 1997. As one of the most critical components placed in the path of an audio signal, cables can degrade tone by adding unwanted coloration, obscuring definition, and compressing dynamics. Even the best cables influence the sound to a certain extent, and since no cable can actually improve tone, the primary goal of Evidence Audio has always been to produce transparent cables that don't impart their own sonic signature on the sound being generated. Rather than creating products based on marketing hype, Evidence Audio has conducted years of research in cable theory and design to formulate an award-winning series of cables. Unlike most instrument cables that are constructed with stranded wire, at the foundation of Evidence Audio's cables are solid core conductors which preserve clarity, nuances, and articulation. Evidence Audio cables are engineered to faithfully transmit the characteristics of all instruments as signal is passed from its source to its output destination, but they are especially suited for handling the speed, power, and resolution required of bass amplification. Featuring an international list of endorsing artists that includes bassists such as Alain Caron and Stuart Hamm, Evidence Audio cables are becoming the choice of bass players around the world. ... Read More!


July - LightWave Systems

LightWave Systems
Frustrated by the inherent influence imposed by conventional magnetic pickup technology on string instruments, luthier Chris Willcox began the research and development of an alternative solution that would fully realize the sonic potential of both pickup and instrument. The result of his efforts is the patented LightWave optical pickup system which utilizes infrared light technology to sense string vibration and accurately represent the acoustic characteristics of instruments without the added coloration or string damping caused by standard pickups. Today, a decade removed from their first OEM partnership with Zon Guitars, LightWave Systems manufactures a complete product line of professional basses under their own direction and powered by their innovative optical pickups. As a complementary system that features the most unique pickup technology to be conceived for string instruments since the invention of pickups, LightWave Systems introduced the revolutionary Saber bass. The premium VL models and the affordable SL basses harness the power of infrared light to deliver the true voice of the string, the instrument, and your playing. ... Read More!

April - M Basses

M Basses
With a workshop based in Terryville, Connecticut, luthier Jon Maghini has been fabricating his customized M basses since 2001. Before venturing out on his own and starting a business with his own name, Maghini honed his skills as an apprentice under the guidance of a master luthier. During that period, Maghini worked on everything from basic assembly and wiring processes to surfacing and fretting necks, repairs, the complete restoration of vintage basses, and even building limited production runs of boutique instruments. With the principle philosophy that a bass guitar should play and sound just as good as it looks, Maghini's goal is to design visually-stunning and sonically well-balanced instruments. Regardless of playing level, Maghini strives to work on an individual basis with each of his customers to accommodate their specific needs. Whether you just seek repairs to an existing instrument or wish to commission the creation of an MEJ or M3 series M bass, Jon Maghini has solidified his reputation as one of today's premier builders of handcrafted bass guitars. ... Read More!

February - Thunderfunk Amplification

Designed to amplify the natural characteristics of bass instruments, Thunderfunk amplifiers are becoming the choice of the world's best bassists. Founded by electronics designer Dave Funk, Thunderfunk Amplification manufactures one of the most versatile, lightweight, and powerful tube bass amplifiers currently being produced. Thunderfunk's newest model, the TFB750A, is constructed of an aluminum chassis that weighs only 21 lbs., and it can be utilized as a fully integrated amplifier, DI, preamp, or power amplifier. Among its numerous components are a built-in limiter, 4-band semi-parametric equalizer, enhance and timbre controls for tone sculpting, "the switch," and a cooling fan that can be left on or turned off for quiet operation. In addition to building amps for the working bassist, Funk is also the author of a tube amp workbook which is recognized as a standard reference guide for collectors, owners, and technicians of vintage Fender tube guitar amplifiers. ... Read More!


October - Skjold Design Guitars

Skjold Design Guitars
Since 1996, luthier Pete Skjold has been on a mission to design the most tonally flexible, consistent, and playable basses in production. From his 2,000 square foot facility in Lewisville, Texas, Skjold has continued to refine his manufacturing process by combining the knowledge he has acquired as a professional bassist for the past twenty years with the traditional and exotic woods he utilizes to fabricate his customized bodies, necks, and fingerboards. With the addition of the Lion's Pride model in 2007, Skjold now produces a complete lineup of lightweight 4, 5, 6, and 7-string fretted and fretless bass guitars featuring the highest quality components available. ... Read More!

July - Gallien-Krueger Amplification

"There are so many amps that are being made today that sound great when you are sitting in your living room practicing, but then when it comes to live performance applications, they simply can't step up and deliver. Building affordable and reliable bass amplification systems which are specifically designed for live performance is the foundation of everything we do," states Gallien-Krueger founder Bob Gallien. "When you look at the entire bass amplification market as a whole and analyze all of the amps currently being manufactured today, you will find that there are really only two basic sounds that are being produced, and everyone is emulating one or the other. There is the solid state G-K sound which is very articulate and punchy, and you also have the warm tube sound. Since a low rumbling bass sound can screw up the entire mix of a show, producing a bass tone that has the punch of a kick drum has really been the basis of my designs," adds Gallien. ... Read More!

February - AccuGroove Amplification

"AccuGroove is not a market-driven company where we have pressure being placed upon us from the sales department in trying to get us to introduce something before its ready," asserts AccuGroove co-founder Mark Wright. "When we start a project, there are no time restrictions or budget limitations. The only goal is sonic purity and total reliability. We don't even calculate the cost of any cabinet until the project has been completed and our objectives have been reached. We simply refuse to compromise the sound and reliability of our products in order to deliver something to the market faster," adds Wright. ... Read More!


September - Phil Jones Bass

Phil Jones Bass
"Phil Jones Bass is all about being extreme, and I am not going to make any gear that is just good enough," states Phil Jones. As the president of PJB and a professional bass player himself, the British-born Jones adds, "speaker design is an exact science these days, and we calculate things such as cone excursion and air flow velocity in the vents per given frequency long before we even build a cabinet." By combining this no-compromise philosophy with over 25 years of experience in the audiophile stereo world and a fanatical degree of attention to detail, Jones and PJB have emerged at the forefront of contemporary bass amplification design and sound reinforcement. ... Read More!

January - Barker Musical Instruments

Barker Musical Instruments
Prior to designing his own vertical bass and subsequently founding Barker Musical Instruments, bassist Lee Barker owned and operated Redmond, Oregon-based Great Ned! Woodworks for 22 years. After performing gospel and bluegrass music for over three decades on a part-time basis, Barker began to develop wrist-related problems while playing the traditional electric bass. Being a creative problem solver, Barker utilized his experience as a custom woodworker and commercial cabinetmaker to develop a hybrid instrument that would combine components of an electric bass with that of an acoustic upright. ... Read More!


November - Markbass Amplification

Markbass Amplification
"The Markbass product line is specifically engineered to not color the sound of the bass. Rather, our gear is designed to faithfully replicate the unique tonal characteristics of whatever instrument is being played through it. That has been our mission since the beginning," asserts Marco De Virgiliis, the founder of Markbass Amplification. He adds, "instead of imposing my idea of a particular sound on the market, I'm simply responding to what I hear over and over from bass players around the world." For this reason, Markbass has become acknowledged as an innovator of high-end sound reinforcement amongst the international bass community in just four years. With its facilities based in Italy, Markbass utilizes state-of-the-art technology to produce several product lines of amps, cabinets, and combo amps to address the needs of professional bass players in every performance application. ... Read More!

September - Aguilar Amplification

Aguilar Amplification
"If we can't accomplish the goals of musicality and application, we aren't going to build it," states the co-founder and president of Aguilar Amplification, Dave Boonshoft. This year, Aguilar celebrates its 10th anniversary, and over the past decade, this founding principle remains at the forefront of Aguilar's groundbreaking design and engineering concepts. In 1995, Aguilar began as the manufacturer of a single bass preamp. Today, that same preamp is recognized as a contemporary classic and the industry standard in major recording studios found throughout the world. Along the way, Aguilar has become one of the fastest-growing manufacturers of high-end bass amplification with the addition of power amps, speaker cabinets, combo amps, onboard preamps, and a direct box to their product line. ... Read More!

June - Zon Guitars

Zon Guitars
Originally established as a repair and custom guitar shop in a retail music store called the Buffalo Guitar Outlet, Zon Guitars was founded by Joe Zon in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, in 1981. As a repair technician, Zon had earned a reputation for years of high-quality repairs and building customized instruments. In order to address all the problematic issues encountered with instruments while a repairman, Zon designed his first production-model instruments in 1982, the Standard and Signature model basses. After years of continued growth, Zon relocated his shop to Redwood City, California, in 1987, which continues to facilitate as Zon's base of operations today. ... Read More!