The Holiday Gear Guide with The Apache Relay

Written by November 10th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Orange Tiny Terror Head
List Price: $769

Like Orange’s Tiny Terror combo amp before it, this new “bodyless” version of the Terror from the revered UK amp maker shows that great things come in small packages. This version looks almost identical to the combo — minus the speakers. With one input, 7- and 15-watt selector options, and just three controls for volume, tone, and gain, the white front of the product has been almost literally lifted straight from its predecessor. Orange doesn’t bother with a bunch of needless gimmicks, but they don’t compromise your options either. Tiny Terror gets nice clean tones with the gain knob on low; turning up the gain gets you the blasting Jimmy Page riffs of  British-made ‘70s hard rock. Les Paul not included. – DAVIS INMAN

Fender American Vintage ‘75 Jazz Bass
List Price: $2,499

Fender’s American Made Vintage ‘75 Jazz Bass startled me with its high-quality build. Before even running it through my bass rig at sound check (an Ampeg SVT Classic Head and 4×10 HLF cab), I spent some time playing the bass unplugged, and was thoroughly impressed with the set up; low, buzz-less action, and not the slightest sign of a dead fret on the neck. The neck profile is everything a Jazz Bass enthusiast could hope for, and there’s the endlessly playable slim “c” profile that molds to the palm of the hand.

Once sound check began, I got a chance to hear how the amplified quality of the bass stacked up against its initial playability, and was pleasantly surprised. The bass is loaded with two single coil ‘75 Vintage Jazz Bass pickups, and the sound quality is crystal clear. Punchy and tight thunderous lows along with bright highs allowed the bass to fit seamlessly into the sonic palette of our band, which is saying quite a bit, considering my bass has to compete with five other mic/amplified instruments, as well as four vocal mics and a drum kit.

One of the defining aspects of the ‘75 Vintage Jazz Bass is how incredibly tonal it is. Even with the tone rolled all the way off, the bass still has a wonderful natural tonal quality and definition (thanks to the high-grade solid ash body). For me, this is beneficial because in general I prefer a less defined bass sound, but at the same time I want clarity, and that was easily found here. For the sake of comparison, I rolled the tone knob all the way up, and the sound quality was as spot-on as ever. While this is not my tone of choice, I think it would be right for players looking for that real smacky, defined sound (definitely good for pop music).

The American Vintage ’75 Jazz Bass can sustain for days, which can thoroughly enhance the live show experience for audiences and players alike. Feeling that low-end rumble across the floor of a stage anchors a band’s sonic palette, and can also heighten the passion with which a band performs a song. When I pulled out the Jazz Bass on several of Apache’s songs, including “Lost Kid” and “Watering Hole,” I noticed how the band and crowd morale would elevate.

The ‘75 Jazz Bass has style, tone, and playability for days, and I would recommend it for any player who enjoys the feel of a Jazz Bass. –MICHAEL FORD, Jr. (bassist, The Apache Relay)

 

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