This week on Guitar Gear Gems we take a look at the new Great Eastern FX’s Design-A-Drive pedal, plus some great new lightweight bass gear you should know about from Markbass and the latest DarkGlass bass effect pedal.
Guitar Gear Gems
Guitar Gear Gems this week takes a look at a couple of new effect pedals, one for guitar and the other specifically for the bass. But first, we are going to check out the all-new lightweight Markbass MB58R series. This new bass rig promises to lighten the load for your low-end, without compromising on your low-end thump.
Markbass MB58R series
The newly announced Markbass MB58R series consists of as many as 20 speaker cabinets, 8 combos and 2 amp heads, all of which, according to the Italian company, should all offer an excellent ratio of performance to weight.
Markbass Little Mark 58R
As the first new amplifier in the series, the good old Little Mark was of course revised. For example, the Little Mark 58R weighs just two kilograms, with the power being 500 watts at 4 ohms or 300 watts at 8 ohms. The four-band EQ and limiter have also been revised. Also on board are a three-way switch with EQ presets (flat, scooped, foot-switchable) and a mute switch.
The combos MB58R CMD 102, MB58R CMD 121, MB58R CMD 151 and MINI CMD 121 are also available as ENERGY, P and PURE variants.
Key points of the new series: Despite the significantly lower weight of the speakers, Marbass state that the sound is not compromised in any way. All products are made in Italy and use quality components.
In addition to a revised traditional look, which also contains modern features, the production of the MB58R series products now pays even more attention to the environment: All installed parts are 100% recyclable and are sourced from environmentally friendly sources.
The speaker cabinets models are available in three versions:
- ENERGY: Neodymium loudspeaker + 1′′ tweeter driver
- P: classic ceramic speakers for a more traditional sound) + piezo tweeter
- PURE: Neodymium speaker + new hi-fi tweeter
Here are some examples, pay attention to performance and weight:
- MB58R 102 ENERGY: 2×10 with 400 watts, only 9.8 kg weight
- MB58R 103-6 PURE: 3×10 with 600 watts, only 14.2 kg
- MB58R 104-ENERGY: 4×10 with 800 watts, only 15.75 kg
Certainly some nice power specifications and light weights. Check out the whole MB58R Series on the Markbass site below.
Darkglass Microtubes B1K
Carrying on with our theme of new bass gear we have the all-new Darkglass Microtubes B1K overdrive pedal. It is super dinky and uses a light-up dual potentiometer control system. Though there are also a few hidden controls inside the unit itself.
This minimalist overdrive pedal has front controls for Level and Drive, plus hidden controls within the enclosure for Tone and Blend. There are also switches for MBoost and Grunt. The MBoost adds a 6 dB boost from 300 Hz to 1 kHz, whilst Grunt adds a nice low-end boost. A handy, compact overdrive for most bass players and could be perfect for when you need a little more grunt.
MSRP – Darkglass Microtubes B1K 159 euros*.
Darkglass Microtubes B1K
Great Eastern FX Design-A-Drive
Last but not least we have the all-new Design-A-Drive by Great Eastern FX. This boutique hand-built pedal hails from Cambridge, in the UK and offers a unique take on drive tone. With controls labelled Gain, Edge, and Level plus a Width control that goes from Thin through to Fat.
Edge & Width
The Edge control adjusts the top end of the frequency spectrum, simultaneously adjusting two separate filters. Great Eastern FX states that this allows for a gentle treble roll-off and a more intense cut in the high presence region. Next up is that six-position Width control and this one they state adjusts the mid-range response, progressively introducing a lower mid-range peak and adding more bass as you go from ‘Thin’ to ‘Fat’.
The pedal has true-bypass switching and pedalboard-friendly top-mounted jacks.
MSRP – GBP 229
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- Lightweight eco-friendly bass rig?: Markbass
- Markbass Little Mark 58R: Markbass
- minimalist overdrive: Darkglass
- Great Eastern FX Design-A-Drive: Great Eastern FX