The best bass gear of 2012
Christmas is coming, and what better way to celebrate than by casting an eye over the very best bass gear MusicRadar has had its low-end lovin' hands on this year.
It's not easy for bass players - they rarely get the glory like the singers, and there don't ever seem to be as many ace little gadgets, fresh new designs or earth-shattering new developments in gear as seem to roll round every other day for guitarists and drummers.
But fear not, for what the bass market lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in sheer bone-rattling quality. Read on for our round up of the very best bass gear of 2012, and have your self a rumbling merry Christmas...
Bass guitar of the year
2012 was the year of the Jaguar for Fender in bass terms thanks to this slick reworking of the Jag bass design.
By stripping out any unnecessary complications and boiling the Jaguar bass down to its core, Fender hit a home run. Simple, straightforward switching, a solid-as-a-rock bridge and a super cool '70s style neck with bold black inlays, the Modern Player Jaguar is an elegantly designed powerhouse. The P/J pickup configuration gives it a ton of edgy tone, with plenty of bite if you need it. At under £500, you'll struggle to find a better new bass on the market.
4.5 out of 5
FULL REVIEW: Fender Modern Player Jaguar Bass
Best bass amplifier of the year
It might be one of the smallest stacks around, but Ampeg's Micro-CL punches way above its weight.
They say it's not the size of your wand but how you wave it that counts, and never has that been more true than with Ampeg's tiny but mighty Micro-CL. It's the sort of mini-stack that some folk might titter at - at least until they hear it. Kicking 100 watts into its 2x10 speaker cabinet, it does a superb job of replicating that classic Ampeg SVT tone, and looks the part too with that vinyl covering and grill cloth. Affordable, full of soul and small enough to practice with at home (the headphone socket helps with that too), it's no wonder Ampeg walked away with the best bass amplifier of 2012.
4.5 out of 5
FULL REVIEW: Ampeg Micro-CL Bass Stack
Best bass FX of the year
Some bassists long to add a bit of filthy fuzz to their tone, but often have trouble finding pedals that can handle it - no more, thanks to MXR's mighty M84.
Boasting efficient, easy to grasp bypass switching with four controls that allow you to take balance your wet and dry signals and boost one against the other, the M84 is a small but fierce addition to any bassist's pedal board. Buckets of sustain, tank-like build quality and awesome note stability - what more could you ask for?
4.5 out of 5
FULL REVIEW: MXR M84 Bass Fuzz Deluxe