ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons is the star of the show this month with two in-depth interviews with Stuart Bull and Michael Casswell, and a special ‘Billy Gibbons Masterclass’ lesson from Danny Gill. Other interviews include Steve Lukather who talks to Gi about his eagerly awaited new solo album ‘Transistion’ and Jerry Donahue sits down with Lee Hodgson to discuss his string-bending technique and his extensive career.
THE BASSMENT_HEAD AND CABINET REVIEW
Always dreamed of an Ampeg ‘fridge’ but your back specialist says “no”? Enter the Ampeg
Micro CL Stack. Dan Veall looks relieved.
When it comes to the big brand names in
bass there aren’t many better known than
this one. You’ve seen Ampeg many times in
the hands of the very best in bass guitarists -
usually plugged into the company’s massive
8x10 sealed ‘fridge’ cabinets with SVT valve
amplifiers atop. They’re the dream of many
a budding bass player - often regarded as
the ultimate Rock rigs. I myself owned an
SVT 2 Pro for quite some time - a wonderful
sounding amp with lots of volume available.
It was a total beast in terms of tone but...
sadly, the weight! These things are built for
the road and come with near bullet-proof
construction and of course a price point that
is out of reach of many a weekend warrior
and semi-professional alike.
But Ampeg has a wide range of products
to suit every pocket, back and volume
requirement, all taking a slice of that famous
‘Ampeg tone’. So if small and quirky is your
bag, then this is going to be a favourite!
After the success of Ampeg’s Micro VR stack
range, based on the original VR heads and
cabinets, comes this diminutive rig that takes
its tone and stylings from the classic CL
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170 Guitar Interactive Magazine Issue 15
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a toy,
the Micro CL ‘mini fridge’ is very much a
working man’s rig despite looking like SVT
CL’s ‘Mini-Me’ clone, which means dreams
of owning a CL stack can be realised even if
your living space is a bit of a tight squeeze!
The Micro CL really is cool and includes all
the familiar Ampeg looks and front panel
lay out. The amplifier head has a solid-state
derived 100W output into the 8 Ohm
cabinet and features a truly ‘plug and play’
layout. Simply plug in to one of the inputs;
you can select the padded input if your bass
(like mine) has a very high output and you
need to stop the input from distorting.
Next to the master volume (there is no
gain control) there is a simple and musical
three band EQ. By ‘musical’ I mean that
the wide frequency range that each control
covers means that there are no harsh tone
peaks when boosted. Not that much
boosting is needed. Even at 12 0’clock on
each setting, it sounds full and fat. In the
video, for my particularly bright sounding
bass (in comparison to that of a passive P
for example) I set up a little boost on the
treble and a little boost on the bass control.