BOLD DESIGN, AMAZING TONE, INNOVATIVE ERGONOMICS AND SURPRISING PORTABILITY IN A LARGE FORMAT TUBE BASS AMP
The Bass Strategy™ Eight:88™ is the next step in the MESA All-Tube Bass Amp Bloodline. Vastly improved Tone, features, dial-ability, portability, packaging and control over the entire spectrum make the Strategy – and its little brother the Bass Prodigy™ Four:88™ – an iconic step forward in Bass amplification. With an all-new tube preamp, a 5-position Rotary VOICE Selector, our 9-Band Graphic Equalizer, patented Multi-Watt™ 3-Way Selectable Power, Footswitchable SOLO and VOICE control (footswitch sold separately), a Rear Tuner Output, and an all new, high output power section utilizing eight KT-88s – the STRATEGY is THE big horsepower, big venue tube Bass Amp for the new millennium.
49 POUNDS OF SHAPEABLE KT-88 POWER
Custom Designed AND Handcrafted Exclusively in Petaluma, California, the Bass Strategy weighs in at only 49 pounds, similar to Triple Rec™ Head. Compact for a full size amp, dimensions for the metal chassis head are 7 7/16 inches in height, 18 7/8 inches in width and a depth of 13 3/16 inches.
Power in the Bass Strategy Eight:88 originates from an all tube power amp and preamp featuring 8 KT-88 power tubes & 3x12AX7 preamp tubes. It’s important to note that tube amps sound as loud as solid state amps rated at several times their power (wattage) rating. Plug in and compare – Amazing power, unmatched fat, enveloping tone and inspiring feel.
TUBE PREAMP WITH POWERFUL EQ OPTIONS
The Bass Strategy Eight:88 begins with BRIGHT, NORMAL and ACTIVE INPUT Select choices feeding an all-new tube preamp that borrows subsections from our CARBINE™ hybrid architecture.
This preamp design allows increased control over a broad spectrum of frequencies and incorporates active BASS and TREBLE controls with increased shaping power, while retaining the sweet, musical blend of our traditional passive MID control. A PULL BOOST feature on the GAIN control provides additional gain in the preamp allowing a progressive sweep from subtle fur at the middle range of the control, on up to aggressive overdrive at the maximum setting. In addition to these we’ve included a reworked-for-tubes version of the CARBINE’s 5-position rotary VOICE feature that allows notching or enhancement of specific midrange regions in addition to bass and treble frequency boosting. The VOICE feature puts you instantly in iconic stylistic realms by providing the most musical bass guitar EQ curves as presets – from elastic, mid-scooped thumbing to articulate, mid-flat finger-style, to the classic metallic, scooped American pick sound – all with the simple twist of a knob. The ability to jump right to these classic “curves” makes re-voicing on the fly in performance situations a snap. It is also footswitchable (footswitch sold separately) and adds immensely to the Strategy’s versatility.
Once you’ve dialed-in a sound style with the Tone Controls and VOICE feature, the Strategy’s 9-Band Graphic Equalizer is included for accurate fine-tuning. This inductor-based circuit is a tried and true, yet expanded carry-over from the BASS 400+™, and has been an integral part of both our guitar and bass amplifiers for well over 40 years. The EQ is controlled by a mini toggle on the Front Panel and allows you to bring it on-line manually or via the EQ button on the optional STRATEGY Footswitch or any tip-to-ground latching switch that is plugged into the EQ External Switch Jack located on the rear panel.
ULTIMATE POWER CONTROL WITH MULTI-WATT™
Control over the Tone would be incomplete (at least in our minds) without control over the power as well. So the Strategy gives you three choices as to how to utilize the power section. As wattage ratings are often misleading and irrelevant to volume when it comes to describing tube power, the Strategy offers FULL, HALF and LOW power settings on the MULTI-WATT™ switch.
Each of these choices has a distinct tonal color and persona, with FULL delivering the maximum punch, authority and headroom. HALF can deliver some valuable and surprising mid to lower power applications for tube-driven bass while still offering plenty of volume for a lot of live situations. LOW opens up many stylistic possibilities in the recording domain and may also work for some lower volume gigs. An important collection of vintage-inspired sounds await you here in HALF and LOW POWER, ranging from round and warm, to edgy, to clipped and growling – depending how you dish it out from the MASTER. And best of all, all the sounds in HALF and LOW beg to be recorded.
A MUTE/PLAY/SILENT RECORD switch allows convenient front panel muting for instrument changes, silent tuning or recording, or any time where signal muting is needed. An AUTO-MUTE circuit is fitted to the Speaker Jacks to protect the transformer and power tubes if no speaker cable is connected (caution: this does NOT detect speaker load) and is indicated by the same front panel LED triggered by the mini-toggle MUTE/PLAY/SILENT RECORD switch (Red LED ON = MUTE). The SILENT RECORD setting allows you to safely mute the signal at the power amp and use the Strategy’s preamp (including processing in the EFFECTS LOOP) to record using the D.I. OUTPUT without the need for a speaker cabinet.
The rear panel D.I. OUTPUT signal can be derived from either PRE (your instrument) or POST (the entire preamp) with the front panel D.I. Switch. The D.I. OUTPUT signal strength is controlled by the Front Panel D.I. LEVEL located at the far right side of the Chassis next to the SOLO Control. The Strategy's D.I. OUTPUT provides a standard XLR interface to mixing consoles for both live and recording environments.
SOLO AND OPTIONAL FOOTSWITCHABLE FEATURES & CONTROL
The Strategy incorporates our SOLO feature that has become so popular on our guitar amplifiers, which gives you a pre-settable and footswitchable boost (footswitch sold separately) for any time you want to feature a specific part, solo in a song or use it as a fast and convenient level matching tool to when switching between instruments with hotter or weaker pickups or going from finger-style to slapping. The SOLO control can also be used to compensate for EQ settings where several frequencies are cut creating a drop in overall volume.
The Strategy's 8-Pin DIN jack accepts the 8-Pin Cable from the optional Strategy Footswitch. This optional footswitch allows remote control of the VOICE, MUTE (TUNE), EQ, FX (LOOP) and SOLO.
You can also control the Strategy’s footswitchabe functions via its five EXTERNAL SWITCHING jacks located on the rear panel, making it compatible with virtually any switching system’s architecture. These provide external control of the MUTE, SOLO, EQ, VOICE and FX LOOP features with a master (usually midi) switcher or with any separate “tip-to-ground” latching-type switch.
FX LOOP, TUNER, SLAVE AND SPEAKER OUTPUTS
Our buffered Series EFFECTS LOOP allows seamless interfacing of your high quality outboard processing and it also features a LOOP EXT. SWITCH jack, which allows for remote on/off control of the LOOP feature. This switch-jack is handy if you don’t have or want the optional Strategy Footswitch, as it allows control of just the FX Loop with a single latching tip=to-ground footswitch.
The Strategy also features both TUNER and SLAVE Outputs. The buffered TUNER output captures your instrument and preps it for the long journey to the front of the stage or just upstairs to the top of your amp. The optional Strategy Footswitch also has a buffered TUNER OUTPUT jack right on the pedal itself so you can place your Tuner at the front of the stage without the need to run a separate cable from the amp. The SLAVE jack provides a 1/4" output for capturing the sound of both preamp and power section tonality right off the SPEAKER OUTPUTS to send on to additional power sections and cabinets for truly coliseum grade rigs.
To handle virtually any speaker cabinet scenario the Strategy is fitted with 5 SPEAKER OUTPUTS capable of handling a variety of impedance loads. 2 x 4 OHM, 1 x 8 OHM and 2 x 2 OHM Outputs ensure that you can always find an impedance-correct match regardless of your cabinet choices.
SETTING THE BIAS IS FAST & EASY – NO TECH REQUIRED
This is a MESA® first – a pair of two position SET BIAS switches and adjacent recessed trim pots reside on the rear Tube Deck labeled OPERATE and SET BIAS. The SET-BIAS position allows you to check and set the correct bias yourself, quickly and easily, when replacing power tubes. There’s no need to take the amp to a technician, as this bias method is completely user-serviceable!
• Metal Chassis Head (Width 18 7/8”)
• Slip Cover
• Rackmount Head