Jamie, "Ok, here's a page for the 2 or 3 people in the universe who might be interested in the gear I use.  I regularly hear this theory that bass players have it easy, because guitarists

spend their whole lives in search of the ultimate tone and bass players just plug in and get on with it.  I resent the careless and ill-founded notion that the bass just plays a supporting

role and is an easy instrument to get a sound on.  It is in fact one of the hardest instruments to get a great tone that cuts through the band, so that each note can be heard distinctly - yet

without being obtrusive.  I've spent a lot of time trying out different products, and different ways of using them and to be honest, it's a quest that will never be over.  But I've reached

a point where I'm very happy with my bass tone and all the gear I'm using, so I'll share with you on this page the equipment I use and maybe it might help someone somewhere."

 

 

 

 

 

 "Xvive represent everything I look for in musical equipment manufacturers: Their products are of a professional quality,

  intelligently designed, often unique, built to withstand the rigours of gigging and very reasonably priced."  

 

 "Having tried out many of their pedals and added a number of them to my ever growing collection, Xvive honoured me

  by asking me to work on a pedal design with them.  I explained my ideas for a bass compressor pedal and my signature

  pedal was born - The Bass Squeezer."

 

 "The Bass Squeezer is idiot-proof! Engage the effect with the bomb-proof stomp switch, blend the amount of compression 

  you desire into your bass signal with the "Compression" control and adjust the "Volume" control to suit your needs. You may 

  wish for the effected signal to match the volume of your bass when the pedal is switched off.  Alternatively, you may wish to 

  use the pedal as a boost or even cut the volume. Whatever your compression needs are - the answer is here in a tiny,

  armageddon-proof box. As an added bonus, this pedal comes complete with an optional overdrive circuit. Simply flick the 

  switch to on and dial in anything from a subtle edge to a dirty overdriven amp sound with the "Overdrive" control."

 "In short, this is a versatile pedal that is easy to use and will revolutionise your bass sound."

 

Click the picture above to view my Xvive videos on YouTube

   

Jamie Mallender - With The Fret-King Ventura Bass (Pic By Gary Barlow)

Fret-King Blue Label

Having just got back from a tour of Scandinavia with the Tony Martin band, Jamie found himself trying out, and falling in love with the Trev Wilkinson designed Fret-King instruments, in particular the Blue Label Series Perception and the brand new Ventura 80 bass guitars. “I only ever put my name to gear that I honestly believe in and use myself, and these are amazing - normally I use nothing but active basses, but Trev has hit exactly the right blend of traditional and modern with these designs, and with no compromise on tone or performance, at a price that is with the reach of just about anyone.” 

"I wanted to find a bass that was a little more retro or classic sounding. Something passive, but with plenty of power and supreme build quality.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to instruments, so it's no easy task to please me.  But when I tried the Fret-Kings I was absolutely knocked out by their quality and sounds.  The Perception is a slim necked easy to play traditional bass, with a split coil precision style pickup in the middle and a single coil at the bridge, and is absolutely flawless in every way.  The sounds are the traditional sounds you would expect, but with an extra punch and clarity. The Ventura Super 80 however (pictured) is something of a different animal.  It combines an EBO style pickup at the neck, with a split P in the middle, a J type single at the bridge and a strat style 5 way switch.  It delivers all the vintage sounds a bass player could ever hope for (and more) and usually you would have to purchase 3 very different instruments to achieve all these sounds. But here, Trev has them all loaded into 1 very cool looking, brilliantly designed instrument. It balances perfectly on the strap, has amazing tuning stability, stands up well to being tuned down way low, has lows to take your breath away, punch to knock you sideways, can be sweet as a nut or angry as you like and everything inbetween. I've never had a bass that was built so well. Finally, comes a bass for the musician with a little imagination, who dares to be different."  

Fret-King Black Label

"Brand new for 2012, Trevor Wilkinson has come up with yet another world beater. The Fret-King Black Label Perception 4+1 is the easiest 5 string ever to play. Unlike most 5 strings, it sits just perfectly well balanced and feels very comfortable to wear. The horns are more extreme and radical, making for a deep cutaway with superb fret access. The neck is wide, yet quite flat, as if it was designed personally for my stupid little hands. The tones are what you'd expect from a P + J set of pickups but with a little extra clarity + more punch. Somehow, Trev has got a lot more definition than I've ever heard on a 5 string before, down at those lowest few notes. Yes it has the rumble, but you can also tell what note it is! I was sick of playing 5 string - but now I want to play it all the time! The Black Label 4 string Perception is much like its Blue Label counterpart, but like the 4+1, it has much better fret access thanks to the more radical horn shape and features mini tuners in place of the more traditional elephants earlobes. In the higher register this bass has a lot more weight to the sound where basses of this type can tend to sound a little hollow. It's got grit and balls, but it can be real smooth and low key too. It's also very probably the easiest full size bass ever to play."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

The Fret-King Black Label Esprit 1 Bass

 

Black Label Perception Basses. Jamie Mallender, Jim Reece + Trev Wilkinson

 

   

   

   

Fret-King Black Label Esprit (Pic By JRobert Germeraad.)

 

Fret-King Black Label Perception 4 (Pic By Gary Barlow.)

 

Fret-King Blue Label Ventura Super 80 (Pic By gary Barlow.)

 

Fret-King Black Label Perception 4+1 (Pic By Gary Barlow.)

 

    Jamie Mallender With Fret-King Perception (Pic Gary Barlow, Photoshopping By Adrian Bece.)    

   

Fret-King Perception 4 + 4+1 In Starbug Studios

 

Fret-King Perception (Pic By Gary Barlow, Photoshopping By Adrian Bece.)

 

Fret-King Perception 4 +1 In Starbug Studios

 

Fret-King Ventura 6 String + Bass. Every sound you could possibly need in the studio. 

 

VJ96MRJP Fretless Bass

 

Vintage

"I've been searching for a fretless bass that lived up to my impossible standards for 25 years. The Vintage VJ96MRJP is that bass." – Jamie

Jamie, "I'd like to set the record straight here. I used to be a total headstock snob. For my generation, if you wanted a guitar as a kid you paid a fortune to get an unplayable, cheesewire loaded piece of garbage from the catalogue that ripped your fingers to pieces, sounded simply dreadful no matter how good you got or how hard you tried, was impossible to tune and basically, it shattered your dreams. The only way to get a good sounding instrument was to buy 2nd hand (a minefield of potential disasters for the inexperienced) with a reputable name on the headstock. I suppose that because of that, we revere the classic guitar brand names and consider them holy grails, with a kind of you get what you pay for sort of respect. However, many of these legendary instruments are really not that great. Without naming names, whilst working in a guitar shop a few years ago I witnessed guitars in the £700 to £2000 price bracket with less than acceptable quality control, dreadful set-ups and amateurish faults and flaws which I would have to try to correct in order to sell them. But, still people bought them, many would buy their dream guitar without even trying it! Like, if its the same guitar Slash plays and it costs more than a quality 2nd hand car its going to be a good guitar right? Well no, it might be, but it might well not be! This was when I realised that headstock snobbery was way out of control. Then, we received a shipment of Vintage guitars. At first I thought they would be yet another brand of cheap starter guitars that would suck, but in these difficult economic times satisfy a necessary low price point in the marketplace. Well, as i went through each one and tried them, I found that I couldn't have been more wrong and was cured of my own headstock snobbery right there! Vintage guitars are built to incredibly high standards, sure - they're not hand made in california - so what! They are made damn well by whoever puts them together to Trevor Wilkinson's design, and they sound as good or better than the "top-end" instruments. This means that a starter can have a guitar as good as their hero and stand a real chance of getting the sound they crave. It means that a pro player doesn't have to break the bank every time a new axe is required. It means that the over-priced donkeys of yesteryear are well and truly on their way out. I honestly believe that this guitar brand will in time change the face of the guitar industry as we know it. I don't get paid to say these things, I sought out this endorsement because I was so impressed with the product. End of."

 

 

           

Vintage V90. Pic By Leila Coker.

 

Vintage V80. Pic By Leila Coker.

 

Vintage V6 Icon.

 

Vintage V74MRJP.

 

 

           

Vintage VGA 900N

 

Vintage V96

 

Vintage V100 AFD Paradise

 

The Family

 

   

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

  

Hartke LH500

Jamie,"I don't want a complicated amplifier.  I see amplifiers with huge amounts of EQ and boosts and shapes and this and that, and wonder what the hell it's all for.  A good bass amp should sound good when it is set flat.  If it doesn't, then it's a piece of crap.  I also don't want an amp that has it's own sound that colours my tone too much.  I want simple controls, lots of power, punch, clarity, reliability and I want it look cool.  The LH500 delivers on every count, but the thing that really clinches it for me, is the note definition.  No matter how loud I wind up this amp, every note is clear.  You can make it rumble, but the listener can still define every note.  I used my previous Hartke amp for several years on the road, and it has never let me down, not even once.  It is still in perfect working order after 1000's of gigs - and that's reliability!  I'm proud to be on Hartke's artist list, and over the moon to be using Hartke gear."  www.samsontech.com   

 

Hartke VXL Bass Attack Tone Shaper Pedal

Jamie, "A lot of musicians compile FAQ sections on their websites, in order to fend off lots of personal e-mails asking the same questions.  My number 1 question is, "How Do You Get That Tone?"  Obviously it's a combination of things.  But I'd have to say that the biggest contributing factor is one of the least expensive yet well built and superbly designed feature packed items in my arsenal.  The Bass attack gives me harmonic distortion, subtle as you like or down and dirty depending how you set the gain and mix knobs.  This feature is turned on and off easily by a sturdy stomp switch allowing me to access my clean "amp sound."  The other mighty switch on this little tone tank is a boost (attached to a tone shape knob) which I use for solos to lift me above those musicians who should shut up but never do.  The pedal also featues EQ, DI out with pre/post switch making it the perfect amp in a box studio tool (and a parallel out which I use to send out to a tuner whilst recording,) and ground lift.  The bass tone for the whole of "Return To Bass" is just this pedal - into a simple soundcard." 

 

Danelectro

Danelectro Cool Cat Pedals

"I'm not trying to fool anyone here.  I do use a lot of pedals, by a lot of different manufacturers.  I'd be happy to endorse a number of them.  But there's a reason I've put my name to the Danelectro Cool Cats.  When I first saw the price I presumed they would be low quality, and made of cheap plastic.  I couldn't have been more wrong!  The tone of each pedal is exquisite, and the build quality is exceptional.  These pedals are pro quality and sit comfortably on my board alongside pedals which are 5 times the price.  I was looking for a better bass chorus pedal.  I've owned many and never been happy, so I set out to try all the ones made for bass.  Didn't like any of them much.  So I started looking at guitar pedals and thought it couldn't do any harm to try this retro looking blue thing with knobs cunningly protected at the back of it.  I thought the sound of it was stunning and so now it's on my board and gets used very frequently."

 

"I've always been very interested in bass effects pedals. I've often suffered a wave of resistance from other band members who have this ridiculous mind-set that bass players shouldn't use pedals. I've always found this lack of imagination very irritating, because many of the most classic recorded bass lines have effects on them. Just because I have them on the floor does not mean that I am going to be playing with them all the time, but it does mean that they are there if I need them. Bass players like Bootsy Collins, Doug Wimbish and TM Stevens are great ambassadors for bass players using effects, and I say if it's good enough for Bootsy, then it's good enough for me."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotosound Strings

Jamie,"I've been using Rotosound strings for over 20 years. I love the tone, feel and consistency of them. Over the years I've tried everything else and I've found nothing to touch Rotosounds." www.rotosound.comJamie uses the following strings:-

 

RS66LD stainless steel swing bass (45 - 105 gauge) For fretted passive 4 string bass guitars.

 

RS665LD stainless steel swing bass (45 - 130 gauge) On 5 string bass guitars.

 

RS668 (20 - 105 gauge) On 8 string bass.

 

RS77LE flatwound jazz bass (50 - 110 gauge) On his 4 string fretless bass.

 

RH10 roto blues (10 - 52 gauge) All 6 string electric guitars.

 

JK13 phosphor bronze jumbo king (13 - 56 gauge) 6 string acoustics.

 

JK30SL phosphor bronze jumbo king (9 - 46 gauge) 12 string acoustics.