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EBS Stanley Clarke Signature

Acoustic Instrument Preamplifier By Bob Thomas
Published May 2021

EBS Stanley Clarke Signature

Is this the perfect partner for acoustic bass?

Although best known for their electric bass amps and effects pedals, Swedish manufacturers EBS also offer several products for acoustic bassists and guitarists. A case in point is their latest release, the Stanley Clarke Signature Acoustic Preamp, which I’ll refer to as SCS in this review. Introduced in late 2020, this was developed in collaboration with the legendary jazz electric and double bassist, whose name and signature it carries.

Clarke’s double bass pickup of choice is a twin‑element Underwood piezo bass pickup, a design that dates back to the 1970s and which needs to see a high input impedance. Over the years, Clarke has been an enthusiastic evangelist for EBS’s MicroBass II preamp/DI box, the first in the MicroBass series to feature a piezo‑friendly 10MΩ impedance input. When the Microbass II was updated to the larger and more comprehensively equipped Microbass III, EBS took the opportunity not only to create Clarke’s signature preamplifier, which accommodates the use of a microphone alongside a piezo pickup, but also to add facilities that expand its applications to include other lower‑register acoustic instruments equipped with mics and/or piezo or magnetic pickups.

Function Meets Form

The SCS’s steel enclosure retains the company’s tank‑like build quality, but the aesthetics are a departure from EBS’s signature cosmetics: the legends and knobs are both black, their contrast with the white casing enhancing visibility, even in low‑light situations. The rotary controls on both the A and B channels are laid out from right to left, input to output and are functionally...

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Published May 2021