HAO Bass Liner (BL-1) Preamp Pedal

PROS: Small size, great tone, very adjustable.

CONS: No English manual provided.

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PRICE: $299

Most bassists rarely use effects, but HAO’s Bass Liner Preamp may be seen in front of more bassists’ feet in the future.

While an English manual isn’t provided, the unit is pretty simple to use. It’s got a lot going on in a small package, including five individual EQ knobs controlling the frequency spectrum from 50 Hz to 12 kHz. The level and input gain controls are front and center. The two switches are a mute, and a simple on/off switch. There are two outputs, one that is a typical signal out, as well as a direct out. Hooking up a tuner to the direct output, and using the mute switch enables silent tuning. The other option is to run this signal to a separate channel or mixer to switch the two signals. It runs on a 9v battery, but will work with 9 and 18V power adapters. The 18v gives a lot more headroom and is a bit quieter.

Regardless of the pickup type, it sounds great, and even with passive single coils, the sound is rich and full. The EQ is quite flexible, and the input gain gives grit, not overdrive. Boost the mids for more punch, or drop the highs for a warmer tone, without getting any flubbiness. When boosting the lower frequencies, it does just that; it doesn’t mess with the other EQ spectrums.  For a bass player who really wants to sculpt their tone, this is perfect! Using it as a boost to jump out of the mix when needed, such as the rare times there’s a solo or breakdown, and the sound guy can’t be counted on to adjust the mix.

For a bassist “on the go” this pedal is well worth it; the ability to control the tone, regardless of the amp being used, is a godsend, and considering it’s small enough to fit into a gig bag, the price is well worth it.

Input Impedance: >20K ohm
Output Impedance: >30K ohm
Power Consumption:  9V battery 45mA, 18V DC 52mA
Signal to Noise Ratio: 82dB
Frequency Response: 10Hz~120KHz

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