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Gear Review

BackBeat

RUMBLE PACK By Jon D’Auria

WITHOUT FAIL, EVERY YEAR AT THE Winter NAMM Show, there are a few hot new items released into the bass world that players continuously buzz about before the word-of-mouth hype makes its way around the entire Anaheim Convention Center and reaches ad nauseam extremes. At this year’s show, one of those items came in the form of the BackBeat Rumble Pack. After the 17th bassist asked me if I had heard about it, I figured it was time to do my due diligence and check out what all of the raving was about. A quick Google search proved that the buzz had already caught onto the internet, and the humble Kick Starter campaign that BB creator Yerko Sepulveda created to raise $25,000 had rapidly ex-

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ceeded that figure and hit just under $130,000 upon its conclusion. If that wasn’t enough proof of the validity of this new item, BB’s official website features greats like Victor Wooten and Billy Sheehan touting the rumble pack, which further piqued my interest. Being a player in a duo outfit with a multi-instrumentalist/singer that predominantly plays in mid-size venues at lower volumes, I immediately understood the potential for this device — so I hit up Yerko right away. A few days later, the BackBeat arrived at my door, and within minutes I had it attached to my bass strap and was ravenously testing it out. However, minutes turned into an hour, and that turned into

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90 minutes, and before I knew it, I was late for an important call. That’s probably a common story for users of the BB, because this baby is highly addictive. Responsive to the intimate touch of every single note — from tightly plucked staccato notes, to fast mid-range runs, to deep, booming strokes of the low B string — the BB responds to every tiny nuance of your playing and sends deep vibrations through your back that resonate through your entire body. With more time on my hands, I tested it out with a range of basses including a Precision 4-string, a Jazz 5-string, a shortscale hollowbody, and an acoustic bass. The BackBeat reacted to each instrument the same, regardless of active or passive elec-

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