Summer NAMM 2017: New(ish) BIAS Mini heads, Twin pedals from Positive Grid
Having recently teased us with a dark graphic hinting of amazing new gear to be announced at Summer NAMM, Positive Grid has lifted the lid on the its latest products. Our guitar gear guru Jef predicted this would amount to some cut down versions of existing amps and pedals – and that’s exactly what we got! Two rack-format amps, three mini pedals… Oh and a controller footswitch thingy.
BIAS Mini amplifiers
Positive Grid has announced two new additions to its amp range: the BIAS Mini Guitar and BIAS Mini Bass. These are cut-down versions of its BIAS Head amp, although the half-rack form factor is more reminiscent of the BIAS Rack amp. The guitar version has 300W, while the bass one is rated as 600W. The amps, Positive Grid says, “feature many of the same capabilities” as its Head amp, although exactly which functions have made it into the new amps is uncertain at this point. We understand, though, that this will include an FX loop, XLR balanced output, MIDI I/O and Bluetooth/USB connectivity.
The front panel includes the instrument input jack, Preset selector and the following control knobs: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Master and Output. Both amps come with eight factory presets which you can edit to your heart’s desire using the editor software and then upload to the amp using USB or Bluetooth. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but the BIAS Amp Head retails for around EUR 1,400, so these units should cost under a grand. Nothing jaw-dropping here, as both amps build on existing products and technologies. I’ve always preferred old-fashioned amps from an era in which Bluetooth would have sounded like a terrible disease, but these have piqued my curiosity.
BIAS Twin Pedals
Moving swiftly on, Positive Grid have also announced three new(ish) pedals. These are ‘twin’ versions of their existing BIAS Distortion, BIAS Delay and BIAS Modulation pedals, which we’ve covered previously. PG has evidently cottoned on to the trend towards compact, pedalboard-friendly units, hence these offerings.
Each features two footswitches and six knobs giving access to functions specific to the type of pedal. The top left control on all three selects one of the nine factory presets. The Delay has controls for Mix, Mod, Feedback, Time and Reverb as well as a note switch. The Distortion pedal has knobs for Gain, Level, Tone, Blend and Boost (Level and Tone go up to 11). Modulation has Depth, Intensity, Tweak 1, Tweak 2 and Rate. A switch selects the LFO waveform.
Positive Grid BIAS Twin Pedals: Distortion Delay and Modulation
They’re all made of metal, have stereo (probably dual-jack) outputs and have USB/Bluetooth connectivity for uploading your presets. This new range was an obvious move: Squeeze most (but not all) features from the bigger pedals into smaller units, lower the price and there you go. But I like the idea of a Bluetooth-connected pedal I can edit on the fly on my tablet without having to plug it in. More products should have this – where it makes sense, of course…
Positive Grid has also announced a Footswitch controller called the BIAS footswitch that controls any of the BIAS products.
- Positive Grid Summer NAMM 2017 Website
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