A boutique manufacturer from Massachusetts tempts us with an amp that’s purpose-built for the discerning bass player.
The Forté is the latest bass amp to emerge from the Bergantino stable and uses the same analog preamp and power amp section as the company’s B|Amp. The front panel has a single input for both active and passive basses, an aux input, gain and master volume controls with a peak indicator LED, four bands of EQ, push-button mute and bright switches and a control to adjust the built-in Variable Ratio Compressor. The intuitive layout gives you complete control over the built-in features, meaning it’s simple enough to dial in a range of different bass sounds, or even mute the signal. Two parallel Speakon jacks can be found on the back panel, along with a studio-quality Direct Output, an effects send and return, a ¼-inch headphone socket and ground lift switch.
The Forté is a joy to use: it’s so intuitive, and even with everything set flat, the quality of the amp and the construction make for an instantly workable tone should you find the front panel intimidating to begin with. The input gain should be set as high as possible without the signal clipping, which will allow the signal to run through the preamp at its highest point before distorting. And with a single control for the VRC compressor, all you have to think about is the amount of compression you want. Add to this the refreshingly light weight, classy looks and high build quality, and the whole package looks very attractive indeed. Features like the 4-band EQ or push-button mute and bright switches are hardly revolutionary, but show great awareness of the needs of gigging players. A Bergantino rig should be at the top of every serious bass player’s wish list.
Built in: USA.
Power: 800 watts @ 2 ohms; 700 watts @ 4 ohms.
Preamp: Solid-state, DSP.
Outputs: 2 x Speakon, 1/4-inch effects send and return, XLR balanced line out, 1/4-inch headphone.
Inputs: 1/4-inch instrument, 1/8-inch aux.
Controls: Gain, master volume, 4-band EQ, Variable Ratio Compressor, bright & mute switches.
Dimensions: 266(w) x 210(d) x 95(h)mm.
Weight: 2.7 kg (6 lb).