Musicvox Announces the MI-5 12-String Bass, Which May Be More Metal than You Think

I’ve had a bit of a thing for 12-string bass ever since I read the liner notes for Anthrax’s The Sound Of White Noise. Frank Bello was credited for playing 4, 6, and 12-string basses on that album (and also later on Stomp 442) and my young teenage mind was, if not blown, then at least whelmed. How did it work? I knew what a 6-string bass was, but there was no way the neck could be twice as wide as that, right?

Of course it isn’t. The instrument is more like a 12-string guitar, except with the strings in groups (or, “courses,” which sounds delicious) of three instead of two. It seems pointless for both accompanying strings to be the same octave up from the root, but it gives a cool chorus effect. It also makes the strings that much more expensive to change, because money hates you.

I one day had a chance to ask Frank which song he used the 12-string bass on, and he said it was “This Is Not an Exit,” but I have no idea which part. If you can pick it out from the mix by all means clue me in. Also, YouTube guy needs to learn the difference between the Armed And Dangerous and The Sound Of White Noise album covers.

Sorry for the long 12-string bass rant. But hey, it’s New Year’s Eve and news is slow. I wound up walking down this alley because I noticed Musicvox have a new 12-string, the MI-5.  Strange numbers notwithstanding (shouldn’t it be the MI-12), it seems like a nice enough slab of wood, if a bit sparkly for my tastes. I like the dual outputs, though.

Source: No Treble

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.