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.Polytone Mini Brute III

Mini Brute III
If you are a bass player you walked into your booth on dealer day at a guitar show and saw this amp sitting on a table, what would you do? Well, I'll tell you- you'd check it out and that's exactly what happened to me at the most recent Philly show. I was tooling around the venue, checking out what other dealers were putting on their tables when it struck me: "Hey Ray. Ain't you a little thirsty?" and since I asked myself that question, I thought I should answer it, so I said, "Yeah," and it was back to our booth I went. I walked into our little 10' x 10' space and there this amp sat on one of the tables. "Looks like a black box to me," I thought and since I agreed with myself on that thought, I said, "Yeah."

I pulled the cover off of the amp and it said "Mini Brute III." To my mind, if someone names an amp "Mini Brute III," it means you would naturally plug a bass into it. Bassists are brutes, right? Trust me- I've been called much worse by many people, so it occurred to me to do what any self- respecting bass player would do: I plugged a bass into it and started to noodle around. Now I was a new and upstanding member of the Worldwide Mini Brute Fan Club!

I was doing my best Zeppelin, Skynyrd and a few "go- to" Iron Maiden licks when right behind me I hear, "Dude, what the hell are you doing?" Now I'm a little skittish by nature, so I jumped and turned around quickly, which led to me knocking a water bottle off the table with the headstock of the bass I was holding and making a mess and getting me some unwanted looks. Like this was my first rodeo. Like I had never been to a guitar show before. Very unlike a boss...

"Dude, you ain't gotta sneak up on me like that," I said. "Damn- I'm just checking out this bass amp you bought." Actually, I was getting a little pissy because I was in the middle of my Iron Maiden runs. "That's not what that amp is for, dummy," Lee said. "It's a jazz amp." "A jazz amp?" I asked. "Pfftt- well I don't know any jazz," and just as I was about to go back to my fiddling, Lee lightly put his hand around the neck of the bass. "Let me show you something, Cub," he said and gently relieved me of the bass I was now formerly holding. Believe me, folks- I'm not easy to impress, especially when my best Iron Maiden licks are interrupted...

Lee pulled out a '65 Byrdland we had purchased that morning and plugged it up. A little tuning and he jumped into the few jazz chords and runs he knows. Now my mind was still fresh on the intro to "Run To The Hills," but doggone it, I had to admit the amp sounded great with that guitar. It was very warm and the bottom end was clean and round. He finished up his stuff and looked at me. "You don't have to plug a bass into everything you bump into," he said and with that, he summarily put the Byrdland back under the table and walked out of the booth. Left me standing there with my mouth open...

There are several lessons to be learned here: The first one is, Just because something is called a Mini Brute III doesn't mean it's for a bass guitar. The second lesson is: You can teach an old bass player new tricks. Just use small words and big pictures...

Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III Mini Brute III