Anthony Jackson Achieves Bass-Line Quality with Meyer Sound CQ-1s
When people think electric bass, there's no mistake: Anthony Jackson defines innovation and power at the low end of the frequency spectrum. His indelible stamp on modern music includes the groundbreaking bass line on the O'Jays' "For the Love of Money," more than 500 album credits, nonstop touring, and the invention of the six-string contrabass guitar.
Now, with the upcoming release of the Anthony Jackson Six String Contrabass Library, Vol. 1, this funk, jazz, and rock bass master is prepared to make his skills available to discerning music producers. Recording to the highest possible specifications at New York City's Clinton Recording Studios, Jackson insisted on the precision and clarity of his distinctive studio/live rig featuring twin self-powered Meyer Sound CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers.
"I've always been a connoisseur of audio gear, and at this point in my career I require absolutes," Jackson says. "Since my purchase of an UltraSeries system several years ago, self-powered speakers from Meyer have been a revelation to me. Now that I've gone to the CQ-1 system, I think it's made me an even better artist. From the first time I tried the CQ-1 and put it through its paces, I realized that the amazingly clean and accurate signal of these loudspeakers is what I've been looking for. It sounds equally good at low, mid, and high volume levels."
Its extremely smooth horizontal coverage pattern, ultra-low distortion, and extended low-frequency response make it common for the CQ-1 (a member of Meyer Sound's Concert Series), to be specified by live sound engineers and systems integrators. But Jackson's sharp ears and perfectionist ethic put him among a growing circle of selective musicians incorporating the powerfully compact loudspeakers into their personal rigs.
"What I've wanted from my speakers has always been accuracy with a minimum of coloration," explains Jackson, who currently pairs his CQ-1 cabinets with a Millennia HV-3B preamp/API 550B EQ front end. "I design my own instruments, and from doing recordings for so many years, I've come to know very well what my instrument should sound like.
"In my earlier years, I would often hear myself with greater accuracy on playback in the control room than I did while recording in the live room," he recalls. "That's when I began to realize that a lot of equipment being sold to engineering staffs was of much higher quality than equipment intended for the musicians. I decided I had to get superior gear and started investigating deeper into the world of pro audio, which is what led me to finally take a look at Meyer Sound speakers.
"It's a very even-sounding system, with the profile of the rolloff below 35 Hz being extremely smooth. I use a pair of CQ-1s because I knew the additive factor would make it sound even sweeter for recording, but just one is absolutely outstanding. I've used a number of high-end pro audio speakers for many years, and there has been nothing that does the job as well as the CQ-1s."
As a self-powered loudspeaker, the CQ-1 is more practical and reliable for live touring than unpowered systems, an important consideration for musicians like Jackson who take personal responsibility for moving their gear. "I usually pack and unpack my own equipment, and it can be really tough," he notes. "Before, when I had a separate amp and speaker setup, the smallest amp model I used weighed over 100 pounds in its road case — and that was just the amplifier! With the CQ-1, you have a much more compact package, with the added benefit of integration: all the key components are from one company, under one roof."
With the deep talents of Anthony Jackson already a household sound for generations, his pioneering bass library is set to reintroduce him — and the musicality of the CQ-1 — to a whole new generation of music producers and listeners. "When an artist or engineer says to me, 'We want you at your best, so bring all your gear,' I say, 'Great,' and I start getting the CQ-1s ready," concludes Jackson. "With this system, I've finally found my match."