Geddy Lee’s Signature Bass Sound Celebrated With ‘YYZ Shape-Shifter’ Device

The new unit is spearmint green, finished with black text and features an illustration of the Rush star himself.

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Geddy Lee - Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Musical equipment manufacturer Tech 21 has good news for bassists with designs on Geddy Lee or Rush’s bass guitar tone with the launch of the YYZ Shape-shifter Signature SansAmp device.

Finished with black text and an illustration of the man himself on a shade of spearmint toothpaste green, the YYZ Shape-shifter matches Lee’s signature rack-mounted and floor units from Tech 21, but this appearance belies the fact that the all-analogue device is in fact the return of the MP40.

Shop the best of Rush’s discography on vinyl and more.

Launched to celebrate 40 years of Rush’s classic album Moving Pictures – complete with Hugh Syme-inspired artwork – the MP40 was a strictly limited edition unit that sold out in no time, never to return. Until now.

But this is a return that makes everyone happy. Those with the limited edition MP40 have a bona-fide collectable. Those who grab this will have the exact same circuit at their disposal – and it offers a wealth of tone-shaping power and uses, and a manual that compiles an array of Geddy Lee signature sounds.

Tech 21 Geddy Lee MP40 Limited Edition Signature SansAmp

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The YYZ Shape-shifter has a dual-footswitch build, one for bypassing/engaging the unit, the other for a selectable boost function, which can apply 12dB of oomph to your presence for a more distorted high-end sound. And, giving the unit its name, there is a Shape-shifter button that adds an extra 6dB of what Lee likes to call “Schmegilka”, a technical term for an “an indefinable thing of awesomeness”.

There is also a Tight button to enhance definition and, indeed, tighten your distorted tones. As for controls, it is as you were with Lee’s signature SansAmp, the GED-2112. There’s a Master volume, a Mix control that takes you from Deep (“high-end studio clean”) to Drive (“dirty bass tube amp tones”), an active three-band EQ, and a Drive control.

This new signature SansAmp continues Lee’s long-standing relationship with the analogue tech. Famously, he was an early adopter, and would have washing machines – and on occasion, rotisserie chickens – onstage lest Rush’s backline look too empty.

Bassists can use the unit to go direct into the mixing desk for playing live, into the desk for recording, for fixing up previously recorded parts, or it can be used with the bass amp they already know and love.

Listen to the best of Rush on Apple Music and Spotify.

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