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My new amp arrived this week WAHOOO!

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by DiMarco, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I spent a lot of time comparing the features and characteristics of the amps that are available today and created a little list of contenders for my new amp to be.

    I was playing through the trace elliot up till now but I think it sounds too cold and harsh for what I do nowadays. Thus I was looking for an amp that can sound warm... a tube pre seemed to be a must have.

    When I drew up my list I ended up with this lot (notice: NO CLASS-D AMPS!):

    - Ampeg SVT4
    - Fender TB-600/1200
    - Warwick Tubepath 5.1/10.1
    - Eden WT800C

    I don't play large venues anymore these days so I really don't need to drive 4 cabs at 1200 watts/2ohm. This narrows it down a bit more.

    Aesthetics to me are pretty important, I want my amp to look good with the cabs I'm using. Since those are the SWR's with metal/chrome grilles I didn't look any further at the Eden amp or the Tubepath (sorry Warwickettes, I just don't like the look of that comic sans font on its front either).

    This left me with the Ampeg and the new Fender series.

    After reading about how much trouble people have with the SVT overheating or simply not working sometimes, I started doubting the Ampeg. Besides that, demoing the amps made it very clear the Fender TB has that classic tone I've been searching for. Besides the besides that, a TB-600 costs about half the price of an SVT4 (yeah, I'm that kinda guy hahahaha).

    So without further delay may I present:

    [​IMG]

    My new ampufliar :p

    This sunday I will be driving down to the studio to hook stuff up and play that thing. Right now I don't have a cab around the house :( so I haven't actually heard it yet.

    There's some serious pluecking the Wicks coming up this weekend! Weeeeeee! 8:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2009
  2. dazzla

    dazzla

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    Ha ha nice mate...going to sound real nice when you finally get to play it. enjoy!8:
     
  3. Grgzilla

    Grgzilla

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    That's an awesome amp DiMarco.
    What sorta cabs do you have in mind?
     
  4. flipper_gv

    flipper_gv

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    I like them a lot.

    It's a nice choice. Not a lot of people use fender bass amp, dunno why.
     
  5. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Well for now the money is spent so I guess I will have to stick with the SWR Workingpro cabs I own (they're not at all bad tbh). I have a 4x10" and 1x15" which together addup to 600w at 4 ohms... tadaaaaa we have a match!

    When I upgrade the cabs I will have a look at those new fender ones (although they are very heavy) and at some lightweight NEO ones.
    I heard the SWR neo cabs sound pretty solid but I never checked them out yet.

    I never really use the horns in my cabs since I feel the slap tone from a 4x10 sounds much nicer without the hf horn. Does anyone else feel this way as well?
     
  6. Callum

    Callum

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    Congrats! - never really looked into fender amps can't wait for your full review after you've been in the studio!

    Personally i have my HF horn on full all the time - but i like a full frequency tone and all the rattles, buzzes, squeaks and scratches that come with it!
     
  7. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Today, after uncovering my car from a thick sheet of snow and ice, I drove down to my old man's studio (Beaufort studio, Bovenkarspel the Netherlands).

    This is a 15km drive but today it took me almost an hour to get there as everyone was struggling to keep their cars on the right track. The main room in this studio is about 9x10m large and it's acoustics are relentless. If you EQ your bass badly it will immediately sound like poopoo.

    After unloading all my bass stuff from the car, putting the three basses in a rack I set up my floorboard which consists of an MXR M80 Bass OD/DI, EHX Micro POG, EHX Small Clone, EHX 'The Worm', an Akai Headrush II delay, the Ashdown dualband compressor and a Korg Pitchblack tuner.

    I hooked it all up and plugged in my fave bass - the mighty Dolphin Pro I.
    Now at this point in time I was still sending everything through my old Trace AH250/GP11 which is 100% solid state and has an 11 band graphic EQ to shape the tone.

    As I stated in my first post in this thread, the Trace Elliot sounds very direct and pretty much 'cold' if not harsh. I wanted to hear this amp before hooking up the Fender TB to have a bit of an A/B comparison.

    After playing for about 2 minutes I switched off the Trace for what turned out to be the last time ever. Hooked up the TB-600, set all controls at 12'o'clock and switched it on. Eeeeeep! it makes an ugly clicking sound when you switch it on (this is the only negative thing about the amp tho).

    What surprised me a bit was I got a much more lively sound immediately from the new amp, without having to dial in any kind of EQ. I decided to pump up the volume to generate some serious decibels at this point and found out I need cabinets that can take more punishment because the 4x10 couldn't really cope with this new power source. :roll:

    Ow well more gear GAS is good I suppose 8:

    The Dolphin turned out to generate some REALLY low frequencies I hadn't heard before from the other amp nor from the EBS combo in the pub where I regularly jam. Good stuff!

    Next up was the Rickenbacker 4003. Instant McCartney tone. <3
    When I switched to the neck pickup and kicked in the TB-600's tube overdrive, INSTANT SQUIRE TONE! <3 <3 <3

    This is where I was getting ecstatic about my new amp guys. Loving it already.

    With both these basses though, I hadn't heard a great deal of treble coming out, even with the horn attenuators dialed in on both my SWR cabs. I began to wonder if these higher frequencies were getting through at all... Time to hook up the ol' Thumb then... Yep, I do worry too much. it's all there - the clear, thumping sound of my Thumb also got through really really well. This amp is a keeper.

    Now about the controls on the amplifier:

    The passive tone stack doesn't seem to do a great deal. After some time playing with the band I discovered the subtle changes dialed in or out with this passive control make a great difference in the total mix of instruments though.

    Then there's the tube overdrive section in the middle which has a gain, volume and a blend control which allows you to mix the clean and overdriven channels. I'm using this to make the bass growl a bit more but kick in the MXR M-80 when I want a full overdriven tone. I don't think I can get a modern overdriven tone a la bands like MUSE from this TB-600 without using the MXR M-80, the overdriven tone from the Fender amp sounds more classic so you do get a great Chris Squire like tone from it though (which is GOOODDDD).

    Next to the tube overdrive section there's the "Vari-Q" control which is a simplified parametric EQ. You select a frequency (range) and either cut or boost that. The smart thing about this EQ is that it narrows the Q when you cut, and widens the Q when you boost. Basically this is what you want from a parametric but I don't have a clue why Fender didn't simply put a normal parametric on there? It does the job though, but I never needed to dial it in so I don't really care.

    The last control is named "room balance" which tilts the EQ so you can simply use this control to adjust your sound to the room you're in from darker to brighter. This doesn't affect the EQ'ed sound which goes out of the DI so the front of house will always get your standard sound. Smart. Haven't used it as I only played in one room so far :idea:.

    I like this amp a lot. Best one I've owned so far. It's warm and classic sounding without sounding muddy when working at higher dB levels - and that's exactly what I was after.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2010
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