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New amp decisions - do i really need a hellborg?

Discussion in 'Bass Amps & Cabinets' started by Callum, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Callum

    Callum

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    Yep thats right. I'm selling off loads of unused gear in an attempt to downsize to only what i need. I've sold off my eden and my PJB combo is on the way out as well. Meaning i need a new amp.

    Now much to my surprise i can actually get a hellborg pre-amp + a cheap power amp whilst i save for the hellborg mono 250. Hurrah you say. But then it hit me. Do i really need it. I mean really?

    My thoughts on it are as such:

    (****WARNING RAMBLING THOUGHTS READ AT OWN RISK!****)

    1) I'm not a pro or a studio musician, the band i'm in atm is not a hugely active on the gig front, currently. And most of the time the amp would be used as a practice amp - albeit the best practice amp in the world but still...

    2) Although I'm studying music tech and as such do do lots of recordings where a good preamp comes in handy. I have access to a good studio at uni with 'pro' gear. For home recordings i do need good DI but for this do i really need a £1000 pre-amp? - i could grab a PJB bass buddy for £220 and it'll do the job perfectly well.

    3) This is the kicker really everything the hellborg preamp has is almost perfect; The frequencies are the ones i like, its got a blend on the FX send/return, amazing DI, looks awesome. Only thing lacking is a headphone out, now normally it'd be like who cares but as in point 1, practice amp...so headphones is pretty important as sometimes my uni housemates like me to keep the volume down that said i can run it through my PC to get headphones but its a little irritating.

    4) Now all this is in the back of my mind and i think for that price shouldn't i get something that has everything right on it? thats perfect? - if it exists! or should i not get too hung up on the headphone out?

    5) There's also the advice with music gear get the best you can afford, as it means less upgrading in the long run and works out cheaper. Completely true in this case!

    6) i like to view things like this as an investment in my future music career, - what ever that may be at the moment!

    7) its not urgent and its purely a GAS thing. - i can get something to fill the need cheaper, although maybe not as well.

    8)I also know if i got it i'd probably improve my playing faster as well i'd need to be playing on par with the quality of the preamp!

    On a side note the other options are a genz benz shuttle 6.0 and an Eden WTX500 - as they are small just the power i need and i like the sounds and 1/2 the price- obviously no competition to the hellborg

    I'd also point out this is something i'm thinking long and hard about and not rushing into, And will definitely let this settle for a good week or more before really committing to anything - its a lot of cash after all!

    Advice?
     
  2. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's the thing...
    Are you happy with the gear you have? If yes, you have the answer. If not... well then that's an answer too.

    Ya know ya want it :)
     
  3. David

    David

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    You'd like the best? You want the best? Do yourself a favor and go for it :)
     
  4. Andrew O

    Andrew O

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    IF you're not going to get the hellborg

    SWR, SWR SWR, SWR, SWR, SWR!!!!



    i'm done =D Btw, the combos have a headphone out!
     
  5. Callum

    Callum

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    Tbh any of the other brands high end pre-amps (read below why only pre's) just have far to many features and things i'd never use! Just getting something i can plug my bass into and it sounds fantastic off the bat is what i'd really want. And EQ controls to account for mix position for recording is all i really want.

    Flo, i wasn't happy with the size of the eden it was just too heavy thus its been sold. My pjb is just not being used now i have my 2x10 thus its being sold off too. I've also sold off my SSI and my thumb is up for sale atm - great basses but i needed something a little more tamer and with a warmer low end my FNA - which imo trumps my thumb and ssi for tone!(but thats for a bass thread!)

    Amp wise i need something smallish that i can put in a bag and take to gigs and campus studio when i cba to bring a cab/combo/amp. So i either get a micro amp type deal, but sacrifice compromise on quality, or go with a pre + power amp.

    Currently i think i've settled on getting a power amp + a preamp/DI. I honestly think its a choice now between PJB buddy, and a hellborg preamp :eek:

    The power amps i'm looking into are http://www.thomann.de/gb/crown_xls_402_d.htm or http://www.thomann.de/gb/mackie_frs1700.htm or http://www.thomann.de/gb/tamp_ta1050ii_endstufe.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2009
  6. Grgzilla

    Grgzilla

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    If you getta chance,check out a Genz Benz Shuttle Callum.
     
  7. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    The Hellborg Preamp will make you noticed in a band more, live or studio this is something I am 99.99% sure. It will bring you more gigs too.
    It is hard to describe what it is doing... simply the bass is more consistent, it is screaming "professional"
    And it is fool proof! I remember what Jonas said - you cannot dial a wrong sound with it.
    This is true, but my translation is this:
    You can dial the sound you like, and you feeel good with and it will cut through the mix anyway.
     
  8. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    The Hellborg Preamp will make you noticed in a band more, live or studio this is something I am 99.99% sure. It will bring you more gigs too.
    It is hard to describe what it is doing... simply the bass is more consistent, it is screaming "professional"
    And it is fool proof! I remember what Jonas said - you cannot dial a wrong sound with it.
    This is true, but my translation is this:
    You can dial the sound you like, and you feeel good with and it will cut through the mix anyway.
     
  9. Callum

    Callum

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    Before posting this thread i had the genz benz shuttle and eden WTX500 on my short list - these were the only two 'micro' heads that i'd be happy with. After trying out the shuttle a few weeks ago (stumbled upon one by sheer luck) i was very impressed by it - warm punchy and all in a tiny package. The Eden is is there due to the fact i like its tone and was impressed by the WTX200 - but needed more power thus the WTX500 (same as the 200 but just more juice in it).

    I honestly don't need a power amp on me all the time and a preamp is easier to carry around to gigs and to rehearsals, and normally of a higher quality. All my rehearsals are in home studio type places or in an actual studio either through headphones or a set of monitors.

    Whilst not professional i can see it as an environment where i'd definitely benefit from having the hellborg pre. Going mainly on your SSII clip flo, i must admit to being in love with the sound through the hellborg. Subtle yet highly professional with that 'produced' feel. + i can use the preamp for recording other stuff as well which just adds functionality.

    I think i may just have to go for it!
     
  10. Pedro

    Pedro

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    I would possibly hold fire / go for something a little cheaper. I made a few dodgy investments at uni and whilst its all fun at the time, you may well regret it when you get your first loan statement through and realise you aint actually earning the vast amounts of money you probably think you will be at the moment. It sure as hell happened to me!!

    Also on the gigs front: Are you gonna be happy leaving a £1000 poweramp on a stage that three or four other bands are gonna be jumping around on, chucking their own gear all over it? Worse, are you gonna be willing to let other bass players use it, or are you willing to be the guy who says 'well you can use the cab, but not the head' to all the other guys.

    Just thought i'd give the arguement some balance, if i were in your shoes i would go for something a little more modest.
     
  11. RealDeal

    RealDeal Guest

    Im going to pitch in with my way of thinking about buying gear- irrespective of manufacturer preference; respective of pricing:

    Recently, I paid big $$ for a special bass that I saw, played, & loved. That was more than enough justification for me, the end user, and bill payer!

    Posting about it, some stated-nicely and not-so-nicely (read: moronically) that I was stoopid to pay that much; it wasn't worth it, and so on...

    Thing is (to me):

    Factor the money spent versus loving the piece of gear and how long you're going to enjoy it...
    10 years? 20? More...? Howzabout as long as you ever play the bass??

    A Hellborg is at the epitome of it's class, as was the bass I bought, as were other purchases I've made..


    Money? Pheh! If you're not stealing to use it, or depriving the kids of books or food, or other drama, then who gives a rat's ***??

    Cannot take it with you. Believe that. You can always find a way to earn more if you're industrious too.

    Hey- You REALLY want that Hellborg system???

    Stop grousing around and BUY IT!

    Just my .02
     
  12. Andrew O

    Andrew O

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    Well, there is the marcus miller preamp (once again, swr). The thing i like about that is everything about it is tweekable. They just sound very clean, which is what i like, and its much more affordable than the hellborg. I also can't constitute a rig that size, the one i have now is almost too big and too loud as it is!
     
  13. Pedro

    Pedro

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    Fair comments made, but i can't agree with that kinda attitude towards money. Specially not for someone who (rightly or wrongly) i'm assuming is gonna be finishing uni in their early twenties and gonna:

    a) have about £10,000 worth of debt gathering interest of about £60 a month (not a lot of interest i know, but its still £60 - or three packs of decent bass strings - every single month)

    b) will probably be moving back home to live with their parents (and believe me, that gets very, very frustrating after a while, and £1000 is about 3 months rent.....somewhere else :d )

    c) will probably only be using the kit to play local gigs - where 99% of the audience won't know or appreciate what it is.


    And yes, i know that if we're being very cynical then an arguement against what i have just said is that, in that case, we should all be playing cheap £150 basses through 50 watt amps, but we're talking about £1000 here.......
     
  14. RealDeal

    RealDeal Guest

    IF $$ is an issue, then you don't really have a decision to make then, do you??

    Now that I've worked, been smart, had some successes musically and otherwise, acquiring gear ISN'T an issue for me...

    But it used to be, and when it was, I got by just fine thanks, with some very basic and useful gear.

    So, with all the explanations about your budget, I guess I would tell YOU- DON'T consider a Hellborg UNTIL you're in a more comfortable position.

    I thought that would be taken for granted by anyone, but then again...

    Not.

    (I could write a check today for the Hellborg IF I wanted, but I've got great gear that works for and with me....)
    However, I'll never say never to grabbing up one of those....

    'Cause it (the money) isn;t an issue- Hard Work.:!:
     
  15. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but the MM pre is not even close :) I have a friend owning one, and he AB tested them both ( me too), and they are simply on different levels. My friend was first to admit it, not me because I didn't wanted to offend him.
    Tweakable means nothing. Having a good sound without tweaks is everything.
     
  16. Callum

    Callum

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    I hate tweaks, if you have to tweak and amp why get it? The only feature filled amp i'd look into is the RH450 due to its preset function and fully customisable EQ - set it up and your done just press some buttons for the sound you want. But still its going to be no where near a hellborg.

    Pedro whilst you have some valid points, my situation isn't how you described. I'm going to end up with a lot of debt actaully more than you stated - £24,000 is more realistic, i'm in my 3rd year of a 4 years MEng in electronics and music technology course. I pretty much still live at home out side of uni atm, and will do for 2 more years so its really not a problem. And i need and amp and i'll probably only be saving about £500 - but yeh thats still a deposit on a room.

    RealDeal i wouldn't even consider a hellborg if i couldn't afford it. TBH its only after i added up what i would get once i sold off my amps and a bass that i was like damn i can get a hellborg pre and cheap power amp!

    I'd also say i am in a comfortable position i'm on a course i love, no really immediate financial hardships, my whole life ahead of me, lots of opportunities waiting for me. I also think if i get the hellborg now it'll be infinitely more cost effective in the long run do to being able to use it more.

    Sad thing that i've found after looking into the hellborg and all of florins comments, nothing is ever gonna match it, sound like it or be like it. For the extra cash i'm beginning to realize that £1000 for something that is the rolls-royce of the bass amps and something i'll all most definitely have the rest of my bass playing life is a real bargain.

    I've got to wait for all my stuff to sell first, and then i'll make a final decision, but i am really leaning towards the hellborg.

    thanks for the input guys! - if anyone has anything else feel free to chime in more opinions the more informed decision i can make!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2009
  17. Mr Praline

    Mr Praline Forum Silly Person

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    HOME is your answer. I recommend the PUMA series.
     
  18. David

    David

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    Will you go for a Hellborg cab too?
     
  19. Callum

    Callum

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    Thank you samuel for ballsing up my carefully thought out decision! HAHA they look pretty cool, i'm definitely gonna have to look into them a little further!

    If i go down the hellborg pre route the only logical step is the poweramp and then the cabs. But i'd hold off on them until i'm playing bigger gigs or more regular gigs, otherwise the preamp would probably suffice for my needs.
     
  20. Mr Praline

    Mr Praline Forum Silly Person

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    No problem Cal! :d
     
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