Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
We're using a 1984-ish Kramer, an OLP MM3 5-string, an old Ibanez 4-string with passive pickups, and a newer Ibanez 4-string with active pickups (Soundgear, I believe); through a custom-built 2x12 cabinet. I honestly believe that, having used all these different basses on a wide range of songs over several hours, that it will suit just about any musical style. There was humming, no buzzing, no excess noise of any kind from the amp. It was beautiful in its brutality. A little bit of tweaking on the EQ, and it's close to perfect for anything you can imagine.
Overall Impression — 9
We found this head while returning a craptacular Ampeg BA115. Originally, the salesman didn't want to sell us a head, because we already had a 2x12 cabinet, and he didn't want to get a smaller commission check. So, even though he tried his very best to talk us out of it, we got the BXR1800H, and I don't feel any regrets. I was personally impressed that it came with the footswitch, I had to buy a separate Switch for my guitar amp. That the distortion and Ultrabass are controlled by the footswitch means that we're not going to have to get anything else for the bass end of things for a while, which is an excellent value. We did compare to a few G-K heads, one of with was the Backline 600, but this 180w seemed to be kicking out more sound than that 300w. If this amp were stolen, I would hunt down the person who took it and, well, let's not incriminate myself. It's a truly awesome piece of equipment for the price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
We had the head in the trunk of the car on the way home, still in the box, and nothing securing it in place. At about 60mph, I had to slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid a deer, sending the box flying around in the trunk. We got home, took it out of the box, and plugged it in. It worked perfectly. It lasted several hours in an unventilated garage, up over 70 degrees Fahrenheit without overheating. It have no doubts in this head.
Features — 8
This is an Ultra-compact and rack-mountable 180-Watt 2-channel bass amplifier. It sports a clean channel with dedicated Gain control, a distortion channel with dedicated Gain, Shape and Level controls, and an active 7-band graphic EQ with FBQ Spectrum Analyzer (the "see what you play" FBQ frequency indicator for instant sound shaping). One of my personal favorite features is the foot-switchable Ultrabass subharmonics processor for unbelievable low-end power. It also has an Integrated Compressor, which smooths out volume peaks when playing dynamic slaps; and a limiter for ultimate volume without distortion. The amp comes with a dual footswitch for channel select and Ultrabass function included. For outputs, it has a separate Headphone output perfect for quiet practicing, balanced XLR DI and Line outputs for direct connection to your mixing console. The amp also has a CD input allows you to play along to your favorite music, dedicated FX Insert for external effects devices (stomp boxes, rack effects, etc). Rack-mounting brackets included, as is the dual footswitch (channel and Ultrabass).