Price paid: £ 600
Purchased from: Bass Forum User
Sound — 9
I use this for both active and passive basses, playing heavy rock/metal music. I've also got a Markbass 102 HF as an extension cabinet. I think the sound of this amp is fantastic. You can really dial in the tone you want with the 5 band EQ on channel 2 or if you want to keep things simple, channel 1 can be used to provide a more transparent tone. There is certainly no shortage of volume or low end when used with my extension cabinet, even able to keep up with a loud drummer such as myself (!) The sound also holds up reasonably well down to a low A. I'm not sure if it would be up to the high volume style of music I play on its own, but it would certainly be loud enough for practice and small gigs in low to medium volume type bands. Although I could add another 4 ohm cabinet or 2 8 ohm cabs to this amp on top of the one I have already, I can't imagine why I would need to. The sound is capable of being very hard hitting, with a lot of low end and mids. There is possibly a bit of noise if you try and turn the tweeter up too high, but I think this may be to do with my Active EQ. Between the EQ and compressor options, you can get a wide range of sounds: although I use this for metal, Someone on the bass forum that I use has one of these for Jazz music. If the on-board sounds are not versatile enough for you then as mentioned earlier, you can always add your own effects in using the in built effects loops.
Overall Impression — 9
I play heavy rock and metal music. This amp suits my style very well, with its abundance of low end, hard hitting mids and clear highs. I have been playing bass since summer 2005 and currently own 2 passive 4 strings and an active 5 string bass. I wish I had asked whether the amp included a footswitch before I decided to make one myself lol. I think the sound and Equalizer of this amp is great. I also like the way it sits perfectly on top of my Markbass cab. I would like to have more options in terms of the onboard compressor and maybe a pre/post switch for the effects loop, although I don't personally use effects for the bass. The only other issue is the weight; although it is certainly not the heaviest bass amp in the world, it is considerably heavier than my Markbass 2x10 cab. I compared this to the Markbass 102P combo but I decided to go for this one because I couldn't find a used Markbass combo at the time. This one also has more power and venting on the speaker cabinet, which gives a tighter, faster response. Overall, pretty pleased with this combo. It is versatile and would make a good workhorse amp for a gigging musician.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I think this amp should be very reliable, it has been working since 2005 with no problems that I am aware of. It is very solidly constructed, with a metal grille and thick plywood construction. The handles and corner protectors are also plastic, in order to prevent corrosion. I can see from the corners that this amp has been well used, but it is still holding up very well. I certainly would use this in a gig without a backup, the guy who had this before me did for the last 6 years.
Features — 9
The amp was made in 2005. It is a combo, with an amp and a 2x10" vented bass speaker cabinet + tweeter in one unit. It can work with a load down to 2 ohms, where it produces 700 W. Alternatively, it has 500 W at 4 ohms or 300 W on its own at 8 ohms. This amp features 2 channels, both feature a push pull attenuator on the volume knob for active basses, a compressor with variable ratio that can be activated using the push/pull on the knob and the channels can be switched using a footswitch. Channel 1 has a simple 3 band EQ whereas channel 2 has a more sophisticated 5 band EQ with semi parametric mids. Although neither channel has any effects such as distortion, they feature seperate effects loops, which means you can switch out multiple effects using the footswitch. It also features a tuner output and output mute on the footswitch for tuning; a swtich to disable the on board speakers; an XLR DI output with a variable output knob and a tweeter boost/cut knob. I am very happy with the features of this bass amp and the way everything is laid out. At 35 kg, it's not a featherweight but it's still lighter than a lot of combos of this type. It also comes with detatchable castors to make transportation easier.