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gjones

I hate Trace Elliot gear

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I commented on the ebay TE thread and even though I would like to have a blast through the old monolithic 4x10 + 1x15 I've already said my Aggie DB12s are probably the equal or a better tone than I had back then BUT back in the day when you were a misty eyed youngster who was playing through a homemade cab and an old Marshall valve amp (that the local TV repair guy had to fix every other weekend), the sight and overall power of the big TE rigs was alluring! :)

As to the tone of the old TE... just stick the amp in preshape mode and make a bit of a smiley face with the graphic; it wasn't perfect but it got you through the gigs. :)

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What used to make me laugh was the ridiculous shapes people used to make with the graphic.... and then wondered why it sounded crap. But you have to recall the context... there was nothing out there to compare and compete.
Maybe a few Fender Bassmans and PV..so the competition..at that time..was rightly slayed by TE.

Certainly in the U.K....they were the only maker who made amps especially for bass at the time, which was a turning point and TE made serious sales.

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If they made a trace micro head with the preshapes, a graphic and some cool lighting I think I'd do all sorts of over excited dance moves and start franticly selling stuff :)

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I've had two stabs at Trace gear. Back in the late 90's I used to lug around a 121H combo which, considering the fact that I was DI'd into the FOH was back-breaking overkill. More recently I've been playing in a hard rocking rock'n'roll band. We had the opportunity to support a local band play and the bass player had the new 500w 2x10 1210 combo. The sound of the bass was immense, just drove the band along. It made my Peavey MkVI and 410TVX rig sound weedy by comparison. Chatting to the player the gig he feigned total ignorance. "I just use this preset in the manual" he said, pointing to a setting that Trace Elliot call 'Lo fat'.

[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmojo/6087993505/"][/url]
[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmojo/6087993505/"]Lo Fat[/url] by [url="http://www.flickr.com/people/markmojo/"]markmojo[/url], on Flickr

That was it, I was convinced that I needed another Trace. I've since bought a 1215 combo and 1518 extension cab....'Low'n'fat' setting engaged and ..... euchhhh. Nothing like it. Loads of power, huge volume but just not doing it for me. I'm not looking for much....think Cliff Williams (ACDC) or Justin Street (Airbourne)

Looks like I'm going to have to go down the SVT / 8x10 route :)

Edited by bassman2790

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[quote name='Paul S' post='1353717' date='Aug 27 2011, 05:00 PM']I loved them. I had two TE heads, both had the pre-shape and that was good enough for my ears.[/quote]
Second time in as many days I have to agree with you P!!
I love trace gear and still lug it around every weekend!!, its the dogs, I suppose it does "date" me somewhat though.
any one got the number of a good chiropractor?

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[quote name='bassman2790' post='1354148' date='Aug 28 2011, 10:20 AM']I've had two stabs at Trace gear. Back in the late 90's I used to lug around a 121H combo which, considering the fact that I was DI'd into the FOH was back-breaking overkill. More recently I've been playing in a hard rocking rock'n'roll band. We had the opportunity to support a local band play and the bass player had the new 500w 2x10 1210 combo. The sound of the bass was immense, just drove the band along. It made my Peavey MkVI and 410TVX rig sound weedy by comparison. Chatting to the player the gig he feigned total ignorance. "I just use this preset in the manual" he said, pointing to a setting that Trace Elliot call 'Lo fat'.

[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmojo/6087993505/"][/url]
[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmojo/6087993505/"]Lo Fat[/url] by [url="http://www.flickr.com/people/markmojo/"]markmojo[/url], on Flickr

That was it, I was convinced that I needed another Trace. I've since bought a 1215 combo and 1518 extension cab....'Low'n'fat' setting engaged and ..... euchhhh. Nothing like it. Loads of power, huge volume but just not doing it for me. I'm not looking for much....think Cliff Williams (ACDC) or Justin Street (Airbourne)

Looks like I'm going to have to go down the SVT / 8x10 route :)[/quote]

Try two 410s or 410 & 115? At least it will be easier to cart about. I saw a bassist using an SVT with 410 & 115 - great sounding rig, exactly the sound you`re after - and what I want too, except my back can`t deal with that type of gear anymore. Hence my mini Ampeg/Barefaced stack, which I have to say, gets me very near what I want.

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[quote name='gjones' post='1353636' date='Aug 27 2011, 03:47 PM']I was reading some posts on a basschat topic today about a Trace rig on ebay and how great they sounded back in the day. Different strokes for different folks I suppose but I've never got on with TE stuff. I can never get (in my opinion) a good sound from the things. When I was getting serious about bass, in the 90's, these were the holy grail of bass amplification but I never got on with them. In the past whenever I turned up at a gig where the backline was TE or a rehearsal studio (where all old TE gear goes to die) and one of these greeted me I knew I'd be spending most of the first hour trying to get a halfway decent sound. Thank goodness for lightweight bass heads because now if the bass amp is a Trace I can just plug my TC head into the cab and get a decent sound right away.

Does anybody else have a dislike of TE stuff or am I just a weirdo?[/quote]


Here's a big mans rig for you:-

[url="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRACE-ELLIOT-V-TYPE-VALVE-HEAD-AND-MATCHING-4X12-CAB-/270808144400?pt=UK_MusicalInstr_Amplifiers_RL&hash=item3f0d6c5a10"]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRACE-ELLIOT-V-T...=item3f0d6c5a10[/url]

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I used to use one of the very early Trace rigs (the black painted wood cabinet ones) when I had a Jaydee & was a bit of a Mark King obsessive. It did that sound great but I found it a bit insipid for anything else (much like the Jaydee bass actually). Found it quite unreliable for gigging too - it used to cut out quite often when it got heated up.

I always hated that pre-shape switch sound that everybody seemed to love.

Tried one of the newer SMX models years later & was astonished how bad it was - component quality was pretty poor & it was incredibly noisy, even at low levels. I think they'd moved production overseas by then.

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I had a 1 X 15 Trace SMC combo which I was very happy with. No complaints with the sound, even got compliments on my tone. Didn't find it that heavy either, although I don't miss it now, having bought the Shuttle. Each to his own, I guess.,

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I like trace amps although you do have to use the graphic eq to get a sound and i suppose that makes them less intuitive than some other amps to use. Its Marshall amps and to a lesser extent ashdown that i prefer to avoid..

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I can't stand the stuff either. Really boomy with a harsh brittleness. Also used a 1x15 combo for about a year where the sound would mysteriously change halfway through a song.

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not a mention of the valve stuff here.

My V4 is one of the best amps i have ever plugged into and i have used a good few. Pure quality gear. I have also just acquired a V Type 4808 combo and that also is mint! it all weighs a ton and i dont care because its rock solid. I run my Sansamp through it to get a bit more grit and scooped SVT sound out of it but generally its great gear. thumbs up from me.

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[quote name='gafbass02' post='1354007' date='Aug 28 2011, 12:11 AM']I loved my old trace stack. If I could still move it, id still have it I reckon.[/quote]

Im a big TE fan, having recorded my first ever demo on a 4x10, 1x15 and SMX 12 band head stack..since then i went thru Peavey, and Ashdown amps and really struggled to get a decent enough "b*llocking sound out of it that i got thru that old stack..

Then i grew up, got some money together and bought a SMC150 Head, and the matching 1153 cab, and I use that everywhere now, i absolutely love the sound of it...yes, ok its difficult to pinpoint the right sound, and it sounds crap on stage when your standing 2ft away from it in a cramped pub, but it always sounds good in the crowd, and I love hearing people play my basses thru my kit, because it lets you know how your own kit sounds and how other people hear it.

The only other decent amps ive played thru is an old 80's ampeg 8x10 stack that sounded ballsy, but too clacky for my liking, even with the tone/treble rolled off. Mark bass stuff is similar and lacks clarity in the high end stuff, Marshall, Ashdown and Peavey stuff hasnt got the balls unless you've got the big stacks (and not THAT great then) and Hartke stuff isnt up to the job at all..

BUT having said that, i do only play budget (less than £500 basses) and TE gives me the sound I like/want/need, so its all personal pref really!

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Guest bassman7755

[quote name='JamieCooper91' post='1353842' date='Aug 27 2011, 07:40 PM']Recently used a 4x10 combo with a 12 band equalizer (GP12?) at a gig.
Poor on stage sound but when I was listening back to a video it was good and a few musicians in the crowd said the bass and drums were sounding amazing.

Not sure if that's down to the FOH or just the distance from the amp but it was strange to say the least. One thing it didn't have a problem with was volume, that is a combo that screams.[/quote]

4x10s are very directional and so the sound out front will be very different to the sound on stage.

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To be fair, when I started playing jazz/jazz-funk/fusiuon, I had an AH250 and two cabs that I can't recall the model number of. They were big and had 2 speaker in each (15s or 18s, I am not sure - this was late 1980s). They had some sort of weird porting system where the speakers were at the back and there were two verticle baffles that coned out from the speakers. They were sold as being specially designed for fretless type tone which was what attracted me to them. Anyway, when I started doing jazz, everyone took the piss because they all had their GK and Polytone biscuit tins and I had this stack that was taller than me. But, I'll say this. It really sounded the b***ocks. I have some old recordings of me live where it sounds great (sorry, not for public consumption), one of the best sounds I ever had. THe problem was, in a nutshell, I couldn't pick the cabs up on my own. Not at all (I actually coudn't get my arms round both handles. Fine when every gig was a 'band van' affair but no good when it was just me and a car. They were also too big to get in the boot of the car I had (bad choice on my part). So they went (to Jon Caulfield in Cardiff, IIRC). Great sounding gear but completely impractical.

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My first gigging amp was a Trace Elliot and it was cool. I've used various pieces of Trace gear at gigs over the
years (not my own) and have always been able to get a good sound out of them. I wasn't particularly keen in the
newer Peavey owned ones though. One thing I did notice is that they all had a particular sound to them,whether
you played through a fancy stack or a tiny Boxer combo,there was a certain 'Trace' sound.

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[quote name='gafbass02' post='1354143' date='Aug 28 2011, 10:18 AM']If they made a trace micro head with the preshapes, a graphic and some cool lighting I think I'd do all sorts of over excited dance moves and start franticly selling stuff :)[/quote]

Wow, that would be cool, especially if it sounded right.

Sadly, as much as I have a soft spot for some of the amps that I have owned (with the Trace being one of the very best), the thought of a big heavy amp nowadays seems a step backwards. It was hard but I think I'm gradually accepting lightweight as the way forward.

So a Trace amp with a real Trace signature punchy tone like the old ones would be excellent.

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I retired my TE 4X10 cab on the grounds of 'middle aged back' and it currently lives in the shed, I really must move it on. However with a sack trolley I can still transport the TE 1x15 combo with an SWR 2x10 and a gramma pad in a single visit as long as there are no stairs involved. The pre shape / graphic options used to offer enough variation to get a decent sound but the use of a Hartke Bass Attack pedal has made it sound better still.

Edited by KevB

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I think the main problem was with the TE cabs. I used TE amps into Electrovoice cabs in the 80s and they were ok. Then I changed to a TE 500w 4x10 combo, which was the worst sound I've ever had, although my current MarkBass traveller 115+210 is pretty awful too. I have to use the compromised MBass lightweight cabs now because of what the Trace combo did to my back.

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I still have Trace stuff.

AH 300SMX
1153
1048h
2103h

Mix and match depending on gig.
Donkeys years old and still running fine, which is more than can be said for the Ampeg/QSC pre/power bought to "replace" the head...

I'm middle-aged now (I guess) and can still handle a 1048h.

But do remember; Dolly boards and (large diameter,lockable) castors are your friends, as are cargo straps.

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I have a 1210 4X10 combo at 48kg plus a 29kg 2X10 xtension and it sounds wicked.

I know, to make it easy, I need a trolley - I'm thinking about 3/4" ply with four 4" rubber-wheeled castors.

A straight board just to make it easy to move - them I'm happy 'cos it's worth moving...

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As a rule I love the 12 band SMX, it's one of my all-time favourite amps with everything I need in a bass amp and the sound to boot. These days I would stay away from the preshape which scoops too many mids and leaves too much bass and clack. This never bothered me in the 80s! I swapped out the valve for another and with the right EQ and compression the amp did a reasonable job in Ampeg territory. It needn't always sound like 'typical' Trace.

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I've only ever used T.E stuff in rehearsal rooms and tbh, I've never managed to get a good sound out of them (always sounded thin and harsh to me) Then again, I've never managed to a good sound out of anything by Ampeg or Peavey either!

I suppose when it's in a rehearsal room though, you just want to get set up and going as quick as you can and not worry too much about finding a good sound, time's money after all.

Edited by 4-string-thing

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