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Marvin

Trace Elliot - what happened to you?

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I maintain that Trace is still a massive name in the bass world. Someone needs to buy the rights to it and bring out some modern products with the Trace DNA. A micro head with the UV light would sell by the bucket load! If someone could condense the sound and features of my old GP12 SMX into a portable, high powered package, well I don't think I'd ever need another amp.

Edited by 40hz

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I still have, and sometimes still gig with, a rack mounted AH-350 SMX together with a TE2x10 and a Hartke 4x10. This only happens when I have my trolley dolly wheels with me and an easy load in, however. For everything else I use FAR more lightweight gear.

That said, it sounds, as it has always done, utterly sublime.

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The word is compromise. If you take the example of the Hi fi world, if price is no object, what do you buy. A 200W Arcam perhaps at nearly £4,000. And inside surely Class D?.....no. Bloody great torroidal transformers and caps like Heinz bean cans. Heavy, hell yeah. Why because nothing beats a sodding great power supply for great bass and transients.

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[quote name='pmjos' timestamp='1479146732' post='3174331']
The word is compromise. If you take the example of the Hi fi world, if price is no object, what do you buy. A 200W Arcam perhaps at nearly £4,000. And inside surely Class D?.....no. Bloody great torroidal transformers and caps like Heinz bean cans. Heavy, hell yeah. Why because nothing beats a sodding great power supply for great bass and transients.
[/quote]


Word.

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[quote name='pmjos' timestamp='1479146732' post='3174331']
The word is compromise. If you take the example of the Hi fi world, if price is no object, what do you buy. A 200W Arcam perhaps at nearly £4,000. And inside surely Class D?.....no. Bloody great torroidal transformers and caps like Heinz bean cans. Heavy, hell yeah. Why because nothing beats a sodding great power supply for great bass and transients.
[/quote]Yoh need bloody great transformers at 50Hz. Once you have rectified it you can run a switch mode power supply at high frequencies using much smaller electromagnetic

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I loved my old GP7SM 130 combo, especially when paired with a TE 2x10. I once went for a practice in the garage, only to find one of my cats stuck to the cab's carpet from clawing it! They hadn't accounted for that frequency on the EQ, I can tell you :)

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[quote name='mattjones_81' timestamp='1479028750' post='3173330']
Sorry to resurrect a very old thread but just saw this and wanted to say that I was the enthusiastic Bath based bassist who collected Witterth's 2x18 trace elliot cab. I do still have it - Here is the most recent version of it!

[url="http://s298.photobucket.com/user/mattjones_81/media/doom%20rig.jpg.html"][/url]

It has been around the country with me, played many gigs, been used in recording of two albums and been a reliable monster of a cab.

Would also like to say a big public THANK YOU to Witterth for his incredibly generous act of letting me have the cab - it really helped me further my playing and experience at a time when I had no money and needed help. I hope one day in the future to pass it on to someone else who could use it one day!
[/quote]

Wow! That's similar to my valve rig - a somewhat modified Sound City 120 Mk IV coupled with either an SWR Big Ben 18" speaker or Ampeg 810E. I'm actually on the hunt for another Big Ben and then the Ampeg will be retired in favour of the two 18" speaker cabs.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1401134044' post='2460487']
TE were the most capable for many for a while but were outclassed by SWR and Eden by the late 80's.
Things move on and altho old SWR and Eden gear is still decent, there are other considerations today
and the TE cabs were underpowered and heavy. TE had also lost out on the valve pre amp stage by
that time as well.[/quote]

I agree and more. Cumulatively I think they never quite nailed what customers expected after Level 42 broke up and Britfunk was replaced by grunge.

Trace Elliot were fantastic in the late 80's. Cool looking amps, innovative, the Series 5 offered a great PA based sound. Series 6 was my least favourite range - the amps were both underpowered and lacking warmth. I liked the SMX range, particularly with the dual band compression but by that point they were too limited in terms of patching potential to use with my other gear.

The MP11 I owned for example - great idea to have a MIDI programmable eq (at a time when bassists were still into gimmicks) but sorely limited by just having a single in and a single out and no effects loop. It was like the guy who came up with the idea and the guy who developed and delivered it didn't talk to each other. It should have been a master tone and switching control unit. It should have been a swiss army knife like the Eden WT100 preamp or the SWR Grand Prix - switchable stereo series effects loop, stereo - or biamp outs with crossover and parallel effects loop with blend.

The mid 90's valve amps they made were amongst the best but retro stuff never sat well within Trace's historically progressive and technology focussed branding. I think the valve amps were the best kit that Trace ever made though - the only thing I would have changed is the use of LED biasing indicators for the power valves.

At one point Fender were interested in Trace but went to buy their main competitor SWR instead, only after Trace had provided full disclosure though.

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h Kiwi I think you are being a bit hard here..............

The MP11 I owned for example - great idea to have a MIDI programmable eq (at a time when bassists were still into gimmicks) but sorely limited by just having a single in and a single out and no effects loop. It was like the guy who came up with the idea and the guy who developed and delivered it didn't talk to each other. It should have been a master tone and switching control unit. It should have been a swiss army knife like the Eden WT100 preamp or the SWR Grand Prix - switchable stereo series effects loop, stereo - or biamp outs with crossover and parallel effects loop with blend.

I know the guy who designed the MP11 programmable graphic and I watched him doing the design work when I was about 19ish - I'm now 52.................. Eden and SWR were not even a twinkle in the milkman's eye at that time. Given when this was done I think it deserves more credit than that and its not the fairest of comparison.

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[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1480039210' post='3181267']
I agree and more. Cumulatively I think they never quite nailed what customers expected after Level 42 broke up and Britfunk was replaced by grunge.
[/quote]

The association of TE with "Brtifunk" was what put me and other bassists I knew off of their kit. We assumed it was designed solely for that slap sound, and never realised they actually make for great "rock" amps. Same problem with Hartke, although in their case those foil cones on the speakers really did make for a sound with more punch than bottom end.

[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1480039210' post='3181267']
Trace Elliot were fantastic in the late 80's. Cool looking amps, innovative, the Series 5 offered a great PA based sound. Series 6 was my least favourite range - the amps were both underpowered and lacking warmth. I liked the SMX range, particularly with the dual band compression but by that point they were too limited in terms of patching potential to use with my other gear.
[/quote]

I use an SMX series head when I'm not bi-amping, and it's very, very loud. Not sure what you'd want in the way of more flexibility since it has effect loop sockets and the tone controls are capable of a lot of sound "sculpting".

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[quote name='40hz' timestamp='1479135397' post='3174196']
I maintain that Trace is still a massive name in the bass world. Someone needs to buy the rights to it and bring out some modern products with the Trace DNA. A micro head with the UV light would sell by the bucket load! If someone could condense the sound and features of my old GP12 SMX into a portable, high powered package, well I don't think I'd ever need another amp.
[/quote]

I had a few Trace amps, the best being the GP12400SMX - I think that was the model number.

Huge, heavy head. Once Trace had sent me some new fuses, it never once, not once, went down. I used it for a lot of bands, gigs, recording, etc.

I never associated them with funk. I didn't even know britfunk existed as a genre! I just knew of a few funk bands who might use them.

I've see far more aggressive/heavier bands use them because of the ability to sound very clear and bright, with gobs of power.

The closest thing I have ever got to that sound is the Genz Benz Shuttlemax 9.2. Far superior EQ and control IMO, and gets close to the Trace tone. I imagine Genzler's Magellan is close.

Edited by Musicman20

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Agreed - the 400 SMX was pick of the graphic bunch..

I love my V4 as it does something that nothing else seems to. It doesn't matter that it weighs 8 tons, it does 'that' thing for me..

The best products I've owned from Trace in no particular order:

V4 MK2 valve head
Twin Valve 1x15 combo (awesome driving other speakers too)
AH400SMX head
VType 4808 4x8 combo

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Still love my AH300SMC GP7s (I've got two). I just love the pre-set and portable/powerful enough thru a TE compact 115 (re-loaded with 300W Celestion) and Ashdown Neo 210 in same-sized cab.

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[quote name='Fisheth' timestamp='1480271855' post='3182998']
Am I right in thinking that Ashdown are the modern Trace Elliot?
[/quote]

Not something I'd say, unless you mean the U.K thing.

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I also thought that there was a connection between Trace and Ashdown. The power sections were a similar design mosfet design the early days to the from memory. Of course they were also situated in the same area. Edited by Chienmortbb

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I think Mark Gooday, who founded Ashdown, was a designer and engineer for Trace Elliot. He might have been the chief designer at Trace Elliot but I'm going from memory here can't be bothered doing a Google search to confirm this.

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[quote name='thodrik' timestamp='1480277528' post='3183057']
I think Mark Gooday, who founded Ashdown, was a designer and engineer for Trace Elliot. He might have been the chief designer at Trace Elliot but I'm going from memory here can't be bothered doing a Google search to confirm this.
[/quote]
That's exactly right.

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Mark was a Director at TE, worked through the Kamen transition, but left before Gibson. Founded Ashdown, and still owns..although Fender nearly bought them, before SWR. Lucky escape...

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For years I played on a AH350X with a 410 and a 115. Indestructible but very heavy. It's still in the basement but never use it. Moved on to an Eden head (WT1205) with a 410 XLT but we never really got along. I think I liked the slider EQ on the TE better than the 1205's parametric with a lot of boost and turbo boost and enhance options. It was just too much.
Now I found this one and it has the sound I was looking for. (bass is not mine btw) Overdrive channel is a bit too thin too my taste but we have pedals to sort that problem. :-)
Anyone tried this with 2 12 inch cabs?

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