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NancyJohnson

TC Electronic BH800

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Gave this head a fairly long test drive earlier today at Andertons in Guildford. Gotta say it left me a little speechless.

It's pretty, loud, lightweight and all round yummy and about the size and weight of a box of Shreddies. Tonally it's fairly transparent; with all the settings at the 12 o'clock position it took a feed from my Sansamp without any issue. Plugged in direct, equally nice in a clean kind of way.

Aside from the obvious, the Tone Print feature is just the knockout punch here. I had my guitarist with me and when I dialled in a chorus via the Android app he didn't have the words to cover the awe he said he felt. Tried several Tone Prints, all loaded first time and all sounded sweet.

I had about an hour noodling on it. A brilliant bit of kit. Just need to free up some swag (buy my Thunderbird someone!!).
P

Edited by NancyJohnson

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Look forward to review, I have the BH500, which sounds great for rock covers, but it's hefty, these are meant to be very light weight, so may upgrade if the sound is up to the job.

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Yeh, count me as another who'd be very interested to hear what you make of it!!
I like the idea of being able to completely change your sound by phone.
Might just be a bit gimmicky, but lets see!

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My only problem is, I don't have a smart phone, had one and hated the stupid lil keyboard, so went back old school, however I have an ipad for home use, can that do tone print, or do you have to hook up to the PC?

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I understand that the Tone Print app is Apple or Android and that it stores the tones on your device so, in theory you can just load tones from whatever compatible device you have. You'd only need to connect to the Internet to check for app updates.

Moving along, the head does have a usb socket on the rear fascia to update via a cable. TCE suggest you update the software when you fire it up for the first time.

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OK, briefest of updates. Amp arrived today, got it unpacked and set up. I was able to have a quick noodle before I took up the offer of a couple of pints of Old Peculiar at my local followed by an Indian takeout..

Plugging straight in it sounds nice enough, but plugging my BDDI in front of the amp (with the controls at the noon position) gave me an 'oh, myyyy' moment. Lovely. Tone Print function works without any issues, however it doesn't work with the Sansamp on. I suppose it's understandable as the incoming signal that loads the patch is affected by the pedal, so switch off before loading the tone print. Tried a few chorus effects, and all good. I'm not particularity taken with the tube/grind emulation(s) and much prefer my Sansamp.

It weighs next to nothing and size for size is about a tenth of that of my 4U rack. Incidentally, the amp seems reasonably happy to accept a line-level input from the BDDI without any distinct clipping.

One big bone of contention that I've been reading up on is TC Electronics claims that the output wattage is over-egged. I ran it through two daisy-chained 8ohm Hartke Hydrives (so that's 4ohms I believe), took the master volume up to about 20% and I'm happy to report it's painful loud at that level, which is reassuring.

So that's it for the moment. I'll have a decent mess around tomorrow. If you want to shoot me any questions, I'll be happy to try poop out and post here.
P

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Sounds good for first impressions. My BH500 is stupidly loud at 3-4 (out of ten) on the volume dial, plenty loud enough in a very loud classic rawwwk band, playing into a BC410,4ohm, even though it's apparently only 240 watts, so would expect the 800 to do o.k for volume. I'd probably get the BH550, save a few quid and get similar output to the BH500. Will probably keep the 500, it's all about the weight for me, lugging the 500 about can be a pain in the back...!

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I play in a noisy old-boy(!) punky outfit; guitarist loves to crank. Sadly, I'm not playing in any loud capacity until mid-January, due to band members being away, so the acid-test is a way off.

Also the measurements on the website are off. Allowing for knobs and the little carry handles, the unit is pretty much 11" square and not 11 x 9.5" as quoted. Tut tut!
P

Edited by NancyJohnson

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