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la bam

Elf in Action

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Morning all,

Like many of us i suspect, Ive been very tempted by the trace elf as a backup or small rig.

But, like many, i was slightly put off with reports of lack of tone and lack of power.

However, we did a fairly big tribute night last weekend (around 250 people) and one of the other bassists had x2 12 or 15 cabs and used an elf to power them, then into the large PA.

Gees, was i impressed! Great tone - kind of classic trace without the mid slam. Never struggled for volume. Speaking to him later he said it has so much power on tap its unreal. Never gets it near half way and tours all over the show. Oh, and hes competing against a loud drummer and x2 really (really) loud guitarists using x2 marshall valve heads and 4x12 cabs each.

I suspect those struggling with volume or cutting through the mix may either need a bit of eq change or its down to the fact they only use a small single speaker, because the sound was absolutely spot on. I genuinely thought he was using an old massive trace rig. Is this a case of using more speakers makes a huge difference?

Im now 95% gonna bite the bullet and get one - even as a back up (replacing my 20kg QSC). My cabs are either an Ashdown RM212T or markbass 610 sealed - so plenty of driver movement.

Has anyone else heard them from the crowd so to speak?

Edited by la bam

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I should have asked really, but we had a tight turn around. Bass looked like some kind of Warwick, but im sure he uses Fender precisions/jazz too.

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2 hours ago, la bam said:

Now £225 at GAK with case and free delivery.

And free returns when you find out its underpowered unless you use a cab the size of small country.

You'll be fine with a 610, but there's no way you could use this in a loud band with anything much less. Which of course defeats the point of having an amp the size of a Kit Kat.

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52 minutes ago, Wolverinebass said:

And free returns when you find out its underpowered unless you use a cab the size of small country.

You'll be fine with a 610, but there's no way you could use this in a loud band with anything much less. Which of course defeats the point of having an amp the size of a Kit Kat.

Yep. I really wanted to love the Elf but even in a relatively quiet band it was always on the limiter. Great idea, not quite there yet (in my experience).

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Having seen it in use, with a big loud band, im hopeful it will be fine. What cabs did you all use with it? and what basses? and pedals?

... and were you using monitors and pa support?

Edited by la bam

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9 hours ago, la bam said:

Because it just needs to be loud enough for stage area. I wouldnt dream of trying to fill a venue with it.

right, ok, so maybe not loud enough without PA support for, say 150 punter size venue? In which case a DI would do because you would have monitors, I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'm struggling to find where an Elf would work apart from low volume gigs like open mic or mainly accoustic stuff, and if you've got to carry two big cabs around it sort of defeats the object

Edited by PaulWarning

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It would be fine for a lot of my work - small jazz gigs and functions where I’m hired to be background.  If they have to listen..I’m too loud, and not doing my job 😳.  It’s a game of stealth, so a tiny amp that weighs nothing fits the bill, and pays the bills..

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2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

right, ok, so maybe not loud enough without PA support for, say 150 punter size venue? In which case a DI would do because you would have monitors, I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'm struggling to find where an Elf would work apart from low volume gigs like open mic or mainly accoustic stuff, and if you've got to carry two big cabs around it sort of defeats the object

dont worry, i havent taken it that way at all. Your points are completely valid.

hopefully i'll get chance to give it a go this week. its due this afternoon.

reading the instructions, the gain knob looks interesting, as it isnt just a gain knob, its a 3 function knob. first part for gain, second for compression, third for drive/distortion. So it may give different output at lower on the gain dial......... anywho, we'll see. 

 

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well, ive just had an hour with it.

I played it through my 2x12 and 6x10, and all i can say is there must have been some dodgy modules in the first batch released, because the volume this puts out is very very loud. I did find it weird that some reported it being very unpowered, and some saying it gave out outrageous power for its size. I really cant see this being underpowered at all. I connected it using a 'proper' jack to jack speaker cable and flipped through the gain setting until the green compressor light came on, then wound it slightly back for a pure signal.

I understand that house volume isnt the same (by a long way) and ive had amps in the past that just disappeared live, so i'll have to wait and see how it goes in a big venue.

The 3 band eq is pretty effective, quite impressed by that.

The only thing m going to do is fit slightly taller rubber feet. i did that with my ashdown lg1000 and it pretty much immediately stopped running warm/hot, as air could circulate efficiently underneath.

So, touch wood, this will be a great back up amp, and should be a complete get out of jail amp should anything break, as i could use my vt rack still to the desk and an unaffected out to this amp. Should the vt go down as well, the elfs DI will come in very handy, as im sure i can get a very good useable sound out of it.

If it does work out, its saved me carrying 20kg+ of backup amp and squeezing in to impossible places on stage.

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Or a single very efficient small cab. I often use mine in a five piece band and it's more than loud enough for stage monitoring without using additional monitors. For the audience it's through the PA. Barfaced Big Baby cab. 

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1 minute ago, King Tut said:

Or a single very efficient small cab. I often use mine in a five piece band and it's more than loud enough for stage monitoring without using additional monitors. For the audience it's through the PA. Barfaced Big Baby cab. 

Yes. That was my opinion watching the tribute act last weekend. He didnt struggle at all on stage, and used his elf, whereas i used my 610 and 500w markbass to power my vt rack on the same stage just after them. And he sounded great. 

Maybe there was some underpowered batches that went out, or it really doesnt like certain cabs?

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I use mine with a passive P bass and a Super Compact Gen 1(15") and it's perfectly loud enough for medium pub gigs of around 100 punters with no PA support.

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3 hours ago, bonzodog said:

I use mine with a passive P bass and a Super Compact Gen 1(15") and it's perfectly loud enough for medium pub gigs of around 100 punters with no PA support.

Doesn't surprise me. I'm sure my rig would be fine for medium pubs without pa, but the other guys moan at me for being too loud on stage and prefer to pump me out the front. Probs going in ear soon but that's another thread!!

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On 04/12/2018 at 23:35, la bam said:

Having seen it in use, with a big loud band, im hopeful it will be fine. What cabs did you all use with it? and what basses? and pedals?

... and were you using monitors and pa support?

Sorry only just got round to replying!

I used a Barefaced Super Compact and/or One10, both of which have been absolutely fine with other amps in the same band and venue setting. Unfortunately the Elf just always felt on the limiter and I had no real dynamic range left or, dare I say it, heft from the lower register. I’ve used the GK MB200 with the same band and cabs and had no problem, likewise a 30W valve head.

That being said I did manage a loud rock band gig with it and my SC with no PA support, it filled the bar fine and I suspect Joe Public had no idea. To me though it sounded very squashed and not really my thing.

Perhaps I’m too demanding with my EQ or (and?!) I hit the bass too hard but for me it was close, but not quite there to make it a keeper.

I think inretrospect I also like dialling in a little grit to my tone so of course needed an external pedal (in this case a SansAmp) to get the desired effect - the onboard dirt was too much.

I’m much more content with my Ashdown RM500 now - though of course that has more than double the RMS power supposedly :)

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I gave the elf a whirl last night, using it with my main amp as back up just in case.

Tight stage set up, using a passive p bass, into my vt rack into the elf which I had set flat, gain around 3oclock and volume around the same, into an ashdown rm212.

Firstly the sound was great, really solid (albeit down to the vt) and not pushed or overdriven at all. It was very clear and punchy, didn't need any eqing.

Volume wise, it coped without any issue. I had turned down quite a lot once we got going, and had a fair bit in reserve if needed.

Band was a queen tribute band, so competing against a full on kit, vox ac30, keys, synths and 4 vocals throigh pa. Honestly it coped fantastic.

Everything we do goes through Pa so it was perfect.

Only mod I've made is to take the small feet off and replace with more of a door stop rubber feet. I did this to be ashdown little giant and it worked a treat, it lets more air flow to cool as it raises the height so air can pass underneath.

We gigged for an hour and forty and it wasn't at all hot when we finished.

Very happy.

Edited by la bam
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