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Paul S

these teeny weeny amps - which one?

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Having failed the 2019 Gear Abstinence Challenge in the first couple of weeks I now feel able to indulge minor GAS attacks totally guilt and inhibition free :)   Especially as I have shifted some of my more expensive kit in the past couple of weeks.  I seem to have convinced myself there is room in my life for one of those tiny little amp heads that seem to be popping up now.  But which one?  These caught my eye:

Trace Elliot Elf.  Because it is the smallest.  And it is green - I like green.  And I like the brand.

TC BH250 - It is red, has an inbuilt tuner plus Toneprints.  Not sure I'll use them but they are available.

Mark Bass Nanomark 300.  Seems the most expensive, also red.

A few tantalising glimpses of something TC are calling the BAM200, which looks like it might be around the same size as the ELF but no-one is giving anything much away.

Does anyone have any kind of A/B experience or just experiences?  What would be the pros/cons of each?  Any insider gen on the BAM200?

Ta.

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I'm looking into small heads currently as well. with a similar price range and I'm running into the s9me problem..  

I thought I narrowed it to 2. both tc one being the bh250 the other the bq500 

I'm struggling with. do I get rid my my peddle and go with the 250 and tine print concidering I only use 1 maybe 2 effects in total.  or do I go with the 500 so I feel I'm not losing anything from my trace 600 head. 

my big problem is no one stocks them locally to me 😥

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Another TC one to add to your list? There is some mention of the BAM200 here as well.

 

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Don't forget these brands :

Acoustic Image, certainly the best choice when it comes to small footprint and lightweight heads with a lifetime warranty to any owner (the first or 100th).

GRBass, another promising Italian brand.

Quilter.

...

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This obv only IMHO and IMHE, but I wouldn't touch the TC BH250. Cheap, not far off nasty, too much money wasted on gimmicks and if it breaks down out of warranty (which they do) it'll cost you as much as the amp did to replace.  But now there are TC fans who will flame me.  I can only speak the truth as I see it.  YMMV, etc.  

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Thank you for your thoughts.

@BassBunny - I think the BQ500 is approaching too big and too powerful.

@Hellzero - I have a Quilter and like it a lot, but too big and powerful for what I have in mind.  yes, I know, it has a volume control :) GRBass mini-one looks nice but a bit dear.

@lownote12 - It did occur to me that I would be paying for the Toneprint etc which I might not actually use.  Given that it is cheap in the first place the implication is that the money isn't spent on the bits I would use.

Looks like the Elf might be ahead at this point.  After all, it is green.

 

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11 minutes ago, Wolverinebass said:

Don't get any of them. They're all underpowered unless you're playing a coffee shop jazz gig.

It is mainly for home practice and, er, small coffee shop-type acoustic gigs - teamed with a Barefaced One10 - so I reckon I'd be safe :) 

5 minutes ago, stoo said:

GK MB200 might be worth a look as well? 

 

Thanks - I'd never considered GK before - never used them - but it looks like a contender.  Damn, things get complicated, don't they!

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Yeah get the Tecamp

Also worth mentioning having toneprint is great because if you load in the Spectracomp you’ll have a better compressor than most heads with it ‘built in’

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I do own a TC BH250 that I keep as a spare, however, having attempted to repair another TC head for a customer, I have to agree with @lownote12. Out of warranty they are a pain and costly to repair.

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17 minutes ago, ped said:

Yeah get the Tecamp

 

OK.

I have a Spectracomp pedal on my board, such as it is.  Well, it has the Spectracomp on it and a tuner :) .

25 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

Tecamp Puma 300

 

Only 2.2 lb!

 

(and there's one for sale in the classifieds for a bargain! ahem)

You have a PM, sir.  Didn't spot the ad.

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2 hours ago, Paul S said:

Thank you for your thoughts.

@Hellzero - I have a Quilter and like it a lot, but too big and powerful for what I have in mind.  yes, I know, it has a volume control :)

 

I use a Quilter BB800 with a BF one10 at quiet gigs with no excessive volume problems and great tones.

I also have a GK MB200 which was equally as good with the one10 - until it fried a couple of weeks ago.  :( 

These things happen, but I wonder if having to drive the MB200 harder than say the Quilter would be driven for the same volume, has contributed to the MB200s demise?  Maybe, maybe not.

Frank.

 

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2 hours ago, Hellzero said:

I may also consider this https://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Mobile/gss-06b400bh-100-watts-mini-bass-amplifier-head-c2x24693748

I have the ultralight combo version of this head with the battery pack and it's very useful (and very well sounding too) for small gigs, practising and rehearsals.

Do you have a link to the ultralight combo you have and the battery pack. I've just looked and can't find it.

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4 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

Perfect, thank you. How do you find the setup? It looks better than say the Phil Jones Double Four in some ways as you have to try and source a laptop battery from somewhere. Price is better as well.

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What about a Ampeg Micro-VR which comes with a 210AV Cabinet.

Edited by RedVee

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3 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

Perfect, thank you. How do you find the setup? It looks better than say the Phil Jones Double Four in some ways as you have to try and source a laptop battery from somewhere. Price is better as well.

I had the very heavy battery fitted PJB Briefcase and these GSS is  way more better in terms of sound and portability. On mine the battery is fitted at the back with a switch to allow charging without disconnecting the battery. And the battery lasts for hours and hours, really the 12 hours announced.

The sound is very close to my big system (1000 Watts amp + 1580 Watts special speaker) without the impressive headroom of it, of course, so very transparent. I simply leave everything flat and only boost the bass EQ to half the maximum. If you add a second speaker (8 Ohms, not 4 Ohms), you'll get the extra 100 Watts of the second power amp as it's a 2 x 100 Watts (under 8 Ohms) head. I've done it and you get more headroom (who would have bet this 🤣) and more of everything, allowing you to put the bass EQ back to the flat position.

For more power and headroom, you can add a second same speaker https://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Mobile/gss-06bc200-1x65-mini-bass-cabinet-c2x16355854

Or even order directly the 2 speakers pack with all the necessary cables : https://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Mobile/gss-26b400-uk-3-prong-mini-bass-amp-c2x14975103

Pay attention that it's intended for small (acoustic) gigs, practising or rehearsing, not for the Hammersmith Odeon. 😎

 

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50 minutes ago, Hellzero said:

I had the very heavy battery fitted PJB Briefcase and these GSS is  way more better in terms of sound and portability. On mine the battery is fitted at the back with a switch to allow charging without disconnecting the battery. And the battery lasts for hours and hours, really the 12 hours announced.

The sound is very close to my big system (1000 Watts amp + 1580 Watts special speaker) without the impressive headroom of it, of course, so very transparent. I simply leave everything flat and only boost the bass EQ to half the maximum. If you add a second speaker (8 Ohms, not 4 Ohms), you'll get the extra 100 Watts of the second power amp as it's a 2 x 100 Watts (under 8 Ohms) head. I've done it and you get more headroom (who would have bet this 🤣) and more of everything, allowing you to put the bass EQ back to the flat position.

For more power and headroom, you can add a second same speaker https://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Mobile/gss-06bc200-1x65-mini-bass-cabinet-c2x16355854

Or even order directly the 2 speakers pack with all the necessary cables : https://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Mobile/gss-26b400-uk-3-prong-mini-bass-amp-c2x14975103

Pay attention that it's intended for small (acoustic) gigs, practising or rehearsing, not for the Hammersmith Odeon. 😎

 

That's Hellzero, it sounds perfect. I need a battery powered amp as we have hired an old 50's bus March to do an intimate acoustic gig on. Then we go into a pub and doing another hour and then back onto the bus to play a few more songs. I currently use a Fender Rumble 100 watt combo but its not battery powered so I am looking at something similar. This sounds perfect.

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2 hours ago, Linus27 said:

That's Hellzero, it sounds perfect. I need a battery powered amp as we have hired an old 50's bus March to do an intimate acoustic gig on. Then we go into a pub and doing another hour and then back onto the bus to play a few more songs. I currently use a Fender Rumble 100 watt combo but its not battery powered so I am looking at something similar. This sounds perfect.

An alternative might be to get an inverter and a cheaper (but heavier) lead acid battery. Cheap 'modified sine wave' inverters will cause a buzz on some sound systems, but a 300W 'true sine wave' inverter starts at about £80 and gives you the benefit of using the amp you already know and love(?)

David

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On 06/02/2019 at 10:55, Paul S said:

It is mainly for home practice and, er, small coffee shop-type acoustic gigs - teamed with a Barefaced One10 - so I reckon I'd be safe :) 

Thanks - I'd never considered GK before - never used them - but it looks like a contender.  Damn, things get complicated, don't they!

I use a TCE 250 for these type gigs and it's perfect. Marries very nicely with the BF 110 too.

MarkBass? My only experience has been a sad one. When the amp broke down I have been quoted over a hundred quid just to have the fault diagnosed. Repair cost? Whatever they want to charge. Compare with the £30 repair and service to revive my TE head by an amp tech of my choice! MB only licence one company to repair their gear, no one else can get the bits. This may be common practice with modern class D amp manufacturers I don't know. But it's meant I now have an expensive box I can't use without shelling out an unknown amount of money. 

Only my personal experience, you'll find plenty others say TE and MB never break down, I might have been unlucky.

 

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5 hours ago, stewblack said:

I use a TCE 250 for these type gigs and it's perfect. Marries very nicely with the BF 110 too.

MarkBass? My only experience has been a sad one. When the amp broke down I have been quoted over a hundred quid just to have the fault diagnosed. Repair cost? Whatever they want to charge. Compare with the £30 repair and service to revive my TE head by an amp tech of my choice! MB only licence one company to repair their gear, no one else can get the bits. This may be common practice with modern class D amp manufacturers I don't know. But it's meant I now have an expensive box I can't use without shelling out an unknown amount of money. 

Only my personal experience, you'll find plenty others say TE and MB never break down, I might have been unlucky.

 

You're not alone.  I had the same experience with Markbass several years ago.  The difference in my case was I was given an estimate of circa £250.

I declined.

To be fair to Markbass, I'd imagine all the modern amps would similar when it comes to repairs.

Frank.

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2 hours ago, machinehead said:

You're not alone.  I had the same experience with Markbass several years ago.  The difference in my case was I was given an estimate of circa £250.

I declined.

To be fair to Markbass, I'd imagine all the modern amps would similar when it comes to repairs.

Frank.

My Ashdown MyBass was fried by a faulty generator at an out-door event. Ashdown talked me through the diagnostic checks I had done/needed to do and then sent me a new amplifier/PSU circcuit board with the agreement that if it worked I would send them the faulty one and £80 and if it didn't work I would send the amp back and they would check it out.

No complaints here.

David

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