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Al Krow

Two of the very best D class amps available today?

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The cab thread got me thinking, if someone was looking for a world class lightweight D-class amp to pair with the best 112 cabs out there, is there really anything currently better out there in the market than these two?!

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Which would you go for?

Or is there something else that really does give these two a run for their money and is < 8 lbs?

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Increase middle aged spread, gain a whole extra 4lbs  and get the best amp in the world in the Tech21 dUg Ultrabass 1000

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4 minutes ago, bassfan said:

I’d go B/amp over forte, purely as it has more features. 

Hmmm...are you sure?! I think they're pretty evenly matched overall!

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Just now, Cuzzie said:

@Al Krow I hope that laugh was at the middle aged spread and not the amp.....🤬🤪🤓

Middle aged spread can signify a whole load of medical ills.

It's definitely not a laughing matter.

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I've not tried either but I would be interested in hearing the Epifani UL901 with these. However, I've never been happy with the 3 or 4 class D amps I've owned. So much so that I've picked up a Hartke HA5500 amp (owned one 20 years ago) for peanuts and it totally blows away my Little Mark 3 for dynamics and tonal nuances. It's a brick in comparison, but boy does it sound incredible especially when you blend the tube and solid state pre amps. Oh, it mega loud as well.

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36 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Hmmm...are you sure?! I think they're pretty evenly matched overall!

There’s a few more features on the B. Tuner, built in effects and most notably the memory channels (similar to the TC rh range). You can also pair it with a cabinet to optimize that particular cabinet. @Dood will be able to confirm and add to my ramblings I’m sure 😃

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Personally I would add the Glockenklang Blue Rock. The sound may be a bit modern for some, however, I have yet to see an amp that matches the build and sound quality of this one.

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14 minutes ago, bassfan said:

There’s a few more features on the B. Tuner, built in effects and most notably the memory channels (similar to the TC rh range). You can also pair it with a cabinet to optimize that particular cabinet. @Dood will be able to confirm and add to my ramblings I’m sure 😃

In short, yup!

B|Amp does indeed give you access to a huge amount of functionality. The DSP speaker profiles just don't appear on any other bass amp I am aware of. Absolutely brilliant. You can think of Forte as being a B|Amp as the signal path integrity is the same, however, think of the Forte as having a B|Amp with it's settings "locked" to an optimal configuration. The EQ is fixed, not fully parametric as an example. Yes, you can save programs on B|Amp and there is also a wireless foot controller for changing your programs (which may of course include a driven patch and then maybe a compressed sound, or EQ adjustments!!)

Do I think B|Amp is worth the extra dollar? If you saw the amount of kit I used to grab around in order to achieve what B|Amp can, the answer is a resounding yes. That said, Forte offers up a very strong argument for remaining on my shopping list. 

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Posted (edited)

I love the EQ centre points on the Forte HP - it seems to get them pretty much spot on!

Bass: @65hz, Lo-Mid: @250hz, Hi-Mid: @ 1khz, Treble: @ 3.5khz

The Mesa improves on the mid EQ by providing para EQ for these and the treble is centred @ 4kHz, but Mesa have gone for the Bass EQ centre at 40Hz which might seem too low, until you spot that the low mids can be centred as low as at 80 Hz using the para EQ and that Mesa offers a 5 band rather than a 4 band EQ which the Berg has.

I'd say that was one to the Mesa on 'basic EQ' options.

Both offer a really useful HPF but the Berg goes one further and has a LPF as well and bright switches at 2kHz and 7kHz

Berg then further slams it home by offering 600W at 8 ohms vs 400 W at 8 ohms on the Mesa, plus on board dirt and compression whereas the Mesa offers its proprietary power amp damping (not quite sure what that does, but it sounds fancy!)

So based on the above it seems to me that the Berg has its nose in front on feature set (so @bassfan - you called that right).

However tone, tone, tone...the Mesa has a valve preamp. Will the Berg just come across as more hi-fi or will its ability to add dirt knock it out the park?

Edited by Al Krow

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How good amps are aside, the thing about EQ’s is knowing to use them.

A 4 or 5 band EQ is not necessarily better than a 3 band Baxendall or a classic Fender Tone Stack.

I agree about tone tone tone, and essentially it’s the same with coloured and non coloured cabs - you may preferentially want an amp to be less coloured as you have something before it giving you the sound you want.

In this case, the amps you mention are fine  beasts and nearly as good as the Tech21!

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Both are clearly towards the top of the lightweight high powered bass amp market.

I'd love to try both to be honest.

I'd also like to see what Genzler have in their plans....

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I'm always slightly bemused by these 'best of ...' type threads. How exactly do you define 'the best'? What criteria and metrics are being used? I've no doubt that the 2 amps in the original post are superb, but are they 'the best' because they among the most expensive class D's available? Or because they have an impressive and unique feature set? Or for some other reason?

Some specifications have been quoted as have some of their unique features, but no-one yet seems to have mentioned their respective tones and flexibility, which for me personally help me decide what 'the best' amp is - for me.

For example, I was tried out the Mesa Subway D800 (I'm guessing an amp that shares much of its DNA with the WD800) and it was a fantastic sounding amp, but I found it very limited in what it could do. It went from shouty and aggressive to REALLY SHOUTY AND AGGRESSIVE. Now, I'm quite partial to a shouty and aggressive bass tone, but at other times I want something more subdued, but I wasn't able to coax that from the D800. In the end I plumped for the Genzler Magellan because that could do shouty and aggressive too, but it could also do subtle and mellow, warm and vintage, bright and funky etc, and it could do all these with the conviction that the Mesa delivered its aggression. Out of the 2 the Genzler was the 'better' amp for me because it was way more versatile. But if I was playing in a punk band the Mesa would likely have been 'better' for my needs. 

One mans' treasure and all that. 

 

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I am partial to Mesa, however the fact that the Bergantino looks vaguely like a downsized mid 1990s Hi-fi amplifier is really cool. I would love to pair it with the Ashdown vertical 3x10 for no other reason other than it would look cool. 

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I've tried enough amps to know that what it says on paper is only the vaguest guide to what the thing's like in the real world* - I've been surprisingly disappointed and surprisingly delighted in almost equal measure - so I'd have to actually own both (note, not 'try both' because that will invariably be in a music shop, and that's no use) to judge.

They're certainly two of the very dearest Class D amps in the world today...

* See 'the Walkabout is 'only' 300w...', etc...

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I'm always looking around to see where I can improve my sound. My AG700, TH500 and Thunderfunk are excellent amps but both the Forte HP and Mesa WD800 do look very interesting. I'm not really interested in the technical specs. A list of the features and enough positive owners reviews will be enough for me to buy one. My experience with it will be what makes me keep it.

Anyway, my current thinking on gear is, what I own is good enough. If I become a better player, then maybe I could justify another upgrade.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Osiris said:

I'm always slightly bemused by these 'best of ...' type threads.

Agreed these threads are not for everyone. If they don't work for you then that's cool.

Personally, I still enjoy getting the thoughts and views of my fellow BC'ers on this comparative stuff and appreciate the views expressed are not necessarily 'gospel' truth; at the end of the day we're all agreed there's no substitute for our own ears in terms of arriving at our likes / dislikes when it comes to bass gear and sound.

So when it comes to threads as you rightly say, albeit in a different context: "One mans' treasure and all that." 

I do think these are potentially two great amps, though.

Edited by Al Krow

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Got the Bamp , love it's features    very easy to use despite  looking complicated

 

 

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25 minutes ago, afterimage said:

Got the Bamp , love it's features    very easy to use despite  looking complicated

Good man. What are you pairing it with in terms of bass and cab?

How would you describe the tone?

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11 hours ago, Osiris said:

I'm always slightly bemused by these 'best of ...' type threads. How exactly do you define 'the best'? What criteria and metrics are being used? I've no doubt that the 2 amps in the original post are superb, but are they 'the best' because they among the most expensive class D's available? Or because they have an impressive and unique feature set? Or for some other reason?

 

 

Yeah this is what springs to my  mind too. I suppose it's diverting to chat about if you have tried these two amps (and a host of others for purposes of comparison) over a long period in many different settings.

I think the variables are limitless. A recent example: I played through a class d amp at rehearsal on Saturday with a cheap Harley B jazz bass and it sounded utterly sublime, as it has previously with my old Aria. Same evening put my Bruce Thomas Profile through it (a superior instrument to the HB in every aspect I can think of) and struggled all night to pull the same quality of sound from it. Some amps suit some basses better than others. Go figure. Anyway it's all subjective, so just as a bit of fun these conversations are quite harmless. But really you had just as well ask which colour guitar is best. There is no right or wrong answer.

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3 minutes ago, blisters on my fingers said:

Salmon Pink is the correct answer.

You are utterly, completely, and unequivocally correct.

I withdraw my statement that are no right answers. Now please come to Somerset and tell my colour blind band-mates that my salmon pink bass is not orange.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, stewblack said:

You are utterly, completely, and unequivocally correct.

I withdraw my statement that are no right answers. 

Thank gawd for that...

"How exactly do you define 'the best'? What criteria and metrics are being used?"

I'd define it simply as follows (in relation to this particular thread): if you were offered the choice of any D class amp to pair with your favourite cabs as a gift, because it could deliver a consistently great sound across a range of highly regarded cabs and basses, what would you go for?

Of course it's going to be subjective, but as @chris_b says with, IMHO, great wisdom:

"enough positive owners reviews will be enough for me to buy one. My experience with it will be what makes me keep it."

Bravo, Chris.

 

Edited by Al Krow

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