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Al Krow

Two of the very best D class amps available today?

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2 hours ago, FinnDave said:

Grateful Dead.jpg

Is that Disaster Area? Which one is Hotblack Desiato?

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Is that Disaster Area? Which one is Hotblack Desiato?

That'd be Jerry, on the left, in the red jersey

 

 

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38 minutes ago, malcolm.mcintyre said:

I like to keep the knob count down, so Trickfish Bullhead 1K for me.

I've often been tempted by one of these! Two things have constrained me (other than the price tag!):

- it's not a "1k" ie a 1000W amp. That's its peak rating so it's closer to 500W RMS at 4ohms or 250W for those of us with 8ohm cabs. 

- it seems to have decent EQ mid points, but limits you to a choice of two fairly narrowly spaced EQ points for each, with some chunky gaps; whereas a number of other amps provide a lot more flexibility - certainly with the all important mids. 

My DG M900 beats it on both these counts and allows me to dial-in a "touch of dirt" to grit up the tone when needed, so I've not really felt justified in switching over to the Trickfish. 

Edited by Al Krow

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On 19/03/2019 at 21:16, Dood said:

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. 

Dan - you and @bassfan make a very persuasive argument for the B|Amp and I've also been keeping an eye on the Forte HP which is due for release in the UK right about now.

Although it's £100 dearer than the Mesa WD-800, the Forte HP pricing somehow seems less of a p*ss take than what Westside Distribution are doing in marking up the US price of the Mesa $999 to £1,299 in the UK; the comparable prices are $1,399 US and £1,399 UK for the Forte HP, which is much more what we might expect allowing for transport, import duties and VAT.

There have been some comments that the Forte HP has a responsiveness pretty much on a par with the Aguilar DB751. If that's correct, that is high praise indeed!

The B|Amp is a few years old now (I think it came out in 2015) so is anyway due for a refresh; and whilst 350W into my 8ohm Fearless F112 or 8ohm BF SC should be okay, a little more headroom (particularly with the Fearless) would certainly be welcome.

The B|Amp and Forte share the same ICE power module. With the upgraded 600W 8ohm power module now available on the Forte HP, it seems to me that it won't be a big stretch for Jim B to similarly share the power module with the B|Amp to come up with a B|Amp HP which he will maybe announce at NAMM Jan 2020?

In which case I'll maybe hold on for another half year until the B|Amp HP comes out. Now that really will be one truly awesome amp. 

Edited by Al Krow
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@Dood I think I've missed an obvious point here: it seems to me that if you owned something like the HX Stomp this would make up the difference between the B|Amp and the Forte, and then some? Or would you still get the B|Amp in addition to Helix anyway and if so why? 

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

@Dood I think I've missed an obvious point here: it seems to me that if you owned something like the HX Stomp this would make up the difference between the B|Amp and the Forte, and then some? Or would you still get the B|Amp in addition to Helix anyway and if so why? 

I’m surfing BC instead of being a responsible adult.. I’ll be back in a bit with a decent reply... I’d still have both in certain respects but it might not apply to everyone.

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@Dood - cheers buddy.,

Btw - for some reason your replies are not showing up on threads (to me anyway) nor any quotes / responses from you being notified and you're the very last person on BC I would dream of "ignoring"! So I dunno if there is some glitch - maybe you've broken the system by having 8,388,607 posts?! 😂 @ped?

 

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

@Dood I think I've missed an obvious point here: it seems to me that if you owned something like the HX Stomp this would make up the difference between the B|Amp and the Forte, and then some? Or would you still get the B|Amp in addition to Helix anyway and if so why? 

 

Ok, I'm back. I guess it's all about application. I think for the most part, yes you are completely correct. There's lots of tone tweaking available on the Helix range of kit that to a certain extent, you could just plug in to a "flat" amp or power amplifier and out to your cabinet. Though for me I think for that to happen, unless I was just heading for the plug n' play route, the Stomp might leave me short of suitable processing slots per patch. That said, the inclusion of the SVT 4 Pro Amp alone will save me possibly two blocks in my own LT patch set up. It's that good. 

So, my B|Amp and cabinet combination is, I suppose doing the job of say the RCF 745 (or NX45 which I would like). It is creating a tailored response system, which interestingly isn't designed to be flat response, but certainly is full range enough to deliver my monitoring needs. On to which I can add amp sims etc from Helix if I want and I know that the two will play ball nicely. Personally I don't use cabinet sims on my Helix at all, even out to PA, but prefer to rely on a method I have been doing for 20 odd years now which relies on mapping pre and post responses using EQ instead. It is terribly geeky and, given that technology has gotten so good these days, the curves I use now are positively mild in comparison to what used to sit on my "twenty-four-band-stereo-programmable-digital-rack-equaliser-madness"!!

Heading away from topic, I apologise.. How I see it is this - the Helix is it's own system, the backline has it's own configuration. Our PA system has it's own set up. I don't use the Helix to make up for shortcomings in the PA and I don't use my backline to be part of Helix's tone creation. What this means is that I can take my Helix to another PA and I know that the sound that is being sent to it is going to be absolutely fine for the engineer to deal with. I haven't added anything too crazy because another PA required it etc. The engineer will hopefully know their system well enough to reproduce what is coming direct from Helix. This also means that what comes back to me to my IEMs is exactly what is coming from Helix and I know what to expect there too. 

Whilst I was typing this, I realised that I could have summed this all up more quickly in the words of Jim Bergantino from @Bergantino Audio - He talks about "tone producers" and "tone re-producers". For me it is the job of the Helix to be a tone producer. It is where I craft the sound that I need for songs or genres etc etc. The PA should be a tone re-producer. It faithfully recreates what is being sent to it taking in to consideration the environment in which it is to be used. Finally, although B|Amp is a very capable tone creator, having programmable drive, EQ and compression on board, I have hopefully set mine up to also be a re-producer, but, like the PA analogy, B|Amp will get tweaked for the room, stage, environment leaving Helix well alone.

Phew, I really hope that all makes sense, I'm literally on my first coffee of the day!

Oh.. and finally, in the absence of Helix, I chose B|Amp (amongst many other reasons) because it's programmable nature means that I can use it alone without Helix as a "tone producer" then at a touch of a button it becomes a "tone reproducer". I'd just add that currently, due to the stage set up my current gig has, I am often on IEMs, just in case that's of any help.

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14 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@Dood - cheers buddy.,

Btw - for some reason your replies are not showing up on threads (to me anyway) nor any quotes / responses from you being notified and you're the very last person on BC I would dream of "ignoring"! So I dunno if there is some glitch - maybe you've broken the system by having 8,388,607 posts?! 😂 @ped?

 

It's true actually, I've been having some really weird problems with my profile for months now. If I add to someone's post with a picture, every time I reply afterward, the picture will keep getting added without me knowing before I hit 'post'. So I have to edit the post to delete the picture. Hence why nearly all of my posts look edited!

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On 13/05/2019 at 13:17, Count Bassy said:

Well, yes it does - doubly digital! But seriously, unless it's a dimmer, then it is, to my mind at least, a digital device!

 

No dimmers use a technique similar to PWM as used in Class D Amplifiers. 

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I realise that my last post was back in July. I just wanted to add to this thread that the new software update for B|Amp has knocked it clean out of the park. It's bonkers good - and @Bergantino Audio have just released a new wireless (yes no wires) foot controller to go with it that I want to get for mine too. Love it!

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1 hour ago, Dood said:

I realise that my last post was back in July. I just wanted to add to this thread that the new software update for B|Amp has knocked it clean out of the park. It's bonkers good - and @Bergantino Audio have just released a new wireless (yes no wires) foot controller to go with it that I want to get for mine too. Love it!

So in a fight to the death, which one would win?

What did the new update do to make the B|amp so good?

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On 28/09/2019 at 00:55, chris_b said:

So in a fight to the death, which one would win?

What did the new update do to make the B|amp so good?

Well, the amp already had a four band fully parametric EQ. Which is exactly what i need on an amp. The variable HPF function now has a variable LPF to pair with. The onboard compressor has been further tweaked and is a parallel type by default now (i've been using parallel compression for years, so i am pleased to see it in B|Amp.
) All the settings are programmable meaning that there are three memory slots to save specific sounds.  That could be for three different basses, or say, drive, slap and fingerstyle etc etc. The drives have all been tweaked and of course the foot controllers are all wireless. Its good down to 2 ohms. Of course the DSP speaker profiles to match cabinets to the head are still there and I love these, they really do work.  Since my last review online, Bergantino have changed a few parameters regarding the way the interface functions too. Its great to see tweaks being added and updated so readily. 
 

oh and finally, its just a great sounding amp. Hard to describe, but it has a lovely "all flat On the dials" tone with the profiles loaded.

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@Deedee a little bird tells me that you recently beat several us to the draw and managed to get your hands on a WD-800. Well, please spill the beans - how are you finding it?!

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@Deedee a little bird tells me that you recently beat several us to the draw and managed to get your hands on a WD-800. Well, please spill the beans - how are you finding it?!

Who told you that?? :ph34r:  OK it's a fair cop, I did indeed.

As you're probably aware I'm a lover of all things old, green and UV illuminated but I have tried many, many other amps (Class D amongst them) alongside the Trace stuff over the years. I was actually toying with the idea of trying a Mesa Walkabout (possibly the Scout combo that came up recently) or trying a D800/D800+ just to see if they hit the spot (I know @karlfer is a big fan of the D800) but when the WD800 came up I pinged a PM off to @waveydavy before I'd actually noticed that it was for a Berg trade. 🙄 Anyhoo, next thing it was for sale and I had first refusal.

It's the first piece of Mesa kit I've owned although as you know I almost pushed the button on a M6 when they were on sale at crazy prices a few months back. First impressions is that this is a quality piece of kit. Everything about it, the knobs, the switches (although small) all feel very solid. I've only used it at bedroom levels and tbh I've not messed around with the parametric EQ a great deal. All I've done so far is tried it flat and then with the 'Factory Sample Settings' and I must say that I tried the 'Tube Grind & Punch' setting and that sounded so good I've pretty much left it at that. It sounds superb to my ears through my BF Four10. At volume it's going to sound epic I'm sure but as with the rest of us, it could be some time before I get to try that. ☹️

Not having tried a Walkabout or the D800 I'm not in a great position to comment on the differences, nor am I the most gifted when trying to put across a tone or feel into words but so far I'm very impressed and it certainly sounds to my ears at least that there is some 'depth' to it's sound that I've often found lacking. However I also know that the true test will be in a band setting and at some volume so I'll reserve full judgement until then. 

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"Tube grind & punch" sounds blo*ody marvellous!

Isnt that pretty much the holy grail of bass tone? And if your WD-800 is delivering that in spades, then it sounds to me that you've got a bit of a keeper! 

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@Deedee I really do like the D800.  Even more so now.

I started a bass share gig (alternate weekends with main bassist) & did my 1st two gigs the weekend before the pubs shut.

This band is superb, being going years.

I did the sound check etc, through FOH, monitors etc, they are LOUD but a kinda clear loud.

Despite bricking it (two sets, no rehearsals with them, learn stuff at  home) about 3rd number in I had a ridiculous grin on my face.

You see, for the first time I'd actually had to wind my rig up past halfway on the master & 9 o'clock on the gain.

The Mesa, with my 2 Orange OBC112's.

It punched me in the gut, the trousers were a flappin' & the stage was a bouncin'. FABULOUS  😁

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, karlfer said:

@Deedee I really do like the D800.  Even more so now.

I started a bass share gig (alternate weekends with main bassist) & did my 1st two gigs the weekend before the pubs shut.

This band is superb, being going years.

I did the sound check etc, through FOH, monitors etc, they are LOUD but a kinda clear loud.

Despite bricking it (two sets, no rehearsals with them, learn stuff at  home) about 3rd number in I had a ridiculous grin on my face.

You see, for the first time I'd actually had to wind my rig up past halfway on the master & 9 o'clock on the gain.

The Mesa, with my 2 Orange OBC112's.

It punched me in the gut, the trousers were a flappin' & the stage was a bouncin'. FABULOUS  😁

Sounds like you’ve cracked it Karl, nice one. I only hope it’s not too long before you’re/everyone’s back out there. 👍

EDIT - Obviously trouser flapping capability is a prerequisite of any rig so that's reassuring 😁

Edited by Deedee
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On 23/07/2019 at 12:37, Chienmortbb said:

No dimmers use a technique similar to PWM as used in Class D Amplifiers. 

Very late to the show, but they don't really.  

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18 hours ago, Count Bassy said:

Very late to the show, but they don't really.  

For conventional incandescent lamp dimmers, a few do, but most do not. 

For LED dimming, almost all use a form of PWM dimming,

 

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6 hours ago, agedhorse said:

For conventional incandescent lamp dimmers, a few do, but most do not. 

For LED dimming, almost all use a form of PWM dimming,

 

I'll take your word for it. I admit I was thinking in terms of the old triac based dimmers, and hadn't really thought about the LED versions.

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2 hours ago, Count Bassy said:

I'll take your word for it. I admit I was thinking in terms of the old triac based dimmers, and hadn't really thought about the LED versions.

The triac and inverse parallel dimmers are based on reverse phase control of the 60Hz (or 50Hz for many of you) AC waveform. There is a PWM version that modulates the AC waveform by slicing up the waveform into tiny slices and eliminating slices throughout  the waveform. There's also a type that converts the AC to DC and then PWM modulates this DC, either into an AC waveform or into a DC equivalent signal. Different companies have different ways of doing it (and different patents).

LED lamps are usually dimmed by converting the AC to DC, then PWM'ing the DC voltage based on the RMS current rather than on the voltage since LED brightness is proportional to current through the device and independent of voltage across the device.

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Posted (edited)

Off topic a bit but when the hall in our company building was redone. all the existing lighting controls were scrapped. They used massive Variacs capable of 2000W as the dimmers and they were all scrapped. Well, a few were repurposed. I have one and I added an AC socket to it, a power cable and an output AC voltmeter. It sits in the workshop and is used as needed. :)

Edited by BassmanPaul
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