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Graham

New EBS head - 802

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Just seen on Facebook that EBS have a new head put for NAMM - it's (presumably) class A/B, will be completely solid state and, for now at least, the only rack mount head in the range. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Fafner replacement on the horizon at some point though.

It looks right up my street, particularly as I will need to replace my HD350 at some point, I just hope that as this us described as going back to their roots, they've voiced the filters like they used to.

https://ebssweden.com/content2/welcome-home-to-the-ebs-802-high-dynamics-linear-bass-amp/

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I gig a Class D bass head and an all-valve one, but I do find myself scanning the BC ads for interesting Class A/B heads. EBS heads have pinged my radar, but are they all about the slappity-poppity high end? And what’s with the filter voicing?

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The EBS sound is definitely bright amd clear, which I've always been a fan of for being heard in a mix.

They changed the voicing on the EQ for the last range of heads HD360/TD360/Fafner 2 which had had  a mixed reaction, it's been generally viewed as a step back rather than an improvement.

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2 hours ago, Graham said:

The EBS sound is definitely bright amd clear, which I've always been a fan of for being heard in a mix.

They changed the voicing on the EQ for the last range of heads HD360/TD360/Fafner 2 which had had  a mixed reaction, it's been generally viewed as a step back rather than an improvement.

Yeah kinda. It’s only really, really noticeable  when you AB the two together. They both sound EBS, just for most, the tuning on the originals sounds a little bit sweeter.

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3 hours ago, JapanAxe said:

I gig a Class D bass head and an all-valve one, but I do find myself scanning the BC ads for interesting Class A/B heads. EBS heads have pinged my radar, but are they all about the slappity-poppity high end? And what’s with the filter voicing?

Marcus kinda got them that rep. When they hit their peak in popularity, they were pretty much the go to RnB, gospel and the amp that would give you a great Marcus impression. Even when Marcus had his signature SWR he was still using EBS live to get him in the ballpark of his studio sound.

EBS went through a period of targeting a completely different market - generally heavy rock and European metal. They succeeded and have become a very popular amp in that sector.

They kind of fell out of favour in the UK due to them not having anything to offer when the world was going mad for tiny class D... and then when they released the Reidmar, it was a little too late - and not as dinky and appealing as the other offerings out there. And despite being monstrously loud, the Reidmar specs on paper weren’t favourable compared to the competition (remember volume isn’t measured in Watts)

Interesting amp and I’m sure it’s ace. Not sure it has mass appeal in the Uk though. Time will tell I guess. I knew something was in the works when they pretty much removed their flagship amp range.

I likey.

 

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10 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Marcus kinda got them that rep. When they hit their peak in popularity, they were pretty much the go to RnB, gospel and the amp that would give you a great Marcus impression. Even when Marcus had his signature SWR he was still using EBS live to get him in the ballpark of his studio sound.

EBS went through a period of targeting a completely different market - generally heavy rock and European metal. They succeeded and have become a very popular amp in that sector.

They kind of fell out of favour in the UK due to them not having anything to offer when the world was going mad for tiny class D... and then when they released the Reidmar, it was a little too late - and not as dinky and appealing as the other offerings out there. And despite being monstrously loud, the Reidmar specs on paper weren’t favourable compared to the competition (remember volume isn’t measured in Watts)

Interesting amp and I’m sure it’s ace. Not sure it has mass appeal in the Uk though. Time will tell I guess. I knew something was in the works when they pretty much removed their flagship amp range.

I likey.

 

Thanks that’s all good info.

Yes I noticed the Fafner seemed to be pitched at HM players!

I expect we may see some used HD units coming up for sale in due course.

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1 minute ago, JapanAxe said:

Thanks that’s all good info.

Yes I noticed the Fafner seemed to be pitched at HM players!

I expect we may see some used HD units coming up for sale in due course.

The original Fafner was used by a lot of rock metal players. However it was also used by Victor Bailey and Marcus Miller on occasion, as you can see in the left hand corner of the pic below. The Fafner is a great head for pretty much any style. In fact, so was the HD350 and TD650. All great heads. 

marcus3-thumb.jpg

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If you look in the rack, you'll see a HD350 at the top of the rack, which was always Marcus' choice of EBS amp. I don't know if that's hire stock or not - artists generally like Marcus have backline landed for them at the gig so they just turn up and play if it's an adhoc gig. Same with Tal - I remember going out to deliver a few amps and cabs for Tal when she was in the UK with Jeff Beck and Vinnie C.

Anyway, I say HD350 was Marcus' choice of amp, his own amp was actually a HD350+ which was never made available to the general public. It's a HD350 preamp mated to a TD650 power amp but still in 2u package - so the best of both amps. It was never released as it would have killed the reason for the HD350 and TD650 both existing... and killed the lower price/higher price offerings. Shame really, as that probably was, the best amp that EBS has ever made.

But then again, we may have a new contender now, especially if the 802 shares the same filters as the original 350.

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6 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

If you look in the rack, you'll see a HD350 at the top of the rack, which was always Marcus' choice of EBS amp. I don't know if that's hire stock or not - artists generally like Marcus have backline landed for them at the gig so they just turn up and play if it's an adhoc gig. Same with Tal - I remember going out to deliver a few amps and cabs for Tal when she was in the UK with Jeff Beck and Vinnie C.

Anyway, I say HD350 was Marcus' choice of amp, his own amp was actually a HD350+ which was never made available to the general public. It's a HD350 preamp mated to a TD650 power amp but still in 2u package - so the best of both amps. It was never released as it would have killed the reason for the HD350 and TD650 both existing... and killed the lower price/higher price offerings. Shame really, as that probably was, the best amp that EBS has ever made.

But then again, we may have a new contender now, especially if the 802 shares the same filters as the original 350.

The Fafner is probably a back up head as part of a hire set up.

 I love my Fafner, and  prefer it to the (old) HD350 or TD650, annoying frequently malfunctioning bulb aside and the fact that it is pretty bulky and not actually that much more powerful than the HD350 in terms of output. 

If I am being honest, the voicing of the EQs was pretty similar across those range of amps. You could do slap, funk, or rock/metal on all of the amps. I never tried the HD360 or TD660 so can't comment on how the EQ was changed on those models, as by then I had bought the Fafner so I wasn't really looking for an amp. The Fafner II to me was a misstep. Too heavy, too many knobs, too expensive and overdrive features that, while great, were maybe better suited to a pedal.The HD350 preamp with the 650 power section would probably have done great on the market. I think that this new 802 amp looks like it will be more like an updated HD350 with more power and features.

The only drawback on the old EBS amps to me is that there is not much low, 'sub' bass below 100Hz. I know that this is by design in order to avoid muddy sounds and it really results in a really, clear, defined sound which is great live. However, compared to say, a Mesa Boogie M6 or Big Block (other amps I have had/have), there is not much floor rumbling bass when you are using a low B string. This is why I really like the look of the 802 with the extension/voicing options on the Bass and Treble settings. 

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The Fafner was a bit more edgier that the HD350 and TD650. Yeah, in terms of real world power, the perceived volume and headroom were actually very similar. It was only when you stuck two of the bigger cabinets on Fafner would you begin to hear and detect a difference - but it certainly wasn't night and day.

The 12db/Octave roll off does keep everything tighter and less swampy - but if you roll up the bass to counteract the, they still deliver useful bass. Of course, you don't want sub bass on stage, which is why you then DI to FoH to get the lows out (and ditch the sound of the pres). Thats where the routing options of the Fafner 2 got interesting. It enabled you to get the seperate elements of the DI to mix and also, the way it was designed enabled you to get the heavy drives without giving up the bottom end clarity (which is where the blend came in). Great designed amps but as you say, overkill for most people... but then it was designed with a particular market in mind - the players that love the dirty grindy sound... the polar opposite of what people usually came to expect from EBS. It was a way of breaking a new market... and it worked for them in central Europe.

Anyway, it would seem the extra power means that they can do more with sub bass... but EBS primary view was to create a great players amp that works live without swamping the stage with useless subby frequencies. I think they realised that studio wise, people went with pres and DIs and not necessarily their amps.

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14 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

They kind of fell out of favour in the UK due to them not having anything to offer when the world was going mad for tiny class D... and then when they released the Reidmar, it was a little too late - and not as dinky and appealing as the other offerings out there. And despite being monstrously loud, the Reidmar specs on paper weren’t favourable compared to the competition (remember volume isn’t measured in Watts)

I get the feeling they were a little more honest with the specs than the competition...

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47 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

EBS primary view was to create a great players amp that works live without swamping the stage with useless subby frequencies. I think they realised that studio wise, people went with pres and DIs and not necessarily their amps.

I would agree with that. I really like the Fafner as a live amp. I had a Mesa M6 for a while, nominally to replace the Fafner, but ended up selling it as the level of sub bass was just ridiculous and was very difficult to EQ out without the bottom falling out of the sound altogether. The Fafner just sits brilliantly in a live mix. Loads of headroom and a lot of clarity, even when adding some drive. Great slap amp too, even though it was marketed as the 'rock' head with the styling of the amp. 

I did record an album with the Fafner once, but to end up with the bass signal was mostly a clean DI straight to the desk from a Sadowsky Metro so I think that would probably help prove your point.

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1 hour ago, wateroftyne said:

I get the feeling they were a little more honest with the specs than the competition...

Yeah, totally - it didn't do them any favours did it? I think a lot of people would have discarded on the published figures alone without even testing it.

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44 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Yeah, totally - it didn't do them any favours did it? I think a lot of people would have discarded on the published figures alone without even testing it.

At least they are getting better at playing the games other companies are playing. 

The Reidmar 502 is marketed as being a 'lightweight amp in the 500w-range' capable of operating at 2 ohms despite it being 250 watts RMS at 2 or 4 ohms and 470 watts dynamic. Whereas the original Reidmar 250 was 250 watts RMS at 4 ohms and 470 watts dynamic output. If only EBS had marketed the original Reidmar as the 'Reidmar 504' then they would probably have got a few more sales. 

The new 802 from the pics appears to be 750 watts RMS at 2 ohms, so while not quite 800 watts RMS as you might think from the name, it is surely going to be loud enough to cover any reasonable situation so long as the cabinet is capable of dealing with the power.

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The new 802 looks like an amazing amp.

 

I've recently discovered that I love the EBS tone that I get from the amps. I was blown away by a 350/360 that I plugged into about 16/17 years ago at a shop and then went on a whimsical trip of a load of other amps until this year when I got a 502 and Neo 2x12. 

Literally the loudest amp I've played ever. From wedding venues to 1000 cap music venues I haven't really gotten it past 1/4 on the master volume.... And in some cases that was with just one 4ohm cab. 

I find them amazingly versatile amps. Yes they do that 90s rnb sound but I get some really nice warm sounds and find the bright control really effective. With rounds a dial it down with flats I dial it up to around half way as it helps give the bass some more clarity. 

 

They also have a very tough, authoritive punchy tone when cranked yet clear, you can really hear the bass and the sub roll off thing is really great for me. Haven't had a muddy undefined tone since getting the rig.

 

If I had the need or money I would pounce on the new amp! Instead I may just buy a drive pedal as I'm very happy with the 502...

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