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stewblack

NAD. Small Green Bass Machine

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Got myself an Elf. 

The lockdown has been an illuminating experience for me. I live in one room. I share with three dogs and a ludicrous amount of big old bass gear. Until I found myself in here day in day out I hadn't accepted the obvious truth. I am crazy to keep it all out of sentiment. 

So I'm downsizing. Basses will come and basses will go but amps and cabs seem to stick around. Way too long. So out with the Ampeg and Ashdowns, time for Trace Elliotts to find new homes. Younger bassists deserve to experience these classic rigs. 

I have a plan, and the Elf is a part of it. 

You probably know all about them, they've been widely discussed here and elsewhere. 

My impressions?

Even though I have seen pictures and videos I was still taken aback by the tiny size. Its quite unreal. 

It's silent. I didn't know the thing was even on.

The tone isn't TE but it's meaty. 

Oh and when you crank the gain it breaks up, and not in a bad way. 

Not gigged it (obviously) but I can tell its going to be louder than I was expecting. The 1 x 10 I put it through can handle a reasonable amount of heft, oomph, and wallop, but this had it struggling. 

It's definitely not a toy, not some novelty, I will be using it. 

It's green and says Trace Elliott on it! 

IMG_20200424_113507.thumb.jpg.8105a6142c7d9af59e48e74997c82ed1.jpg

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I was really impressed with mine.

I thought it had a good tone and it is like you say, smaller than you think. Takes up no room, and you can just throw it in with your bass case or bag.

Good purchase!

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Curse you, Mr Stew.

I've spent many hours considering post-lockdown amplification... particularly going from lightweight to super-lightweight (due to my cronky legs). Now you've put my brain into overdrive again.

Feel free to share any views... plus or minus.

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8 minutes ago, Trueno said:

Curse you, Mr Stew.

I've spent many hours considering post-lockdown amplification... particularly going from lightweight to super-lightweight (due to my cronky legs). Now you've put my brain into overdrive again.

Feel free to share any views... plus or minus.

I will do. I have only shared first impressions here. Can't wait to crank it through a bigger cab. I cleared space at the back of the garage for a lockdown practise space but the blue tits are nesting right outside so I don't want to use that now. 

I get the house to myself for half an hour a day, I'll blast it then and get back to you. 

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I have had a quick blast through a Barefaced Compact. 

8ohms, so a little bit more heft to be had if a second cab is added. 

Holy moly. This thing is loud. Trace Watts translate into micro amps very nicely. 

That cool 'edge of breakup distortion' as the gain begins to clip is really good (to my ears) at volume. Think a low gain distortion pedal rather than a valve overdrive. Compresses the sound slightly and roughens the edges. 

How can those old TE Watts possibly exist in such a modern amp? I think I can explain. Despite having 'facts' on their side the pointy heads and boffins still get their baggy Y fronts in such a twist when the rest of us talk about Trace Elliot Watts.

Obviously they are juicier than common or garden watts. Everyone knows that. All the chalk board stuff and logarithms and whatnot 'proving' that all watts are equal misses the point.

The phenomenon owes its existence to a magical property of green on black when arranged in the form of an ancient rune. When applied to the outer surface of any amplifier it instantly doubles the juices in each watt, while leaving everything else appearing to be unaltered.

QED. 

It so happens that this mystic rune appeared, from some angles, to spell the words Trace Elliott, and that is how the company got its name. 

The rune was discovered by a apprentice cleaner in UU when dusting the appendices of the Octavo. But he didn't know what it meant. Later he came to Fred Friedlein in a lucid dream (this was widely thought to have been an accident as he had actually intended to visit Zarniwoop on his legendary office bound intergalactic cruise to ask why everyone kept telling him to turn down these days ) and so the magic passed into our reality. 

It's a huge relief to finally end one of Basschat's longest running arguments. 

 

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TE watts not the same as normal watts = good.

I do have a mystic cardboard box where I keep my rune stones... along with the tarot and other similar stuff... I'll give them a cast and see what turns up.

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7 hours ago, Trueno said:

TE watts not the same as normal watts = good.

 

BUT these are Peavey watts not classic Trace Elliot watts! :)

Edited by BassmanPaul

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40 minutes ago, BassmanPaul said:

BUT these are Peavey watts not classic Trace Elliot watts! :)

Don't confuse me with the facts!

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1 hour ago, BassmanPaul said:

BUT these are Peavey watts not classic Trace Elliot watts! :)

But the ancient rune I explained all that. 

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Congratulations on a great little amp.

I picked one up again after foolishly  letting my first one go. It’s tiny, it sounds great and it doesn’t turn to mush when you push it in the same way that the GK MB200 does (IMHO).
 

Will it shake the walls like the old iron heads? Probably not, but none of us thought they really would. But pair it up with a modern, efficient cab (or two) and it has enough to cover the live needs of many a weekend warrior and if not, as a gig bag back up they’re hard to beat.

Edited by Deedee
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59 minutes ago, jassbass said:

So these are loud enough to gig? thanks

This delivers 200W RMS at 4 ohms / 130W RMS at 8 ohms, I believe. And I'm old fashioned in considering an RMS watt to be a RMS watt, assuming that they have been measured accurately and not deliberately understated or overstated.

Whether this is going to be loud enough for your gigs must be very dependent on your band and set up.

In my case I'm using a single 8 ohm cab, with a full rock band and typically no PA support and I like a bit of headroom in my amps so that I don't need to drive the amp too hard. So I like to have a min of 300W+ at 8 ohms on tap. (I've actually got 450W at 8 ohms which is more than ample).

However @Deedee's experience is a better guide as he's put one through its paces.

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1 hour ago, jassbass said:

So these are loud enough to gig?thanks

 

Check the comment just above yours for actual experience. But I'm happily predicting that I will gig with this. 

How can I say that? While I have only played it a few times at home I have also played various gigged rigs at home. I know what I am comparing it with. 

There is a simple test I use. If it triggers my CPAP machine into life when played below half volume it will be fine in a gig. 

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On 25/04/2020 at 23:16, stewblack said:

Got myself an Elf...My impressions?

Even though I have seen pictures and videos I was still taken aback by the tiny size. Its quite unreal. 

It's silent. I didn't know the thing was even on.

The tone isn't TE but it's meaty. 

Oh and when you crank the gain it breaks up, and not in a bad way. 

Not gigged it (obviously) but I can tell its going to be louder than I was expecting. The 1 x 10 I put it through can handle a reasonable amount of heft, oomph, and wallop, but this had it struggling. 

It's definitely not a toy, not some novelty, I will be using it. 

It's green and says Trace Elliott on it! 

 

Welcome to the Elf club.  Peavey are selling loads of these; brilliant idea though, a bass amp that you can fit in your pocket and, as you point out, its green and says Trace Elliot on it!  There was a bit of internet chatter when it first came out of an uprated version, maybe 500 watts but I suppose with these selling so well, Peavey needn't bother.

On 26/04/2020 at 09:17, la bam said:

I was really impressed with mine.

I thought it had a good tone and it is like you say, smaller than you think. Takes up no room, and you can just throw it in with your bass case or bag.

Good purchase!

I've just been reading another of your posts about the Ashdown CTM300 you've just treated yourself to.  Thats a bit of a contrast, one amp that needs a fork lift and an Elf!  

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On 27/04/2020 at 19:49, jassbass said:

So these are loud enough to gig?thanks

 

Depending on your situation you should be able to gig on this. It Weill depend on the efficiency of you cabs, and the size of your guitarists cabs. I regularly gig with a GK mb500 so 300W at 8 ohms (2x10) and it is not turned past half way so probably only using 100 Watts or so.  I would expect 200W into 2x 2x10 to handle most situations.

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1 hour ago, Aliwobble said:

Depending on your situation you should be able to gig on this. It Weill depend on the efficiency of you cabs, and the size of your guitarists cabs. I regularly gig with a GK mb500 so 300W at 8 ohms (2x10) and it is not turned past half way so probably only using 100 Watts or so.  I would expect 200W into 2x 2x10 to handle most situations.

My tests are never scientific but having used my main gigging rig in the same surroundings as I've now been using the Elf, I'll be amazed if I can't gig it through 2 twelves. I remember turning up at a gig in Bath once. Zero parking anywhere at the venue and I'd been told it was really small so I took my little TC Electronic combo with me. I figured if I end up walking with all my gear I need to travel light.

It's 250 watts at four ohm but I'm only running it on it's own so not even that much. I get there and  it is indeed a tiny space. The space we're playing in that is, not the actual venue which disappears off into the distance like something you'd expect to find in Wookey Hole. PA is small vocal thing and anyway with five vocals and various acoustic instruments there's no room at the inn for my bass. I ran that little 2X8 combo flat out, and you know what? It coped just fine.

I think I often over estimate how much ooomf I need for any given gig. My first gigging rig was a Carlsboro Cobra 90 through a Laney 4X10 cab and I don't ever remember feeling I was under powered.

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On 27/04/2020 at 08:49, jassbass said:

So these are loud enough to gig?thanks

 

I played at The 100 Club last year. I let the support band use my rig, which Wasa barefaced BB2 and an Eden EX112 powered by my 'spare' amp which was an Elf. They were a loud classic rock band called Pig Iron. The sound engineer had to ask Hugh, their bass player, to turn down. So yeah if you're playing through efficient speakers, they're loud enough to gig!

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1 hour ago, Aliwobble said:

it is not turned past half way so probably only using 100 Watts or so.

Volume control position has no bearing on the wattage being produced ;) Different manufacturers use different types of potentiometer so sometimes you get all the volume in the first third of the movement, for example. It's not in any way a reliable method of saying "I was using half power" I'm afraid. And watts don't equal volume either. Sorry, pedant coat removed...

Back OT... I've gigged an Elf with a single Barefaced Super Compact (1x12", no tweeter) in a busy pub with a loud rock band and no PA support. It handled it... just. No headroom left but it coped and filled the room :)

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