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JapanAxe

NAD: EBS HD360 30th Anniversary

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I bought this yesterday from the gentleman known here as @lowregisterhead and I've only tried it briefly before purchase (to confirm it was as epic as the YT videos suggest) and for about half an hour last night (until Mrs Axe complained about the windows rattling). I'm therefore very much in the honeymoon period!

Although there are more knobs than I'm used to dealing with, it didn't take long for me to get familiar with their operation:

Character switch - too much bass boost for this to be useful to me, so I'm unlikely to be using this function. There is plenty of range on the Gain control. The Comp/Limit feature goes from just limiting peaks, right up to a pronounced sustain.

My gigging amps have tended to have valve preamps with passive tone stacks, so the active Filter section is a bit of a departure for me. I quite often need to cut bass when using my BF Super Twin, but (at least in my living room) this  control sounds right  at about noon. I boosted some Mids at 200Hz for my favoured sweet spot. The Treble control is really effective in bringing out the clank of a Precision. At first I thought it might be adding noise, but I discovered this was coming from the bass (with hands off strings) rather than the amp. The Bright control doesn't do much for me. It is focused on 10kHz, whereas the Super Twin doesn't reproduce much above 4kHz, plus I use flats. It might be different with roundwounds. The facility to make quick comparisons between flat and EQ'd sounds using the Filter switch is handy.

The Comp/Limit circuit comes after the Filter section, so with some Comp engaged, boosting the Bass can change the tonal balance without massively changing the volume, and still lets the fundamentals come through when playing up the dusty end. I set it so that it controls the transients on the one song where I (reluctantly) have to slap (Ashes to Ashes), evens out the harder attack when picking with a plectrum, but otherwise leaves my signal alone. I like it.

Drive is great for adding in some 'fur', in fact at settings below noon it is not a million miles from how my Ampeg PF-50T (sold to fund this purchase) used to sound when pushed. I see it is switchable, but it does bring in a significant volume boost, so I don't know how useful that would be in a live context. I might investigate foot-switching, but I'll probably just set and forget - I am not a mid-gig amp-knob-twiddler. (If anyone knows what goes on in the RM-4 footswitch, please let me know - I expect there is just an LED and current-limiting resistor on each switch.)

As I understand it, this model has the filters from the HD350 (which people seem to prefer) with the extra features of the HD360 (e.g. light-up push-switches). Although it's possible to pick up an HD350 for quite a bit less, I much prefer the look of this version's front panel, and it has a strong 'Rolls Royce' feel about it. The amp really brought out the difference between the basses I played through it, rand somehow seemed to increase the range of their passive tone controls. This may seem like an odd thing to say, but the thing I liked best about the TC Classic 450 I once owned was the ability to dial in some subtle compression and drive for a vintage-y sound, and then leave it. This amp does that too, but in a much classier package. It has also save me having to put together a pedalboard.

Roll on the first post-lockdown band rehearsal.

You're going to want pics, so here are a couple of photos from Dave's ad:

IMG_1885.jpegIMG_1886.jpeg

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Cracking amps. I have the old Fafner which has a not dissimilar EQ stack which is still kicking on after 11 years. I love the 350 as well. 

I did think that those 30th Anniversary 360 models were really terrific bits of kit when I saw them. Really great look and having a limited edition amp is always cool. 

One thing I love about the EBS amps is how they always cut though a live mix and how much definition there is to the sound. There is never too much wooly sub bass under 100HZ  that muddies things up on stage. 

Enjoy!

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15 hours ago, thodrik said:

Cracking amps. I have the old Fafner which has a not dissimilar EQ stack which is still kicking on after 11 years. I love the 350 as well. 

I did think that those 30th Anniversary 360 models were really terrific bits of kit when I saw them. Really great look and having a limited edition amp is always cool. 

One thing I love about the EBS amps is how they always cut though a live mix and how much definition there is to the sound. There is never too much wooly sub bass under 100HZ  that muddies things up on stage. 

Enjoy!

Yes I do like the flub-free bass response! This has properly scratched my itch for a capable 'big iron' amp.

Photos are now gone from the original ad so I'll take some myself when I have a minute or two.

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Loved the tone of the HD350 but found it lacking in volume, shame because i think the preamp is first class....maybe the 360 has more wallop?

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10 minutes ago, ebenezer said:

Loved the tone of the HD350 but found it lacking in volume, shame because i think the preamp is first class....maybe the 360 has more wallop?

If it's lacking in volume, its more down to the fact that you weren't running it with a 2 ohm load. These things kick out some serious stink!

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I'll be using this amp with a BF Super Twin. Early indications are that this will be plenty loud enough!

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15 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

If it's lacking in volume, its more down to the fact that you weren't running it with a 2 ohm load. These things kick out some serious stink!

It kicks out serious power through a big cab/efficient 4 ohm cab as well. I had the joy of trying a HD350 through an EBS Proline 8x10, there was more volume than I would ever need. 

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14 minutes ago, thodrik said:

It kicks out serious power through a big cab/efficient 4 ohm cab as well. I had the joy of trying a HD350 through an EBS Proline 8x10, there was more volume than I would ever need. 

Efficient 4ohm cab? Yep, BF Super Twin :)

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1 hour ago, thodrik said:

It kicks out serious power through a big cab/efficient 4 ohm cab as well. I had the joy of trying a HD350 through an EBS Proline 8x10, there was more volume than I would ever need. 

Totally. Enough volume of air being moved, job done.

Reports of this amp being quiet is somewhat... staggering.

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Hopefully I will have a band rehearsal soon - 80s cover project - Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Gary Numan, Human League etc.

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4 hours ago, JapanAxe said:

Hopefully I will have a band rehearsal soon - 80s cover project - Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Gary Numan, Human League etc.

Sounds like a great band to be in.

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49 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Sounds like a great band to be in.

I’m hoping so!

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Mrs Axe has gone to her sister's for a couple of days, so out came the toys. I played along with some of the Bowie tracks that I cover in my tribute band. I ended up knocking back the Drive a bit and adding a little more treble. I dare say it will all change again when I'm playing with the band.

HZg8TdP.jpg

pCoyQmP.jpg

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1 minute ago, EBS_freak said:

That BF hasn’t got a tweeter has it?

Nope.

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Was gonna say - a EBS with treble set like how you have it, would be taken your head off with treble!

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12 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Was gonna say - a EBS with treble set like how you have it, would be taken your head off with treble!

I set it to give me as much treble as I’m going to need with the bass’s tone control up full, then back it off to about 50% on the bass. From there I can adjust on the bass as needed - it gives the passive control a lot of range!

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Oh man, I really wanted to buy this, but I'm still waiting for my promotion (and therefore pay rise) kick in, have a blast with it 😀

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3 hours ago, Graham said:

Oh man, I really wanted to buy this, but I'm still waiting for my promotion (and therefore pay rise) kick in, have a blast with it 😀

Cheers! Just spent another hour or so playing with this, and I'm loving the sounds I'm getting.

I've only identified two minor negatives:

  1. The fan is quite loud in a quiet room. Once I start playing I don't notice it though, and I can't see it being a problem live.
  2. If I use a true bypass tuner (Korg Pitchblack, TC Polytune) into the front end there is quite a click when I engage it. I put this down to the rather high input impedance of 2Mohm. I put the tuner in the FX loop set to 100% wet - problem solved.

Can't wait to play this with my band!

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I had the HD350 - IMO one of the best Class D amps available.

The Customer Service from EBS is also very good...

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another (if I didn't have too many TE heads)...

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

I had the HD350 - IMO one of the best Class D amps available.

The Customer Service from EBS is also very good...

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another (if I didn't have too many TE heads)...

Class D?

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The popping pedal issue turned out to be a 330mV DC offset at the input, which was also causing crackling when I turned the volume pot on the bass. The offset has now disappeared, but I measured exactly the same voltage across the input capacitor. This suggests to me that the cap has an intermittent short - a quick google confirmed that this is the usual failure mode for multi layer ceramic caps. Although it is surface mount it is a decent size, so not too difficult (or costly) for me to replace.

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Struggling to find a direct replacement online - the cap might not be ceramic after all. I have contacted EBS to see if they can tell me what I need.

The other possibility is a stray bit of something conductive bypassing the cap.

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