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N(to me)AD - GR Mini Bass


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Having experienced ongoing problems with the head in my CMD121P, I was on the lookout for a relatively cheap, similarly-powered amp head that I could use as a backup. 

I mainly play in a local community orchestra, so huge volume isn't always needed - here's a video which shows the sort of thing we do:

However, I occasionally do other gigs etc which necessitated an extension cab with the CMD121P so I needed something that as a back up could push some air at 4ohms.

I considered the Trace Elf, but although all the reviews were positive, I thought it may have been a little light on welly. I'd been after a cheap LMII or III but, despite seeing them everywhere for months at really good prices (i.e. sub £300), I'd not seen one for ages. 

I came across @thebassist's ad for the GR Mini, and kept coming back to it. It seemed just the job - small enough to keep in the pocket of a gig bag, but with *just* enough welly to keep up if the combo head crapped out. 

Anyway, the orchestra had our first post-Covid, fully socially-distanced rehearsal at the weekend, so I chucked the GR Mini in the bag. 


It was a good thing I did in the end, as the Markbass carried on where it left off - volume dropping and jumping etc (which isn't great during quiet orchestral moments!)  so at the break, I switched to the GR Mini. I just disconnected the MB head and plugged the internal cab speaker into the new amp, and straight away it it was on the money. 

I'd noodled a bit with it in the bedroom, so I'd rolled up the bass a smidge, and rolled off the mid and treble (I tend to roll off the mids and highs generally - I like the VPF on the MD) and it was bang on - clearer than the MB (though a possibly unfair comparison given it wasn't feeling at its best) and it really cut through. There's a piece with a double-time walking bass part which I always struggle with, and after the rehearsal the guitarist (sat the other side of the drummer) complimented me on that part, so it definitely cut through! I didn't have the gain more than 1/4 up, and master about 1/3 max, so there's definitely more to come. I haven't tried it with an extension cab (at 4ohms it supposedly puts out 350W) but nothing makes me doubt that. 

I haven't had a chance to try it with upright (I have an EUB which I can just about manage one song on...) but I'd have thought it would fit the bill nicely. 

Now, I find myself considering whether I could fabricate a 'holder' for the GR to fit in place of the Combo Head...

Definitely a good buy, and thanks again to @thebassist as it was in mint condition when it arrived. 


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4 hours ago, Steve Soar said:

That video is super. 😍

Thanks Steve - I claim no credit other than the performance of the bass part, it was arranged by one of the orchestra founders who also does a lot of the management, and arranged for someone else to compile all the video. 

It came out really well, considering the range of different methods people recorded their parts - some used mics, some (like me) used a proper audio interface into a DAW, but others just played into their phone etc. 

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  • 3 months later...

interesting, as i have been searching for a small compact lightweight head to use with my EUB and Barefaced BB2 cab. I too have mixed views on the TE Elf and i stumbled on the OneMini and it seems to tick the right boxes but i'd like to read a review or see a Youtube review where someone is playing it rather than talking about it. But your experience gives me confidence. i have big rigs for me bass guitars so im not looking for anything bigger. Thanks

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