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Baloney Balderdash

Trace Elliot ELF or 300W GP7SM head, which should I get?

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From what I have observed a Trace GP7 300 is actually 150W.. I was disappointed in the construction of my unit. The cooling path was just a fan blowing on a heatsink. 

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2 hours ago, BassmanPaul said:

From what I have observed a Trace GP7 300 is actually 150W.. I was disappointed in the construction of my unit. The cooling path was just a fan blowing on a heatsink. 

This was a 300W GP7SM head though (and even if it hadn't been and had just been 150W it would still had been plenty for my needs, as I had no issues with hearing myself and being heard at band rehearsals in a loud hard hitting rock band (without ear plugs my ears seriously hurt) with my 130W 1x15" GP7SM Trace Elliot combo amp, and that with the master volume never having to pass the about 10/11 o'clock mark at any time (people complaining about not being able to hear them self using a 300W amp must either be deaf or use a feather for picking (no wonder if they are deaf though at the kind of volume they must play at))).

It has been sold to someone else though, and as it turned out I eventually decided to nether buy that head or an ELF or similar minature Class D head, since I actually got a tone that I really like from my pedal setup, just utilizing a TC Electronic SpectraComp, a Joyo Orange Juice analog Orange amp emulation preamp/overdrive mixed paralelly with the dry signal of my bass via my Boss LS-2, a chain of six 2 band fully parametric Equalizers in a patch on my Zoom MS-70 CDR digital multi stomp pedal, and finally my Behringer BEQ700 Bass Graphic Equalizers, sounding great just  like that just going direct when using headphones for home practice, and for band rehearsals going into the Effects Return (poweramp input) of my 160W Peavey Solo Special 112 guitar combo, with it's build in 12" guitar speaker disconnected, and instead being hooked up to my 400W SWR Triad I full range bass cab (equipped with a 1x15 (full range bass driver) + 1x10" (mid range driver) + tweeter horn (high frequency driver)), though I plan on buying a cheap poweramp for easier transportation, and then adding an ART Tube MP Project Series tube preamp between the Behringer EQ and the poweramp to get a line level signal. 

It took quite a lot of experimenting and fiddling to get my amp-less rig just right only by utilizing equalization and no real bass preamp or cab simulation, but as far as I am concerned it is just about absolutely perfect as it is now.

The urge to get that used Trace Elliot head was really more of an irrational nostalgia driven whim, than it was because I really needed it, anyway. 

They do sound absolutely amazing though, those old Trace Elliot amps. but they also weight about half a ton (so does my current old SWR cab and Peavey amp too though (even if also sounding amazing), but knowing that I am not really dependent on either, and that I could just go direct into a PA and still get a really great tone that sounds exactly like I prefer my tone to be it is a great comfort and feels good, well worth the work it required to get there, and in the end it saved me some money as well). 

As far as the construction goes I don't get you, they are build like tanks, if they weren't how would you explain most of them still being fully and absolutely flawlessly functional and perfectly great sounding after something like 30 years straight of harsh "Rock'n'Roll and stuff possibly even worse" abuse?

What more proof do you need?

If that's not a testament to absolutely solid quality construction, despite your personal opinion on the matter, I don't know what it is, I somehow doubt most of the current class D lightweight amp making it that long without giving up halfway, and even less if put through that same kind of abuse as some of these old amps have been through, yet continuing to play on absolutely perfectly as if like that never happened to them.  

  

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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4 hours ago, BassmanPaul said:

From what I have observed a Trace GP7 300 is actually 150W

What makes you think that? Just curious as I’m pretty certain the 300 would be 300 watts at 4ohms

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I think it might be 300W peak and not RMS. 

The TO3P output transistors are too small for 300W with only half of the slots with devices installed.

Edited by BassmanPaul

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@BassmanPaul

Funny cause the old Trace Elliot amps are known to push a great deal above their rated power.

But whatever, I am grateful that I at least use my ears and not my eyes to play music, makes it all come a lot more naturally.

Did you even actually try it out, or did you just take it apart to look at it's innards?  

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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20 hours ago, Deedee said:

What makes you think that? Just curious as I’m pretty certain the 300 would be 300 watts at 4ohms

I had one and I’m pretty sure the RMS rating on the amp sleeve was 280 watts at 4 ohms with the peak being about 580 watts. At 8 ohms you are probably looking at 150-170 watts or something.

Of course, a bench test rating could result in a different measurement. It certainly felt like an amp in the 300 watt region rather than 150 watts though even the 150 watt Trace Elliots are generally pretty damn loud. It should be a perfectly giggable amp.

Also, it is worth remembering that the SM series of amps are now well over 20 years old, so the units around the marketplace could be subject to any number of aftermarket repairs or mods, or simply might not be working properly anymore.

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On 14/11/2020 at 15:28, Baloney Balderdash said:

@BassmanPaul

Funny cause the old Trace Elliot amps are known to push a great deal above their rated power.

But whatever, I am grateful that I at least use my ears and not my eyes to play music, makes it all come a lot more naturally.

Did you even actually try it out, or did you just take it a part to look at it's innards?  

I bought the unit in need of repair. That was simple enough the output transistors had failed. I repaired the output board and added devices to the empty slots - had to drill and tap the heatsink to accept them. I then wanted to improve the cooling path but got involved in other more important projects. I'm now considering dropping in a Class D module but haven't researched that too much to date.

Edited by BassmanPaul

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I wouldn't buy an amp in the hope that it'll sound like a totally different amp. That never works.

Go out and listen to as many amps as you can. Exclude the heavy ones, ignore the name, and choose the one that sounds the best.

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Those old Traces are rack mountable aren't they? Would be easier to transport in a 2u rack bag, especially if it's currently in a a wooden case.

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As an indication of what the Elf can do, it kept up with a moderately loud rock band rehearsal with just one BF One10. Definitely not something to gig with often, but could do it at a pinch. With two cabs, easy-peasy.

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