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Super Clean Amp - For use with Helix


Crawford13

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Does anyone have any recommendations for a super clean amp to use with my hx stomp.  I was using a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 going into the effects return, but tried using it for the first time since covid hit last night to find out that its not sending a funny noise to the cab.

 

So I'm looking for a small light amp to replace the Genz Benz.

 

I often rig share at gigs so still want to provide an amp, but my tone is coming from the hx stomp, so an effects return is a must.

 

The Ashdown OringinAL looks like a good bet, but I'm not a fan of it not using speakon.

 

Cheers

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If budget isn't an issue, take a look at Acoustic Image and their Clarus range. Anything aimed at people who double on DB tends to allow for the sort of possibilities you're after.

 

If you choose a 2-channel amp, then you can 'reserve' one channel for your clean sound when sharing.

 

AI kit is pretty dear, but their aftersales service tends to be excellent and no-quibble.

 

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RCF 745 FRFR. That's what I use.

 

No conventional bass amp and cab is remotely flat despite what the marketing department might want you to believe. That all have their own unique baked-in sound. That's why you choose one brand over another - it's has a baked-in sound that you find pleasing.

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7 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

RCF 745 FRFR. That's what I use.

 

No conventional bass amp and cab is remotely flat despite what the marketing department might want you to believe. That all have their own unique baked-in sound. That's why you choose one brand over another - it's has a baked-in sound that you find pleasing.

 

For a solid state amp the baked in tone is in the preamp though, so if hes going into the effects return or line in its just getting the power amp section which is usually some off the shelf module or follows a standard design.  

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1 minute ago, bassman7755 said:

 

For a solid state amp the baked in tone is in the preamp though, so if hes going into the effects return or line in its just getting the power amp section which is usually some off the shelf module or follows a standard design.  

This, I don't want to go down the PA speaker route as I want to be able to share my rig with people that aren't running amp sims. 

 

Really looking for a small light amp that has the effects loop, so that I can use that & other people can use it as an actual amp. 

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15 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

This, I don't want to go down the PA speaker route as I want to be able to share my rig with people that aren't running amp sims. 

 

Really looking for a small light amp that has the effects loop, so that I can use that & other people can use it as an actual amp. 

 

I have a patch on my Helix with just an amp and speaker sim on it (the EBS one IIRC), with the tone controls for the amp up on the display so that they can be altered if required. Anyone who wants to use my (currently) unconventional rig simply plugs their bass or pedal board into the main Helix input and uses this. Since it's not a patch I use myself, it really doesn't matter how much they fiddle about with the controls. The only thing I tell them is to make a note of the settings after soundchecking if more than one band is going to using this rig. TBH I feel far more comfortable about other bassists using this then I did when I had a conventional bass rig. I also had one bassist who used my rig who didn't bother with this default patch but simply asked to use the one I had soundchecked with for my band as it sounded so good.

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The money-no-object option:  https://www.thomann.de/gb/eich_amplification_t900_black_edition.htm

 

I have its predecessor the techamp puma 900, absolute beast of an amp, ideal as a small super powerful small/light power amp. I believe these amps are also design to be flat response with all the controls at 12 so you could just centre everything and plug in the front as usual.

 

Which reminds me, I've been meaning to do a class D vs other sound test at gigging volume, see if people can tell which is which.

Edited by bassman7755
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The clean on a DG amp is very "clean" with excellent EQ versatility. And oodles of power in the 900 series.

 

They do also include a DG dirt in the preamp (B3K + VMT or AO), which you might feel a bit of a waste though, if that is not your thing.

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

The clean on a DG amp is very "clean" with excellent EQ versatility. And oodles of power in the 900 series.

 

They do also include a DG dirt in the preamp (B3K + VMT or AO), which you might feel a bit of a waste though, if that is not your thing.

Yeah the MT500 is on my list, or possibly the MT900v2. 

 

I'm not keen that the MT900v1's DI is linked to the master volume. 

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1 minute ago, Crawford13 said:

Yeah the MT500 is on my list, or possibly the MT900v2. 

 

I'm not keen that the MT900v1's DI is linked to the master volume. 

 

 

Those would both be very good choices (I've got the AO 900). In which case you also get a freebie compressor thrown in with the v2, if you want to use, and the amps have hpfs built in as standard which is neat in terms of removing boominess. All in all a quality package in a good looking design.

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Truth is you can use any amp with an effects loop and just plug into the effects return, bypassing the amp's pre-stage and just utilising the poweramp side.  Nothing is truly transparent though, all circuitry will add colour.

 

Alternatives would be the poweramp route; while everyone who has gone with one has their preferred make/model, I used a Matrix GT for a while and would recommend it to anyone.  Lightweight, loud, stereo or bridged mono.  The only downside is that you'd need to put it in a rack.

 

[Edit] I always route my bass through Sansamps; I've run a variety (BDDI, VT-BASS, GT2, RBI), currently I have a DI-2112 and a dUg DP thing.  I'm running either of these into the effects return on a Darkglass AO/900 head; I rarely go in the front.  I'd prefer a Demeter Minnie 800D and know someone who is selling one, but need to shift the Darkglass first.

 

Edited by NancyJohnson
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When I first dipped a toe into these waters (pre-Stomp days), I used my iPad and the Positive Grid preamps/effects into a Markbass F1. I'm not that keen on the LM heads, but I thought the F1 was very 'quick and clean'...plus it's a lot smaller than the LMs...

 

You'd have to find a SH one these days, tho...

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If your using send return loops, check the schematics of the amp first. Not all amps bypass the amps preamp. I'm pretty sure markbass dont, and I've used others that dont too and it's frustrating.

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54 minutes ago, la bam said:

If your using send return loops, check the schematics of the amp first. Not all amps bypass the amps preamp. I'm pretty sure markbass dont, and I've used others that dont too and it's frustrating.

 

I had an Ashdown head (a racked UK built ABM one) that worked to a fashion.  You needed to go into the effect loop return, but at the same time you needed to trick the head into believing it had something plugged into it.  I just used to leave a jack to mini-jack converter plugged into the input socket and it worked fine.

 

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I have a fender 800Pro which is super clean and the eq can be bypassed, it can get super loud but it’s an old school design, class a/b I think rather than class d power section, so it’s in and about the 14kg range. If you can find one and don’t mind the weight - it’s only the weight of a decent dumbbell/kettlebell it’s a great head. I’ve been using mine for my stomp for this very reason and the super versatile eq means I can make adjustments at the amp if I want to adjust lows etc or add a little extra editing on the fly - handy for a bit of low or hi mid bump

71B923E3-80A4-4B8B-9528-6AF0714AC740.jpeg

Edited by krispn
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Ashdown Rootmaster. You can bypass the EQ with a switch on the front. I used to before my Helix days just because my Sire sounded so incredibly good with its onboard EQ. Now with my Helix I don't bother with the effects loop I just go straight to the input and sometimes use the amp EQ, sometimes don't depending on what I want to achieve. Also, they're going crazy cheap at the moment despite being excellent amps.

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