I own this amp for a month or so. I was hesitating between this amp and the same made pedal. As a touring bass player light weight and small size were the two main things, so I chose the amp version to avoid the need of some other power amp. I have to say, this amplifier fulfills my needs and more: its sound is even better than one could expect. In details: The pots run with ease and smoothness. The EQ part does the job within a big range but there's no problem if you only need to slightly modify your sound. The mid-range is switchable, which first seemed somewhat few for me. After I plugged in my bass, it convinced me, that even one has only two frequency ranges to select, nothing more is needed. Together with the character circuit the mid-range is flexible enough to get a very well defined sound. If this wasn't enough, there's a bite switch, it's kinda like the presence pot on some other amps. While distorted settings, the switch does what's its name... I'm pretty sure that it doesn't need any transition between on and off. The character circuit does an excellent job. I like that it has transitions between different amplifier modellings. This together with the generic mids gives more than enough capability in designing the sound one can want. Also, there is a very helpful section with basic settings in the manual so one has nice starting points for different sound styles. First I set up the amp exactly how it's described, then I need minimal adjustment, just to fit the sound to my instrument. By the way, there are also empty "maps" for enabling the customer for quickly draw settings for further use. The device has no memory for this presets at all, but with this small sheet everyone can tweak the amp for worked-before settings. I use this amp with a Spector Euro 6 LX via wireless into a 4x12 box fed by the VT. The power is more than enough, I'm sure, it will do in every stage. I have enough sandbox to work out very different tones for metal as well as funky-jazz stuff. With the useful cheat sheet you can turn the amp from growling Godzilla into a purring cat in seconds. It's funny that the size of the amp exceeds only a bit of my wireless receiver. I will not put it in a rack, so now it's in a gigbag for another bass amp. I find it very comfortable to carry all my stuff in a tiny bag instead of a big and heavy rack. I can fit it even in my instrument's gigbag, I don't think one would need more flexibility in sound and size relation. The price/value rate makes this amplifier an excellent choice. I would buy another one if I it's needed, besides that I'm thinking of buying a pedal version for home recording purposes.
Superior product to items more than twice its price
The EQ on this amp is very musical, easy to use and effective. It has everything on it that I need. I was able to replicate my tone and settings within seconds, as the true sound of this amp is already present.
Hooked into a 1x12 and 1x15, I have a loud enough rig to play festivals and large clubs with power to spare (beyond 50% is too loud)!
The major bonus is the VT bass tone circuitry, which is almost as good as my Billy Sheehan signature drive pedal. Almost - in that it lacks compression, but to my ears is way better than the tube pre-amps I have replaced this with. I use it for low end grunt, rather than all out drive - although it is great for all sorts of tones.
It is consistent and should be reliable. It is very simple - and has a great DI with pad and ground lift (very important).
I am not sure why they decided to put all of the jack sockets on the front, as this is not really of much use in a rack. And indeed, the rack mounting kit is not available easily, which is a bit of a pain. It really should come with it, but I guess this is in the interests of keeping costs down and reducing wastage?
However, with all that said, the tone is super, the weight is laughable (as it is so light), and the size is ridiculous for the power output this is capable of, and it does appear to handle large transients quite happily.
It can be made to sound like a dry and flat sounding amp, or very quickly go to crunch and dirt, or anything in between. Plug in and play - this thing takes all of 5 seconds to work out and get a great set of sounds with.
I am so impressed I will buy another as a spare! I've always been impressed with Tech21 having used their products right from the beginning, and this doesn't disappoint.
If you're an Ashdown user looking for something better made, better sounding, lighter and smaller - this will knock your socks off. I've sold both of mine as a consequence.
Thomann gave me a sterling service, very quick and at an excellent price.
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