I will tell you here my impressions and differences of these amps.
Blue Soul (later in the text: BSL)
Blue Sky (later in the text: BSY)
and the Bass Art Classic Top for reference (later in the text: BAC)
English is not my native language, so please excuse me, if something is not grammatical correct….
Here we go:
Preamp / DI:
The BSY has a different Preamp Stage than the BSL.
It is a true high voltage Class A design found also in the flagship of Glockenklang amps:
This kind of preamp design is also found in Hi End studio pres and mixing consoles.
I don’t know any bass amp that offer this quality in the preamp section.
The BSL has a class A/B preamp, still very high quality but not in the same ballpark as the preamp in the BSY or BAC.
The preamp in the BSL is basically the same as in the Soul II amp from Glockenklang.
The sonic differences results in a more open, dynamic, natural response and overall even more musical behavior.
The difference though is not a „Night and Day“ kind a thing.
If you are an experienced player, you will notice it right away though….
Both channels on both amps have a pretty high impedance, making it perfect for Upright bass that use typically piezo PU’s.
Input A has 3 MΩ, input B has 4.7 MΩ impedance. Very good!
It sounds fantastic with passive instruments, of course, it handles active instruments also perfectly.
You can drive the Gain fairly high, even if the preamp starts to distort, if sounds awesome!
This gives you a lot of tonal variety just by using the gain knob!
I love the way the preamp sounds if you drive it a bit harder, just before it starts to distort.
It is a thick, ballsy tone, yet still detailed and perfectly controllable!
So don’t be afraid to push the gain and let the overdrive LED light up.
Even if the Gain is cranked up all the way, you get a nice overdriven tone,
that beats many overdrive pedals i know. Give it a try!
Of course, this feature is not meant to be an aggressive distortion or overdrive thing.
The preamp definitely has its potential in the „clean“ department.
But it is nice to have the option to drive it harder……
This actually applies to all Glockenklang Amps, the BSL, BSY and BAC,
but the BSY and BAC does this more in a more „musical“ than the BSL.
One thing that i noticed is, that many active basses produce way too much output.
The good old „louder is better“ kind of mentality.
Try to reduce the output of your bass
(some onboard electronic can do that using internal trim pots inside the cavity)
and let the preamp of the BSY do the work. This sounds usually much better in my experience.
Using passive basses with a good, not too long cable is where the preamp can show his full potential.
Chances are, that you might find your onboard preamp sound kinda „cheap“ in comparison to the preamp of the BSY,
when using your bass in passive mode.
I use the BSY quite often without any EQ. The preamp is that good!
If you have a good Instrument and are able to produce a good tone with your fingers,
this preamp will translate what you play in very musical and inspiring way.
There are not many bass amps out there that can do that.
Even with the BSL i had the EQ on most of the time.
The DI is a transformerless design and sounds awesome.
It really doesn’t get much better than this. Very, very high quality.
You can use both, the BSL and the BSY in recording situations.
It will deliver a pristine signal on your recordings or where ever you plug it in to.
Ground lift and pre/post are off course provided.
Pre - takes the signal right after the Preamp and before the EQ.
Post - will take the signal after Preamp, EQ and EFX Return but before the Master. Perfect!
The BSY in addition has the possibility to control the output level of the DI signal
using a litte trim pot located at the left side of the BSY.
This becomes very handy if you drive the Preamp harder.
I had with the BSL a few times the problem, that the DI signal of the BSL was a bit too hot for some mixing consoles,
especially cheaper ones, found often in clubs and venues around the world.
So, the adjustable DI output in the BSY is a very good thing to have.
I leave it in general quite low, so i can drive the preamp the way i want and don’t have to worry about the DI out being too hot….
You need a little screwdriver to do this.
Its a bit of a hassle but usually you don’t have to adjust this very often.
The EQ section of the BSL is graphic 5Band design.
Bass, Low Mid, Mid, High and Treble
The BSY has Bass, Low Mid, a parametric Mid section and Treble.
The parametric Mids cover a wide range from 200 Hz up to 4 kHz.
That makes the EQ of the BSY much more flexible than the EQ of the BSL.
I can finally „touch“ any frequency that i want / need to.
The bandwidth (Q) is chosen just right. Not too narrow, not too wide. I Like!
Upright players will find it very useful too!
Some people were complaining that the EQ of the BSL is not flexible enough, especially in the Mids.
This has been corrected now on the BSY.
The general quality and sound of the EQ in both amps, the BSL and the BSY is very high.
The pots don’t have a center position, feel very smooth and have a nice resistance while you turn them.
It feels like sculpting a piece of wax with a hot knife. Awesome!
Little changes are being heard immediately but it feels always under control and predictable!
The EQ on both amps is very powerful and musical.
You can switch off the entire EQ on both amps, this is also very cool!
BSL and BSY have the same Class D Poweramp.
The BLS is rated at 650W RMS, the BSY at 700W RMS
The difference is rather „cosmetic“.
I assume Glockenklang wanted to separate the two amps a little more from each other.
But these ratings are real Watts! These Amps go loud, very loud!
There is no limiting audible even at very high volume levels.
These Class D power amps deliver big time!
I have yet to hear a Class D Bass amp, that outperforms the BSL and BSY.
This is Class D at its best! Fast, very dynamic, accurate, in the face!
Saying this, i must mention that the power amp of the BAC still is in a different league.
That Amp is the ultimate Solid State amp! If you have the chance to play one, you will hear what i mean…..
But this amp is very big and very heavy.
Anyway, the BSL and the BSY are still the best Class D amps out there.
At least in my opinion. I did compare them to many popular Class D amps,
The Glockenklang BSL and BSY are really hard to beat.
They are not cheap, but if you are looking for an amp, that brings out „Your tone“,
than they are worth every cent.
Quality wise, Glockenklang produces some of the best quality Equipment on the market.
There are no cheap parts inside, everything is professionally, carefully desiged and manufactured.
Many of the parts in the Amps are being custom made.
I played an Glockenklang Amp for almost 20 years on more than 1000 Gigs (no joke) with NO problems.
The company provides excellent service too.
This is no compromise, high quality stuff.
Please go to the website of Glockenklang for technical data and further information: http://www.glockenklang.de/en/index_en.html