Introducing: Gwin Amplification’s Big Sur 250 watt all tube bass amp
The name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big South", or from "el país grande del sur", "the big country of the South", referring to its location South of the Monterey Peninsula. Often considered the most photographed beach in the world, this majestic stretch of beach became home to many so called Hippies in the 60’s that found themselves caught up in Big Sur’s majestic surroundings and the roaring sound of the surf.
Master amp builder Keith Gwin, known for his all tube point-to-point hand wired amplifiers, has created the all new Big Sur 250 watt bass amplifier that is as majestic to look at as the Big Sur itself! Creating something more than just another boutique amp, he has incorporated some very unique features, not found on other tube bass amps. This is an all tube amp with no circuit boards and includes a balanced line output.
Upon receiving this amp I decided to take a look under the hood. Nice fat orange drops, JJ Tesla tubes and Mercury Magnetics transformers where a pleasant surprise. Nothing cheap here! Starting with aircraft quality all aluminum chassis, you will recognize names on the transformers and other parts that are synonymous with only the top builders and not found with most mainstream manufacturers. You will also note an active and passive input along with a variety of EQ functionality. Starting on the front panel you have a pre-gain drive control followed by bass, middle, treble, resonance and a presence control. In addition, you have a stand-by and on-off switches. The classic vibe of the chicken head knobs goes without saying.
On the back panel of the amp you will be delighted to see an IEC detachable power cord. Also included are two easy access fuse holders and accessible tube bias controls should you ever need them. This amp has a convenient 2/4/8 ohms speaker impedance selector which makes it nice when you want to change your cabinet combination. Also, not seen on many all tube bass amps are a ¼ TS and the more popular speakon speaker output connections. Next, the ground lift switch compliments a low z balanced XLR direct output which is tapped off the tube pre-amp section providing warmth and pre-master status which minimizes FOH/backline volume conflicts. Powered with four KT88 power tubes and three 12AX7 pre-amp tubes this amp has plenty of power and superb tone that will be sure to impress.
The hand crafted cabinet of select solid white pine with dovetail joints provides for a rock solid design. A leather dog bone handle keeps with the classic vibe with natural ventilation from back and top keeping the amp cool under extreme conditions.
• Model: Big Sur
• 100% all Tube amp
• Direct driven tube XLR-output
• Active/Passive inputs
• 2,4 and 8 ohms speaker outputs
• Pre-Drive Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Resonance, Presence and Master Volume controls
• 200 Watts (RMS)
• Matched Tubes
• IEC Power Cord
• Dimensions: 20 ½ ” L X 9 ¼ “ W X 10 ¾ “ H
• Weight: 45 Ibs.
• 5 Year Warranty (excluding tubes)
Using an American 2006 Fretted Jaco Jazz Bass, American 72 Precision Bass,Lakland 44-94,Avatar Neo 410 and a Schroeder 1212L speaker cabinets, I set the controls straight up with the pre-gain around 7:00 and the master around 9:00. Glad I had my Converse (Pepper’s) on tight. It was clear that this amp has a lot of headroom. After playing around with various settings, the Gwin BIG SUR could produce creamy overdrive tones, tight fat clean bottom end and brilliant highs. Not only does it sound great, it just looks plain cool. You can’t go wrong with this amp. Remember, these are hand made by Keith Gwin himself and can take up to 12 weeks to build. Keith is great and will work with you to tweak your sound. www.gwinamplification.com
Just get one,