1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is now updated and should work after you upgrade. TalkBass is responsive to any screen size, so we recommend using your mobile browser for full functionality.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Tone Hammer or Streamliner with Baer ML112

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by eeyorebass, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. eeyorebass

    eeyorebass

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm getting myself a new rig for my birthday, and I know I'm getting the Baer ML112 for the cabinet. Reading the reviews and Mr. Baer's posts, I really like his approach.

    I've narrowed the amp choice down to the Streamliner 900 or the Tone Hammer 500. I primarily play a jazz bass (lakland), occasionally a P-bass.

    Can anyone give me some general impressions of how these heads compare with the ML112?

    Thanks,
    Jeremy
  2. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    The ML112 is one of those cabs that IMO and IME really works with the Streamliner. The Streamliner is gloriously fat down low, and a bit polite in the upper mids, and a bit relaxed in the mid mids as its inherent voicing.

    The controlled low end of the ML112, and the bright top end (that is still nice and warm and organic sounding) really works with the Streamliner. And, the 8ohm power is great to really get the ML112 wumping.

    I have not tried the TH500 with the ML112. I did not own the TH500 when I had the chance to spend some quality time with the ML112. The TH500 also has a big low end, but has MUCH more inherent midrange punch, and is a bit more aggressive and 'rough' up top. I would think this head would work nicely also if you wanted a bit more grind and grunt in your tone right out of the box. And, while its tone controls are 'interactive' like the Streamliners with the gain control (and the drive control in the Aguilar's front end), the TH500 is a bit more 'idiot proof' and simple to dial in if you aren't a knob tweaker. The Streamlienr is a knob tweakers dream, with lots and lots of different flavors, some of which are amazing, and some of which are quite bad! Takes just a bit more work. The TH500 punches and snarls right out of the box.

    The Streamliner can get very, very clean and pure and is very 'all tube' sounding. The TH500 is punchier, brighter, still very 'fat' (like the Streamliner) versus many other micro's, but sounds like, well, an Aguilar versus an 'older school tube amp'.

    Both are great. I would say the decision comes down to what you really favor inherently... a fat, somewhat burpy punch with a bit of a rough edge to it (TH500), or more old school, vintage, all tube fatness that is more creamy and pure. Of course, you can really push the gain of the Streamliner, but it never gets quite as gnarly as the Th500 to my ear.


    The TH500 also puts out impressive volume at 8ohms. Both companies are great in almost every way... service, quality, innovative designs, etc.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    One other thing. I personally like the idea of getting that 'fat, complex' tone without any tubes. When I'm gigging on the road, the last thing I want to worry about is a tube going funky on me. The TH500 is 4 pounds, simple as heck (no tubes), and as 'P Bass' friendly as I would ever need. That, and the ease to get that 'in your face' punch in about 2 seconds out of the box, resulted in me moving to the TH500 for my 'less than perfectly clean' amplification needs.

    Pure IMO there... I'd be quite happy with the ML112 and the Streamliner in general.
  5. eeyorebass

    eeyorebass

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot for your input.

    I had been leaning toward the Streamliner, but maybe not. I do like a little more "roughness" to my tone, especially in the lower mids. I play exclusively 4-strings and do mostly roots-rock, country, etc. I'm not a big tweaker either, more set and forget. I don't mid working to find the tone, but it likely won't change much once I do.

    Jeremy
  6. rpsands

    rpsands

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Going to say this a bunch more over the coming weeks but if you are the type to hold onto amps for a long time, SERIOUSLY consider an Orange BT500 over a Streamliner. They just sound amazing. Definitely worth comparing.
  7. Not yet

    Not yet

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not a knob tweaker and took me a little bit to find my way on the streamliner, but now that I have the band is sounding better than ever and my drummer is actually listening to me. Claims it first time he really heard me....don't really care the reason but the band is much fuller and tighter with this amp
  8. CElton

    CElton Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    I currently pair my ML112 with a Streamliner 900. I have no complaints. It really opens up the Baer and sounds fantastic. I go for that clean, fat, round and warm tone. I'll admit, I'm very intrigued by the TH500. I have a Tone Hammer pedal coming and plan to run it into the effects return bypassing the Streamliner's pre just to see what I think. I've used a TH pedal for IEM gigs in the past and really dug it.

    I'm missing a bit of that upper mid grind or timbre that KJung is referring to. However, I really like the power and headroom I get with the Streamliner.
  9. eeyorebass

    eeyorebass

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll be very curious to know what you think of the TH preamp compared to the Streamliner.

    From what I've read about the two pieces separately, it seems the character of the ML112 compensates for the "flaws" people mention about the Streamliner, making them a perfect pairing. I've also been through some of the Streamliner EQ threads, and I can see how the out of the box tone would leave some wondering what the fuss is about.

    From clips, I like the breakup characteristics of the Streamliner better, and the Tone Hammer may be a little too "grindy" for me, especially through a cab like the ML112.

    I also wish the Tone Hammer had a headphone out. I have to practice when my daughter is asleep sometimes.

    I guess I'm still leaning toward the Streamliner, but I've got a couple more weeks before I place any orders. Time for more listening, and I'd love any more opinions.

    Thanks for all the help so far, guys.
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    This is, for sure, not a 'better or worse' comparison to me.... just a difference in approach to vibe a bit more 'vintage' or 'tubey' tone, for lack of a better term.

    The Streamliner/ML112 is just awesome, and as you point out, and as I've experienced, the yin yang between the Streamliner and ML112 is very good... fat and smooth versus controlled and bright (but bright in the 'top of the driver upper mid paper cone bright, versus spikey or harsh). VERY nice. The TH500 will snarl and punch a bit more, but the Streamliner will sound a bit fatter and a bit more tubey in the classic sense of that term.
  11. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    53
    I actually just recently got a Tonehammer preamp. From the limited time I have had with it there are a few things I can say in comparing it to a streamliner through a 15/6.

    The streamliner has a more "wooly" tube tone, and the TH has more of a snarl to it (I think Kjung nailed this comparison). I would also say the SL feels a tad more flubby in the lows (not a bad thing) where as the TH feels quicker. I think both have great but different overdrive tones, you just have to figure out what kind of response you want out of the amp.
  12. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Likes Received:
    2
    I would seriously consider the Carvin BX500 for those cabs. With it you can turn up the tube overdrive and target those killer midrange tones that give you that Squire dirt with serious heft. I have the BX250 (built into a combo) and the tones can be wicked, clean, warm, whatever you want. With the money you save on the BX500, you can purchase a backup BX250 which is enough to drive a pair of BAER’s, if needed.

    I saw a friend’s band a few months ago and their Bassplayer was driving a BRX10.2 with a BX500 with some good mid overdrive (playing with a pick) and his tone was wicked! Geddy Lee/Chris Squire wicked. These Baer cabs were designed (from what I’ve read) with that classic, in-your-face tone in mind. I have gas for them since reading about how/why they were designed because that’s the tone I like myself.

    You can buy a BX500 and send it back for little cost, because it’s light. Do a head-to-head comparison and keep the one you like.
  13. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Likes Received:
    1
    Kinda OT, here,Ken, but, how would you compare the F500 to the TH ? I had a TH pedal for awhile and found it snarly and crunchy right from the getgo. Also, does the TH seem " louder " than the F500 ?
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    My primary gigging head (as has been for years) is the F500 to this day. I still love it.... loud, articulate, even, and not significant built in goosing, but not sterile either (as you know).

    The TH500, as you point out, is snarly and a bit crunchy right out of the box, and has a more meaty low end (to my ear, a touch more extended in the deep bass than the F500, and a good dose of upper bass presence built in). The EQ is much more extreme/powerful/impactful on the TH500, so you can really dial in massive burp and fat punch versus the more subtle F500 EQ.

    The F500 is still my personal 'state of the art' if you want a sort of 'studio mic preamp through a mixing board' sort of 'transparent' response without super bass extension or supper sizzle, or lots of midrange distortion in the upper mids or whatever.

    The TH500 works REALLY well with my Audiokinesis cabs, since they are clean and even and transparent, which makes my P Bass sound a bit 'lacking in warmth and character' when using my F500 with those cabs. Nice in yang.

    I don't really hear any difference in maximum volume between the two... they both seem honestly rated. Both loud, and both do EXACTLY what their designers set out to do. With Markbass, the F500 is 'a smaller LMIII that is a bit crisper, tighter, punchier, louder and 'quicker feeling'. With the Aguilar, the TH500 (IMO) is about as close as one can get to a DB751 in a lightweight amp.

    I liked the F500 with the Baer ML112, but liked the LMIII better... warmer and more organic... better match with the mid driver voicing IMO.
  15. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Likes Received:
    1
    ^ Thanks. I'm kinda wondering if the TH would be a bit too much with my 3012HO loaded 212/Horn cabs.
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    You can control the upper mids pretty nicely with the semi-parametric EQ, and the bass control puts a big wump to the low end. My guess is, it would sound pretty good!
  17. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Likes Received:
    1
    It just might. But, I'm one of the few who think the 3012HO's are not lacking in low end at all, at least for my puprposes. With my GB 9.0, I find myself going to the left on the bass knob.
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Likes Received:
    4
    The TH500 might be a bit much then. With the bass control set flat, it is not particularly big down low, but a smidge of a boost on the bass knob, and it gets FAT.

    It definitely is not as bright in the upper mids as the Shuttle 9.
  19. eeyorebass

    eeyorebass

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is close to the kind of tone I'm after:


    I prefer to have more texture in the mids and a more controled low end. I'm guessing the ML112 will 'punch' a bit more. I also use rounds on my jazz instead of the flats on that video.

    I think the Streamliner is edging further into the lead.

    Jeremy
  20. astack

    astack Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been digging the TH and Baer stack for a few months now (active Jazz with rounds). I stopped my search at the TH and never actually tried the SL (though any time one's up in the classifieds I usually lurk around...)

    To me, I think Aggie's do the extended range Jazz snarl very well. I've interpreted the description of the SL to be a better match for a P, IMO.

    Overall, of the one's I considered, there's kind of a spectrum from the Orange Terror (mentioned above) - TH500 - SL900. It's like going from a 100 Grand to a Snickers to a Milky Way. Oh and they're all fun sized. ;)

    Edit: Right, my point is, I have a hard time making up my mind, and I thought the TH was a great "goldilocks" solution in that class of mean micros.

Share This Page