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Trace Elliot ah500 12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wolfkeller, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I picked up an old ah500 w 12 band eq made in England for a $600 trade. Sounds killer, no longer need my RBI, any thoughts on it? Known issues, repairs ect?
  2. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL

    Congrats on your score. I've got a Trace Elliot AH500x, a 1048 and 1528 cab. It's pretty awesome. I haven't had any problems with any of my Trace gear. If I had any issues, I'd start searching the trace owners club threads here, then check out British Audio Services: http://www.britishaudioservice.com/
  3. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    Hi there,

    I just picked up a Trace Elliot AH500 myself too last weekend.
    I have played a TE for about 20 years and could never afford one of those big boys when they came out. I've been looking for an affordable one for ages. They hardly ever turn up here, so this one I just had to snap up.

    I havent gigged with it yet. But cant wait!!

    I've just taken it to get it serviced as ther is a slight intermittent buzz that i can hear and also one of my volumes is scratchy. Hopefully they'll get it working like new again.

    Has awesome TE sound that I've grown fond of these past 20 years, but finally it's got some power behind it.

    I am amazed at how many different TE models there are around. When I can figure how to upload images here, I'll post mine up.

    I do have a few questions still about this amp, so would be great if someone here has the same head so that I can get a better idea around it.
  4. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Well maybe I could help you out? I have done 2 gigs with it. The only issue I had was the jack ass sound man insisted on running the di on the pre eq out and there was all kinds of crackling going on. I moved it to the post eq, better but he switched to a mike. These guys and their need to di. I found the manual and it says to cut those lowest frequency sliders on the eq and I do, sounds great. I crank the drive and harmonic controls, I'm not using the compressor, I didn't think it made any desirable difference to me. I do want to look into swapping the xlr speaker jack (strange) to a speakon if it can be done.
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  6. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I got this amp because of the killer drive on it. I played a mim jazz and it was a real Rex Brown type thing. Heavy, driven but NOT fuzzy or tinny. So long sansamp! But funny thing, with any other bass its not as good. I tried a Spector, Warwick, just not the same oomph. I run it into my ampeg 8x10 and its really killer! I put it in a rack so now I have the te rack case sitting around.
  7. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
  8. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    Man that is exactly the same head I have. Awesome!!!

    I'd have played around with it when I got it, and I didnt really find a significant difference in sound with that Harmonic Emphasis knob. It didnt seem to have much affect. I may be able to play with it in a gig environment to get a better idea of what it is supposed to do.
    I didnt really like the compression much as it seemed to make my bass take off with low frequency feedback when I engaged the compression. So again I'll probably leave that off or play with it more when I can gig at louder volumes.

    The amp I bought came with an Ampeg 6 x 10 cabinet which is just fantastic. I've been after one of those forever. I seriously feel like I got the bargain of a lifetime lol.

    Anyhow, I have a question around the inputs.
    Firstly I'll explain that I actually run two pickups simultaneously - one for bridge and one on the neck for my slap. I've run this way for 20+ years without any trouble. I EQ both signals separately and then Run into a combiner and into one input on the amp. I could also run the two pickups to two inputs on the amp (passive and active inputs) Now on my old TE amp this worked great without any problems, but on this new one I noticed firstly that I cant plug active and passive inputs at same time. It seems one cuts out the other. I dont know if thats just the design of this AH500 or if it's faulty. I figured if my old TE amp worked, why wouldnt this one? Any thoughts there?

    Also even when I run two inputs into a combiner and then into one input in the amp, I lose all signal completely. I have tested the combiner and it's working perfectly and still works 100% on my old amp, so i dont think the prob is the combiner, but more in the amp design. Or maybe the amp is faulty.
    *** Either way it's at the repair shop now and hopefully they can get it working 100%

    Very interesting that only your jazz bass sounds good through it. I dont play regular electric bass tho, so I cant say - I only have double bass.

    I really love the tone of TE for my bass, but have always just wanted more power. This 12 band graphic plus the extra luxury of a Valve really is great for me.

    My unit didnt come with a rack, just the unit with rack ears. So, that'll be my next purchase when I have some surplus cash to spend.

    Oh yeah I had a couple more questions around the amp - on the back it says 500 watts and Max 1000 watts. How do you squeeze 1000 watts out of a 500 watt head??

    Also Regarding the DI - I always DI post EQ because it allows my signal to be sent with the tone that I like, and not the tone that the sound guy thinks it should have. I was thinking about covering up the PRE-EQ DI outlet, so that any sound engineer who comes close will just think that particular DI out is not working - hehehehe
    As for the other DI tho - is yours Left and Right?? I guess I'll have to get an adapter that will combine those signals into one send.
    When you used the Post EQ DI - did you use both or just one? does it make any difference?

    Sorry, I think I've rambled enough - Talk soon - CHEERS

  9. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    The di, left is mono so that would be the one. The way the manual described it, you need to run the right side into a seperate power amp thus making it stereo. Stupid. I just used the left side. I tried the compressor again, still not gna use it. The harmonic control to me makes it more trebly. It works in conjunction with the input gain and drive. You really need to get that input gain just right, just a hint of red. Google for the manual, I found a PDF real quick, very helpful
  10. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Oah and I don't need my rack case or the huge 5 switch foot switch either...
  11. elkkid2

    elkkid2 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Rio Vista, Ca
    I have one. It's far better than most people know. I think they are completely Solid=state. But very warm sounding. Two 250 Watts into 4 Ohms per side. Sounds like 500 per side! Great 12 Band EQ...Noise Reduction...and you know what I like best? It has input Volume, Master Volume, and in the back a Volume knob for each Amp! You can crack your lows and Highs separately!
  12. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I'm pretty sure there is a preamp tube in there. It really is a killer amp, had to get it. Put it this way, I pulled my svt 2 out of the rack for it!
  13. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
  14. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    It sounds great regardless of what bass u use, just had more drive with the jazz for some reason. And as always, louder the better!
  15. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    Hi there Elkkid2 I think the Series 6 was completely solid state. I have been using an old Series 6 for about 20+ years and it was solid state. A ripper amp, but was just never enough power for me. Mine was only a GP7 - AH130 or sometimes referred to as an AH100
    This AH500 does have a valve control on it, so possibly valve pre-amp or something. Either way it's a tasty tone.

    This new one I got tho is just killer. My AH500 does not have separate vol controls on back of the unit tho - I think the X models and SX models had those. Sounds like a nice feature to have tho. The only control on back of my AH500 is level control for a effects link.

    Thanks Wolfkeller for explaining the DI - I dont think I'd bother running another amp tho. Just another thing to lug around. Plus I'm sure 500 watts is gonna be plenty.

    I'll google for a manual again - i tried last week but couldnt find one. Will try again today and see what I can find.

    When mine gets back from service I'll get to play with it some more.

    Nice to know there's guys I can talk to who actually use these amps.
  16. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    I'd be interested in the case possibly if you lived nearby, but I'm in Australia.

    I was however, thinking of getting one of those zip up Gator rack cases - the type with wheels and handle.

    I have always taken my amp head with me as hand luggage on flights when I tour and although this new sucker is bigger than my old unit, I still intend to bring it with me. I am hoping that I'll be able to get it through as hand luggage, but need to make sure the rack looks as inconspicuous as possible lol :D

    Wish these amps were a few pounds lighter!!
  17. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    If u can't find it pm me with your email I'll send it to you
  18. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    thanks man, I've been searching for ages, but all I could find was for Series 6 which is different. I'll PM you. Sure would appreciate a copy. Thanks in advance.
  19. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I have been using mine for rehearsal over a 1048 for six months and it's cool. Seeing as I'm now hauling a P.A. I'm going to start using it for shows. My SVT/810 won't fit.
  20. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
  21. bopit01


    Mar 5, 2014
    Wolfkeller, thanks for sending the Manual - that's fantastic.
    The one I found was for series 6 and looked like it was a photocopy of a photocopy - poor quality.
    The one you sent is great.
    I too would be keen to know what is a good replacement for that tube.
    Mine is still at repair shop getting serviced. Unfortunately they are swamped with work, so I probably wont get mine back in time for gig this weekend :crying:

    Just one more question regarding the Active and Passive inputs guys......
    Does your unit allow both to be used at the same time?
    My old Series 6 does allow both, but the AH500 seems to only allow one at a time. I'm just curious if this is a design of this model or infact a fault. The manual only explains what passive and active are for, but doesnt state much more than that. I'm hoping the guys servicing it will fix it for me, but would be nice to know either way so that I can get it right.


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