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Trace Elliot Commando 15" 100w? Worth a look?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by bedroommuso, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    Hi all, I spotted one of these combos.. UK made, 100W for what seems like a fair price.

    What's the consensus on these - some threads indicate that these are pretty good amps - but they were mostly older threads.

    Two of my worries were.. On this particular amp if set all of the EQ knobs (hi/mid/low) to zero then it won't produce any volume. You have to at least turn something.. e.g. the bass up and then the volume is audible. I haven't noticed this on other amps before - is this normal?

    Also while it was definitely bassy.. I thought when the volume was cranked 100% it wasn't necessarily blasting my face off. It only seemed say 20%? louder my 50W peavey basic, and nowhere in the vicinity of the volume of GK 400RB (at 8 ohms). I am expecting too much from a 100W combo?

    Also one last thing.. I noticed something on the speaker and the seller insisted on cleaning it, but very roughly with paper towel - and in doing so popped the dust cover in. Can speakers in general take that sort of rough abuse while cleaning?
  2. sokolasty

    sokolasty

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    EQ: I have never had such an issue with any amp. It's quite bizarre. Something is messed up inside.

    Loudness difference: 50W vs 100W is 3dB. What's 3dB:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/3db-louder-sounds-like-954824/

    Cleaning of speakers: I've never cleaned up any speaker cone. The dust on it makes resonant frequency lower, thus more bassy :)
  3. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    Thanks for confirming, I thought the EQ thing was suspect. Unless someone with the same amp chimes in I'll assume that something is not right.

    When I first turned it on all the knobs were set to 0.. and as I turned up the pre and post.. still zero to minimal volume - I actually said to the owner, hey this thing isn't loud at all for 100W - something must be broke! He turned all the knobs up and mentioned that he hadn't noticed. Still, it got much louder when the bass pot was turned up some, but still..
  4. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    BUMP.

    Wanted to see if I could get some quicker replies just in case these are no big issues.. Sadly as it always happens these type of amps (cheap, 100W+, non-Chinese) rarely turn up for sale in my small town so it will be probably be sold relatively soon
  5. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    I never played anything that went silent with all EQ down either. Another black mark or maybe you had the input down too. Whatever, I would hang out for something that can play with drums and guitars. 20% louder than your Peavey isn't worth mucking about with.
  6. bassyogi

    bassyogi

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    I have this same amp. I just hooked up to it and played it with the eq in its normal settings...sounded like it always does. Turned the bass,mid,treble all down and the volume went away in both the active and passive inputs.
  7. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    Ok.. so it sounds like it may be a normal characteristic of that amp. Are you able to comment on what you think of the volume/output - compared to other amps or in what situations you have used it?

    Downunder.. Fair point and I'm most definitely on the fence with this one. It's only still under some consideration because it's so bloody difficult to finder cheaper/bullet proof/lighter amps where I am.
  8. christopherogut

    christopherogut Supporting Member

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    ... how much is the seller asking? commando combos pop up on the GC used section pretty often, usually for under $150. a few online retailers were blowing out the commando heads for $99 back when trace elliot was changing hands. they're well-built amps.

    it should be loud. if you don't think that's the case, there may be an issue with it. the trace elliot GP7 SM 130 head coupled with a 2x8" i had for a while was more than loud enough for the typical two guitars/loud drummer i find myself playing with.

    if you're really careful you can pull the dust cap out with a vacuum. i've used a small shop vac and gripped my hand around the end while holding a drinking straw and used that to lightly grip and pull out funky speaker creases and dented dust caps. be careful.
  9. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    This forum doesn't show my location-I am not located in the USA/UK where amps are pentiful and cheap but in Australia.. where they are expensive and rare. Here $99-$150 gets you a 10-30W Chinese peavey, ashdown, behringer, laney, fender rumble, etc. You want to see anything 100W+ US/UK under $300? - One might pop up every 1-2 months (even less likely that it's in your city). There are heaps that are $500-600+, however. The situation is even worse if you are shopping for bass heads, while there are some used UK/US around $300 - you won't find any sort lighter (under 30kg) cab for less than $400. Interestingly, because there are thousands more guitarists than bassists, the situation for used guitar amps is nowhere near as dire!

    When you say it should be loud.. should be it so loud that if you sit right in front of the amp, volume cranked - your ears hurt or it feels like you are being punched in the chest? Or is it just loud in terms of rumbling the floors and walls of the house etc.? Most of my experience is with guitar amps.. which are painful to sit close to, but when I sat in front of this bass amp when it was dimed, the house was kind of shaking but I didn't necessarily feel the need to move!
  10. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

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    I've played amps like that before. Fender Black face Dual Showman comes to mind,


  11. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Shaking the house is decent going for 100W and 1x15 combo. I'd still hang out for something with more punch to play rock music, and I'm not a loud cat by any stretch.
  12. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

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    Take a flight to the US and use Craigs to buy a couple of amps


  13. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Aussie is awash with Peavey gear. One of their 150W combos is getting there so long as you don't have guitards in the mix.
  14. joelb79

    joelb79

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    I've tried the 12" version and it was great. Played an outdoor cocktail party with it. The 15" would be superb if the Trace Elliot quality caries over to the 15, which I suspect it would. Great round tone. I did plug a EBS multicomp and VT bass into it though.
  15. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    True, you can't beat Peavey reliability and availability wise... but the problem with Peavey gear is that it weighs a tonne! So you need to at least be able to lift it without doing your back in, or have someone to do it for you. Even Peavey's lower wattage TKOs (85-100W) I think, are over 30kg.. the TNTs definitely are - I think 36kg odd. I had a 40kg Hartke 410XL cab, and I am not going there again... Even though I could physically lift it, the cab was about half my weight and not worth the possible consequences

    My Peavey basic is the only real old portable peavey @ 20kgs.. It's just a shame it doesn't have a 100W power section..
  16. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Loud and light is not cheap yet, maybe never will be with the price of neodymium magnets holding.

    You'll have to forget about combos to get loud enough. My 2x10 is fairly manageable, as is my Trace head. One in each hand works unless on stairs.
  17. bedroommuso

    bedroommuso

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    Hmmm.. that was my biggest fear. The problem is a cab will cost me about the same price as the combo for a heavy one $200-$300.. It's also quite difficult to find a light 15" cab.

    Not to derail the thread too much, but in most threads I posted about "cheaper" lightweight cabs, it was recommended to me to custom build one instead.. That's why I thought, hmm, maybe if I can snag a combo for the same price as cab, then I'd be home free..
  18. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    You're not making sense.

    What do you need from a rig and how much can you spend?
  19. AuntieBeeb

    AuntieBeeb

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    In general, I'd definitely recommend going for a Trace combo! They're good, reliable amps. Fairly versatile, and they seem to be the workhorse for a lot of the rehearsal studios in this country.

    Compared to the ones I've played, however, I'm a little puzzled by this EQ...the low/mid/high controls have always been cut-or-boost in my experience. (Or, indeed, a graphic EQ on some of the higher-wattage versions)

    As for the speaker...I don't know, I always thought it was best not to touch the cones unless absolutely necessary. I hope the seller hasn't damaged it too much.
  20. the low one

    the low one

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    This is a great combo. I've been using mine for over 15 years with no issues.

    The EQ is a passive tone stack, just like the Fender tone stack so with all the EQ at zero you won't hear anything. Do the classic Fender tone stack setting, bass at 0, mids at 10, treble at 0 and you'll get a good starting point which I've used many times.

    At the moment I'm liking all the EQ at 12:00 with th e mid shift and bright buttons engaged. It just seems to cut through a bit better for me.

    As for volume I use it with a drummer and it holds it's own no problem.

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