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BAM 210 opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sundogue, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I know this has been rehashed a million times and I've already gone through a search and got as much info as possible from it.

    I am interested in opinions from those who have owned the BAM 210 for awhile now, and what things about it you like/dislike about it. What settings, additional cabs, or problems you may have encountered, or even some helpful hints about using it.

    I have tried it in a music store and I love the tones out of it and for a 2X10 cab, this is by far a very loud 2X10!!! The ratings on it show that it goes down to 20 Hz...and I don't doubt it as I played my 5 string Cirrus through it and it handled the low B perfectly.

    I owned the Eden Metro for one week and found the sound was rather bland, though tight. Also the Eden Metro really crapped out with the low B. It only handles a low B at very low volumes (volumes that are completely useless, in even a quiet band setting).

    I've also owned Carvin's R210 combo and I loved it. I had it for quite a while but the amp gave me way too many problems. It handled the low B much better than the Metro, but neither of these combos handle the low B anywhere near the way the BAM 210 can.

    I ordered a brand new BAM 210 and I will be picking it up next Wednesday. I traded off my rack setup (CS800S, Max pre-amp) and my beloved Peavey 412TVX cab. That setup was awesome...too awesome in fact as I seldom went through the PA and the volume on stage was getting to be too much for me (and the rest of the band) to get the tone I wanted. A 4X10 cab probably would have been better, but I got the BAM and I'm excited to get it into a band situation.

    How many of you have added an additional cab to it? My band is not very loud, though our lead guitarist uses a Fender Twin (100 watt)...but he is usually quite restrained...and our drummer is not a can basher, so I'm scaling back my volume onstage. I might get a 4X10 cab for outdoor gigs...but in the store I cranked it and the 2X10 seems to handle high volume very well without breaking up (including the low B at high volume).

    For those of you who have played through it for awhile, how is it holding up? Do you still like it? What band situation are you in and how does the BAM 210 hold up volume-wise with your band (with or without additional cabs)?

    How many of you have played with the various pre-sets and do you find it easy or difficult to switch sounds during live gigs? I really don't care about effects much, but since I play in a rock variety band (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sister Hazel, Matchbox 20, Foghat, Head East, Johnny Winter, some top 40 tunes, etc.), I really like the idea that I can change from one sound to another to fit the songs.

    I brought my set list with me to the store and really put BAM's modeling to the test with the sounds I desired and the BAM 210 really fits the bill perfectly. For example we do "Free Ride" and the BAM's "synth bass" modeling fit the song perfectly. The Stevie Ray Vaughn tunes really sounded great with BAM's "SVT" type sound.

    I can see where this is a very useful amp for those of us playing cover tunes, so of course it wouldn't be for everyone. Heck, why should all the guitar players have all the fun and sounds?

    We tune to Eb, so I really like the Eb tuner setting that can be programmed into the BAM's onboard tuner.

    I can't wait to use it...but if anyone has any helpful tips, please let me know. .And please, those of you who have not even tried it, please refrain from making the typical Peavey slams or comments about modelling being a waste for a bass player, or turning this thread into a discussion about other amps, etc. I'm looking for some useful advice and opinions, specific to the BAM 210.

  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I have owned my BAM for almost a month now.

    It is very loud. I used to own an Eden Metro. The BAM is noticeably louder than the Metro was. And as you noticed in the music store, it handles the low B a lot better too.

    I liked the tone of my Metro a lot. It was a nice sounding amp.

    The tone of the BAM blows it away IMHO. The natural tone of the amp, with no effects or modeling, is what I have been looking for in an amp. I like it so much, I wish I could afford a second for use at church.

    The modeling is very good. I don't have much use for most of the models, but the SVT comes in handy for a couple of songs. And the overdrive on the SVT model is pretty convincing. The West Coast 4x10(SWR) model is pretty good too.

    I am still learning to use the effects. I don't have any use for the octave or distortion effects. The chorus, flanger and phase shifter are as good as any bass specific effects I have ever heard, rack mount, stomp box or whatever. The wah and the synth sound decent and are useable, but IMHO they aren't in the same class as the other effects.

    Overall, I think the BAM is the best combo on the market, and it would be even if it didn't have the effects and modelling. To me, those are just gravy, that make a great combo a little more versatile.

    I am planning on adding a Pro 210 cabinet down the road, although this thing is so loud, I don't really need it.
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks for the reply embellisher...

    I too think its got some serious kick regarding volume. If one were to hear it cranked up without seeing it, they'd never believe it was only a 2X10.

    But, I have yet to play it in a band setting and I am anxious to try that out.

    What type of band do you use it with? Is it a fairly loud or quiet band?

    I'm not into effects really, but the amp modeling will allow me to tailor my sound to suit the song, rather than it just being "my" sound. Since I play in a cover band and we try to faithfully reproduce the original (with a little ad libbing thrown in), I like the idea of getting different sounds without having to use different basses or amps.

    I have a Peavey Cirrus 5 string and that bass has really offered me a variety of tones, from its active electronics as well as me altering my style for a given tune. But I cannot wait to try out the BAM in a live setting.

    I also liked the Metro...the tone was a little bland, I guess I'd say...but it was very "tight" sounding...with the exception of the low B. It just could not handle it and of course my amp/cab has to...so I went with the BAM.

    I am curious as to how it sounds at an outdoor gig where there is no room ambiance and the sound just goes out and gets lost in a sea of air. Have you played any outdoor gigs with the BAM? I certainly haven't played any for awhile, living in northcentral Wisconsin...it's been way too cold.

    My thinking, based on only a couple of trials at a store, leads me to believe that I will need at least a 15 or a 4X10 cab for outdoor gigs at least (I'm not familiar with the sound of the new Peavey PRO line of cabs, though I do have some interest in them). With another 4 ohm cab, the BAM puts out 500 watts, whereas it's only 350 watts as is.

    I had 1200 watts going into a 4X12 cab before this (not including my brief experiment with the Metro) so it will be interesting how the BAM holds up live. Thankfully my band is not terribly loud...and when we have been, its mostly because of the others trying to keep pace with me and my previous rig. My thinking was that I had all that power and just couldn't control myself :)...so I'm hoping a smaller setup will keep me restrained a bit. I tend to get into the "feel" of the bass and unfortunately, I get a little too carried away.

    I love the sound of this rig, so when it comes in I will want to use it immediately. I should have it by this coming Wednesday or Thursday...and I have gigs Friday and Saturday night, so I will need to play with it alot to figure out some basic tones at first.

    I'll let you know how I feel about it after a weekend of gigs.

    Any body else own the BAM 210 and want to chime in on this?
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    A shameless bump.

    Anyone else own the BAM 210?

  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Well, I will respond again.

    We played a small club this past Thursday, and I was overpowering my guitarists 50 watt Fender and 40 watt Crate. I had to turn down a couple of times.

    I also played an outdoor gig Saturday, but we were turned way down for this one, so it wasn't a good test.

    FWIW, my band is 70's prog and classic rock influenced music, but with some punk, nu-metal and funk influences in the mix as well. We play pretty loud at clubs.

    Another test will come this weekend. I will be playing a large club with my oldies rock band. We aren't quite as loud, but we play in much larger venues than the originals band does.

    Surely somebody else here either owns or has owned a BAM combo.
  6. tdbradley

    tdbradley Terry "T-Bone" Bradley

    Mar 23, 2003
    Dearborn, MI USA 48124
    Jeff I sent you a email from your link, but I just figured out how to respond to the forum. Dah...

    I know I'm going to buy a Bam. But I can't buy the combo, because I can't keep lifting it into the back of my Jeep by myself. So... I'm thinking about buy the Bam head and matching it up with 2 of the 210tvx cabinets. That would be 4x10.
    What do you think?
    Also, what kind of bass are you playing???

  7. tdbradley

    tdbradley Terry "T-Bone" Bradley

    Mar 23, 2003
    Dearborn, MI USA 48124
    Anyone using the Bam Head with different speaker cabinets. Like 2x10's, 4x10's?

    Wondering the diff between the Bam 210 combo and the seperate head with a single 210 cabinet.

    Thanks guys.
  8. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    From what I understand...the BAM head is the exact same head in the combo...so there will be no difference in that regard.

    Seperating the components, using a BAM head and a 2X10 will produce the exact same thing as the BAM combo. It would just make it two lighter components rather than one heavy one.

    I went with the BAM combo because of the fact it was all in one package. I don't have to carry it very far...just picking it up and down. The BAM combo now has pop-up casters and a pop-up handle in back to roll it like luggage through an airport. Very cool.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I picked up my BAM 210 today. I'm at work so I haven't had a chance to use it yet (except a couple of tryouts at the store with a used one).

    It is more substantial than I remembered from my testing at the store. It's quite heavy, but very managable to lift in and out of a vehicle. It's the newer model so it has big wheels mounted on the lower back and a pop-up handle in back (in addition to two retractable side handles and 4 pop-up wheels on the bottom).

    I picked it up in the company van and when I got back to work, I took it out of the van and simply rolled it across the parking lot like someone pulling their luggage through an airport. Very cool that a heavy combo amp has it's own dolly built in!

    I can't wait to set all the sounds up the way I want tonight. I've downloaded the manual, read it through and through and together with my tryouts at the store, I've got a pretty good idea what to do with it now.

    It's a bigger 2X10 combo than either the Eden Metro or Carvin 210 combos (I've owned both). The frequency response goes all the way down to 20Hz, which is great as I own a 5 string. My tests at the store verify it handles the low B on my bass (tuned a half step down) far better than the other combos (well, the other combos don't really handle it at all...and anyone who says otherwise is lying). The low B through the BAM 210 is well defined, crisp and tight, even at very high volumes...something the other combos can't do at all.

    I'll post more after I work with it in a band setting this weekend. I've got two gigs...one at a small bar and another at a bigger hall. Should be a very good test.
  10. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Looks like I'm a bit late, but I was VERY impressed with the BAM I played last fall. So impressed that I recently contacted Peavey about if/when it will be available as a rackmount preamp....it won't. :mad:

    While I'm happy with my current rig (3X10 Epi, SWR IOD, Stew 2.1), I would love to have a BAM preamp in my rack as a backup preamp or studio tool. I've never really been big on amp modeling, but the technology is really getting good. While my default recommendation for the "best combo ever" is a SWR Redhead combo, my second choice would be a BAM....especially for young players who might not be clear on tone yet (can play around with all the options in one easy-to-use package) or for someone on a budget who might not be able to afford SWR gear. They're great little amps.
  11. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Having played extensively through my BAM 210 combo last night (well into the night), I can tell you that the cab handles a low B even at very high volumes. No matter how high I turned it up, the low B was still very tight and clean.

    The tones you can get from this amp are unbelievable (as it is a modeling amp). There are 8 amp models and 8 cab models and all the various combinations of those models. There really isn't any tone you can't get out of it.

    It's like owning 64 combinations of amps and cabs, where you can choose any one you like and store it in a preset so you can change them out at the click of a button on the foot pedal.

    Each model is completely customizable with different EQ settings, compression, pre and post gain as well as effects. Once you find the settings you like, you simply press a button and that entire amp/cab/settings/effects model is stored and can be retrieved with one button.

    One amp that really does it all...and for a 2X10, holy crap is it loud and clean!!!

    Oh, and by the way, it is available as a head that can be removed from it's case and mounted into a rack...but not as a preamp only.
  12. q998


    Apr 8, 2003
    Thanks for the thread!

    My BAM 210 is finally in the post. After 2 years of drooling. I Can't wait.
    I hope it's as good as everyone says.

    Si :)
  13. tdbradley

    tdbradley Terry "T-Bone" Bradley

    Mar 23, 2003
    Dearborn, MI USA 48124
    I purchased a Bam Head & 2 Peavey TVX 210 cabinets. HOLY _ _ _ _ !!!! I have never, I mean NEVER heard such a great variaty of sounds from one amp. And I've owned or used a **** load of them. I'm the type of player that won't settle for one or two sounds that I get from only adjusting my bass guitar. This amp is just too cool. I've got countless adjustments right at the touch of my foot. Not to mention the built in tuner on the foot pedal also. The punch from the 4 tens & 500 watts makes me gitty like a little school boy with a great big woody! I'm telling you all from a brother bass player, if you are looking for a new rig,
    THIS IS IT. Please trust me. It truly makes life worth while getting the ULTIMATE SOUND. Oh by the way, did I say I really like the new Bam from Peavey? YEA BABY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Sounds like Peavey has done good and made an extremely nice combo which is loud, sounds good and goes deep. Shame they can't be a bit more honest with their specs (unless you're all misreading them)...

  15. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    I'm not a BAM-er, but I'm always happy to see a thread full of happy Peavey customers.

  16. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000


    Yeah, me too. Just b/c I own a Cirrus 5 I love but, unjustly, it still carries that "Peavey" (wrinkle your nose up) stigma. It's too bad.
  17. q998


    Apr 8, 2003

    Walks on water, cures the common cold and makes guitarsts turn down too?
    Fantastic ...
    This should be a good weekend

    :) :D :) :D

  18. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The owners manual gives the specs as going down to 20Hz. If it doesn't actually go down that far...what do I care anyway??? As it certainly sounds cleaner on my low B than almost any other cab I've had...and the sound, after all, is what is important here.

    Specs make for great reading...but my ears can't read.

    Anyway, I had a problem with my first BAM210 and I had the dealer order me another one. The first one had major problems with the circuit board. It acted strange and it would change to different presets on a whim and then shut down.

    My new one exhibits none of this behavior and it is a truly awesome combo amp. I really can't say enough good things about it...but it will not satisfy everyone, though anyone looking into getting a combo should check one out and really play around with the tonal varieties without any effects to get a good feel with it.

    I have about 6 of my own user presets set up, each with a distinctive sound that is usable for me in a rock/variety band. Some songs I like more of a muted/flat wound string/old school sound and other songs require a very deep, bright round wound - Chris Squire type sound. Some songs sound better with high mids...a very hollow sound, while others really work well with the scooped, "happy face" EQ sound.

    I can get to any preset with nothing more than a simple click on the footswitch, which not only changes the amp/cab that is modelled, but ALL presets, including the EQ, pre/post gains, compression, effects, etc. When you change presets, it goes exactly to the sound you've setup and saved. I go from song to song and get a completely different bass sound that I like for that song without fiddling with tone controls on my bass or knobs and switches on the amp. Very cool.

    There is virtually no limit to the tonal variations to this amp. And yes, it can get VERY loud...I mean VERY, VERY loud and still maintain very clean, tight sounds. If anyone heard this cranked without looking at it, they'd never believe it was a 2X10 combo.

    Even at bowel moving volume, the low B has a very tight and clean fundamental. Does it go down to 20Hz as stated? What the hell do I care? :)
  19. q998


    Apr 8, 2003
    So ....
    We know the BAM can sound like all sorts of things but I'd like hand with sorting out some starting places.
    What I mean is ... I've never actually played through a fliptop or an ampeg/folded 18 ... or even a Redhead in anger, in a store, sure but not in anger .... nor a GK or Hartke cabs .. I have owned a valve bassman many years ago so I think I'll be Ok with that one :)
    So ... starting from the other side .. what famous records have these classic amp sounds, as emulated by the BAM?
    Alternatively ...
    What would you suggest as the starting selection to get the right sound for, say, Zappa's Valley Girls or Free's All Right Now, or Yes' Roundabout or the Who's My Generation or McCartney's bass on Something?

    I have an idea of what bass these parts are played on but what rig, if any?

    I know the best bet is to play the thing and listen but I don't have a place to play loud in between gigs and I'd rather like to hit the ground ambling rapidly if not running.

    Also does the "angled baffle board" work to sound liek a kicked-back amp as they claim? I usualy use a stand but I appreciate it's best to have it on the floor so Does it work like a kickback/monitor shaped combo?

    Incidentally I use a passive modern US P bass

  20. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Funny you should mention it, but we play "Something" in our band for good slow tune.

    Off-hand, I can't recall my preset for that tune. I use it on a few other tunes. I'll have to go back to my list.

    I'm compiling a list of all the presets I've messed with, stored and used and what songs they work with for me. I'll see if i can get you that info.

    I own a Peavey Cirrus 5 string and the bass you use may alter (color) the sound as well, so what works for me may not sound exactly the same for you though.

    It really does require alot of work with it to get used to all the variables. Each preset can be altered ever so slightly and saved as it's own preset, so the varaitions in sound are almost infinite.

    I am still fine tuning the few presets I've saved, so its all still a work in progress...but for a few examples...

    the RED sound seems to have (as it's standard modelling) a very distinct midrange sound. The B-Man has a very distinct (or indistinct as the case seems to be) low end sound with very scooped mids.

    The cab swap feature adds to the modelling mix. An 18" cab, for instance does in fact, sound like an 18. Very deep and distant.

    As for the "baffle board" thing. I put it up on a cord case we use (about 20"-24" high). since it is angled the sound does get better dispertion to your ears rather than your knees (which don't have ears by the way). It does so without sacrificing the ported feature as in other combos (Carvin's RC210 for example). The speakers are angled slightly back, but the cab is square in the back...so the cab is not cut off at an angle to allow it to tip like a monitor, which eliminates valuable cab space for sound wave development.

    The input trim allows for incremental control over active or passive basses...rather than the typical switch for either. You can tailor it to your bass.

    All I know is it works for me. Only you would know how it works for you. :)