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Ebs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by barroso, Aug 30, 2001.


  1. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    i'm getting very interested in this brand. the swedish makes seems to have really interesting products both in the combo and in the head/cabinets market. i did a search and i found interesting info. i'd like to know more now from people who use EBS amps. expecially Fafner and Drome. i appreciate every help execially in sound and feature description
    thanks
     
  2. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Greetings from an EBS user. :) I've been in the market for a Fafner myself for quite some time now, but it simply hasn't happened yet.

    I have an older Taurus, which is the predecessor to the Gorm line. The basic sonic qualities of EBS amplifiers and cabinets may have changed a bit since the day mine was manufactured, but not by much. They generally produce a very clean and tight sound, with simplistic but highly efficient and great-sounding EQ. The built-in compressor is also very simplistic, but it performs very well and doesn't "squash" your sound like I've heard some built-in compressors on cheaper amps do.

    However, I do not have that much confidence in their electronics' longevity. Rumour has it (and I've experienced it myself) that a lot of EBS amps get "cold" solderings after a couple of years in use (could be one or two, could be fifteen, it depends) and need to be resoldered. In my case, the tech was unable to find a specific soldering that was at fault, so he had to go through the entire signal chain and replace a few component. He's a very competent tech, but my amp puzzled him.
    There's nothing that can not be fixed, but they perhaps aren't heavy duty machinery, like your virtually unbreakable Carvin or Peavey amps.

    Bottom line: sounds great, works great, but don't throw them out from the third floor. ;)

    And if you have any more specific questions, let us hear them! :)
     
  3. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I own a Fafner and EBS 4x10. I did a bit of research, though I actually didn't try out names such as Eden, Aguilar, Demeter, etc...But, I felt that the Fafner blew away other competition, IMHO, such as Trace Elliot (which I previously owned), SWR, Ampeg, Kern, and EA (which I was a close second).

    To me, the Fafner has all the tube warmth and all the hi-fi clarity of any other high end gear. It's really punchy and loud, and the eq section is incredibly flexible! Bass Player Magazine's review of the Fafner a few years ago was absolutely stellar as well!:D

    I'm not familiar with any construction issues. The only problem I've had thus far was that the tube shattered when it was initially shipped out to me. But, it was replaced by the distributor at no cost to me (as it should have been;)).

    I'll give you a brief description of the features of the Fafner:
    1) There's a compressor that is extremely gentle with the sound. As Oyster indicated, it's "The built-in compressor is also very simplistic, but it performs very well and doesn't "squash" your sound like I've heard some built-in compressors on cheaper amps do."
    2) There is a tube section inside the Fafner, but it's placed AFTER the preamp section. The "Drive" control allows you to dial in as little (including zero) tube warmth to as much as you'd like. There's even a "Character" button situated directly above the "Drive" control that allows you to only affect frequencies above 350 Hz with the tube (if you so desire).
    3) The eq is pretty simple: treble, bass, mid (with a separate mid frequency selector: semi-parametric), and bright.
    4) Most Fafners only use Speakon connectors, which I personally prefer.

    I'd check out the EBS website for further information, or feel free to ask specific questions. http://www.ebs.bass.se/

    In short, I HIGHLY recommend the Fafner! I think that it's one of the most under rated and little known amps, at least in the US market:D:D
     
  4. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hey ram,
    which trace did the fafner replace for you? i'm very interested in the fafner but i require a loud amp to compete in my bands. while many have said the fafner is loud i havn't been able to hear one in person and i havn't been able to get a comparison to other amps to get a sense of how loud it can be. i used to use a trace elliot 400smx which i thought was incredibly loud. most popular amps i've tried couldn't give me the volume i need. the ampeg svt3pro, swr bass750, eden wt-600... pretty much any of the ss amps from these companies exept their most powerful lacked the volume i needed while the trace 400smx was plenty loud, despite being rated for much less wattage than many of it's competitors. i'm hoping the fafner is another amp like the trace, in that it's rated power belies it's true power.
    any comparisons you could offer would be a great help. if i buy a fafner it'll have to be unheard.
     
  5. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Andrew, I owned a 1210HSMX (4x10 w/ horn combo, 250 watts) for several years. It was loud. But, I don't think the comparison is fair. The Fafner is rated at 440 watts @ 4 ohms and 620 watts @ 2 ohms.

    It's plenty loud! With a loud '70's style drummer I used to jam with, I'd typically set the amp around 3 and feel it was a touch too loud. The drummer wanted more volume, and I wanted less...hmmm:confused:

    Anyway, based on wattage ratings, I don't like to put too much stock in them because there's so much subjectivity. One of the reasons is because I'd believe if wattage was a true measure of volume, Trace Elliot wouldn't "underrate" its power. Neither would EBS. I believe EBS is in the same category, if that's what you're looking for.

    Bottom line is, to me, the EBS Fafner sounds much better and much louder than the Trace Elliot 1210HSMX that I used to own.

    I hope I helped. If not, let me know. I'll also be happy to respond to any e-mails if you want.
     
  6. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hi ram,
    thanks for the info. that's the problem i've been having, is finding amps that are loud, whether they're rated as such or not. i put a trace ah250smx up against an ampeg svt3pro(450 watts) through the same cab. the trace was easily louder than the ampeg, despite being rated 200 watts less. the ampeg on 6 wasn't as loud as the trace on 2. but many people say the ampeg svt3pro is a very loud amp. for my needs the 3pro isn't nearly loud enough. i wanted to be sure the fafner wasn't another case where others perceive the amp as very loud, but i'd buy the amp only to discover it doesn't have enough power to do what i need it to.
    if you feel the fafner's output power is as good as or better than trace then i know it'd do what i need it to.
    i wonder how the fafner at 4 ohms would compare to a trace 400smx in output volume?
     
  7. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    in my experience the ampeg svt3 pro is everything but loud...
     
  8. Sammy

    Sammy

    Aug 31, 2000
    SoCal
    I was talking to Bass NorhtWest last week who said that the Fafner head was being discontinued. I have been A/B testing system for about a year now using the Fafner as my bendmark. The comment I heard was if you want one, but it now.:(
     
  9. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The Fafner has already been discontinued. You might be able to find some good bargains on used or demo versions.

    EBS has a new, lower wattage, all solid-state head to replace it. Check out http://www.ebs.bass.se/2001/index_ebs.html

    I have no experience with this new head, but Marcus Miller's endorsing it, if that's worth anything. Who knows...all that would do for me is get me to try it. If it's really as good as the Fafner and I didn't already have the Fafner, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. So far, everything else I've heard of that EBS makes has been great, and that's on it's worst day:D

    I'm not sure why the Fafner was discontinued. It could be that the head wasn't as well known and didn't sell well. But, I'd put it up against any amp in it's price range, such as Aguilar, Ashdown, Demeter, Kern, etc.
     
  10. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    AFAIK, the Fafner is not being discontinued at all - it's still available in every EBS-carrying shop here in Sweden and the only words I've heard on discontinuation have been uttered here at TalkBass (I have asked EBS but they did not reply to my e-mail :().

    I think EBS simply created the HD350 for people who feel that a head like that is enough for them, at 2/3 the price.
     
  11. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    the fafner has been discontinued to the north american market but will still be available in europe. apparently ebs is going to develop an amp with more power to be offered stateside. i think that despite being much louder than many u.s. made amps of much higher rated power ebs is having a hardsell on the fafner in the u.s., there's probably just too much market competition.
    but there are a few still sitting in stores.
     
  12. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I got this info directly from Mathews and Ryan, the US distributor for EBS.
     
  13. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I'd tend to agree with you. But, lets face it...the Fafner is good enough to compete with anything in its price range. Still, the Fafner is relatively obscure, compared to Aguilar, Demeter, Kern, and so forth. I blame it on EBS' marketing. I think that if they wanted to, they could have had the Fafner in more stores, more advertising, and push it a bit. Then, I doubt it'd be having quite the same difficulties selling that it's experienced thus far. It's just too good of an amp!
     
  14. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hi ram,
    i don't think the fafner's quality is an issue, i think it's more that there's so many amps built domestically in the states. ebs definitely needs better distribution. being that the fafner is quite expensive against similarily wattage rated amps it doesn't get the chance it might deserve. the more is better mentality definitely pervades in amp shopping, and when you can get an amp that looks as good on paper as the fafner and has twice the wattage for the same price, you can see where many inexperienced shoppers would choose a different amp over the fafner.
    i know that if i hadn't had the opportunity to read so many great reviews of the fafner by people like yourself i wouldn't have considered the fafner as a potential purchase at all. why? mostly because without the ability to try the amp first hand, i'd assume it's 440 watt rating wouldn't be enough power for my needs. when i go to a store and try the eden,swr,ampeg,etc. amps that are rated for 400-500 watts, it doesn't paint a very impressive picture of that power range. luckily i got to own a trace 400smx which made me realise how great a power section can be, so when i went hunting online for an amp that has a similar rep for a killer power section and a great (at least better than trace) tone, the fafner kept popping up as a prime contender.
    ebs should've gotten really agressive at promotion and distribution. i expect if they follow through with creating an amp with a higher power rating they'll also promote it better in the u.s., which'd be great.
     
  15. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Andrew, you bring up a very interesting point, and certainly one I don't disagree with. For me, though, the fact that it's not mass marketed and rated, power-wise, the same as other amps in the SWR/Trace Elliot/Ampeg range but costs more puts it in more of an elite class. I kind of like that.

    As far as the power is concerned, I don't ever need to crank the amp to "11", which by the way, is how high the volume goes...not "10":D Kind of a neat little reference to a certain musician's favorite rockumentary:D...But, I digress...if I ever do need more power, I'll add the 15" cab. That'll boost the wattage to 620 watts and push a lot more air:eek: It'll also perform quite well considering that if I ever need that much power, I'll also be going through a $750,000 mixing board and have 25,000 screaming fans calling my name:D LOL

    It's an elitist amp. It's also priced as such. Watt for watt, it's priced roughly the same as Aguilar, maybe even a little more. But, it's also in the same class, IMO.
     
  16. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hey ram,
    gawd, i'd love to try this amp!
    being i'm from canada, where our trade relations with the rest of the world don't suck as bad as the united states, ebs gear is much cheaper up here, and more in line with swr, eden, etc.
    i use aguilar gear now and i love it's sound but i just want something slightly lighter for when i need to get to a gig quick/short notice jam, etc.
    if the fafner sounds anywhere near as good as ag stuff it's got to be great.
    btw, how loud can you turn the amp up and have it stay clean (drive on 0)? most amps can only stay clean to about 5-7, does the fafner run clean to 11?
     
  17. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, that's a good question...I think I've taken it higher, but only in a live situation, just to see how loud it would go. I don't remember reaching the limit. But, by all of my experiences and from many accounts I've heard from other people, amps will distort when you reach about 5-7 almost all the time. That's the point that solid state amps are often times rated; and, though they can go louder, the volume is often times distorted to some degree.

    I'll also say this: you'll invariably get more volume by using more drive and more mids. I don't use much drive in my tone...I turn this up to about 3. If you're looking for pure hi-fi, I strongly recommend you try the Fafner before you buy it. While it's considered by some to be hi-fi, it's not as hi-fi sounding as a Kern or Demeter.
     
  18. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    thanks for all the info.
    i think i'm going to see about getting a fafner and if it impresses me as much as i think then i'll look at getting an ebs cab or two.
    i'm impressed by how you describe the ebs 410 you have too.
    i like the idea of how loud the cabs seem.
    while the frequency response on the 210 and 410 seems weak in the lowend, the bassplayer mag review of the 210 described it as a great standalone cab for a 5 string, so i wonder how ebs rates/measures their cabs compared to the rest of the builders. it'd be interesting to see if ebs is moderate in their rating systems or if the majority of other cab builders exaggerate their numbers.
    i called bassnw yesterday and they told me the ebs hd350 is one of the loudest amps they've ever heard, and the fafner is louder still.the guy told me the hd350 blows the doors off of every u.s. built amp for volume output. he said the hd350 is louder than the swr sm900!!
     
  19. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Louder than the SM900? WOW!!! There's a statistic for ya'!

    The 4x10 cabinet I own is rated on the website at 103db of sensitivity. That translates to LOUD! At one time, I thought I saw the rating at 111db, though it sounds a little weird...but, it is REALLY loud!:D

    God...the stuff just sounds SO good! I can't wait to plug in my Spector when I get home from work and just crank the Faf!:D
     
  20. andrew

    andrew

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hey ram,
    a statistic indeed!

    btw, how does the fafner's tone affect the sound of your bass in the high end? despite owning fancier basses my favorite is still my stingray bass. my only complaint though is i find the 'rays treble response to be brittle or harsh, so i like an amp that can tame that problem for me.