Glockenklang Blue Sky vs Blue Soul

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by paulitto, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009
    Hi everybody,

    I will tell you here my impressions and differences of these amps.

    Blue Soul (later in the text: BSL)
    Blue Sky (later in the text: BSY)
    and the Bass Art Classic Top for reference (later in the text: BAC)

    English is not my native language, so please excuse me, if something is not grammatical correct….

    Here we go:

    Preamp / DI:

    The BSY has a different Preamp Stage than the BSL.
    It is a true high voltage Class A design found also in the flagship of Glockenklang amps:
    The BAC.
    This kind of preamp design is also found in Hi End studio pres and mixing consoles.
    I don’t know any bass amp that offer this quality in the preamp section.
    The BSL has a class A/B preamp, still very high quality but not in the same ballpark as the preamp in the BSY or BAC.
    The preamp in the BSL is basically the same as in the Soul II amp from Glockenklang.
    The sonic differences results in a more open, dynamic, natural response and overall even more musical behavior.

    The difference though is not a „Night and Day“ kind a thing.
    If you are an experienced player, you will notice it right away though….

    Both channels on both amps have a pretty high impedance, making it perfect for Upright bass that use typically piezo PU’s.
    Input A has 3 MΩ, input B has 4.7 MΩ impedance. Very good!

    It sounds fantastic with passive instruments, of course, it handles active instruments also perfectly.
    You can drive the Gain fairly high, even if the preamp starts to distort, if sounds awesome!
    This gives you a lot of tonal variety just by using the gain knob!
    I love the way the preamp sounds if you drive it a bit harder, just before it starts to distort.
    It is a thick, ballsy tone, yet still detailed and perfectly controllable!
    So don’t be afraid to push the gain and let the overdrive LED light up.

    Even if the Gain is cranked up all the way, you get a nice overdriven tone,
    that beats many overdrive pedals i know. Give it a try!

    Of course, this feature is not meant to be an aggressive distortion or overdrive thing.
    The preamp definitely has its potential in the „clean“ department.
    But it is nice to have the option to drive it harder……

    This actually applies to all Glockenklang Amps, the BSL, BSY and BAC,
    but the BSY and BAC does this more in a more „musical“ than the BSL.

    One thing that i noticed is, that many active basses produce way too much output.
    The good old „louder is better“ kind of mentality.
    Try to reduce the output of your bass
    (some onboard electronic can do that using internal trim pots inside the cavity)
    and let the preamp of the BSY do the work. This sounds usually much better in my experience.
    Using passive basses with a good, not too long cable is where the preamp can show his full potential.
    Chances are, that you might find your onboard preamp sound kinda „cheap“ in comparison to the preamp of the BSY,
    when using your bass in passive mode.

    I use the BSY quite often without any EQ. The preamp is that good!
    If you have a good Instrument and are able to produce a good tone with your fingers,
    this preamp will translate what you play in very musical and inspiring way.
    There are not many bass amps out there that can do that.
    Even with the BSL i had the EQ on most of the time.

    The DI is a transformerless design and sounds awesome.
    It really doesn’t get much better than this. Very, very high quality.
    You can use both, the BSL and the BSY in recording situations.
    It will deliver a pristine signal on your recordings or where ever you plug it in to.
    Ground lift and pre/post are off course provided.
    Pre - takes the signal right after the Preamp and before the EQ.
    Post - will take the signal after Preamp, EQ and EFX Return but before the Master. Perfect!

    The BSY in addition has the possibility to control the output level of the DI signal
    using a litte trim pot located at the left side of the BSY.
    This becomes very handy if you drive the Preamp harder.
    I had with the BSL a few times the problem, that the DI signal of the BSL was a bit too hot for some mixing consoles,
    especially cheaper ones, found often in clubs and venues around the world.
    So, the adjustable DI output in the BSY is a very good thing to have.
    I leave it in general quite low, so i can drive the preamp the way i want and don’t have to worry about the DI out being too hot….
    You need a little screwdriver to do this.
    Its a bit of a hassle but usually you don’t have to adjust this very often.


    The EQ section of the BSL is graphic 5Band design.
    Bass, Low Mid, Mid, High and Treble

    The BSY has Bass, Low Mid, a parametric Mid section and Treble.
    The parametric Mids cover a wide range from 200 Hz up to 4 kHz.
    That makes the EQ of the BSY much more flexible than the EQ of the BSL.
    I can finally „touch“ any frequency that i want / need to.
    The bandwidth (Q) is chosen just right. Not too narrow, not too wide. I Like!
    Upright players will find it very useful too!

    Some people were complaining that the EQ of the BSL is not flexible enough, especially in the Mids.
    This has been corrected now on the BSY.

    The general quality and sound of the EQ in both amps, the BSL and the BSY is very high.
    The pots don’t have a center position, feel very smooth and have a nice resistance while you turn them.
    It feels like sculpting a piece of wax with a hot knife. Awesome!
    Little changes are being heard immediately but it feels always under control and predictable!
    The EQ on both amps is very powerful and musical.
    You can switch off the entire EQ on both amps, this is also very cool!


    BSL and BSY have the same Class D Poweramp.
    The BLS is rated at 650W RMS, the BSY at 700W RMS
    The difference is rather „cosmetic“.
    I assume Glockenklang wanted to separate the two amps a little more from each other.

    But these ratings are real Watts! These Amps go loud, very loud!
    There is no limiting audible even at very high volume levels.
    These Class D power amps deliver big time!
    I have yet to hear a Class D Bass amp, that outperforms the BSL and BSY.
    This is Class D at its best! Fast, very dynamic, accurate, in the face!

    Saying this, i must mention that the power amp of the BAC still is in a different league.
    That Amp is the ultimate Solid State amp! If you have the chance to play one, you will hear what i mean…..
    But this amp is very big and very heavy.

    Anyway, the BSL and the BSY are still the best Class D amps out there.
    At least in my opinion. I did compare them to many popular Class D amps,
    The Glockenklang BSL and BSY are really hard to beat.
    They are not cheap, but if you are looking for an amp, that brings out „Your tone“,
    than they are worth every cent.

    Quality wise, Glockenklang produces some of the best quality Equipment on the market.
    There are no cheap parts inside, everything is professionally, carefully desiged and manufactured.
    Many of the parts in the Amps are being custom made.
    I played an Glockenklang Amp for almost 20 years on more than 1000 Gigs (no joke) with NO problems.
    The company provides excellent service too.
    This is no compromise, high quality stuff.

    Please go to the website of Glockenklang for technical data and further information:

  2. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Great and detailed review. Thanks!
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  4. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Hrrrrrrrrrmmmmm. If I were buying I would go with the BSY based on this but nothing puts it so over the top that I feel the need to trade in my BSL.

    Thanks for the review.

    Man. The Mesa Prodigy. Baer Valkyrie. I love my BSL but there's all this greener grass **** to look at.....
  5. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009
    Both are great amps. As i wrote, the difference is not huge.
    The BSY feels definitely better for me. Actually much better to be honest.
    But i know some people who really don't hear much difference. I do...
  6. ursus


    Jul 16, 2003
    Malmo, Sweden
    I have the Glock BSL and I´m not all happy with the mids. Cold and sterile. I´m not able to get "that sound" with it. Basses are Alleva, Fodera, Lull, Unicorn Ozellman.
  7. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Endorsement bias: In most bands I'm in, I use my Myco Three to warm up the sound a lot.

    I have a Mesa Prodigy coming in. Will do a comparison. Might take all year but eventually want to try out the Baer Valkyrie and BSY to see what all's up.
  8. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009
    Man, i hear you. For me it was the same with the BSL.
    There was something missing in the mids. This became very obvious when playing Jazz Bass type instruments on the Bridge PU. I couldn't get 'that' tone I was able to get with the BAC for example.
    The Slap tone was fine for me, but that typical bridge PU sound was not happening for me. The EQ had was not flexible enough to adjust the important Range from ca. 300 to 1500Hz.
    I had it modified a couple of times.
    It ended up looking like this:
    (i did already post this image on another thread)


    It was much better with the Mods, still I was not 100% happy.
    I started trying out all kinds of Pedals to compensate the warmth in the mids that i was used to get with the BAC.
    Its quite interesting, that many bass players out there seem to be happy with the tone of the BSL.

    Now with the BSY, things are much, much better. The Preamp makes a huge difference. The BSY is still a Class D Amp and power amp wise a compromise for me, but it's a very good compromise.

    Another thing that i realized was, that it is a good idea to use 15" speaker with the BSL. The Poweramp is still the best Class D out there, it is extremely accurate, some might say a bit cold. There is no mojo at all in this Class D module. A good 15" cabinet compensates that in a great way for me. I used to play Glockenklang Space deluxe Cabs for many years, These are very clean and tight sounding cabs. With the BSL it was a bit too much cleanness, if you know what i mean. This Poweramp translates everything that comes in, extremely honest.

    This is where the BSY comes in. The preamp really makes a big difference for me, as i already wrote. The mids are just where i want them. Even without the EQ, which is also much more flexible now.

    I also have a RMI Basswitch, a very nice Hi End Preamp that i usually used as a Upright pre amp.
    Just for fun, once i plugged it in the EFX return and used it as a preamp and used only the power amp of the BSL. It sounds great! At that moment i realized, that the BSL needs a different preamp.
    Again, the preamp of the BSL is not bad at all, but it is not a good match with the Calss D module in the BSL i my personal opinion.

    Obviously Glockenklang listened to their customers, and they did it right.

    Since i have the BSY, the hunger for "sound warming" pedals is completely gone and i even will sell the RMI Basswitch.

    So, the BSY makes me finally happy again.
    It's awesome!

  9. ursus


    Jul 16, 2003
    Malmo, Sweden
    Yeah I don´t get along with the BSL, thats why I use an Aggie TH 500, GB Streamliner 600 and surprise, the new Fender Rumble 500 head. I have a very accurate almost studio monitor bass cab Unicorn XS 2104 2x10, 4x4 Faital speakers and a db112 and one SL 112 so I know what to expect
  10. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Thanks for the thoughts fellas. Interesting read. I'm definitely going to give the BSY a try
  11. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009
    The Amps you are mentioning are all coloring the tone quite a bit. (I haven't yet heard the Fender Rumble though).
    The problem for you is, as i understand it, that you are using very clean bass cabs. I had the same problem. I need a bit of mojo somewhere in my signal chain.
    For you it is obviously the amp, that does this. i prefer a clean amp and a cab that colors the tone, but not too much please....
    Its all a matter of taste and personal preference in the end.

    Anyway, i would like to hear what you think about the BSY if you have the chance to give it a shot......

    Jazzjames likes this.
  12. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    I did that but down here my cabs end up just getting used as glorified monitors. I found my cab would color beautiful but the audience would get a slightly different sound. Not very many good venues to play where you get to slam some cabinetry. :(

    So yeah. I try to get as colorless a cab as possible and get my sound before the DI.
  13. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Commercial User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner of Bass Gear Direct
    Which cab are you using in this photo and how do you find it?
  14. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009

    this is the new Glockenklang Space Art Cab.
    It is actually a hybrid between the Bass Art Cab and the Space Cab.

    It features a 12" speaker and a 2" dome Mid / Hf speaker which are custom made for Glockenklang. These components are not found in any other 12" cab out there.

    It has the same dimensions and 12" speaker as the Glockenklang Space and Space Deluxe.
    I am not the only one that thinks, that the Space series are probably the best compact 12" Cabs on the market.

    The space series sound very linear compared to other 12" cabs. They do not have the pronounced low midrange found in many other compact 12"cabs. The response is very even, and the low B is being translated nicely.
    They are rated 250W RMS and go fairly loud. I would say that they can handle quite a bit more than that, of course a cab of this size has its physical limitations. Thats why i use up to three of them, depending on the size of the gig. Most of the time i use two stacked vertically or horizontally. For many club or jazz gigs one is doing the job for me.
    They are actually perfect for upright bass too.

    The Space has only a 12" speaker.

    The Space Deluxe adds a HF Horn wich is adjustable on the back the cab.

    The Space Art features a 2" dome speaker instead of the regular hf horn of the Space Deluxe.
    This 2" dome speaker is absolutely fantastic and projects the hi mids and the treble in a way i have never heard before in any other cab. Even if the cab is placed on the floor and you are standing pretty close in front of it, you are able to hear the upper frequencies nicely. A normal hf horn can't do this.

    There is no way to adjust the level of the 2" speaker.
    I was a little concerned about this in the beginning, because usually regular hf horn speaker tend to sound harsh and ugly if the are turned up all the way. This is not the case with the Space Art. There is no harshness in the treble at all. These are very natural highs. Beautiful!

  15. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Commercial User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner of Bass Gear Direct
    Thx for your detailed response. Thought it might be the new space art.
    Does it have a switch on the back to give you 2 different settings for the dome speaker like on the Bass Art classic 15?
  16. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009
    No, i does not have any switch.
    I would like to have a little variety here. But the cab is nice as it is though.....

  17. basspipe


    Dec 19, 2004
    Thanks for all the great info from everyone contributing to this thread. Before coming across this thread I had intended to go back to using a WW with a Full Circle for DB using either EA Wizzy 10s or Acme 10s. Now I'm reconsidering. Can anyone offer any advice on their experience comparing the WW with the BSY? It would be greatly appreciated.
  18. paulitto


    Feb 15, 2009

    i had WW in the 90's. It was a good amp. But the power amp was not very efficient. And the input impedance was to low for piezo PU's. I did not play one of the recent models.
    So i can't really tell how the WW and the BSY would compare. But it doesn't get much better than the BSY if you are looking for a true sounding, high quality amp.
  19. How would the BSY compare to a TecAmp Puma 900? This thread has got me thinkin'...and I've been GAS free from the amp department for a looong time.... :'(
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'm fine with my Blue Soul as long as I don't boost the mids. I'm not a huge fan of 500 Hz.