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my new MAS26

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by MrSidecar, Jul 11, 2014.


  1. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    So, i took the plunge, sold my PJB Flightcase 150, and got me an Arnopol cabinet. While I was perfectly happy 80% of all gigs with the Flightcase, the other 20% were seriously appalling - lack of definition, no punch, blobby too-fat or too-flimsy low end.
    So, on yesterday's gig, I coupled the cab with a TC RH450 I had borrowed. Pretty active and boomy room, together with drums and two horns.
    First impression: That cab is seriously powerful. There was no chance to hit its ceiling because of feedback, but man, that thing is loud! Amp eq set flat, it was beautiful, round, and very nicely acoustic sounding (Ehrlund PU and preamp).
    True excellence happens though as soon as the others in the band come into play- in the midst of all things going on, a loudish and busy drummer and killer horns, and you still have this not-quite-little tangible punchy attack that is so important to an acoustic double-bass sound.
    No need to go all hyperbole on it yet, still have to play more rooms, settings, and styles with it, plus different amps; but so far, it's really promising. As in, possibly the best sound I've yet had on any stage. And I'm seriously afraid of what the MAS26 is capable of with electric bass (not that I do that too much, but I'll try for the sake of trying).

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  2. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ -- Endorsing Artist-- ---3M Dual Lock--- Supporting Member

    Thanks SC,

    Great initial impressions to share. I will be looking forward anxiously to more impressions after other gigs. Two questions: how is the 'richness' of the low end compared to the FC? What does the 2x6 weigh?
     
  3. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    I have the MAS 46 and it just kills it every time. There are eq mods that need to happen for different rooms, but night after night I get studio quality sound both where Im listening to it, a few feet away (the bands love the sound) and in the audience (huge wide dispersion and cohesion to the sound across any room). Cons: weight and hence my interest in the MAS 25 or 26...but truth is I really think that having 4 speakers turned up just enough has some magical quality, I am super curious if that same feeling comes from a 25 or 26...
     
  4. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Rick,

    As far as weight goes: 11,3 kg, or 25 pounds. The MAS26 has a funny form factor that reminds me most of mid-90s under-desk-tower-PCs. But it's very easy to move around. I have transported it strapped fast to the back of my bike.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "richness", let me try and compare: The PJB low end is beautiful and "real" in lower volumes. In higher volumes, it to my ears is getting less and less defined character and more of a diffuse super low blob. It sounds kind of "fabricated" or "artificial" to me, for lack of a better term. Kind of like you hear that it's air moving through cabinet ports. And it's pretty hard to dose- either you have too much, or you sound too flimsy-thin.
    The MAS26 has a low end that seems a lot "tighter", even though there's potential to LOTS of low end- much more than you'll ever need for a double bass to sound like one (we're talking "making furniture move", kind of). And it has this nice physical "punch" to it, as if suddenly in a walking line, you hear the quarter-notes like little, or not-quite-so-little, kicks in the leg.

    Now, as I said, I'm far from having explored all of the possibilities. For example, there's two sets of feet: One is positioned so you place it upright (think 90s tower-PC), one so it's lying flat on the ground like a really huge amp top. There's gotta be a difference, but I have not yet tried. But I'm certainly keeping the cab.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  5. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    So happy that you're digging it!

    For DB you summed up what is most important to me--that little "thump" at the beginning of the note. I just feel like my walking is more effective.

    As far as different positions---they act a bit like a "bass control". Big rooms, outside---horizontal on the floor but wedge it up a bit. Try it vertical but don't be afraid to put it on a char in a difficult room. You won't lose as much bottom as you'd think. These cabs move air in a different way so it is a bit of a learning curve.

    I've been using the 45/25 with the new drivers.
     
  6. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    One Thing that did NOT work though was playing DB with the usual pickup/preamp combo into a Hartke 3500 (another one I har borrowed) and into the MAS26. Honkermaster galore. Untameable nasty midrange. Without doubt, that's the amp's fault (or the amp operator's :) ); however I read somewhere that these cabs make any amp sound better. There is either a limit for this, or Hartke sounds absolutely horrible with other cabs. Or it's me.

    best
    Sidecar
     
  7. I played a gig where the provided backline was Hartke. I don't remember the amp model, but the speaker was the alloy-coned 210. At one point, in the middle of a song, I stopped playing it sounded so bad – I caught a lot of flack from the guitar player for dropping out of that song. Tried to dial in a better sound on the break... hmmm...

    Bowing? Impossible. Wretched even. That's just me, though, and the Hartke did nothing to help. Makes me shudder to remember it.

    "Honkermaster galore" – aptly put!
     
  8. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I'll tell you--I really think that the Tecamp Puma's are the best for upright. Hartke would be about the worst. (as far as amps for upright). GK's are tough to eq for upright.
     
  9. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2008
    Anchorage, AK
    How's that new Demeter sound with the Golia Mike?
     
  10. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I have this weak spot for oldschool pre-classD amps that only came to me just recently. I just like the thought that an amp can be repaired with a soldering iron and a multimeter many years from now. I used both Phil Jones and Acoustic Image in the past, and while it was ok and clean, the second something gets wonky in those amps, you have to send em in. Don't get me wrong, AI has great customer service and Phil Jones's I never had to try... But I don't know. I've seen the inside of a Markbass amp, and while they might sound good and are light and well-built, as soon as something gets wrong (and it will, especially in switchmode-PSUs), you end up with electronic waste. Not a chance for a repair.
    Plus, I don't trust these power ratings nowadays. Especially the AI seemed weaker than it should have according to the ratings.
    About a week or so ago, I was in for a big surprise when I tried an Eden WT400 hooked to a 4x10 Ampeg. I had really bad experience with the Eden sounding like poopiee once, but that was a load mismatch between amp and pickup. With the Ehrlund, that rig sounded amazing.

    So, the Eden will be mine soon. Not too heavy to schlep around, 400 real Watts, great EQ and great sound with the EQ flat. I'll post my findings.

    best
    Sidecar
     
  11. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Update 1:

    Gig with two acoustic guitars (amped), without drums, outside. "Gypsy-jazz", for lack of a better term. One of the two guitarists is a sound-nerd.
    Amp: TC electronics BH-250. MAS 26 both flat on the floor and tiltet a little. Ehrlund PU and preamp.
    I'm ready to go hyperbolic now. The sound was by far the best sound I have ever experienced outside, and amplified in general. It simply gives new meaning to the phrase "my bass, only louder". Lots of attack, punch, definition, no blob in the low-end... It's just gorgeous. Extremely well-balanced in terms of frequencies: One thing that sooner or later always irritates me, apart from the typical low-end non-definition blob, are the highs or high-mids on most systems, emphasizing nasty nasal harshnesses on certain notes. Not so here. Perfect. I should note that up to this point, I have not even touched ANY amp's EQ with this cab.

    What happens because of the fantastic sound:

    -guitar player/sound nerd is genuinely blown away, wants an MAS cab for him
    -sound blends in much better: Since there is no nasty boom-blob whatsoever, I actually can turn up less and still seem louder, or better audible (if this makes any sense)
    -no matter at what volume, the acoustic qualities are reproduced much more accurately than ever before (and all of them)
    -I feel much more confident, extremely inspired to play, and I can dig in and it's easier. I play "better" in a sense, than I used to, and I am extremely happy throughout the gig. I just bathe in my beautiful sound. Remarkable.
    -Audience member says, he could hear the bass perfectly on the parking lot (100 metres away, behind a line of trees)

    At this point, I am not looking back to any of the amps, cabs and combos I have ever owned. It's a totally different game. And I start to feel that it does almost not matter what amp I play (as long as I steer clear of Hartke).

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    jondiener likes this.
  12. Thanks for the update MrSidecar. You mentioned an Eden previously, though your recent gig was with a TC-E BH-250. Curious to know how all that transpired, are you still getting the Eden? Good to hear the BH-250 is working well for you.
     
  13. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    The TCs I have tried are just trials, I am still quite set on getting the Eden. More on why I choose that amp, plus experience with it, in due time. I'm getting it on monday, I hope.
     
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    My Eden WT300 has been collecting dust since I got EA Doubler. I'd give that one a try, too. The Eden is a fine amp, I just like the Doubler more.
     
  15. I've been using my 26 quite a bit for bluegrass and jazz gigs, and pretty much have had the same experiences outlined above. The immediacy and punch to the notes from the cab do make it less work to pull a great sound from the string. I'm using an AI Focus 1 Siii, fdeck 3 and sometimes a Tone Hammer pre/direct. It's also a great electric cab for rehearsals. I still haven't stacked it with my 46 yet.

    Coincidentally, I also use my 26 and AI head as a guitar amp for gypsy jazz gigs. I play rhythm and use that little Radio Shack lapel mic and am getting great results. You should point your guitarist to the 25. Also, I think there is a builder other of the Big E cabs other than Mike who makes guitar cabs, though for acoustic guitar, the size and sound (and output) of the 25 or 26 seems absolutely perfect.
     
  16. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    The stupid Fender-type tone controls are a pain, but I'm getting used to them.

    The Demeter is giving me an even better sound than the Tecamp. The Tecamp's tone controls are fabulous but when dialed in the notes just jump out with the Demeter. The Golia is happy.
     
  17. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Update 2:

    Now, the Eden WT-400 is here. And okay, it IS heavier than today's class-D standard. And yes, it's noisier- but that's only relevant if I choose to crank master and gain to full and do not connect any input load. In other words, noise is not a factor. And even with all its well-known design quirks (the preamp power supply realization, the idiotic "marketing tube" in the preamp that does NOTHING for the sound...), I much prefer this tank of an amplifier to today's lightweight disposable consumer electronics. This amp can be repaired 50 years on from now, by anyone who can read a schematic and connect and hold a soldering iron.
    Oh, and did I mention the sound? It's great. No-brainer. It might be a tad bit midrange-ier than the TCs I tried, but that takes 5 seconds and one tiny correction on the EQ (like, one micro-notch), and gone it is. Just beautiful, round, fat and punchy, powerful tone. Instead, I get LOADS of more useable power (much more than I'll ever need) than with the other amps, and that's not about wattage, but about what happens when the amplifier is pushed. The little TC BH-250 had a really harsh limiter coming into the picture as soon as I wanted too much volume. That does not happen with the Eden if i keep myself to even remotely sane and useable levels.
    So, that's great. Still bike-friendly, and the search is over again.

    All the best
    Sidecar
     
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I tried out one of those old Eden amps back in the day and absolutely loved the sound. I didn't buy it for complicated reasons and lack of $$, but I still remember the solidity of the tone that thing had (a WT-800, maybe?) and how much it impressed me from note one. It weighed so much I felt it should be fitted with treads on the bottom and a rotating turret on top, but it sounded so good I almost didn't care. So glad you found the gear that gets the sound that makes you happy! No matter what the name on the front, it's a beautiful thing when that happens.
     
  19. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I don't remember the exact price tag, but here in Europe it was outrageous with those Edens. Truly high-end price-wise. And I'm the first to grant that I NEVER would have paid the $$ a new WT400 costs. Especially not for the WT400, being a little technically compromised inside (and seriously- that "tube" sticker did certainly not hurt the price tag, which makes it a little shady with the non-existing tonal impact the tube has in this design). But that's one benefit of buying used gear way after it went out of fashion.

    And thank you so much for this! It never fails to amaze me in how little increments we (or, some of us, like me) come ever closer to the "ideal amplified sound", only to eventually discard everything and start all over. Oh, but that won't happen again, of course... :)

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  20. No Pic, no Eden WT-400 & MAS26...
    (Please include the bass, if possible)
    :ninja:
     

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