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NAD: Baby Sumo + Arkham Abyss

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by theretheyare, May 11, 2017.


  1. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    It took me awhile to get it all together, but yes, now we have what I believe to be the ultimate in portable (almost) tube rig by pairing an Arkham Abyss pre amp with a Baby Sumo power amp. First of all: this is a great pairing. At all sound levels a great tone is possible. It just sounds delicious. What I am hearing is what i was looking for: me playing on my bass, draped in big, clean tube tone, with a very subtle and musical preamp, instead of a baked-in (fill in Amplifier brand here) tone.

    The Baby Sumo behaves like a proper power amp (in principle you'd put it full output, and turn in a given pre as desired) while the Abyss has the kind of gain that allows for a lot of leeway/headroom. A great thing about the Sumo is that it has no fan, and is therefore dead silent, which is wonderful news for the solo recording project I have in mind for the Summer.

    The Arkham Abyss (I believe mine is the very first one) is Micah's new in-between model (between the Bullett and the Zephyr). Besides adding the High pass switch and Range pot, it also has the D.I. (I really wanted that, so it can used in recording situations or with PAs). Whether it is my own basses ('78 Pbass, fretless Linc with Bartolini humbuckers, Abasses with Aguilar hot jazz pups), or the custombuilt First Act as played by Giacomo Merega, who is a brilliant bass player, it has been impossible to get a bad sound out of it no matter how the knobs are set.

    The Abyss comes with a set of rack ears. The case is steel and built like a tank, but still portable.

    I think I'm in love.

    BSA.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Love the Abyss! I nearly bought a Bullet, but didn't like the military connotations or lack of DI. This could be the perfect Arkham product for me! Can I ask the dimensions of the unit?
     
  3. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'll give you exact dimensions when I'm home, but I can tell you now it's half rack width, and 2U high
     
    Mushroo likes this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks! I am looking for something that will sit nicely on top of my Acoustic Image Focus SA poweramp, 10" w x 6.75" d x 3" h. Currently I am using a Raven Labs PHA-1 measuring an adorable 6.75" x 5.25" x 2". But after some recent experiences with awesome studio gear, I am looking to go in a "tubey-er" direction. :)
     
  5. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    The housing dimensions are 8.25" wide x 8.25" deep by 3.5" high. the cooling ventilation slots are on top.
     
  6. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
    theretheyare likes this.
  7. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
  8. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
    I really liked the KGB; however, I was looking for a tube sound for recording so I ended up selling it and buying the REDDI; however, I am selling the REDDI now b/c I am thinking about just going to a tube preamp. This Arkham looks really promising. Do you have any sound demo of it. Also, how does it compare to the rack mount. I think it is just a different case essentially? Also, I like that price point. A bit more manageable than the Monique.
     
  9. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
    Just sold my REDDI and put in my order for an Abyss. Can't wait to hear this guy through the Schroeder cab. Thanks for writing this review.
     
    theretheyare likes this.
  10. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    It so happened I did some duo recording a week ago with a bassoonist, so here is a bit from the Direct Out channel, my fretless through the preamp direct out into Zoom H6. Nothing done to the track (what will have affected the tone somewhat, is that the signal went through my pedal board, though I didnt have any effects going here). While it may not make much musical sense on its own, if you scroll through the track you get the full range of the bass, low to high.


    Extra for the Zephyr: thru jack; mute switch; the DI has its own gain, and there's pre and post gain; On the Abyss, 1 gain; the deciding factor to me was the DI out (with ground lift); that I really wanted and what I got with the Abyss. In places with a decent pa, all I need to bring is the Abyss (it is how I hooked up in the small concert space I recorded this in). The tonestack is great, I am quite happy with the lo, mid and high switches and the hpf filter. (edited description: Abyss comes with DI!!)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  11. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago

    Thanks! Can't wait to try mine in three weeks or so!
     
    theretheyare likes this.
  12. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
    Just curious if you are going to rack the Abyss or will try to buy a case? Micah suggested a Pelican case for both the Baby Sumo and Abyss, but the Baby Sumo comes with a case. However, makes sense to have one case to carry both.
     
  13. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Everyone's needs maybe different, for me and many others in NYC portability means being able to use public transport avoiding cab/Uber fares when possible.

    So I am not going to rack it, as the idea of it being modular and being able to pack only what I'll need is essential to the idea of separate pre and poweramp. For example, when I did recording session, I managed to pack Abyss, cables, recording device, tripod, and pedal board in a smaller regular roller suitcase (something you see a lot around here, you can get them all over town for like $30) and 5 recording mikes with a few mike cables in a small cooler bag about the size of a 6 pack.

    I have not been using the Baby Sumo case, it is too bulky for the size of the baby sumo for my purposes, I'd say it's good for shipping.

    I will look into the Pelican case though; thanks for that tip.
     
  14. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
    Cool - I hear you. I am in Chicago and thus need to do the same thing. I felt that the Baby Sumo case is pretty big for general day to day purpose.
     
  15. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    The Pelican looks like great idea. If I'd be driving, I'd definitely go that route.
     
  16. Agosix

    Agosix Supporting Member

    May 7, 2013
    Woodhaven NY
    There are shallow rack cases 2u, 3u etc. also there is a rack shelf available where you can mount from the bottom by unscrewing the feat and pass the screws of the feet thru slotted holes. You can get that at Sweetwater etc.
     
  17. BostonJazz72

    BostonJazz72 Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    Chicago
     
  18. Agosix

    Agosix Supporting Member

    May 7, 2013
    Woodhaven NY
    SKB makes one and eBay has shallow cases by others. I just got a 3u shallow case from eBay for about $70. I use the Arkham Zephyr with a Quilter BB800. I am making my own rack clips for the Quilter and the Zephyr is sized as standard rack size.
     
    5StringPocket and theretheyare like this.
  19. Agosix

    Agosix Supporting Member

    May 7, 2013
    Woodhaven NY