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NAD: Warwick Hellborg Pre- and power amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rsint, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. rsint


    Mar 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    Don't think I've read a topic yet on here about the blowout that a certain German musicstore with a big T is having on these amps.
    Both the pre and the stereo power amp which used to about 2000 euro's each, can now be had for 599 each. A bargain if ever I saw one.
    I decided to take a leap and order the pre-amp and a stereo power amp.
    This amp series was released in 2007, and made by Warwick in cooperation with Jonas Hellborg (which is the coolest name ever btw).
    The pre-amp is apparently a copy of a Neve channel strip with an input transformer and coil based eq. The power-amp, though solid state, actually has output transformers as mister Hellborg's theory is that this is actually the reason that tube-amps sounds so delicious.
    The amp is fine example of German over-engineering and as such weighs a hefty 30 kilo's (or about 60 imperial weight units) when combined with the sleeve.
    Last night I had my first band practice with it, playing a Dingwall Combustion V2 and a MIA Fender Jazz Deluxe V (2009) through it into a Barefaced Big Twin 2.
    I started out with the eq on the preamp bypassed and was greated with a fat, luscious, unrelenting clear and utterly dynamic sound.
    I've allways struggeled with a balans between my higher strings being heard without cutting people's heads off with the highs or destroying their kidney stones with the lows whenever I switch to playing on the low B string. I've tried elevating the cab and taking it away from any boundary reinforcement.
    This is no longer a problem, I have never had such a balanced sound.
    There is a quality to the sound which is like compression, but without losing any of the dynamics. The low end is just there, however hard or soft you decide to play. The dynamic range on the pre is enormous. On the e.q. a little goes a very long way, but even maxed out, non of the frequencies get bloated or harsh.
    Normally I allways tended to add quit a lot of high mids, to be heard (two half stacks and animal on drums in a concrete bunker...... no literally a concrete bunker. Oefenruimtes) but I found myself not needing to do this now.
    I was also worried that 500 watts might not be enough, having come from a 900 watt class D amp, but this was not the case. I'm really starting to think there might be something to the whole "lead-sled heft" thing ;-)

    Needless to say, I'm still in the honeymoon phase so ymmv and all that.
    Does the amp have any downsides?
    Sure, it's so heavy it has a gravitational field, It is an utter pain to reach the connections on the back of the pre-amp when rack-mounted and the lights on the front look cool but are utterly blinding in any situation other then bright daylight.
    Other then that, it's one of those amps that needs to be heard to be believed.....
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
    31HZ, ExGinger, HeavyJazz and 15 others like this.
  2. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Great review! Congrats on the new amp!
    rsint likes this.
  3. rsint


    Mar 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    Tried to upload a picture, but that doesn't seem to be working. Let me try again
  4. have just ordered the mono 500 power amp to pair with my preamps, not sure what to expect but most of the things ive read sound great.
    rsint and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  5. rsint


    Mar 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    What preamps are you pairing it with?
    I really wonder which part of the the combo atributes what to the total sound. Maybe I’ll plug the pre into the powered speakers we have just to try and find out.
    MADChuudoku and BasturdBlaster like this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i wonder why Thomann's blowing them out. Discontinued? Are they just going to go with the cheaper Hellborg series?
  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Nice review, very clean design.
    rsint likes this.
  8. rsint


    Mar 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    Yeah probably, I think they've stopped making it a couple a years ago and now they're getting rid of stock....either that or some amazing new light weight class D version is about to emerge.
    Honestly don't care......I'm a happy chap right now
    JimmyM likes this.
  9. Looks great, sounds great,...ummmm it ...is ....weight........well, it rhymed.
    rsint likes this.
  10. ill be running Suncoast preamps into mine (2x B1P in parallel or the BC3 depending on situation)
    and then into an old marshall JCM800 bass 4x12 (or two using the palmer cab merger)
    Luke the Fluke and rsint like this.
  11. lexefx

    lexefx picky??

    Jan 1, 2009
    Lindenhurst IL
    Man, that's an amazing price on the MP50. It's killin me that big T won't ship it to NA. I have been looking for a MP25 - but for that price I'd take the 500W. I LOVE my Hellborg rig. Anyone in the UK want to ship me an amp?
  12. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: Distributor of Ashdown amplification
    hey Jimmy...yeah, that isn't a current item any longer.
    JimmyM likes this.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well now that Warwick is also going to be distributing Phil Jones amps, maybe they discontinued it to free up money to commit some to Phil, eh? Thx for clearing it up for me, Roger!
    hasbeen likes this.
  14. rsint


    Mar 26, 2006
    the Netherlands
    are you sure about that? https://www.thomannmusic.com/warwick_jh_sp25_hellborg.htm

    edit: nevermind, once you put it in your basket it says that Warwick doen't allow for shipping. That's weird!
  15. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Nice! Love my PR40/MP50 combo as well. Tried to buy the CC115 but they won't ship to the US.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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