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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by brotondo, Dec 5, 2016.
That 1/4" jack in front isn't necessarily unbalanced.
I think we know it IS balanced... but it is unbalanced unless you use a balanced TRS cable.
I think part of the discussion is that a lot of bass players don't have (or know about) balanced TRS cables.
It's standard to have unbalanced 1/4" cables and balanced XLR cables for most bass players.
You can score a high quality balanced TRS to XLR cable or adaptor for like $10. But then you have an extra cable that you have to keep track of and keep in working order...
What surprises me though is that they had a (apparently) well working XLR out on the BB800. So if the design is already done and working, then why removing it on a new amp? Certainly not a matter of pirce since a quasi-balanced circuit costs next to nothing... It could only be a matter of space on the back panel of the BB802, in favor of the 2nd speakon output, which is - in my opinion - definitely not as usefull as a XLR out. The cab daisy chaining should be done - again in my opinion - on the cab. Anyway, if someone from Quilter could give us some explanation, it would be nice...
There are two 1/4" outs on the front panel: one balanced and one unbalanced.
The XLR line out was the most commonly-criticized feature of the BB800, to the point several TB'ers said it was the "dealbreaker" why they did not purchase the the amp. So I would say Quilter did a great job listening to their customers and removing the controversial feature. For better or worse, we got what we asked for. I personally never understood what all the fuss was about.
In what has the XLR line out been criticized?? Ok, it's quasi-balanced and doesn't have a great transformer or additionnal active balancing circuit, but it's no deal breaker for me... In fact, the idea of a more simple (and transparent) circuit is indeed a great idea!
Are you referring to the XLR INput, maybe?
I personally never had any problem with it. But a vocal minority of users found it completely unacceptable that the XLR Out was affected by the master volume.
OHH, are you serious? I didn't know that the XLR out level was 'after' the master volume, which is a non sense to me too (despite many amps are designed like that too).
I was sure the XLR out source was after the Gain/Comp/EQ, but just before the Master volume.
FWIW, my Ampeg amp works the same way.
With the addition of the new 1/4" effects loop, it's now possible to connect your favorite DI of choice, and send FOH a signal that is post-gain, post-EQ, but pre-master.
I believe it a mistake to not include an XLR out connector on a bass amp in today's competitive market.
Will this dissuade me from purchase? Absolutely not.
As many here know, the BB800 is a monster amplifier and clearly the BB802 is a huge improvement despite this quirky setback. Quilter and quirky seem an inseparable pair.
The BB802 is proof-positive that Quilter listens to its customers and there is no doubt this will continue, quirks and all.
I can't for the life of me think of a reason I would need an XLR in to a bass amp.
One reason would be to use the Bass block as a power amp with your preamp of choice. For example I tried a Broughton P15 into the XLR in on my BB800, and it was astounding.
Or you could use a preamp into the XLR in to give you a second channel (for instance if you play upright as well as electric bass).
Ya. Seems like it could easily be a 1/4" line in. Some good uses listed above.
Remember that quilter is making "systems" and that drives much of the design. The amps and cabs are all designed to work together. It's not designed to be stand alone mix / match stuff.
The original BB had a XLR Line in and XLR line out... meaning you could easily hook up one amp to another, and on and on forever, scaling your rig to as big as you need.
FYI, someone from Quilter did comment about this... in their "system" (a quilter amp with two quilter cabs), they though it was better to run both speaker cables from the amp. Something about equal voltage maybe? This is why their cabs are designed with one input, not two... you can't daisy chain quilter cabs.
You might have to search through thousands of posts to find this, but it was something like that.
I've also never had a problem. In my keeping up with the quilter threads (there are two big ones) I would say that the XLR out - being post master, and not being a true balanced DI - was the main sticking point on the amp. the two 1/4" outputs and only one speakon output was probably issue #2. After that all the complaints were normal stuff like eq, why no onboard compression, wheres the HPF, the dents, more watts, I wish it was a completely different amp... that kind of stuff.
Remember the part about Quilter stuff being a "system". It would be very hard to access a XLR out on the back of the amp if it was docked in a quilter cab... in that scenario, a 1/4" balanced out on the top of the amp makes a lot of sense.
I do it whenever I use my Quilter amp. XLR from Mesa Preamp into XLR input on Quilter.
I totally get the "Quilter is building a system thing" but to exclude users that don't want to embrace the complete Quilter system seems odd. The BB800 already had an xlr out, they were already tooled up to press the hole out for this feature in the current model. To remove it actually seems like work. just moving where it was in the circuit or including a switch would have been amazing. Obviously I am speculating here and likely simplifying the situation, as I'm on the outside looking in, but I'm sure you understand what I am saying.
I bought the BB800 to replace a Power amp to use with my stand alone Preamps, so the xlr in is useful to me, and the exclusion of a DI out pre master isn't a deal breaker. However when I used the amp standalone, I came to realise that this D class amp has more tube like heft than all other D class heads I have used. Quilter have a great amp here, I want it to succeed, so these little things in a competitive market make a difference.
The XLR in is a good idea (they should use a Neutik Combo Jack BTW), but not as needed as a XLR out, IMO.
I assume the idea is to have same length for both speakon cables, but especially share the current charge equally on each one. This make sense. I assume they use speakon - 1/4 combo jacks here too?
Now this is the most important point to me. I know that some amps have a post Master volume XLR out, but this is a non sense to me. Anyone who played live knows that we sometimes need to modify our Master volume when the show begins or during the performance from time to time. Doing so, you also change the signal going to FOH and monitor consoles, and believe me, the soundmen will NOT like you if you change it too drastically (even just a few db) during the performance. Even worse, if the band is working with in-ear monitors, then you change everyone's mix. Intolerable.
Since my gigs are 90% in-ear these days, to ME, a great XLR out is mandatory and must be sourced POST everything, but PRE Master volume. A PRE switch for a source just after the first preamp stage (Gain) can be handy in certain circumstances, but that's when you normally use a good DI in front of the amp, so the PRE signal is really not even needed - IMO.
Most pro setups use XLR.
The "problem" is that the compromise for the size isn't one... the same sized amp used to have an XLR out and for many it was an important feature.
Here's a hypothetical for you: Let's say you need more Gain for some songs, and less Gain for other songs.
When you increase the Gain for the songs that need dirtier tone, you can reduce the Master, so that your tone changes, but the overall volume stays the same. Then when you bring your Gain back down for the less aggressive songs, you can increase the Master to compensate.
In other words, on many tube amps (which the Quilter is designed to emulate) the Master is part of the tone stack. If you remove the Master from the signal path, then you've essentially converted the amp from a "master volume" to a "volume" design. "Volume" or "one knob" tube amp designs (like the classic Marshall used by Jimi Hendrix) have their niche, but with the serious limitation that you can only play quiet and clean, or loud and dirty. You can't play loud and clean, or quiet and dirty, without Gain and Master controls that are separate and interactive (like the Quilter).
The Transformer Out on my Ampeg PF20T works the exact same way. I can tweak the Gain and Master to get different tones for different songs, while maintaining a consistent overall volume. The PF20T and PF50T are universally beloved as having one of the best DI's in the business, recommended for live and studio work by some very experienced TB'ers.