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Powered MAS 18 Redesigned Version 2

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Michael Drost, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI

    I just received the shipment on my newly redesigned powered MAS 18. Mike redesigned the cavity that holds the 1200watt Pascal power module, crossover, HPF, etc.

    As far as I know, this cab has all of the bells and whistles allowed on a MAS 18. Pole mount, HPF, 1200 watt power module, switchable active and passive mode(you can use your own power amp or the one built-in), master volume, rubber feet on two sides allowing for different monitoring angles. Almost like an Upshot.

    I'll circle back after I play through the cab at home and on my next gig which happens to be tomorrow night. I should have a good idea of its sound and dispersion by then.

    This cab has been a long time coming, and I look forward to playing version 2 in the field.

    Attached Files:

  2. doghousebob


    Mar 7, 2008
    Really looking forward to your review Michael. I'm going to order one as soon as I get the chance (and sell my B18!)
  3. kerrycares

    kerrycares Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Clare super tweeter?
    Michael Drost likes this.
  4. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    B18 - as in Ampeg B18? I read it initially as (MAS) Bodai 18, but I think those only exist as a 28 or 38.
    Ric Vice likes this.
  5. Viendrone


    Sep 5, 2019
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    The Ampeg B-18 was a formidable amp in it's day. The head uses a different tube compliment that bumps the power rating to 50 Watts RMS, which by todays standards
    is very modest (the Pascal Power amplifier in the MAS 1/8 is 1,200 watts). B-18N's weren't produced as long as the venerable B-15's were but they are very nice amps.
    For a time, Ampeg offered the B-18N's head combined with two B-15N cabinets. Finding
    one of those amps, dubbed the B-15ND, is like finding the golden fleece. They are very
    MarkA likes this.
  7. doghousebob


    Mar 7, 2008
    Um..err..sorry Michael, did not intend to side-track your thread. It is an Ampeg B-18, still very formidable in many aspects. I'm glad Mike called the amp I'm lusting after the MAS "18." The "18" will make it easier for my bass-addled brain to remember!
    MarkA and Ric Vice like this.
  8. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    MarkA and kerrycares like this.
  9. I'd love to see a pic of the side with the power cable and speakon jack etc if you have the time and inclination...
    LM Bass likes this.
  10. kerrycares

    kerrycares Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    I may have to take a drive over from Farmington Hills to hear you and your new love.
    Michael Drost likes this.
  11. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Mike Drost is a really nice guy. So---I'm going to post what he wouldn't. For the first time I have a seriously problems with a design. First---cramming all of the components into the 18 created a resonance that we hadn't previously had. It wasn't too loud--pretty acceptable in my book. But it was there. That particular reaonance was the perfect frequency to excite the little inductors on the input board. Terrible problem. Didn't show up here, but after shipping there were consistant problems.So I mad new cabs with the amp on the outside.The Pascal amp/custom input board/HPF has been a nightmare. I've been doing cabs with the Ice 700 for a few years. There were some initial problems, but I have at least two dozen out there working perfectly. But I knew there were better amps out there and Ice wasn't making them. I knew that Wayne Jones was using the Pascal amps to great success. So I got in touch with Pascal. The Ice are essentially plug and play. The Pascal needs a complete input circuit board to use. And you have to supply it. I went to a well know electronics genius that has many top studio products out there. He designed the input boards. They are crazy complicated and very difficult to make. WAY over-designed.The HPF board didn't work well with it. After blowing up 5 Pascal boards we found the problem. It was in the design of the input board. We made alterations to the HPF and got it working. Also, there was a mistake on the input board where one ground wasn't connected in the board traces. Design flaw. Made the amps hum. Figured it out myself after going through the entire board with a multimeter and found it. Fixed it. All of a sudden I had four guys with cabs that didn't function correctly and wanted refunds. Like many other small designers I don't have all of the money for refunds OH. So most of the guys were nice and allowed me to make new cabs with the power module under the cab. But---I have to admit---I was hugely stressed and trying to get out working cabs before the natives got too restless. And on Mike's cab I made a small soldering mistake which he fixed. He wants to send the cab back and wait until all bugs are worked out. Understandable.
    Ice recently came out with the Ice 1200 amp which sounds a bit better than the Pascal. But the Pascal has better low end punch. After taking the lead from EA I put more capacitance in the power supply and now the Ice is superior on all fronts. Actually--superior by a very small degree. But the Ice's are infinitely easier to work with. And Steve's HPF works perfectly with it. All new powered cabs will use the Ice. It makes the 18 one inch taller--but that's just how it is.
    For the guys with working Pascal amps---don't worry--if they are working now they will continue to do so. I've been slamming on one for months.
    Rather than making excuses I wanted to be honest here. A major design and implimentation problem. It happens. But I learned from this. It's embarassing---to admit this---but it's the right thing to do. Mike is such a good guy that he wasn't going to comment.
  12. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI

    Thanks for the public update.

    There are so many amazing advancements in amplification these days, one has to be amazed. Many dedicated just for making our double basses sound great.

    I, for one, am thankful for guys like you, like great instrument makers and great musicians, that are dedicated and fully invested in their craft.

    Keep up the good work. Thanks for the update.
    GrooverMcTube, flatback, oren and 3 others like this.
  13. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    Well I can say I am getting ready to purchase a MAS18 with whatever poweramp Mike is putting in there. I have been playing thru just the MAS46 since my 16 was stolen and there are some gigs where it is a heavy schlep and overkill. I suspect when I finally get my hands on a 18 im going to use it almost exclusively. If stuff occasionally happens in such a box that needs repair or redesign in no way diminishes my interest or faith in these cabs. There is just something about the way they reproduce upright that is so right (for me)
    Playing solo bass with looping thru the 46 tonight for a dance class and it has a depth and thick clarity that helps create a full sound stage and musical interface. I will for sure order the tweeter ( i have one with a switch on my 46 and although it is subtle it really has its own presence.
    statsc, Ric Vice and MarkA like this.
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    My powered MAS 1/8 is the cabinet that goes out to gigs constantly. It sits in that perfect sweet spot for it’s size and timbre. When I hit the mute on the Grace Felix there is so little difference in the sound all you really hear is the volume drop. :)
    lrhbass and Kickdrum like this.
  15. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    Just spoke with Mike yesterday; he says the tweeter now comes standard on his cabs. My MAS 18 (unpowered) is on order! +1 on your description of the sound of these cabs; truly remarkable,
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  16. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    See, I really love the idea of using the 18 on it's back and upside down like the 3rd picture above. (no beer near the bassist please) The Felix can go on the floor or if the Sarno Black Box works without other preamplification that velcrod to the 18. Seems totally flexible how you use it. I play in a bunch of small spaces where I am right over the cab, if it could be kicked back that far it would make a big difference. I used to try the pole mount thing but it was too nerve wracking to me I was always too near a window or piano or my bass, I always had the amp on top with cords just waiting to be tripped on...no pole mount thanks, but the kick back, Yay.
    Kickdrum likes this.
  17. Maple

    Maple Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I love my 1st gen powered 18. Same experience as @Ric Vice
    Many of my gigs are outdoors and require a bit more power though. If there's a FOH, I use the 18 as my monitor
    Most of the other gigs, I've gotten in the habit of driving an extension cabinet from the 18.
    I can then aim one cab toward the drummer and the other toward the keys.
    I'd love it if the 18 were maybe 50% louder on its own.
  18. flatback


    May 6, 2004
    Yeah man. I hear that. I DO play a lot of gigs that require more volume but I'm thinking that with the 46 being powered by the 1200w 18, (which will be on its back facing me) Im gunna be alright. OR just taking the 46 I have never reached it's threshold. But really my bread and butter could mostly be done with the 18....I had the 16 and it covered about 3/4 of the lighter stuff but I think this cab will be dope.
  19. Ben Rolston

    Ben Rolston Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Just wanted to share my experience with this.

    I like my 18 a lot, but do NOT like it in this upward facing configuration. My best guess is that the part of the cab that comes in contact with the floor in this position changes the coupling response, and that having the port pointed at my ears is less ideal. I definitely prefer the tone of the cab elevated, rather than tilted. Would love to hear other people's thoughts!
    flatback likes this.
  20. This is partly why I am torn between getting a second 16 (if Mike still makes them...) or a 18, to supplement my 16. I actually like the concept of a loudspeaker, that takes advantage of the coupling with the floor, a bit more than one that sounds best elevated. On the other hand, choosing either 16 or 18 for a gig is a bit more simple than bringing two 16's for the "bigger" gig. Oh well, both solutions are probably very good. A hard choice is usually the sign of that...
    Ric Vice likes this.

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