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Quilter BB800- Disappointment

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by obimark, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I bought a Quilter Bass Block 800 to pair with my Markbass 12" cabinet.

    I tried to get a good sound out of this setup and could not. The sounds I got were "THUMPY, Hollow and rubbery".

    It only has 4 knobs and I tried all kinds of settings. The only sound that was even partially close to what I wanted (which was the sound you hear in their own demos with their cabs) was maxxing the Gain out. (yes I was plugged into the Passive input BTW), not my first rodeo)

    I was running a Lakland DJ4 bass, which sounds great through my Hartke KB12.

    I guess I was expecting the great tones you hear in the demo where it is running with their Quilter 12" cabs, to really here my Laklands tone sing out. But it sounded NOTHING like that. It sounded like the cheapest combo amp you could buy. Oh well. YMMV. Guess you got to buy their cab to get the good sounds.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
    mothra2 likes this.
  2. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    Ya there’s been a lot of hype on this amp. I tried one in a store and came away with the same impression you describe.

    I went home with a Mesa Subway D800 and couldn’t be happier.
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Yeah- I may try that one, it seems to deliver what I want. (I just don't know how they got that BB800 to sound so damn good in their demo vid... magic I guess) My Lakland is a GREAT sounding bass through everything else.
  4. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Thanks for the honest review.
    MrLenny1, jebmd and obimark like this.
  5. Agosix

    Agosix Supporting Member

    May 7, 2013
    Woodhaven NY
    Did you you try setting depth and contour knobs at noon?
  6. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    I know for a fact that different bass cabs will be better for different amps. YVMV
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I have the Quilter as well as the Mesa. While my experience with the Quilter is not quite as extreme as yours, I'll just say this....It's no Mesa.

    I'll also tell you how to get the best sound from the Quilter....run the Mesa Subway DI pedal in front of it. The Quilter still does not quite deliver the heft and slam that the Mesa Subway amp does, but that setup sounds better than most other similarly priced amps out there.
    mobeme23, Rice and obimark like this.
  8. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    yes...i always start from there..
  9. wizard65


    Sep 1, 2014
    What amp were you previously running through your Markbass cab?
  10. jeffb28451


    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    I use dna, fEarful and Glasstone cabs. With the fearful and the GT, the Quilter amp lets my basses sound like themselves, w stark, easily heard differences.

    The dna has a good sound, but sort of soft and rounded. That just seems the sound Nordchow goes for, back to Eden.. my dna 1350 and dna cabs just sound good together, but with some baked in tone. All my basses sound “good”, but editorialized

    Been playing 50 years and I don’t think the Quilter is “at fault.” You may not like the sound w Markbass, but then again, my only experience with Markbass was at Guitar Center, where they would have been nice, due to their size, not their sound, at 1/2 the price. I did like the Markbass tube amp though, was it the 500?
    Karl Kaminski and Brad Johnson like this.
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I’ve got the quilter running through a Bergantino CN212. Sounds great....not at all like you describe.

    On the other hand, the MB cabinets have always disappointed. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your cab??
    Munjibunga, Lowendtech and obimark like this.
  12. jazzbass_5


    Sep 1, 2007
    NY, Albion
    Sorry about your disappointment.
    My only problem with the Quilter is I think it needs a bright switch. I've run it through 2x10s, 4x10s, 2x12s, 8x10s and a Peavey 1820 with great success. I really don't have any other complaints.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Is it the head or the cabinet?
    mbelue likes this.
  14. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I know i had gotten a much tighter sound out of same cabinet with gk mb200 head before...so i think its the head.
    Basehead likes this.
  15. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Like you, I was disappointed with the sound of my BB800 at first. I emailed their customer support, and Pat Quilter himself personally responded to me! I sent Pat some sound clips of my BB800 compared to another amp that I liked, and he gave me some good advice how to adjust the settings to get the sound I was after. The controls weren't totally intuitive to me, but once I dialed in the "sweet spot" it was pretty sweet! I'd recommend reaching out to Quilter support before you give up on the amp.

    Another tip is to try a different preamp into the back of the Quilter, essentially using the BB800 as just a power amp. That might be another path to find the sound you're looking for.
  16. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I've also emailed Quilter and had Pat Quilter respond to me.

    Which is crazy if you think about it.

    Clearly they care.
  17. gotfunk21

    gotfunk21 Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Yeah the Quilter I find very transparent, “quick” and tight in response, with a wide frequency range and great headroom while still having nice warmth. It doesn’t come off as “sterile” to me. At the end of the day, I decided that “transparent” isn’t for me ... but I still am a fan of this amp. It’s like, chocolate ice cream is delicious, but I still prefer cookie dough.

    How about a string change? I love Laklands. They’re all I play. And my experience with Lakland and Quilter (through Aguilar and Bergantino cabs) doesn’t match what you’re experiencing.

    At the end of the day, play what you enjoy :thumbsup:
  18. Stu_Bass


    Nov 24, 2006
    I own a Quilter and have run it through a dozen different cabs, none of them are Quilter, and it sounded great through all of them
  19. jwindham


    Sep 17, 2006
    I did get to demo a BB800 a while back, and while it had plenty of power I still struggled a bit with the more limited/simplified eq. That said, I think that very simplicity/neutrality is what has made it successful for a lot of players. Using the line-in or outboard eq seem to do a great job tailoring to the strengths of this BB800's overall design. I am curious if the BB800's on-board preamp/compression feature/interaction might attribute to the varying results. Bass and cab-choice also seem to make a significant contribution in user experience. I would be quite interested in testing one again with an outboard pre such as the Tech 21 VT or Trace Elliot Transit B. I think I tend to look for built-in color/character in an amp. That said, I can see how a more neutral, open blank slate is also very apealing. For example, I was comparing a BB800 with a Markbass LMII (Class D) a while back into a 4 ohm Ampeg 410hlf. The BB800 never ran out of power, but the Markbass seemed to "cut thru" the mids in a unique way vs the more wide open/broader sonic pallete of the BB800. The BB800 would have likely out-done the LMIII in volume if I kept pushing, but the LMIII voice/character seemed to bring more presence for my tonal goals at a lower volume due to the more mid-centric tone. Only caveat: it was also difficult for me to dial-out that MB voice (if desired). Cutting the LMIII mids, that speaking voice tended to not translate as well to in the clarity/cut. Overall, I really see why the BB800 makes a great versatile, big power-amp-like tool for bassists. I am, however, really looking forward to a new version with perhaps more eq flexibilty. Definitely a great company that has their ears and creative minds on the interest of our bass playing needs!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    AstroSonic likes this.
  20. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    I've been running my BB800 very happily with a MB NY121. I'll chalk it up to a combination of personal preferences and choice in basses. Good luck!

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