TC Electronic BAM200 Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by obascin, May 4, 2019.


  1. obascin

    obascin

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cincinnati
    Hey all! So I don't post a lot on here but since I couldn't find any information, here's a quick review of the BAM 200 amp that recently came out.

    I was looking for an absolutely "no frills" amp that I could use for DI for studio and live use. Because I might be the only one here that hates having unused and extra gear lying around, I wanted to sell off my old rig and have something perfect for live and studio DI and practicing both solo and with live acts. However, I wanted something loud enough for small gigs, like coffee shops or small bars that don't have their own PA.

    Enter the BAM 200.

    I won't waste time writing up the specs because you can look them up on your own. Fast breakdown: bass and treble shelving on the EQ with a mid at a decent spot. Not sure the Q but seems to be wide, so you can really scoop out the middle of your sound. I personally rarely use the EQ and as such, I played with it all set at 12 o'clock for the flattest response I could.

    If you listen, this is literally just me playing random poopie but this is on a 5-string stiletto with passive EMG 40's and onboard pre set at nominal. I also have the gain set to almost max on the BAM200, with no clipping to be heard of. In fact, this makes me think you could easily get away with strong active basses and still have some headroom.

    I have to say, I am absolutely in love, so much that I am immediately selling my PF350, which was purchased for the same reason (needed light amp for tracking and practice, but I HATE the sound of it).

    One word though, for my personal tastes, I would not recommend pushing it into clipping looking for a good overdrive. This is meant for clean and it delivers beyond my expectations. I'll stick with ol' stubby if I want that overdriven magic.

    For $150 I am over-the-moon with this little guy. Absolutely sweet sound, extremely transparent which is what I love.
     

    Attached Files:

    pcake, Jefenator, malpasso and 8 others like this.
  2. krissie1304

    krissie1304

    May 6, 2019
    Finally a review! Thanks! My hangup is fan noise. Tell me, any noise coming from this unit? Thanks
     
    joe vegas likes this.
  3. obascin

    obascin

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cincinnati
    None at all. If there is a fan in this little package, it definitely didn't fire up after playing at moderate small room levels... and if it did actually turn on I didn't hear it at all. I actually love how silent it is because if I want to track through a mic I can do it at low-ish levels without that noise.
     
    dramatwist and 19sixty3 like this.
  4. krissie1304

    krissie1304

    May 6, 2019
    Thanks for the fast response! I've ordered it!
     
    dramatwist and obascin like this.
  5. Obascin said: "One word though, for my personal tastes, I would not recommend pushing it into clipping looking for a good overdrive. This is meant for clean and it delivers beyond my expectations. I'll stick with ol' stubby if I want that overdriven magic."

    Does that mean that you tried overloading the front end, or you tried pushing the amp into output clipping, and didn't care for the resulting 'tone'? Just thinking that a 200w head might have well manered overlaod characterisitcs intentionally, resulting in a clean sound even when driven mildly into clipping.

    BTW, thanks for the review!
     
    Mark Andrew likes this.
  6. obascin

    obascin

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cincinnati
    So I tried both conditions after this post to get a feel for how to answer. I first drove my onboard preamp to max and played through a pigtronix envelope phaser (notoriously hot from the 18v input). From what I can tell, the input overloading didn't have a good characteristic tone, but it wasn't "harsh" initially. The harder I pushed it (taking my tech21 red ripper pedal and maxing the volume), in my opinion the worse it sounded. For that, I would say that pushing the input gain well into the red didn't give me a good "usable" tone. I'll see if I can get a good recording to capture what I mean. It sounded more like the kinda bad buzz you get from overloading a standard FET preamp (say, if you took a Scarlett preamp on an interface and overloaded it).

    It makes me think they didn't design this to have good overdrive from the gain channel, but rather they designed it to handle various input levels (it doesn't have an active/passive switch by the way). If I had to guess, adjustable input gain with a lot of headroom was their solution to using this as a very nice DI. I don't feel they pursued any character in the preamp stage that would give a good overdrive or even a good saturation. If I look at the price point and the capability as a very handy active DI with 3 band EQ, and as a backup 200 watt amp (or for me, a perfect practice amp), I think it absolutely nails this market space.

    With that said, I "almost" think there might be some kind of compression happening at higher gains because the punch really stands out vs. the PF350 or direct into a FET style preamp. It actually seems more compressed than direct to an 12AX7 tube pre too. If I can find the time, I'll show some pictures of the inputs to see if we can actually see that compression happening (I'll probably take a fresh input signal and re-amp to see that).
     
  7. great review and cool playing!
     
    dramatwist and Chad Michael like this.
  8. disssa

    disssa

    May 6, 2009
    Germany
    Here I wrote a bit about the BAM: Klick
    It is really a interesting little amp...
     
  9. krissie1304

    krissie1304

    May 6, 2019
    Danke. Super Review!
     
    19sixty3 likes this.
  10. 19sixty3

    19sixty3

    Mar 13, 2019
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks for the review. Great job. What I understood is, that you didn’t realized any noticable fan noise after playing for 2 hours through 2 410 cabs with the volume master at 1/2. Is this my understanding correct?
     
    Andy L likes this.
  11. disssa

    disssa

    May 6, 2009
    Germany
    Yes, correct.
    But I know that the amp is still new. These little fans get louder when they get dusty.
     
    19sixty3 likes this.
  12. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Cool. The next thing I try will be one of these, and either a RevSound 28 or a Barefaced one10.
     
  13. twc1313

    twc1313 Practice is the cure for GAS...or so I've heard.

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Honest silly question. Could you do a full band gig with one of these and two of the TC 2x8 cabs?
     
    jeff7bass and SpanishDave like this.
  14. Define "full band gig"!
     
  15. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    099.jpg
     
  16. obascin

    obascin

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cincinnati
    I'd say the volume "could" be loud enough for a full band, as I use it in practice and it's loud enough for everyone to hear it over the drums, etc. I wouldn't expect to play a larger venue, but for a <150 person bar/club, it could probably work.
     
    twc1313 likes this.
  17. mcrawfordmusic

    mcrawfordmusic

    Dec 11, 2010
    Australia
    Hey mate,

    I'm interested about what your opinion is about the BAM200 now that you have had it for a little while.
    I'm considering one as a backup amp for my Aguilar TH500. Thanks :)
     
    19sixty3 likes this.
  18. Alexandre Arce

    Alexandre Arce

    Nov 11, 2013
    I have one. 3 hours in the studio with my band without hot in the amp.
    Does the job!
    It is not like a real 200 watts RMS amplifier but it has good sound, volume, price and micro size / weight (0.7kg). I played whith 1x15 and 1x12 eminence cabs and my band in studio and the amp does very good job! Gain in 9 hours and volume at 1 hour. played whith guitar player and 50 watts tube amp. Realy good.
     
    dralionux likes this.
  19. Alexandre Arce

    Alexandre Arce

    Nov 11, 2013
    My review in the ebay was erased......
     
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