1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

TC Electronic BQ500 Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by twc1313, Nov 23, 2018.


  1. twc1313

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

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Picked up a new TC Electronic BQ500 head and a K212 cab as an alternative to my Rumble500 Combo. I got to gig with it Wednesday night and figured I would share the experience with you all.

    Setup:
    BQ500 head into TC K212 Cab
    Sire V7
    Sansamp (only on for a few rock songs)
    Playing with two guitarists (one AC30 one Peavey Classic 4x10) and a drummer

    The Bad:
    1. My active/passive switch is also backwards, seems to be all of the first units shipped have this.
    2. Nothing on the amp or manual as to what the wattage is at 8ohms (however not a problem as the review will point out.)

    The Good:
    1. Plenty of power: I had the gain at 1 o'clock and the master around 1 o'clock as well and it kept up easily with the full band, no FOH support. Sound was clean and well defined.

    2. Gain: Since this amp is from the same parent company as the Bugera Veyron M, I was worried it would have the same issue of the clip light coming on even with a super low setting. However even with the amp in passive mode (switch on active lol) I could crank the gain before any serious clipping showed up.

    3. Tone: I got this amp as a compliment to my Rumble, I was looking for a very transparent modern sound. This amp delivers! The BQ500 does have some warmth to it, and doesn't get into a clanky GK style tone; however it is more modern than the Rumble. The eq settings are all in a good place, bass is 80hz, low mids are around 400 I believe. I prefer this separation so that I'm not getting a muddy sound.

    I ran the Sansamp into it with a little more drive than usual and this gave me a nice alternative setting for rock songs. I enjoyed being able to do this, and then turn the pedal off for a Hip-Hop song and go back to a clean, modern tone.

    What I noticed most on this amp that differs from my Rumble is that the lower notes from E up to A all had a strong definition and punch to them.

    4. Thurst: I'm not an expert on compression, so take this with a grain of salt. The Thrust compressor worked well to me on this amp. The Bugera compressor felt like just a limiter, if you turned it past noon and slapped a low E, it just turned that into a muffled farty sound. The Thurst on this amp seems to give a nice even squash to all notes but still retains their tone nicely.

    5. Comparison to Rumble 500: This amp has the same power with a k212 as the Rumble500 combo. The TC setup has a bit more tightness and a thump that can easily be felt (probably due to the 212s vs 210s). The TC also has noted definition on lower notes and less eh....rumble. That being said, the Rumble still has a stronger presence in the mix, high notes come through with more girth on the Rumble vs the TC and the tone of the rumble seems to just permeate the room better. Both are great amps and I don't know if I'd get rid of either.

    Overall: The BQ500 does have the power, and a great semi-modern tone that is easy to work with. Any skepticism regarding power rating can be forgotten as this amp easily did the job. It is quite transparent with a touch of warmth. This was the first gig where my V7 sounded like an active, modern jazz bass. Granted, the issue of the flipped active/passive switch is a concern, especially since the Music Tribe group sometimes gets poopoo'd on here regarding quality. Overall I am quite pleased with this amp and will continue to enjoy it!
     
    xbud, bpmben, javi_bassist and 9 others like this.
  2. twc1313

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

    Oct 28, 2013
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Last night I ran the BQ500 and K212 cab with my Yamaha BB734a. Figured I'd provide a few sound clips to show the tone for anyone that is interested in this amp. The guitars are direct and leveled in these recordings.

    Headphones are a must!
     

    Attached Files:

    Ewo, Rodo78, xbud and 3 others like this.
  3. Stephen Pretti

    Stephen Pretti

    Nov 12, 2018
    Sounds great, nice work. I love my BQ 500 so far, with a Boogie 1X15. The active/passive switch is frustrating - someone at the factory probably thought it meant active preamp on/off instead of active/passive instrument.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    twc1313 likes this.
  4. Gregy

    Gregy

    Sep 21, 2017
    Can't wait to receive my K-212 and try that baby!
     
  5. basura_armatura

    basura_armatura

    Nov 27, 2018
    Hey guys! I'm just wondering, is it possible that only signs "active/passive" are backwards on the hardware? I mean, maybe there isn't anything wrong with the switch if it works fine in both modes?
     
  6. Stephen Pretti

    Stephen Pretti

    Nov 12, 2018
    It is possible the active label on the switch means Active Preamp gain, and the passive label means Passive preamp gain. That is opposite of what the owner's manual implies (though I may be misunderstanding the manual's simplified explanation):
    "GAIN switch
    Set the position of the GAIN switch according to the pickups
    in your bass. Active pickups typically have a higher output than passive
    pickups, and you should set the GAIN switch accordingly. If your bass uses
    batteries, the pickups are active – if not, the pickups are passive."
     
  7. Gregy

    Gregy

    Sep 21, 2017
    I believe there is nothing wrong with the preamp itself, It's either the signs on the front panel or position (wiring) of the toggle switch.
     
  8. Stephen Pretti

    Stephen Pretti

    Nov 12, 2018
    I agree, it works great, just mislabeled.
     
  9. javableak

    javableak

    Mar 25, 2016
    I wonder what you can have inside to be so small and deliver so much power. Are there internal photos somewhere? what curiosity I have! :hyper:
     
  10. Pedro Cofre

    Pedro Cofre

    Jun 22, 2018
    I am very interesting in this amp, i hope tc electronic fixed this problem with the switch passive/active
     
  11. Pedro Cofre

    Pedro Cofre

    Jun 22, 2018
    someone has one that has the switch labeled well?
     
  12. I have the 250 (did originally order the 500 but took so long to come needed an amp for gigs and the 250 was in stock). Will hopefully order the 500 too and keep the 250 for backup/small gigs. But my active/passive is wrong way around too on the 250 model
     
  13. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    You guys kick shaggin ass! Can I say that here? :O
    Update: It changed my bad word to "shaggin". Nice.
     
    twc1313 likes this.
  14. Gregy

    Gregy

    Sep 21, 2017
    My first NAD and NCD! BQ500 + GK CX210
    I've received BQ500 for a while and was waiting for TC K-212, but unfortunately (or fortunately) Thomann couldn't ship it by mail because of its weight, so I decided to buy GK CX210, and it just arrived today!
    This is my first own bass rig and I don't have rich experience with the bass sound, but for me it sounds great so far.
    I tried this rig tonight and here are my comments:
    - The amp is quite warm sounding to me, transparent, I feel it's easy to dial the tone I like.
    - The Thrust function is not very interesting for me as I have Keeley GC-2 compressor, but might be useful for someone I guess. I felt it cuts some trebles though.
    - Passive/Active switch is reversed, but it doesn't bother me. With Mexican Standard Jazz Bass the peak indicator starts to light up at about noon. No distortion or whatsoever.
    - The cab is fairly light and well-built. Can't go wrong with GK.

    In conclusion, I'm very happy with this inexpensive but nice sounding gear, I think it's a good choice for the first rig, expecting to try it with my band! :bassist:

    IMG_20181219_225328_395.
     
    SteveBass5, Artman, joe vegas and 8 others like this.
  15. Proud To Pick

    Proud To Pick

    Dec 30, 2018
    Forgive me if this question has been answered elsewhere, but can anyone who owns one of these tell me if the speaker out is strictly speakON or is it the type that can utilize a 1/4" cable as well? I was pretty disappointed to find out the new Terro Bass heads were strictly speakON... not that I take issue with speakON, I just prefer to have options.
     
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    From the pictures it looks like Speakon only.
     
  17. Proud To Pick

    Proud To Pick

    Dec 30, 2018
    Thanks for your reply! That's what I had figured, but I thought that I had noticed some of the newer Peavey stuff had the speakON that could also take a 1/4 in the center as well, similar to the XLR that you can insert a 1/4" in the center on newer mixers & such... but I'm sure your probably correct. Thanks for your time!
     
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Yeah the 'combo' jacks are green in color and will have the 1/4" logo in the center..which is hard to see. And the center hub is not symmetrically round.

    grn.PNG
     
  19. Proud To Pick

    Proud To Pick

    Dec 30, 2018
    Gotcha, I'm remembering that now... idk, maybe it's just my opinion, but speakON seems like an odd choice for a $300 micro head lol... I guess their idea is to sell a TC speakON cab with every head too! I'm sure they're great & the price is great too... I'd love to get one because of that, but alas they're not looking so affordable when you gotta add a new cab to the bill too :( oh well.
     
  20. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Well, using 1/4" jacks for speakers is actually a safety concern plus it shorts out your amp every time you plug/unplug. They really shouldn't be used at all, but sadly they are still pretty standard.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.