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TC Electronic RH450, RS210, RS212 Review Thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Andy Brown, Mar 18, 2009.


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  1. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I was finally able to spend some quality time with the rig, being able to try all sorts of combinations, settings, etc. and I must say I'm impressed.

    First Impressions

    I pretty much agree on the four criteria John Wentzien set in his first review (Sound, Portability, Value, and Durability) for determining if an amp is good for me, so I hope he doesn't mind if I use his format. I mainly play rock and I really like that warm, fat, tubey sound albeit I've been on solid state products for years since I sold my SVTs over 20 years ago. Depending on room or where I am in the mix, I'll roll in some low-mids/high-mids to cut through.

    Sound

    Plugging in for the first time with my Alleva-Coppolo I thought the sound was just a little off so I rolled off the lows and mids 2-3 notches and boosted treble 3 notches and I got the baseline sound I typically get with my LMII or G-K while flat, at least according to my ears. However, I also found out that the flat settings were perfect for the bridge pickup soloed.

    The 2x10 alone still served up my sound with clarity, retaining plenty of lows while the 2x12 was, as expected, deeper and more boomy. I felt the RS212 lost just a little clarity which sparked the question of what a pair of RS210's sounded like. Granted, my office, which has high ceilings and a hard Pergo floor isn't ideal for any sound test, not to mention the rattling grates, etc., and RS212 could have been just coupling with my floor, so I'm going lift it off the floor later today to see if it make a huge difference. As of now, I prefer the sound of the 2x10 which by itself would definitely be plenty for small-medium sized gigs. Using both cabs together gave me that sound that I have in my head. Even when cranked, the cabs still produced without getting muddy.

    The next thing I did was to add a little compression (I typically use a BBE OptoStomp to even things out across the register very sparingly) and add some TubeTone. The RH450 sounded even better. There are probably only a handful of tunes where I typically add dirt using a Badder Monkey, and cranking the Tube emulation on the RH450 sounds just as good when compared to the level of dirt I use.

    Overall, I'm confident I'd be able to get great tone out of the RH450 for all of my basses. The Valenti and Sadowsky 24F5 sounded just as good, in their own way, using the patch I set up for the A-C. I'm probably going to reserve patch 2 for occasional jazz and for my Rob Allen Mouse which sounds great flat without compression or tube tone, and then use the 3rd for the dirt. I can't wait to see what the rig sounds like in a band situation. I've got a rehearsal tonight, so we'll see what happens. The practice space is much more dead than my high-ceiling, pergo-floored office, and there aren't many things to rattle, so it'll be an entirely different experience.

    Portability

    The RH450 is a little heavier and more 'bulky' (if there is such a thing in an amp in this size class) than my LMII or MB2-500, however it still fits perfectly in my iGig bag's front pocket with some room to spare. The weight is still manageable at 9 lbs.

    The RS210 is right in line with a lot of other 2x10's on the market at 45 pounds (on the bathroom scale). The RS212 weighed in at 51 pounds. Granted these cabs are not as portable as my Schroeder Mini's (@ 25.5 lbs each), however you get twice as many drivers. The question comes down to whether or not I care enough about the weight to make a decision based on it. Currently sound is way more important to me, and the weight, nor size, will not be an issue.

    Here is a pics for the size comparison:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Value

    I agree with John W. in stating that the RH450 has a lot built in and this contributes to the higher price point. When compared to the less expensive amps in this class, the RH450 adds the tuner, tube emulation, multi-band compression, headphone jack w/aux-in (the G-K has the headphone out), digital out for recording, and the memory. All of these features I've been compensating for using pedals, so I personally have to consider this part of the equation while others may not. When tallying everything up, the TC price is equivalent to one of my heads, two cabs, and four pedals... each setup coming in between $2,200 and $2,300. For this price, the TC also provides two more drivers, which could prove big.

    Durability

    Of course durability is a measurement over time, so no comments other than the fact that the cabs seems very well-built. The head is pretty solid as well. I'm predicting it won't be an issue, but we shall see.

    Comparisons

    Freddels brought over his Genz-Benz and MarkBass F1 over to add to my LMII and G-K MB2-500. Considering the acoustics in the room, we were only able to comment on the most obvious things...

    * The LMII was more 'transparent' than the RH450. It also sounded really good through the TC cabs.
    * The Genz-Benz Shuttle also sounded great through the TC cabs and I wish I had more time to spend with it. I'm not sure how to describe this head when compared to the RH450... maybe Fred can comment.
    * The MB2-500 was more pillowy than the RH450, but still had great tone running through the RS's.
    * The RS210 and RS212 really performed well with all the heads, as did the Schroeders, but there is a lot to be said about two more drivers. I really wish I spoke as much 'amp' as others do here so I could provide more details, but the bottom line to me is that the RH450 is every bit as satisfying to me than the other heads we had at our disposal.

    Conclusion

    There won't be a conclusion until this rig is put through the paces over the next couple of months, starting tonight, however I really, really like it so far.
     
  2. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    AJ, I've read your (and John's) review several times now. The only way you guys could possibly be more helpful would be to fly your rigs out to me and demo 'em. GREAT job!

    Likewise, your photos were a very nice touch. BTW, love that color of blue on the wall of that room. ;-)

    At any rate, I liked that you mixed and matched the cabinets and heads. Did you, by chance, run the RH450 through the Schroeders?

    Also, I'm a bit unclear about your resetting of the center frequencies... when you say you reset them and stored them in "patch #1," do you mean the memory preset "Mem1? " For some reason I was under the impression that you could just set the boost and cut levels in the memory presets and not the frequency centers; I thought shifting the frequency centers shifted the center for all boost and cut knob tweaks, and would thus shift presets as well. Did that make any sense?

    In other words, could you be saying you are shifting the center frequencies when what you really mean is that you are storing boosted or cut frequencies?

    Because it seems like once a frequency center has been shifted, that it would be shifted and pushing a memory preset button wouldn't snap it back to the factory default, and visa versa.
     
  3. meekee73_2008

    meekee73_2008

    Feb 20, 2009
     
  4. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I understood you, Michele, and I'm curious about your question as well.
     
  5. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Ok... After re-reading the manual, here is how the SHIFT key works in conjunction with the tone controls.

    Each tone control has a default center frequency: Low = 280Hz, Low-Mid = 400Hz, High-Mid = 800Hz, Treble = 1600Hz.

    You can adjust the center frequency you want to control by pressing the SHIFT key. By default, the dot on top is illuminated. Now, if you want to shift the center frequency of your Low-Mids to 500Hz instead of 400Hz, just move the Low-Mid knob three positions (so four dots are illuminated), then press SHIFT again to adjust. You should be able to save the center frequencies within a memory slot. Therefore you could have three different sets of center frequencies if you like.

    One major point here is that any parameter with a light knob is stored within a memory setting, and this includes the center frequencies for the tone controls.

    Hope this is clear, and thanks for asking the question.
     
  6. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Thanks. I'm actually getting tired of the blue though.

    Not enough to evaluate. We ended up evaluating the cabs more than the head. I left my cabs at the practice spot so I'll be working out the RH450 with the Schroeders this week.

    Yes, I meant Memory setting 1

    I think I have answered your questions in my last post. If it's unclear, please let me know.
     
  7. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I put the RH450, RS210 and RS212 through the first of several 'real' evals. This rig performed like a champ in practice. The drummer especially appreciated the rounder tone I was getting without a whole lot of additional volume. I can definitely hear myself better as well with the vertical stack arrangement.

    Another thing I did notice is that the memory setting I had that was basically flat sounded just as great than my tweaked memory setting with compression and TubeTone.

    As I stated above, I'm going to be using the head with my Schroeder 1x12's this week.

    This rig is really growing on me.
     
  8. meekee73_2008

    meekee73_2008

    Feb 20, 2009
    i really thank you for your answer: so i think my initial question (return to factory default) is a no-matter one, since (if i got it), even if you've stored your settings in each of 3 presets it takes only one second to turn back to factory default that, speaking of center frequencies settings, are represented by the illuminated central top on spot...does it make sense or am i wrong?

    last one: where did you read in the manual this: " if you want to shift the center frequency of your Low-Mids to 500Hz instead of 400Hz, just move the Low-Mid knob three positions (so four dots are illuminated)" it seemed to me, reading the manual (but i can surely be wrong) that, in changing values in center frequencies, there would be no "numeric scale" to lean on..since it's not signed on the knobs.

    again...sorry for my poor english and many thanks for your time

    Michele
     
  9. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    This is how I understand it also.

    I really just paraphrased using the example they cite on page 8 of the manual with the graph. I don't see how you can tie a specific frequency to a control 'dot' seeing how there are only 25 positions on the dial and the frequency ranges vary, and that the center frequencies as defaults really don't make sense when looking at the top 'dot'. For example, the Low-Mid frequency range is 100Hz ~ 1600Hz. If you distribute this range across 25 positions, 400Hz should be near 9 o'clock instead of on top. I'll put a question into TC about this, but I'm guessing these are logarithmic versus linear controls... in other words you should probably just rely on your ears more than the dial setting.
    [/QUOTE]

    My pleasure. BTW - you have better English skills than my daughter's boyfriend, and he was born here.
     
  10. Nikoubis

    Nikoubis

    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    Logarithmic seems to make sense indeed, looking the range of frequencies available on each one of the knobs. Many thanks from here as well, for taking the time to give us such a well written review. I'll be keeping up with your updates as you grow more familiar with it.


    Ouch. :D
     
  11. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    +1. You guys have been a huge help for me. I wish I could send you a Fodera Yin Yang to test drive and you could send me your TC rig, but I doubt my wife or TC would go for it! :scowl:

    Anyway, I'll stay tuned here and learn what I can.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Man... you gotta stop teasing me with that Fodera! :D
     
  13. Chris Willshire

    Chris Willshire

    Feb 21, 2009
    Pasadena, California, USA
    Endorsing Artist: TC Electronics RH450
    Hi-

    I'm also lucky enough to get to try this out. I've been on the road for the past 2 weeks and am getting my notes and some video footage digitized for some upcoming blogs. In the meantime, here's a fun little video I did regarding my initial impressions of the RH450 and the 2x10 and 2x12 cabinet configuration I chose.

     
  14. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    Hey Chris... you may just want to link to your video... http://www.youtube.com/v/EHDOZHhTTWM&hl=en&fs=1
     
  15. Chris Willshire

    Chris Willshire

    Feb 21, 2009
    Pasadena, California, USA
    Endorsing Artist: TC Electronics RH450
    Hi--

    This depends on exactly what you're stacking on top of the cabinets. I'm using a 2x10 on top of the 2x12. Using only the RH450 head on top is quite stable. The speakers are quite stable, even on a rickity stage. I however have a 4 space rack which contains my RH450 head as well as a Tech 21 Sansamp RBI. This rack will eventually contain a wireless unit as well. The rack is pretty light, but is quite a bit wider than the 2x10. I was on a very bouncy stage in Houston last week and my rack was wobbling like crazy during soundcheck--definitely could have fallen off if I was jumping around near it. So in that case I just turned the speakers on their sides and set up the rig horizontally instead of vertically and it was quite stable. I love the ability to hear the high end near my ears when it's stacked vertically, but a horizontal position is a work-around if the stage is bouncy. I've been able to use the cabinet vertically so far in all other instances.

    I shot a video demonstration of exactly how wobbly a rack can be on a stage like this, as soon as I digitize it I'll post a link to it.

    Cheers,

    Chris Willshire
     
  16. Chris Willshire

    Chris Willshire

    Feb 21, 2009
    Pasadena, California, USA
    Endorsing Artist: TC Electronics RH450
    Hi AJ-

    Thanks--I realized that I used the embed code as soon as I posted it--doh!--I later edited it--thanks for the tip.

    Cheers,

    Chris
     
  17. Chris Willshire

    Chris Willshire

    Feb 21, 2009
    Pasadena, California, USA
    Endorsing Artist: TC Electronics RH450
    Wow--lots of great info on this thread--thanks to everyone!

    My RH450 and 2x12 and 2x10 configuration are working great so far. Still have more programming to do. The first stop on our tour was in Oklahoma City, and after soundcheck, the house sound guy said "I tell you what, you got yerself a keeper here!". He is a bassist himself, and was quite impressed at the sound coming through the PA.

    So far, I prefer to have the cabinets mic'ed as I like the mix of clarity and thump of the speakers. I'm using in-ear monitors for some of our shows, and in those cases, the clarity and thump of the direct out (which includes my Sansamp RBI and Boss GT-6B Pedalboard) still works well when I have a decent monitor mix.

    I'll be experimenting w/ the RC4 remote as soon as I get a break to program some settings. I have a preset bank of settings on my Boss GT-6B for each song, as I switch between a compressed slap patch, a gritty patch, a clean patch, and a growly/chorusey patch for solos a la Peter Hook. However, the 3 presets on the RH450 will still be very helpful, as I have 3 instruments w/ me on stage and I want to match the tones of 2 very different basses. My main axe is the Fender Jazz Geddy Lee model. My backup bass is a Fender Jazz Sting model. I also use a baritone guitar on a song, in which I mainly play high solo lines and some mid-rangey/chorusey octave bass lines. On the RH450, patch 1 will be what I've already programmed for my Geddy bass. I then want to program patch 2 to basically help the Sting bass match the sound of the Geddy bass. The Sting bass in general sounds quite different from the Geddy--it's much more rounder and pillowy and has a different output level than the Geddy. If I break a string and need to do a quick switch, I want to be able to hit preset #2 and have the backup bass match seamlessly. From what I've experienced of this head so far, I'm sure I'll be able to utilize this function very well. My baritone guitar is working well w/ my main amp settings. I just change my Boss patch and that does the trick, however, I could do the same thing w/ the 3rd RH450 preset if necessary.

    Once I get to play around w/ these presets in rehearsal and live, I'll post some specifics regarding the tones of each instrument and how the Sting and Geddy basses are matching each other.

    The durability on the road is good. The outsides of the cabinets show scratches pretty easily (already some white marks on them), but I love the texture of them. For now, I'm using the shipping boxes in which I received them for my 'cases'. The thin design makes it easy to stack these in our trailer--they don't take up as much room as a standard wider speaker.

    More soon!!

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  18. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Excellent, Chris. Really enjoyed the video too by the way; I can't see my rack on top of that narrow stack though. Cheers!
     
    madame clapotis likes this.
  19. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    I hooked up my Ampeg 1x15 to the RH450 last night.
    As I expected--sounds great.
    Sounded like a B-15 only much louder.(just a touch of tubetone & compression)

    I also tried it with the RS 2x10 on top..Very good sound, but I still like the sound of the RS 2x12 on the bottom better.
     
  20. loend68

    loend68 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    NH
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses, T.C. Electronics
    I've been pretty busy this week, but I wanted to post my impressions after a gig and some rehearsals.

    I played a gig with my band last friday on a medium sized corner stage and the stacked rig worked great. It allowed me to get my rig back and closer to the drummer and let me get our mixer/effects rack a place on the stage (I mix from stage). My initial impression was that I could hear really well so I must be too loud (my guitar player was complaining about not being able to hear himself), so I got off stage (wireless) and found that I actually had to turn the bass up in the mix. After playing all night I realized I never once had to 'tweak' things to be able to hear myself. (BTW the XDS-plus wireless receiver fits nicely on top)
    Earlier this week my friend's and I put together a one-time gig (tonight) with two different singers doing alot of AIC/Soundgarden/Audioslave mixed in with some rock standards (Tom Petty, The Cult, AC/DC) and even some Journey. Everyone commented how good the amp sounded and I was amazed at how well it covered all genres. Keep this in mind, I tweaked the amp the first night I got it and really haven't touched it since. My only gripe so far is that it's a little too gritty for some parts where my bass is on it's own in a song. It still sounds great, but I want more piano like tone. Right now I'm going to say that it's just because I haven't spent any time tweaking the eq/tube/comp.

    Overall, I'm alot more impressed than I thought I'd be.........starting to be bummed I'll have to send it back. When it comes to the bigger stage shows (I've only done a few) I'll probably still want my SVT2pro and fridge behind me, but this babie's really cutting for the rest of my gigs.

    I'll get some pics and post more after tonight's gig.
     

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