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Tone Quest: Trace Elliot Transit B vs. Trace Elliot AH600-12 amp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Charlzm, Jan 6, 2020.


  1. Charlzm

    Charlzm

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have an early Peavey-era Trace Elliot 1210 combo. Details here.

    I recently got a used Mesa PH1000 cab that is just amazing sounding to me. Details here.

    I removed the TE amp section from the cab to power the Mesa. The 600-watt TE head really shines through the Mesa.

    As you can imagine, though, the setup is not terribly portable due to bulk and weight. My idea was to emulate this home setup as a more portable live rig.

    The first step was to get the preamp dialed in. I favor a barely-overdriven tone, one with tube warmth that makes the overtones and harmonics stand out but without aggressive break-up/distortion. I was hoping the TE Transit B pre-amp pedal might closely emulate the AH600 preamp's sound. I know that electronic distortion is not the same as tubes and that the Transit B lacked a 12 band EQ (which I barely use, anyway), but I thought the dual-band compressor featured on the pedal might give me some of the same sound shaping ability that the dual-band compressor on the AH600 did. And anyway, wouldn't Peavey try to emulate the "Trace sound" as closely as possible since it's their own brand now?

    The pedal arrived and I put it through the paces for two weeks, setting the amp totally flat with no tube drive to let the pedal do the talking.

    To make a long story short, I returned the Transit B. It is not a good substitute to my ears for the tube-preamp AH600. The overdrive is crunchy and brittle and fizzy which are three words I wouldn't use to describe the tube overdrive sound.

    In the past, I also purchased a Darkglass B7K Ultra and couldn't get the kind of sound I was looking for that matched my amp.

    So, next step is to continue investigating preamp pedals, preferably tube-driven. Besides the Two Notes Le Bass, I'm not aware of any worthy candidates.

    Oh, well... the tone quest goes on. Suggestions welcome.
     
    birminghambass likes this.
  2. pisces_bass

    pisces_bass

    Jun 8, 2019
    Central WA
    Subbed. I sold my AH600SMX a year ago for all the usual reasons and moved into class D world with a Quilter BB800. The Quilter does everything I need in my current gigs but I miss the old Trace mojo. Been considering a Transit B to capture that vibe.
     
    Charlzm likes this.
  3. Charlzm

    Charlzm

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have an email out to the Two Notes folks to ask them where the frequency centers are for the control knobs on the Le Bass. IF they seem to be in good spots, I'll go ahead and order one.

    I have been thinking of getting a Mesa Subway WD 800 (the one with the tube preamp section) but I want to try it out before dropping a grand. I just need to get down to the Mesa store in Hollywood sometime.
     
    pisces_bass likes this.
  4. pisces_bass

    pisces_bass

    Jun 8, 2019
    Central WA
    I never went for an OD/break up sound with the Trace amp. What I liked was the massive clean punch with some natural grit and growl from right hand attack.

    The Quilter has plenty of heft and plays well with other preamps like the Aguilar TH. I’ll be curious what you end up with.
     
    Charlzm likes this.
  5. Charlzm

    Charlzm

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just ordered a Two Notes Le Bass pedal. We'll see how that does in regards to the tube pre-amp sound I'm looking for.
     
  6. Charlzm

    Charlzm

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The pedal arrived yesterday. I haven't had a chance to open it and won't until Friday night after work. Will post impressions. Maybe sound clips/video? I never have before so I'm not sure about it.
     
  7. Charlzm

    Charlzm

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA

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