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TRACE ELLIOT AH 500 - 7 500W

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by _KidA_, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. _KidA_


    Aug 8, 2006
    I've got to buy a new head+cabinet because my old trace elliot gp7 series 6 (combo) isn't enough for me. What do you think about this head? Any suggestion about a cabinet?
  2. Ive used it with the matching TE 410 and 115 at practice. Nice amp. IMO its pretty deep and dark sounding, so i'd probably go for the 410 if i could only have one cab. The 115 on its own would get lost in the mix/not sound quite how i'd like it. The punch of the 410 plus the depth of sound from the head would be a good combination.
  3. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    Well, here's my review from back in June '07 when I bought mine.
    I'm still as stoked about the current TRACE gear now as I was when I first played through it. Every time I work with it, the PUNCH kills.
    Just my opinion, of course!:D

    I have the AH500-7. It's the 7-band, 500-watt (@4 0hms) SS model in the new series, made in the UK, distributed in the US by Peavey.
    I played through it in the store, and HAD to have it.
    I'm not lacking in gear. I currently run the following rigs:
    AMPEG Cabs- Classic Series SVT's, a 15" and a 4x8"
    AMPEG Heads- A 3PRo and a V4BH both , all by SLM.

    A MESA BOOGIE BUSTERBASS 200- All tube 2x10 Wedge Combo; used with a NOS Diesel 15" Cab. (All-tube 200-Watt Combo)

    GENZ-BENZ Neo-Pak 3.5 with a EA Wizzy M-Line for rehearsals, etc.
    Also 4 Basses- '69 Precision, Custom ASAT. Tobias, & a Sterling.

    Pretty well-equipped, huh?
    So why the T-E?? I LOVED the way it sounded, and I think I have a clue as to what good tone is, at least for me and what I do.
    I play for a living, (2) touring acts- R&B, Funk-Reggae originals, and also do a number of projects in town, including Blues, Jazz, Originals, etc. and can still ROCK n' ROLL if I wanna.

    The TE is a dialed in amp. Very little eq, save for either the 7 or 12 band eq. Now the model you ask about is a Hybrid; it has a tube drive and blend control, as well as a 2-band Compressor- It's also of course more powerful, 1000 watts mono bridged I believe.
    But the tones are similar and inherent. The amps default to what they term pre-shape, in their words, the "classic Trace-Elliot sound". It can be turned off, if desired.
    Not being a former user of Trace, I can't say how they compare, but as I said-
    The sound impelled me to spend about a Thou on a bass head even tho I'm pretty well hooked-up!
    Matter of fact, first gigged it last night- Blues band- Fairly loud, HORRIBLE room acoustically. I wish I had brought both of my cabs for more headroom, but still- The amp delivered. Thick, full, spot-on, and I easily dialed in the right tone for playing Albert King blues with my P-Bass!
    Hard to describe tones with words.
    The Trace has PUNCH n spades. It goes right to a round, biting, full sound all on it's own. the Graphic EQ does a good job of tweaking either for the room, or for the tone. At first, I thought it less than lively, but as I've used the amp, it's actually very sensitive, and even minor slides up or down create a big difference in tone. I imagine the 12-bands are even more extreme. And with the addition of the tube circuit to dial in, and even more headroom, wow. The AH1000 must really deliver. They also offer a AH500-12 hybrid 12-band with lesser power as an option.
    Now the Compressor. Your unit has a high/low band feature; mine only a single-band, of as they term it, "soft-knee" compression.
    I'll leave it to the manual to define this, in terms of frequencies, etc.
    But I'll say I LOVE this feature. it was one of the selling points to me.
    At about 1/4 on, the compression adds resonance and a phatness to the existing punchy, sharply defined attack and tone. At 1/2 way. it becomes very pronounced and intense, and the atack of both low and high frequencies is beautiffully defined. Slap? Oh, Man, does that sound good, as do runs done on the D and G strings. Great pronounced tone! On the low end, playing figures and patterns on the
    E/A strings, digging in on the bass- Damn! they become thick, rich, and defined! Combine the two, in your movement and construction of a bass line, or plaing a simple groove- You would not believe how awesome I think these amps define the tone! I love hearing the bass played with the TE signature sound, old or new!
    Now turn the Compressor to about 3 O'Clock, and...
    It's hard to describe, almost like an effect. It adds a "pop" almost like an implied octave, or doubling of the note, and the sustain can last forever if you let it. Strike the note, or play a phrase, and you get a sparkling, sharp, and rich bass line, all the while with major Punch and a defined attack and articulation on each string and each frequency. Beautiful! My only downside- There seems to be some hiss from the compressor; so far I've remedied it by either sliding down the 2 highest treble freequency bands, or even over-riding the horn in my 4x8 cab. The Ampeg cab has two seperate inputs for that. I imagine dialing down the attenuator would do the same with another cab.
    Nonetheless, it can be contained, and is a small price to pay for what the Trace compressor adds to the whole package. (YOu also get the punch and sound WITHOUT using compression, btw.)

    Finally, the rig as I tried it at first, was run through TE enclosures which feature Celestion drivers. I heard it through a 2x10 and a compact 15- Fantastic. They will have available soon a 4-ohm single enclosure containing 2-10's and a 15 as a stand-alone for those that want a single cab.
    The head sounds GREAT through my Ampeg enclosures, and aside from the fact that I'm a spending fool when it comes to bass gear I like, I feel that Trace would compliment any good enclosure. I do want to add the TE cabs to my arsenal tho; they did seem very well matched.

    Best I can do as far as a review- hope it helps. I think the "flagship" AH1000 head would be a real prize. The 500 sure does the job for me too.
    I'm a big fan of the "new" Trace Elliot gear. Sound and tone are SO subjective. I personally get tired of hearing slams on gear that people don't like. No one is an absolute authority, what works for you is the right choice.
    The Trace line works for me; I think it will do the job for a lot of players
    too. Good tone, well-built, very LOUD I should add as well.
    I'm a fan.


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