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Trace Elliot Ah350smx w/ GP12 preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by basspro2, Jan 25, 2005.


  1. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    I just won this Trace Elliot AH350SMX/wGP12 preamp that is about 9-10 years old for $500.00 in mint condition with anvil case and soft cover . Are these good amps ?
     

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  2. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    To answer your question...YES!!! I play the rack mount version and absolutely love it. It will be the loudest 350 watt head you have ever played. If you put it together with a good cab(s) you will have a rig that can play some pretty good size venues with no problem.

    BTW, not a bad price on that either.
     
  3. Yea,It rocks!
    I've got the rack mounted Pre-amp also,powered by a hearty Crown Powertech 3.Which really "puts it to it" to my T.E. 410 and my T.E. 215 bottom w/two custom mounted 3" Tweeters.
    Great sound for any room I've ever seen.Although,my gain hardly makes it past 2.Kinda cumbersome to haul around,but it does it's job.
    What I really want to know is why you would take a $500 chance on something you weren't familiar with?
    Rock-on anyway!!
     
  4. basspro2

    basspro2 I'm seeing Gorillas...

    Apr 6, 2002
    Northbridge, Mass
    Because the price was right and it was in mint cond. And if I had to sell it I'm sure I'll get the money back..
     
  5. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I used to have a GP12 preamp that I ran through a QSC PLX 1602. More than one person said it was the best amp setup they'd ever heard. I'm still kicking myself for selling it.
     
  6. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I have that same series head (but it's a GP7) and I use it as a practice head (my main Trace rig includes an old Trace preamp into an old Trace power amp - loud as HELL).

    From my experience, the series amp you purchased sounds good and has decent volume, but its tone doesn't seem as "crisp" as the older Trace units (like the Series 6) nor does it seem as powerful.

    I've owned two Trace heads in that series - the 350 and a 600 (both GP7s) and neither seemed to possess the relative power of the older Trace units nor were their tonal qualities as desirable.

    It is a nice head, though. I like mine, but it's used as a practice amp.
     
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    The GP7 and the SMX are not the same Planet Boulder. Comparing them to one another IMO is like comparing a Ampeg SVT tube amp to a SVT3-Pro. They both have a different tone to them. My SMX is definately crisp even with my 1524 cab and is way loud.
     
  8. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    So, are the # of EQ bands the only (I say "only", not to discount the difference, but to suggest that it is the "singular" difference) difference between the SM and the SMX? Are there circuitry differences as well? It was my impression/understanding that there weren't and that the difference between the two existed in the versatility of the frequency adjustments.

    I'm also wondering how a 7-band head could "seem" less powerful than an 11-band if all else is equal.

    Edit: Just did a little more research and the two heads do possess significant differences. Still wondering what makes the SMX significantly "louder" than the SM.
     
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Maybe it is the EQ between the two but they definately have a different sound to me. I have played both and never cared for GP7 preamp. Yea, its sounds nice but like you said it wasn't very crisp. I know the compression was changed compared to the SMX also.

    I don't know why the SMX kicks butt over the GP7 series but it does. They are still plenty loud but my SMX, and my bandmates will agree, is so loud I can only turn it to just under one on the output. I'm curious,what kind/brand of cabs were you running?
     
  10. Here are a few specifics besides the obvious EQ bands. SMX has continously variable mixing between tube and solid state input stages which the SM does not. Choice of tube would make some difference. SMX also has dual compressors for bass and treble which might account for a bit of difference. Minor spec differences: SMX is -3db at 22Hz compared to -3db @ 30Hz. There are a few other differences, but these would not affect the overall sound.
     
  11. unlined4string

    unlined4string Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Baltimore County, Md.
    I really like the GP12-SMX preamp. To me the main differences in sound (as opposed to the series 6 and earlier models) are the addition of a second preshape curve (designed for fingerstyle playing) and a tone balance control (a pivot point for the graphic EQ).

    Considering the age of the design, the GP12-SMX holds up exceptionally well. Of course you won't get the kind of ultra low noise floor and ultra high dynamic range that more modern preamps offer, but in most gig situations it's all you could want. The low-fi hi-fi quality may even be part of the charm of the GP12SMX design. All my subjective opinion, of course.
     
  12. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Right on.

    My practice setup (the setup at our rehearsal space) consists of the AH350SM into a Carvin cab equipped with an Ashdown 15". I've also run that head through my Avatar 4x10.

    You are right about the differences - the Trace preamp I use in one of my rack setups (a different animal altogether from the SM) is an old (80s) 11-band MKV and it sounds SWEET! I had an old AH200 Series 6 11 band that had the same tone as this pre - that sweet Trace tone that it sounds like both you and I dig! :D

    I actually have two old (80s) Trace 500-watt power amps that I use with my Trace pre, if needed, though I've only needed one. Loud as hell.