I wanted to post about my newest addition. I first tried it a week or so back, and couldn't get the "music store" sound out of my head- So I needed to buy it, try it at home w/ my basses, and ultimately on the job, which will be this Thursday. I am really loving this sound- This is the "smaller" head of the TE line- 7-band series, 500 Watts RMS into 4 ohms; "60% of output power" into 8 ohms. I'm running (2)Cabs, so I am maxing the power from this unit. To begin with, and I know a lot of players here have "issues" or "needs" for this- understood! - This amp is LOUD! I haven't come anywhere near close to opening up, and I can tell that I won't need to when playing out, initially at 300-or so capacity clubs. It has lots of headroom. These amps are different animals- I've never owned a Trace, and the one rig I did play with as backline I didn't like at the time. I know the older all-valve heads are highly coveted. But this one is Mosfet all the way- the bigger verson is a hybrid, with 12-band eq, (2) pre-amp tubes, a blend/drive circuit and some more bells and whistles, but the AH500-7 is basic. To begin with: On Trace, no bass-Mid-Treble- No rotary controls at all except for the Gain, Master, and Compressor, which I definitley will get to in a sec! The amp "defaults" to a pre-shape as soon as you turn it on, and that works for me, because it is a NICE Mid-Scooped eq- they define it as the "Classic Trace-Elliot Sound"- I don't know, because they are new to me, but I sure like it! You can overide this at the push of a button and tweak your eq with in this case a +/- 15db 7-Band Eq. Frankly, it doesn't seem that lively to me; but it's not necessary, either because of my active basses, or the fact that the pre-shape is just so good sounding. Now- Press a button, a blue light goes on, and Compression! the finest I've heard. Hard to describe- they call it "soft-knee compression"-you can read about what they say on the website; I find it awesome. It defines the note, it nails a slap, and punches out fingerstyle, adding superlative definition. At about 12 O'Clock, it really begins to compress, and move it to 1,2, or 3 O'Clock, it's almost like an effect. Kind of like an octave, or doubling, of the note, but subtle, not overt- All the while, keeping a great sounding punch and attack in the overall voicing. I like it; it really fits a lot of what I do on the bass and how I do it. Can't wait to try it with the rhythm section soon, playing out. Now this head is made in England- I understand that Peavey has taken over distribution here in the States, but they are mfd. in the UK. As for the cabinets the rig was set up with in store- Very nice sounding, a Compact 15 and a 2x10 with horn. Nicely tuned, and with Celestion drivers which complimented the entire Trace-Elliot "English" vibe somehow! I'll probably pick those up later, I liked them too, but didn't want to break the bank, yet! Right now, in case you wondered, I run them through my Ampeg Classic cabs- a SVT-15E and a 4x8 with horn. The combination sounds excellent. I'm an Ampeg fan, and could well do with this combination! All-in-all, a VERY impressive sound, very unique. Way differently voiced than my others- All-tube Ampeg V4BH, all-tube Mesa Buster, an SVT3-PRO, and a Genz-Benz light as a feather Neo-Pak. The Trace is going to get some playing time with me- Each of my 4 basses was enhanced by it's character. I'm now an official Trace-Elliot Fan!