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Trace Elliot Combos

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AnTz0r, Apr 11, 2003.


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  1. Can anyone tell me somethings about the tone and quality of trace elliot amps? i can buy a used 130W combo tonight! i used the search but couldnt find much usefull info, sorry! tnx for responding
     
  2. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Trace Elliot were a major amp manufacturer from Britain with a good reputation. Many a stage has seen a bass player turn round and make a smiley face with the EQ on their Trace amplifier ;)

    I'm not sure where they're at nowadays - I believe they were bought out by Gibson, which has pretty much killed them. Today, the 'Trace' legacy is carried on by Ashdown, which was formed by some people who used to work for Trace.

    The combo you're thinking about getting could be good or it could be a beat up old piece of junk - the bottom line, is how does it sound to you, when you play it with your bass?

    Wulf
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    On the other hand I've hated every single TE combo Ive ever heard - they have a very "coloured" sound which to me sounds like "Rock" and nothing else!! :spit:

    I actually bought and owned a 130 watt TE combo and it was my worst mistake - noisy - loud fan and it had a very "boxy" sound which muffled the tone and made it indistinct and practically useless for my purposes - coudln't get rid of it fast enough - traded for a hartke Kickback which was much, much better - although neither were really loud enough for live gigs!

    If it is the kind with a slot in the front - avoid like the plague!! Truly the worst amps I have ever heard!
     
  4. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    (Bet Bruce has been waiting for me to show up.......;) )

    Couldn't tell you a whole lot about the combos, I've always been heads and cabs with Trace. To me they were very high quality great sounding amps.

    Which is why you should try it before you buy it. It's only good if it sounds good to you! I can agree with Bruce on one thing, my first Trace head (well used) had a noisy fan - it had two settings , slgihtly noisy and helicopter! But I never noticed it when playing anything.

    Something wulf pointed out - they are no longer in business. Might affect your decision. Ashdown make some pretty good amps - in fact coincidentally I have an Ashdown 130 watt combo that I think is one of the best small combos I've ever tried - very portable and easily loud enough for gigs!
     
  5. I owned the Commando 15 150 watt combo, and I regret it. First of all, it sounded awful, I was playing a Fender Jazz through it, and at the time I was a beginner, so I thought it sounded good. But looking back at a video from a gig, it sounded awful. The problems came when I blew it. Took it back to the shop I got it from and they sent it back to Trace Elliot for repair. It took too long considering they are a UK company and I'm from said country, can't remember exactly how long it took. These repairs cost me over half the price of the amps retail price. Then it blew again. Many arguments with shop/Trace Elliot later, I got £100 for it from the shop who would Repair it and sell it as used, and money off a Marshall B150 combo which is use now. Trace Elliot is moving to America shortly too (or might have done already) so if you have any problems with it you're gunna have a hard time sorting it, I had a hard time gettin it repaired in the UK. So my verdict is they don't sound too hot and customer service is awful. I suggest looking for another amp.
     
  6. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    UK
    I too owned a Commando 15 combo, but the older 100w version and still do. It's a fantastic amp for what it is (it's not a SVT but then I didn't pay SVT money).
     
  7. i believe its a BLX-130, im gonna play it tonite. anyone knows the type?
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this is the one I had, which was truly awful - if it has a closed-in front with a slit, then run a mile and don't buy it!! ;)
     
  9. DCman

    DCman

    Apr 7, 2002
    UK
    I have to use that type of amp every so often (it is the one with the slot in the front), when I cant use my own rig... Sometimes it sounds brilliant, other times it makes me appreciate my own stuff ;) hehe..

    DC :)
     
  10. zoran

    zoran

    May 10, 2002
    croatia
    Trace amps are great for warwicks and that kind of stuff, but with fender style basses sounds awful. It's just me.
     
  11. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Well there you have it, people either love Trace or loathe Trace! As always with used stuff - let the buyer beware!

    I believe that the BLX series is the slotted one - o you might wanna lean on Bruce's comments and run.....


    There are also these reviews from another site, here's the link:-


    http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data/Trace_Elliot/BLX_80-01.html


    This is for the 80 watt 10" speaker version, how much water these hold for the 130 watt version (12" or 15" speaker) I couldn't comment.
     
  12. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Hmmm, each to their own! I use Spector basses and have also used my Fender P-bass and Fender J-bass fretless through my Trace rig - they all sound really good to me!:)
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's a totally bizarre idea - so like stick a sheet of hardboard in front of your speaker - that'll sound great...not!! ;)

    It has no tweeter, so can't get any of the higher frequencies, but to make it worse - more indistinct, we'll hide the speaker away at the back of a box, with just a narrow slit for the sound to come out!! :confused:

    You just get a load of low-level mush - not a bass "tone" at all!!

    I can't believe those ratings on that website - I mean a cheap 80 watt combo getting such high scores - what are they going to give the really good stuff - 11? ;)

    The phrase "Blind leading the blind" springs to mind!!
     
  14. zoran

    zoran

    May 10, 2002
    croatia
    Sorry, I'm mad to myself 'cause I didn't discovered eden before :bawl:
    It's in ears. I never felt low mids in trace cab like I can feel it now with eden or in mesa boogie 4x10".
     
  15. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I seem to recall hearing one of Trace's slotted combos which sounded quite decent - although I think it was smaller than 130W.

    As far as the sound goes, you'll have to trust your own taste, although the potential problems with any repairs that might be needed should be considered in your decision.

    Could also be useful if you've got a bicycle you need to park somewhere ;)

    Wulf
     
  16. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland


    So whats to stop a small combo getting good scores bearing in mind what that combo is used for?? Think fitness for purpose intended - maybe that's what you're missing! ;)

    Size and power does not a good amp make.....
     
  17. Bass-only

    Bass-only Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Cleveland
    I've owned (3) Trace combos and thought they were great! The only reason I sold each of them was to either "try" something new (out of curiousity) or because I had found a good deal on a Trace head.

    I agree that most seem to either love or hate the sound. I've always found that between the presets and the graphic, (and the compressors on the SMX models) that I was able to get a HUGE range of tones.

    Is the sound a little "colored" - yes, but so are 95% of the amps out there.

    I have also never heard a combo (whether its the 210 or the 115) that is a punchy and moves as much air as a Trace combo does. However, I do agree that the BLX line was a mistake!

    There are some great deals on used Trace combos if you watch the related sites. I also like the fact that they're not real deep cabs, so they fit on a back seat.

    Regarding quality and reliablilty, I've never had a Trace head or combo break down on me at a gig (or practice) in the past 10 years.

    Another benefit - you get A LOT of punch and volume for the wattage ratings with Trace stuff!

    I tried Ampeg, Eden, G-K, SWR and Euphonic Audio and came back to Trace Elliot!
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yup - I cannot think what possessed them to suuround the speaker with a box - this must have been the worst idea for a combo ever!!

    This was not loud at all and the 120 watt Hartke Kickback was much louder in a side-by-side test as well as clearer and quieter!!

    As we know we are talking about the BLX now, I think there is little point in talking/arguing about other TE products and agree that these combos were/are crap!! ;)
     
  19. DCman

    DCman

    Apr 7, 2002
    UK
    Oh, by the way - My house is lighter than the BLX combo I sometimes have to use... Just something else to bear in mind :D

    DC :)
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's right, I forgot the Kickback was lighter as well as better-sounding, quieter and louder!! ;)
     



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