Trace Elliot questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by supernaut, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. I'd like to get my hands on a trace elliot amp. I have been doing some research and am looking pick up something with the V-Type preamp like the 300H or 600H. or one of the amps with the SMX/SM preamp like AH600SMX or AH400SMX or AH350SM.

    my first question is: what are the power ratings like on these guys, is 300 watts going to be hella loud for what one would expect from a 300 watt amp?

    I've heard the V-type preamp before and really dig it, but what do the SMX models sound like, I know that is more the classic Trace sound. I'm looking for a little guidance so I can pick a direcetion. V-Type or SMX.

    I know the all tube ones like the V6 and V8 rule all but those are not an option for me at this time due to financial restraints.
  2. Kelly Lee

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

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Question #1: On power ratings, I think they are rated on the conservative side. My AH350SMX will run with two 100watt half-stacks and a loud drummer with no problem. I'm not even getting the advantage of speaker coupling (ie:8x10 or 1x15 + 4x10) as I only run a 2x15 cab. Get one of the 600watt heads and I think you would start killing people! ;)

    Question #2: The V type preamp in one of the VAH series heads you kinda get the best of both worlds. Solid state reliability with a nice tube tone. However, I love my AH350SMX. IMO, I think the V type and the SMX both have the signature sound. The V just has a more "tube" type tone. If you want the tube sound, go with the V type. The SMX if not. I think you would probably be happy with either one. :D
  3. Had an older AH250 which I put through a single 8 ohm Trace 4 x 10....was plenty loud for practising and would have done for small gigs (guessing only about 180 watts into the cab).

    I then got an AH500 with a Trace 4 x 10 and Trace 1 x that was a loud rig indeed! Plenty of headroom - however I was only cometing with drums and a single guitarist with a Valvestate combo (100 watts full tilt into a single 12")
  4. I have an AH300SMX run into an Ashdown Mini48 and a Mini15. We have a drummer and two guitarists (both Marshall 100watt, 2x12 valve combos) and it copes no problem.

    I also have a Vtype can laminate people to the back wall with it... :help:

    "In case of sonic attack think only of yourself..." :bassist:
  5. genderblind

    genderblind Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    My RAH250SMX kills through a 2103 and a 1153. Rated at 280 watts, it really does destroy 400 watt heads I have used. There is a 12AX7 in the pre, I changed it to a Sovtek and suddenly dark tones appeared under pristine highs, huzzah!!! The SMX dual band compressor and that EQ balance control gives a great quick tweakage factor once you have your EQ set to your liking. I'm getting all tones imaginable, and as for the naysayers who claim that Trace "colors" the tone of your basses, all my instruments sound like themselves!!!
    I will say this, the king of the Trace range IMHO is the Hexavalve head. Yeah, I was stupid enough to sell one a few years back... the pain...
  6. I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the trace range... the power ratings are definatly conservative and if you dig their sound you're sorted! shame you have to search around for second hand... although i think it makes them a bit more special!
  7. thanks for the info. looks like I'm just going to need to decide if I want the V-type preamp or the SMX.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ive necer heard the tube heads, btu the trace solid state heads are EXTERMELY conservatively rated
    300 trace watts is like 800 watts from a lot of other amps
  9. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I've had in the past a Series 6 AH200 (7-band eq, precursor to the SM series, regret selling it), and I now own both an original V-Type head (4xKT88, 220W) and a V-Type rack pre.

    I'd say you'll be happy with either, but if you really want to have fun, get both a V-Type rack pre and an SMX rack pre, and use with a good rack power amp (like maybe a nice Trace Elliot PPA series? I saw a PPA 1200 on eBay recently), then you can switch as your heart or the song desires!

    If I had more room in my rack, I'd love to add back in an SMX preamp.

    In my new main rig (SWR), I added the V-Type pre to get back that V-Type vibe from my head, which mainly gets used for practice now. The V-Type pre cops about 80-90% of the sound of the whole head, especially when run through my SWR Power 750 (ah, I love analog power supplies in amps).

    I wouldn't bother with the hybrid V-Type heads. I don't think the power sections are up to the standards of the SM/SMX series amps.

    Another option is to add an SM7EQ pedal into the effects loop of a V-Type to get the flexibility of the SM/SMX eq section. I have one of those, too.
  10. I think that for now I am going to go for a V-type preamp. I have seen a rackmount V-type and a V-type 300H (hybrid head) the hybrid head is said to be rated at 280RMS, anyone played one of these to see how good the power is on them.

    not sure if the 300H would sound better then just the V-type preamp paird with a nice poweramp.