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Warwick Hellborg vs. Glockenklang Bass Art

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zentner, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm having a rough time finding some good soundclips for some high end amps. Aside from some Namm videos and a couple clips from the Warwick forums, there isn't much on the Hellborgs, and I can't seem to find any Bass Art clips at all... just the Bowlus bass blog stuff for the space deluxe cab.

    Anyone with any edxperiences between the two? Reason I ask is that I have the opportunity to get the Hellborg at a decent price, but I'm not sure if that money would be better spent elsewhere- even if the price IS good.

    Any reccommendations?


  2. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Commercial User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner of Bass Gear Direct
    The Glockenklang Bss Art Pre, built from very high quality components and it's design is based on the highly regarded Bass Art Amplifier which a lot of Luthiers use as reference amps for their instruments.

    This preamp is very pure in it's response but at the same time has a certain chartacter, richness which gives your sound a 3D type of feel. It is hard to believe it doesn't have a tube in there, as it can sound very warm and you can get it to break up NICELY by overdriving the input if you want that type of sound. This is probably one of the only SS preamps which can do this well.

    Very articulate, responsive, and quick, and has very versatile features which makess it very handy Live and in the studio.

    You can run it purely flat with a by-passing switch for the Bass and Treble EQ section and you also can by-pass the 2 semi-parametric controls separatley with a second by-pass switch.

    Full featured DI Out with separate level control, pre/post switching, 2 separate inputs on the front with an A/B switch so you can have 2 instruments plugged in at the same time and switch between them. Both inputs have a separate input level control.

    If you can find a dealer that carrys these units it is worth hearing for yourself.
  3. Has anyone actually A/B'd these two? I guess I'm just curious about the sonic differences between them aside from specs.
  4. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Excellent description. It also has, hope I say this correctly a linear taper or audio taper in that it gets louder as you turn it up. Compare that to pre gain and master gains that get loud by 3 nothing til 5 jump maybe at 7 then nothing. The 3D description is so accurate. The subtle musical tones within tones that are often characteristic of tube amps are there. Very musical. You don't lose anything from the original sound when you drop the bass or mids. It just sounds like you dropped some bass or mids. True pro piece.
  5. +1. I'm a big fan of the smooth audio taper approach to tone controls and volume controls that Glock, etc. uses.

    I have not played the Helborg stuff, but a retailer in Australia who carries them has posted on TB that the TecAmp Puma heads and cabs sound quite a bit like the Helborg rig in a much smaller and lighter format. Since I hear a lot of the Glock sound in my TecAmp rig, this might be another option for you if the weight of the Helborg and Glock stuff is a little much for you. The Epifani 502 also has this sort of voicing (i.e., very fat and warm and organic on the low end, but very hi fi, crystal clear and pristine up top).

    I don't think there would be many who have had the pleasure of trying both those pieces of rare, high end gear.
  6. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    now that is one interesting thread !

    i have had the pleasure of trying both of those pieces of high end gear. :smug:
    i own a bass art pre (not classic), and one of my buddies has the same pre, but from a little later production run.
    the hellborg pre i tried in our local musicshop and took it home for more extensive testing.

    about the glock: georgeg is right with what he said about the 3d quality of the sound...it is best heard using headphones, you´ve never been so close to the electric sound of your bass. and it is not sterile at all, it has a very round quality to it, a certain "detailed" warmth. the di is the op-amp type. the eq stages add a little bit of noise compared to when not switched in, but very marginally so (might be because me and my buddy still have the pre-"classic" version). i think the newer (classic) pre is supposedly even quieter concerning the eq. the features that georgeg mentioned are only in the "classic" (new) version (the switchable 2 inputs with trim, the adjustable di out).
    about the hellborg: a very well made preamp too, indeed. a little more on the "colder" side. excellent signal/noise ratio, i think it might be even better than the glock in that aspect. the eq is a little different, too, works with coils, but as far as i can remember, also a little "colder" than the glock. the di is the transformer type, and the input stage also has a transformer (they wanted to emulate the sound that jh got when recording via neve desks). construction in the hellborg pre is top notch, i took a peek inside.

    the concepts are very different, the glock is more like a good hifi pre, with boxed-up and shielded dc-power section, and class a stages (the new "classic" has class a for the eq sections as well), the trannies mounted on a big heatsink and really working (getting hot), while the hellborg pre is more like a channel strip (of high quality) or the front end of a mixing desk optimized for use with bass.

    the sound, everyone has to make their own judgements and decisions about that. they´re both excellent pre´s. the hellborg might give you an even more objective print of the sound of your bass when you´re recording (i would love warwick to take the concept even further and make a "hellborg di" with just the transformer input stage, the gain stage and the transformer-coupled di-out in a smaller housing and cheaper, so you could throw it in your gig bag when you go to a studio), but if you also want it for live playing, i tend to lean more towards the glock, it is more "musical" to my ears.

    so much for now ! this post makes me wanna go to that music store and borrow that hellborg pre again, just to a/b the two a little bit more !

    HeavyJazz likes this.
  7. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    the basic sound of the tecamp stuff hints at it a little, but IMO it stops when it comes to the poweramp. i was initially pleased from the sounds i got from the pumas, but when you play demanding low notes in faster succession (i´m talking still musically useful lines, i didn´t just go whopwhopwhop on the b-string for the heck of it), the disadvantage of the class-d poweramp shows. they just don´t have the oomph to deliver many low notes one after the other without running out of breath, so too speak. (i´ll add IMO here before the flaming starts).
    heck, when you turn off that bugatti power amp, you can still play for almost one minute ! talk about power reserve and monstrous towers of electro´s (4x33000µF ! no mistake here with the zero´s) !

    i have yet to hear a class-d poweramp that i like, let alone switching power supplies. if other guys like them, fine (i don´t wanna start a lengthy discussion with the advocates of class d here) !

  8. Excellent descrpitions, thank you very much! This is exactly what I'd figured....
  9. I just got a Warwick Hellborg (preamp+MP25+CC115) system TODAY and fired it up. Well, actually was playing at a low level as to not offend my neighbors. But, my initial response running it flat was that it was very transparent, yet musical. This is coming from a guy who has always used tubes. I bought it because I wanted to experience the coaxial speaker and the amp with output transformers. (...AND I got the whole system for about two grand!)

    The Celestion coaxial speaker has excellent imaging and I usually use 15" JBLs, no tweeters. There is no adjustment for the crossover but the transition between the speaker and the tweeter is surprisingly smooth. It kind of like an old Tannoy studio monitor. The whole system is pristinely clean (absolutely NO hiss) and, at the same time, organic. I feel like I'm hearing the instrument as it sounds unplugged. I have a week straight of gigs coming up and hope to use the pre+amp if I can get a rack for them in time.

    Maybe I can get some live sound clips.


  10. Nice and congrats! That is some beautiful looking (and I'm sure sounding) stuff. I assume the dealers are blowing out inventory, given there would be a very small market (if any) for that stuff at the original pricing. Whew!

    Interesting on the EQ points (15K shelving!). I guess that goes along with the more channel strip sort of vibe. I like the power amp design that mimic's the 'impedance matching' transformer thing that is usually only seen in a tube amp. Cool!

  11. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Commercial User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner of Bass Gear Direct
    Hey Chadds,

    I'm no tech head but I thought the Glock taper was the logirithmic type. Is this the same as an audio taper ? :confused:

    Can some techi confirm this.

  12. sandman


    Apr 13, 2004
    the audio page has some live clips with the hellborg pre, with a 'wick SSII.
    crappy page but the audio should work.
    pleased to hear tecamp come into discussion with these fine amps, heard the TEc gear at NAMM, and well impressed.
  13. "I like the power amp design that mimic's the 'impedance matching' transformer thing that is usually only seen in a tube amp. Cool!"

    I'll probably have to crank it up to experience the effect of the output transformer. I'm hoping for some saturation as it's maxed out but not sure if that's part of the design.

  14. Correct. Chadds meant 'log/audio' taper which is used on the TecAmp and Glock amps... must be a German thing!!!!!

    It is confusing, since the log taper results in a 'perceived linear' response of the volume control, since perceived volume is non-linear (i.e., DB's are on a log scale).
  15. khanson


    May 7, 2004
    Hi All,
    I have a Glock Heart Core and the new Hellborg system.

    These are early impressions. I've had the Hellborg system for about a month and only played out with it once.

    The difference is dramatic to my ears. The Hellborg strucks me as drier and more defined. It doesn't fill the sonic space as much as the Glock

    Generally speaking, the Glock is warmer and friendlier.

    I especially love the Hellborg with my hollowbody bass and with flats in general.

    When I use my P-bass equipped with rounds, the Glock sounds more musical to me.

    It's not easy to explain, with my Hollowbody bass on the Hellborg Rig, I feel that I can hear the strings and the wood. Delicate with no compromise.

    With my P-bass, on the Hellborg, the PBass sounds a bit sterile/dry to me, I hear the strings and have a hard time hearing the character of the whole bass.

    The P-bass feels like an entirely different instrument than I'm use to, on the Hellborg.
  16. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    the gain pot or the volume pot ? the gain pot (at least in my bass art pre) is the "reverse log" type (=C suffix). it is the opposite of the audio or log type.
    but how the pot reacts also has to do with the surrounding circuit, e.g. if you use a rev log for the gain pot in a fuzz face, it actually gives you a linear response.
    gotta check out the vol pot...

    yeah, the hellborg rig is definitely more on the analytical side. that´s what i like best about the character of the glock, that it is so detailed, yet so musical and warm.

  17. I believe he is talking about the maste volume. On my Heartrock, it's an audio taper. On the pregain, the HR also acts as you describe... lot's of gain very quickly!
  18. GeorgeG

    GeorgeG Commercial User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner of Bass Gear Direct
    +1. On the Heart Rock which I stock, this is how I hear the Input gain and the Master is the opposite (Log/Audio) type taper.

    Ken, thx for jumping in earlier and confirming my query with Chadds.
  19. lowstar


    Jul 3, 2001
    just looked inside the two beauties to check the vol pot for you guys:
    both units have a linear taper volume pot (and a good one at that, ALPS) !

  20. Heartrock must be a different design. It doesn't even start to open up until after the noon setting, and has a very even taper from low to high volume that extends through its entire range. Since I hadn't experienced this before, I sent the Glock guys an email. They indicated that the Master on the HeartRock is an audio taper design. However, the HeartRock is different in many ways to the Bass Art, etc.

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