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What is the attraction to Trace Elliot amplifiers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by alaskaleftybass, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I recently went back to playing Trace Elliot gear from the 90's. It's heavy. Weight wise and sound wise. I have played many amps SWR, Eden, EBS, Ashdown, and Markbass and enjoyed them all (except SWR) but the Trace gear was my personal favorite. I love the clarity, punch, and headroom. My TE has the most headroom of all my previously owned amps.
  2. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I've got a Trace Elliot V-Type preamp that is a very good unit and has served me well. Some people call them the "poor man's" Alembic F1-X.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I'm not a fan of the TE tone but it's pretty unique. Amps with a personnality aren't that common.
    They really need to bring out new products though. A class D amp seems like an obvious choice for their awesome pre.
  4. I noticed them in 1985 when I became aware of very good bass gear. First thing I noticed was the color but they sounded great in the store. They are certainly well made. Maybe they put the British bass guitar sound on the map in the 80's and they are still very decent.
  5. I have an AH250 GP12smx ....... Great amp. 1996 vintage ... pre Gibson

    I recently tried one of the new ah600-12 heads .... I was disappointed.

    But that is because I was directly comparing it against the GP12smx.

    I was disappointed in the build and a few things in the sound.

    Too much of a "cheap plastic" feel to EQ slider components and other control knobs and buttons. I felt it would not take much for them to get damaged.

    The dual band compressor was too "breathy" not smooth like the vintage one.

    The ss/tube blend was not very smooth either. I felt it did not transition and blend as well as the vintage in this regard as well. It seemed too staged and non linear.

    I felt overall that there was too much circuit noise when you were running tube blend, shaping, EQ, and compression all at once. Not at all like the old vintage GP12smx It was disappointing. :(

    My recommendation is to look at vintage Trace Elliot.
    They are solid and reliable. Tons of headroom. There is good service and supply of parts thru British Audio Service, if you are need support.
  6. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member


    I still have two of them in one of my sheds. Both from the 90's, both sounded passable for a while, both of them blew their power supplies after a couple of years. No wish to get another.
  7. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Trace Elliot made good solid reliable for the most part, transistor amps
    But what was very very good was the Trace Elliot V Series.
    The King of the heap was the V8 an almighty 8 x KT88 rig with proper big iron and a tube compressor with a magic eye valve indicator, in fact it's probably one of the most sought after amps for big power all tube loving bass players still.
    Only available on the Vintage market I guess.:bassist:
  8. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Great pre amp the V Type stuff is still some of the best tube stuff out there.:bassist:
  9. chienmort


    Aug 15, 2012
    I had the BLX 130, and it is the only amp that I regret selling.

    It was a great sounding combo and lived up to its BLX designation.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Too cool! :cool: Thanks for the response.
  11. Are you sure it's the power supply?? Mine had blown output transistors and that's all that is wrong. Asking to get 150W RMS from a pair of small plastic output transistors is foolish in my book. Even more so when you consider that the PCB has provision for a second pair (Bear PCB).
  12. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I didn't know how it worked at the time, but it amounts to adjustable port tuning, which will make the bass response more humped up/increased or more rolled off/decreased......definitely not a gimick. They just didn't settle on one port tuning, rather let you adjust it to your taste.
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Well, all fuses are intact but there is no voltage to either the preamp or power amp, according to my multimeter. They're still in the shed so I could get them checked out if I could be bothered, but I moved on years ago.
  14. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I bought smeet's Trace Elliot AH500X head back in Feb of 2011 (great seller, BTW).

    He's spot on - I play it for the low end (deep B) - and it effortlessly moves more air than a Black Hawk. I've NEVER had the output over 4 (did that once, just to see). It has knocked shelves off the wall in our neighbor's practice room on multiple occasions, and after they nailed the shelves into the wall, it just knocked stuff of the shelves to the floor - all with the output level around 2. They gave up.

    The tone is great (I don't scoop the mids but have dialed in my own thing), it is VERY heavy, looks cool, built like a kardashian, and it just TOTALLY kicks SERIOUS (b)ass.

    I've paired it with a TE 1048 and 1528 as you see below. I absolutely love this gear... I'm a TE head now. Oh, and yeah, as smeet noted above, it does give off a very nice scent. BONUS!

    physics likes this.
  15. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    They are so heavy, it's simple gravity.
  16. TwinBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Spokane, WA
    I've heard exactly two TE rigs. I don't know the models or anything, but the first one was a 4x10/1x15 stack and it was flat out unbelievable! It sounded (in my head, at least) like THE perfect bass rig. The second I heard was a 2x10 combo. It weighed a ton (and I'm used to Peavey gear) but I was floored by how big that little thing sounded.

    I'm not currently looking for a new amp, but when I decide it's time to start looking Trace Elliot will be on top of my list.
  17. I hadn't realized you're from "back 'ome", I'm from Liverpool. :)

    I have a lot of Trace service manuals if you need them.
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The black lights :hyper:
  19. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I sorta look at them like Ampeg - their SS/hybrids never did much for me, but their all tube amps were kick ass!!!

    - georgestrings
  20. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I thought they were pieces of ****. The sonic equivalent of cardboard. But then again, I hate all british bass amps. They were "available" and little else worth mentioning. The tone had no character IMO...

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