It’s not every day of the week that you blow a bass amp. So it was a bit of a shock when, towards the end of what had been a great gig at the Britannia in Southend-on-Sea with Collibosher, that there was suddenly no sound from my bass amp half way through the second encore! A later examination from Jeff’s dad, somewhat of an expert in the field, revealed that the speakers had blown and short-circuited everything else, leading to a totally dead amp with a very uneconomic repair.
The amp in question was an out-of-production, classic Bass Amp, a Warwick Sweet 25.1, 250 watts that had finally found their way out of the speakers when I sorted out my bass guitar! Great amp though it was, it didn’t suffer fools gladly and certainly didn’t like cheap pickups. Still that’s all in the past now, though I have a friend who coveted it and had even threatened to steal it! So, the hunt was on for a new bass amp. One of the problems I had with the Warwick was lifting it up the stairs from the basement where we rehearse to go to gigs. Like most bass amps of this power, it’s like a huge dead weight, and then trying to manœvre it up a narrow staircase with a hand on both sides, through doors, round corners etc was a royal pain in the arse. Looking for something affordable, two other amps came to mind. The Behringer 3000, a cheap but good 300w bass amp. Like all Behringer stuff, opinions are divided. But at least it only had one handle on the top. However it weighs in at 65lb. I also considered an Ashdown. Again very affordable, and here, less division of opinion. A little dearer, but again, around 65lb.
Finally I discovered the TC Electronic BG250. At £310 that’s good value, though dearer than the Behringer. But here’s the real killer – it weighs only 35lb. How can you do that with a 250w amp? The answer seems to be that it uses a Class D output, which is far more economical and requires less peak current to produce a smooth output. It’s how Behringer make their active PA speakers so light. It means that you don’t need one giant fuck of a transformer to run it. And that saves pounds (weight, not necessarily cash, though that would follow at least in the transformer department).
I went onto lots of review sites and couldn’t find anything bad. It’s very popular. Very powerful, will easily fill medium sized venues. Comfortably drowns out guitar amps at full volume… so decided to go for it. Hopefully it will arrive in time for Collibosher’s gig on 20th July.