TC ELECTRONIC BH800

Amber Technology | 1800 251 367 | www.ambertech.com.au | RRP: $1249

TC Electronic’s BH250 bass amp was a truly inno­v­a­tive piece of gear. A light­weight, full-featured micro bass head with an onboard tuner and the company’s TonePrint tech­nol­ogy for load­ing sig­na­ture effects from a ros­ter of world-class play­ers and experts. Per­haps its stream­lined con­trols made some play­ers long for just a lit­tle bit more while main­tain­ing the porta­bil­ity and usabil­ity of the amp, and a lit­tle more power never goes astray. How about bump­ing it up to 800 watts?

THE 800 CLUB

That’s what’s going on with the BH800. It’s an 800 watt bass head that con­tin­ues the spirit of the BH250, but with a few extra fea­tures that add up to a lot more usabil­ity and func­tion­al­ity. For instance, where the BH250 only had bass, mid­dle and tre­ble tone con­trols, the BH800 has bass, lo-mid, hi-mid and tre­ble. Where the BH250 had a two-position gain switch for opti­mis­ing the input stage for either pas­sive or active pick­ups, the BH800 has a gain knob so you can dial in the per­fect amount of input power. Where the BH250 had a TonePrint con­trol, the BH800 has two, giv­ing you access to a wide range of effects includ­ing Cho­rus, Flanger, Vibrato, Octaver (a Sub’n’Up octaver, which can give you an octave down or and octave up and can add dirt if you want it), Spec­tra­Comp (the same multi-band com­pres­sor that you’ll find in the Black­smith) and Bass­Drive (designed for tube-like char­ac­ter). The built-in tuner is always on, giv­ing you a clear read-out whether you’re in tune or not, and it’s designed to cater to every­thing up to six-string basses.

Around the back you’ll find a bal­anced XLR out­put with a pre/post EQ switch, a head­phone out, which auto­mat­i­cally mutes the speaker, an aux­il­iary in for rehears­ing with tracks, a USB jack for load­ing TonePrints, a footswitch jack for hook­ing up a Switch 3 pedal and then finally a speaker out (class 2 wiring, 4 ohm min­i­mum load). TC rec­om­mends using any two RS series cab­i­nets (1x12, 2x10, 2x12, or 4x10), any two BC series cab­i­nets (2x10 or 2x12), or the BC410cab­i­net with four 10” speak­ers and a tweeter.

ALL THE TONE THAT’S FIT TO PRINT

This is an ultra-flexible amp which can do every­thing from soft and gen­tle to loud and rau­cous. Whether you play jazz, funk, R&B, coun­try, blues, rock, punk, metal, it’s all in there. The clean sounds are espe­cially nice, run­ning the gamut from deep, subby rum­bles to punchy, edgy thumps. It seemed equally happy with active or pas­sive pick­ups, although the Bass­Drive TonePrints seemed espe­cially happy with pas­sives espe­cially when really push­ing the gain. The avail­able RH800-specific TonePrints are by Duff McK­a­gan, Nathan East, Richard Bona, Vic­tor Wooten, Roscoe Beck, Janek Gwiz­dale and Hen­rik Linde and they cover every­thing from sub­tle cho­rus to much more ourta­geous tones like Gwizdala’s ‘Fam­ily of Rats’. A lively flanger effect that man­ages to sound space-age and musi­cal at the same time.

THE BOTTOM END

If you’re into more organic and dirty sounds, then you might find three or four really great tones in here that you’ll use a lot. If you’re into a mil­lion dif­fer­ent sounds, with a great major­ity of them clean or pep­pered with studio-quality effects, there’s a never-ending stream of them lurk­ing within the BH800. This could either be a great ‘here’s my sound’ amp for set-and-forgetters or an all-in-one tone solu­tion for those who never want to stop find­ing cool sounds.

Hits and Misses

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Two TonePrints

Handy gain control

Portable

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Tuner isn’t chromatic

No FX loop

Specs

TonePrint - For a world of sig­na­ture effects.
Ultra-lightweight.
800 Watt.
Intel­li­gently con­toured tone controls.

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