Blackstar bass

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ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802

Personally I think those switches are too long and will get bashed.


Dave.

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2801
    edited May 16
    :-P
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802
    edited May 1

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj1oJHu--PaAhVK2qQKHXT9CpsQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https://www.pikeamp.com/products/pike-dpdt-mini-toggle-switch&psig=AOvVaw2PAK6TPXAJsdUs0B7HpKM3&ust=1525245353390769

    You CAN get short toggles! ^ I will admit, they would probably not pass the marketing cosmetics gurus!

    And, re the speakers? It IS Blackstar AND British design so naturally the boot goes in already!

    Dave.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    edited May 1
    Not only are the toggle switches likely to get broken, so are the trimpots on the back panel.

    I've probably  mentioned this before, but no heads and controls on the top are both big fails for me, and probably quite a lot of other bass players. At the absolute minimum, the 500W model needs to be available as a head with front controls.

    Built in chorus? Is it still 1990? (I do actually have a bass chorus pedal by the way... but I wouldn't want it on the amp.)

    And the sound... er... dreadful. Dull and with no punch or definition, and the effects all just sound like a cheap multi-FX pedal.  The distortion in particular is terrible - it doesn't blend properly with the clean sound at all. Oddly, it sounded best when he was slapping, but since I don't do that normally it doesn't really help.

    No unbalanced line output on the bigger models is another flaw - the smaller ones have it, but the bigger ones have a headphone jack. Surely that's the wrong way round?

    Sorry, but they're going to have to do a lot better than that before I would be remotely interested. And it's nothing to do with the speakers! I like Eminences for bass... unless the particular models are just badly chosen.

    And the worst mistake?

    "Pro" in the name. It's short for "real professionals wouldn't touch this with a bargepole".

    Still, on the bright side they can't be less reliable than an Ashdown... :)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802

    Thank you ICBM! I have to confess I could not discern much variation in the 'voicings' and FX.

    One other thing bothered me about the active cab? The speaker jack to allow an external amp. For 250W at 4 R that jack contact must be handling up to 8 amps!  I really don't see the feature as useful enough to warrant the reliability hit? Unless of course they have sourced a better specc'ed jack?

    On a constructive note! Can I suggest you IC and all you other "pro" bassist email B's PD bloody Q and give them a list of your comments, good and bad? History of the company has shown that they DO listen, a bit.

    Dave.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    ecc83 said:

    One other thing bothered me about the active cab? The speaker jack to allow an external amp. For 250W at 4 R that jack contact must be handling up to 8 amps!  I really don't see the feature as useful enough to warrant the reliability hit? Unless of course they have sourced a better specc'ed jack?

    It's actually a very useful feature - especially for making it a flexible backup solution for emergencies with other gear - but I agree... I can't think of a simple way of implementing it without running the speaker current through the jack switch, and that's really not a good idea at this power level.

    I really wanted to give them a fair hearing, even given the top-mounted controls, but it all comes across as very semi-pro design, spec and sound at best. And I have to just come to the conclusion that whoever is in charge of R&D at Blackstar likes the sounds I hate, and vice versa - both for guitar and bass.

    If I was in the market at this sort of price point I'd honestly much rather take an Ashdown than this lot, at least for sound quality - although I might still want a Blackstar as a backup :). I'm not even a 'pro' player either.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2801
    edited May 16
    :-p
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802

    ICBM I have tried to download a handbook for the amps but to no avail so far. AFAICT there are no speaker outs on any of the combos and I therefore have to conclude that the power amps are not as well protected as they might be?  Hence no heads (as yet, this might change IF peeps give them grief, did with the Venue series and the S1 45)

    If this is the case then Blackstar have lost Brownie points in my estimation.

    I understand the attack on the speaker in the mini stack (but I thought the G10-40 was quite a good ten?) but the speakers in the Unity amps are unknown and my beef was they were slated  without evidence.

    Re jacks and amps? I think I will see if I can get someone interested at Neutrik  about making a heavy duty jack?  One idea I have had is a micro switch where the 'tit' just pokes into the jack frame? Ten amp MSs are common and cheap and do changeover contacts.

    The sound of the amps: Well, we have only had one guy on one instrument in an unknown room (tho' those mics looked tasty!)

    Maybe they will sound better in a shop when people have the chance to try them?


    Dave.

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2801
    edited May 16
    :-p
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1317

    I always equate calling a piece of gear "Pro" in the same category as adding "Democratic" to your country's name.

    I am of the general opinion that a "pro" bass combo is an oxymoron; most bass combos I get in the work shop (almost always with blown speakers) are anything but.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    jpfamps said:

    I always equate calling a piece of gear "Pro" in the same category as adding "Democratic" to your country's name.

    I am of the general opinion that a "pro" bass combo is an oxymoron; most bass combos I get in the work shop (almost always with blown speakers) are anything but.
    Pretty much the only ones I can think of are old Peavey TNT/Combo 300s and early Trace Elliots, and even that's pushing it - the Peaveys are tough but not very refined, and the Trace Elliots are not perfectly reliable - and both of them weigh about as much as a house. Why Trace Elliot made an 8x10" *combo* totally escapes me...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802

    ICBM did you get my email about jack switches?

    Dave.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    ecc83 said:

    ICBM did you get my email about jack switches?

    Ah! Sorry - I did, but I marked it to read later and then forgot about it...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ecc83ecc83 Frets: 802
    ICBM said:
    ecc83 said:

    ICBM did you get my email about jack switches?

    Ah! Sorry - I did, but I marked it to read later and then forgot about it...


    Ok no matter! Others might like to know? I had a reply from Neutrik, their BEST jack has contacts rated at just HALF an amp!

    I really hope B's are not sending that active cabs power through that jack, I shall try to find out.

    Dave.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    ecc83 said:

    I had a reply from Neutrik, their BEST jack has contacts rated at just HALF an amp!
    That doesn't surprise me. On most of them it's just a point contact.

    Even the best I know of - not Neutrik, the original open-frame Switchcraft 12A - has significant contact resistance. You can easily demonstrate this with an old Fender amp - plug the speaker into the 'Extension' speaker jack, so the shorting switch in the 'Main' jack is bypassing the speaker... you will still hear some sound. It's fractions of an ohm, but enough that it will not mute the speaker completely.

    A much better way to do it would be to use a jack with a switch in the ground connection, like the usual Cliff/Re-An plastic jack, and use that switch to operate a relay to disconnect the jack from the amp, but... cost.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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