The resurrection of Trace Elliot amps is great news for bass players who only a few years ago mourned the passing of the original marque. The new Trace Elliot company has introduced a completely new product range utilising studio quality integrated circuitry throughout. Although there are various models in the new line up, we chose to feature the top of the range 1000 watt A81000 – 12 head and the 500 watt 1210 combo, which both feature Trace Elliot’s famous 12-band graphic EQ. The A8 1000 – 12 head can be paired up with either a 4 X 10 or a 2 X 10 Celestion configuration, both with high frequency horns, while the 1210 is loaded with two 10 inch Celestions. Not only do these new sound systems sound as good as – if not better than their original stablemates – but they also look the business, finished in the original black livery and coming in embroided covers.

This extraordinary little beast (170mm x 300mm x 320mm) weighs in at just over the 5Kg mark and incorporates a PJB 100watt Solid State class AB amplifier. Yes – you did read that right! The marketing blurb tells me that nothing this small, with this performance, has ever been created before. I’m looking at it and thinking what the spread of two five inch speakers might be like – whatever the claims made. The two 5 inch proprietary neo-power extended range drivers sit one atop the other behind a nylon mesh screen within the solid case with its steel reinforced corners. To the back of the cabinet there is a very simple, clean control panel – there are no gimmicks here. Alongside the Level dial and the input jack is a high/low impedance switch, while to the right is a 3 band EQ and FX send and return sockets. Below the grill is the AC power output and accompanying switch, while to the right is a line output for driving a second amplifier and a useful ground lift switch to eliminate hum. Set next to this is a tuner/line out and an XLR balanced line out for use with recording and PA mixing consoles.

Plugged in, I’m offered a very clean, smooth, warm sound – not that dissimilar to those old Polytones. Although the overall sound is good, there is a discernable lack of definition and there is very little head on the treble end. I’m thinking, has this little baby been designed by a bass player – there’s plenty of volume and it’s certainly clean right the way through. But apart from the clean sounds and its straightforward nature, the real beauty of ‘The Cub’ is its size. And to make the most of its portability potential, the guys at AAD have given this amplifier a very snug little padded carrying case with a tough denier cover, that has a large face pocket for mains and jack leads, a grab handle and a tough padded shoulder strap with strong carabiner style clips and ‘D’ rings. Sling it over your shoulder and you’re away.

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The EDB-1 has been getting some really hot press recently, so we thought it was time we checked it out to see what all the fuss is about. And yes, this is a seriously amazing piece of kit and it’s built like a tank. Power comes from a DC 18-volt in with a regulated supply, or two 9-volt batteries. The well insulated battery compartment has been really well thought out, with substantial connectors and overspec’d cables and the locking screw which has a very useful coin nut. The 18volt power supply gives a tremendous amount of power; in a small hall I didn’t need to push the Master beyond a quarter. Also reassuring was the strength of the EQ knobs, which noticeably clicked on to zero. The ‘Range’ switch was also very useful, in that it is already tuned and on the bass setting cut off at 47kh, while also cutting off the top end that you don’t need. Channel 1 has three settings with Channel 2 set for passive pickups and stereo or XLR mike with phanthom power. But perhaps most useful of all was the Notch Filter that allows you to find and cut out any noise that you hear on your instrument that you don’t like, in my case, plenty. A low battery light and recessed threaded stand mount to the back plate come as standard. But what is surprising is the amount of detail and user information that appears in the manual. Not only is the EDB-1 a remarkable all-in-one pre-amp and equaliser and direct injection box, but Headway could even deserve a plain English award. (DG) For more go to

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