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  1. #1

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    Anyone used any of these micro amps ?
    they look great , any reports positive and or negative welcome

    I'm thinking of getting the guitar head
    Boutique

    or the Bass head
    Guitar Sound Systems (GSS) bass and upright bass amplifier heads

    Thanks all
    Pingu

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  3. #2

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    Pasquale Grasso has used one from time to time. Sounded good to me, from the videos. There are other threads on here discussing them.

  4. #3
    Thanks Franz
    I read your review on the other thread , great

    I'm thinking of getting the 50watt head only or the 100 watt bass head
    and using it with a JBL control 1 (I have lying around)
    just for rehearsals and duos etc etc

    Its tempting to only have to carry a guitar and a bag with
    the amp 1 lb + speaker 4 lbs in it

    I've written to GSS to see if the 4 ohm Speaker
    will blow up the amp !

    He probably won't sanction that but we'll see ...

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Pasquale Grasso has used one from time to time. Sounded good to me, from the videos. There are other threads on here discussing them.
    does it have reverb? Don't remember if pasquale uses reverb or not?

  6. #5

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    No reverb, and I've never heard Grasso use it, as far as I could hear. The details for the amp are here: Boutique
    There are also a couple of threads on this forum with reviews by members who have used it. 50 watts, with another 50 if you use an external cabinet. I doubt it would be loud enough for you, though, Jack. But what do I know.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Pasquale Grasso has used one from time to time. Sounded good to me, from the videos. There are other threads on here discussing them.
    http://www.guitarsoundsystems.com/Fi...G-1757-big.jpg

    Pasquale and another NYC friend, Félix Lemerle, both use the GSS Jazz Cat combo around town. Forum members Franz 1997 and Don_Oz in the UK also have them. No reverb.

    London Jazz Guitar Society:
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  8. #7

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    One note that I hadn't noticed before - the 50 watt rating is at 8 ohms, not the usual 4 ohms. It also comes as just a head, if you want something very small. Two separate 50W Class D amps inside. If I were gigging in a big city using mass transit, I think I would use one of those combos.

  9. #8
    Didier from GSS wrote back
    to me saying it will drive down
    to a 6 ohm speaker but not lower

    this is a shame
    as i want to drive a
    jbl control 1 (4ohms)

    thinking maybe
    a Hotone mojo attack
    might work for me ...

  10. #9

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    Not sure whether you were serious about the Hotone, but with the one I bought, every time I switched it on, the power transients rebooted my PC. I suspect it wasn't the fault of the amp, but that the separate power supply was very poorly designed. It went back to Amazon for a full refund.
    Have no secrets, hear no lies.

  11. #10

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    The NY jazz club scene is an ecosystem of its own. For those who commute by underground - and with those fees and parking fees it makes sense - every ounce and cubic inch of cargo counts. GSS makes a line of very small amps and lightweight cabs from 5" upwards, meant for professional users. I have never seen them live, but my local deep throats keep me posted. Just sold a TOOB 6.5 prototype (3.5 lbs).) to complement a GSS mini tube amp. The Jensen P6V 8 ohm speaker will be replaced by a 4 ohm version, although the general advice is to stick to 8 ohm for the amp's protection. Orange, for example, now specifies 8 ohm min. for the Micro Terror ad Micro Dark amps.

  12. #11
    The plot thickens !

    Yes the Hotone maybe too fancy /rock oriented for me

    So been doing more research ... simple small bass heads

    there's a couple of that might work ,
    (i just need a straight flat amp with some tone controls
    no fx no reverb)

    Gk mb200 as we know .....

    Trace Elliot Elf ....... 200 watt into 4 ohms 1.6 lbs £250

    or , and I think the winner is ....

    Tc Bam200 ..... 200 watts into 4 ohms 2 lbs £110 Thomann !
    Di out , headphone out with speaker emulation

    thats gotta be be amazing bang for the buck !
    and TC make good reliable stuff generally

  13. #12

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    Pingu, the MB 200 is tonally superior - both guitar and bass - to the Elf and has more eq knobs. For bass, those really matter. The Elf is a cutesy pie but actually weighs the same as the MB, at least the 230V version. A bassist friend of mine has been waiting for the new TC for months, have to ask whether it has finally arrived. It may be the winner. As for the HotOne, I'll post a brief report of today's gig to my thread on Interblock and HotOne. You asked for it.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    Pingu, the MB 200 is tonally superior - both guitar and bass - to the Elf and has more eq knobs. For bass, those really matter. The Elf is a cutesy pie but actually weighs the same as the MB, at least the 230V version. A bassist friend of mine has been waiting for the new TC for months, have to ask whether it has finally arrived. It may be the winner. As for the HotOne, I'll post a brief report of today's gig to my thread on Interblock and HotOne. You asked for it.
    thanks Glitter , appreciate it ,
    have a great gig

    yes i would be interested in your bass player ‘s
    experience with the little TC bam 200 too

  15. #14

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    A bass player used to play with had a Trace Elliot. I wasn't impressed with it at all. I would be mildly interested to try the TC, just out of curiosity, but I already have GK MB200, and I'm satisfied with it. I don't actually use it a lot, but it's great for those times when a small, light but powerful head is needed, and a cabinet is already in place. If I need to carry a cabinet, I just take my Little Jazz.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    A bass player used to play with had a Trace Elliot. I wasn't impressed with it at all. I would be mildly interested to try the TC, just out of curiosity, but I already have GK MB200, and I'm satisfied with it. I don't actually use it a lot, but it's great for those times when a small, light but powerful head is needed, and a cabinet is already in place. If I need to carry a cabinet, I just take my Little Jazz.
    I know what you mean re Trace Elliot .....
    yeah if I already had a GKmb200 I'd be cool with that

    but the TC is £110 , bargain innit ?
    if it works ok , if it sounds like a GK then cool

  17. #16

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    If I had no small head already, I would be interested in the TC, no doubt, especially at that price. But I just don't need another amp, so while i have mild interest out of curiosity, I'm not likely to buy one, even if it's very good and very cheap, which is a rare combination. I certainly wouldn't fault anyone else for buying one. I'm more interested in the little GSS Jazzkat combo, though.

  18. #17
    yeah they look really great

    just that ive got a small 4 ohm speaker
    already i wanna try out
    (a jbl control 1) and the GSS
    wont drive 4 ohms

    the TC+Jbl rig would be about
    7.5 lbs
    the GSS combo is 5lbs
    the TC will prob get louder though

  19. #18

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    You could always use two speakers to raise the resistance. But I do see your point. If you're just buying a head, the GSS model might not make complete sense.

  20. #19

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    Ok having done a gig with don_oz a couple of months back, my perception of this amp is that the sound was plenty loud to gig with, but also (perhaps to be expected) heavy on the midrange, light on the bass. If you play with acoustic bass, esp unamplified bass, this is no bad thing.

    Be interested to hear it drive something bigger. I have a light 10” speaker cab knocking around ....

  21. #20

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    I’m quite interested in their bigger speaker options. A 1 x 12” at 5.5kg is pretty mega. That’s lighter than my AER. If it sounds good, with a light power amp and the SansAmp flyrig, I think I’d have a great setup. Maybe use the GSS power amp and swap out their speakers appropriate to the gig.

  22. #21

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    The power amp is just glued to the back of the small cabinet, so it can easily become a head. It drives an 8 " to quite reasonable duo volumes, though not horn volumes.
    I'm not using mine currently, happy for someone to try it here with an ext cab
    Last edited by Franz 1997; 07-24-2019 at 08:07 AM.

  23. #22

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    Maybe I’ll get a power amp then

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I’m quite interested in their bigger speaker options. A 1 x 12” at 5.5kg is pretty mega. That’s lighter than my AER. If it sounds good, with a light power amp and the SansAmp flyrig, I think I’d have a great setup. Maybe use the GSS power amp and swap out their speakers appropriate to the gig.
    with SS stuff generally

    the idea of having the same front end , power amp
    (and ones choice of pre amp if required)
    and changing up the cabinet depending on the gig ....
    (you our only carry the weight you need to carry)

    is is a good concept I think
    I'm exploring this myself atmo
    and have been very surprised and pleased
    with the results from very small (5" speakers !)
    just for moderate level rehearsals tho

    early days

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Maybe I’ll get a power amp then
    I'd recommend you try before you buy; you can borrow this one if you like.

    They are good amps, but since I have both polytone and mambo 8" amps, I'm not using it as much as I expected to

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I’m quite interested in their bigger speaker options. A 1 x 12” at 5.5kg is pretty mega. That’s lighter than my AER. If it sounds good, with a light power amp and the SansAmp flyrig, I think I’d have a great setup. Maybe use the GSS power amp and swap out their speakers appropriate to the gig.
    Yeah that looks like a good setup Christian
    and only about 13lbs total for a 50watt 1x12" rig

    (I'm going to a rehearsal tonight with my 7 lb setup
    TC Bam200 + 1x5" speaker
    hope it works out !)

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997 View Post
    I'd recommend you try before you buy; you can borrow this one if you like.

    They are good amps, but since I have both polytone and mambo 8" amps, I'm not using it as much as I expected to
    Was thinking more like Seymour duncan powerstage or a quilter power amp. I don’t have any money atm so it’s a moot point haha.

  28. #27

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    Just a personal take on this and other small amp offerings. Of the different ones I've owned over th past years,Quilter Aviators have been the most reliable and best sounding guitar amps for the size and power.

    Also with the dual channels I've been able to use the 2nd channel for either a michrophone,synth,etc. along with my regular electric in the main channel.
    Another plus is the direct out sounds great as well.

    Not sure what more one could ask for in a small 5 lb package. Oh yes Jack Z. It also has a great reverb!

  29. #28

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    Reverb is for the weak ;-)

    Actually in all seriousness I really like the sound of my 175 through my AER with no reverb. The guitar also sounds very good through PA weirdly.

    I’m probably going mad.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Reverb is for the weak ;-)

    Actually in all seriousness I really like the sound of my 175 through my AER with no reverb. The guitar also sounds very good through PA weirdly.

    I’m probably going mad.
    I don't like reverb either ...
    i like my 16" laminate through a flat amp or PA too

    you are not going mad .... Dry is fly
    hey a Sax doesn't have reverb
    a snare drum doesn't etc

  31. #30

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    My Wu almost makes its own reverb. I have a reverb pedal, and a couple of amps that have it, but I seldom use any. If I do use reverb, it's set so that I can barely detect it. Any more than that sounds cheesy, no matter what reverb it is, pedal or amp, even on my Vibrolux Reverb. But different strokes...

  32. #31

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    Yeah.... I think I’d prefer to have reverb as a colour not a default. Actually I use delay when I want a more ambient or modern tone, but I have to say for the majority of the music I perform - straightahead, swing etc - little or no reverb is best.

    With acoustic I am often using verb to compensate for the lack of resonance in under saddle piezo pickups. Not ideal, but it’s a trade off against feedback.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by newsense View Post
    Not sure whether you were serious about the Hotone, but with the one I bought, every time I switched it on, the power transients rebooted my PC. I suspect it wasn't the fault of the amp, but that the separate power supply was very poorly designed. It went back to Amazon for a full refund.
    Ho Tone, aptly named. I bet your PC ain't complaining about the power transients turn on. That is a good reboot to start its day-got it all lit up. That good, huh? Pity your PC; I bet it wished you had kept it.

    A pedalboard full of 'Ho-es with janky power supplies, playing at the next dive near you...
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 07-26-2019 at 04:37 AM.

  34. #33

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    A late addition to this thread, just to add another possible choice for Euro members. I've been trying out the French GSS 100W guitar head ( 2 x 100W with ext) with my 8" cab, and have been quite impressed. Far more important, my alto playing friend was so impressed that he commented on how great it sounded. Sax players don't usually do that kind of thing, they talk about reeds. Considering I'm a serial mambo fanboy, that caught my interest. I was only taking it to that gig to see if it worked as a mambo back-up setup, but it's a real alternative with a very good sound. It will fill a big room, with an 8" cab. It's a much bigger sound than the tiny GSS jazzcat combo of PG fame, not surprisingly.

    The head is about the size of a large box of matches, and 1 lb. So small it's hard to believe it's 100W, but it really is. I found the tone less sterile than the AI, and less coloured than a Polytone. The upsides are extreme portability, an eq section that is geared towards jazz gtr., a very reasonable 159 Euros (I think it's around that), and great, balanced, non-sterile ( warm? over-used I think) tone on 5/5/5 settings. It won't do fender scoop. The power supply is separate ( so you have to carry that too, making a hefty 1.5lb.) No reverb, though not sure if that is a downside: it sounds great without, always a good sign.

    Anyway, there we are, yet another alternative small class guitar D head. I rate it, especially for the money. But it needs an 8 ohm cab, so it might not work with every cab, just with most.

    PS Also trying out a barefaced 'jazz' guitar cab soon. They offered, which is nice..

    Boutique

  35. #34

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    I've thought about GSS amps, but the huge external power supply and the proprietary speaker cable connector are deal breakers for me. The GK MB200 isn't much larger, weighs about the same, needs only a standard AC cable, and has a Speakon connector. I'll stay with that. But more options can only be welcome.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997 View Post
    A late addition to this thread, just to add another possible choice for Euro members. I've been trying out the French GSS 100W guitar head ( 2 x 100W with ext) with my 8" cab, and have been quite impressed. Far more important, my alto playing friend was so impressed that he commented on how great it sounded. Sax players don't usually do that kind of thing, they talk about reeds. Considering I'm a serial mambo fanboy, that caught my interest. I was only taking it to that gig to see if it worked as a mambo back-up setup, but it's a real alternative with a very good sound. It will fill a big room, with an 8" cab. It's a much bigger sound than the tiny GSS jazzcat combo of PG fame, not surprisingly.

    The head is about the size of a large box of matches, and 1 lb. So small it's hard to believe it's 100W, but it really is. I found the tone less sterile than the AI, and less coloured than a Polytone. The upsides are extreme portability, an eq section that is geared towards jazz gtr., a very reasonable 159 Euros (I think it's around that), and great, balanced, non-sterile ( warm? over-used I think) tone on 5/5/5 settings. It won't do fender scoop. The power supply is separate ( so you have to carry that too, making a hefty 1.5lb.) No reverb, though not sure if that is a downside: it sounds great without, always a good sign.

    Anyway, there we are, yet another alternative small class guitar D head. I rate it, especially for the money. But it needs an 8 ohm cab, so it might not work with every cab, just with most.

    PS Also trying out a barefaced 'jazz' guitar cab soon. They offered, which is nice..

    Boutique
    thats really good to know ...

    im very much looking forward
    to see what you think of the barefaced cabs

    genuinely innovative tech
    i believe ....

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I've thought about GSS amps, but the huge external power supply and the proprietary speaker cable connector are deal breakers for me. The GK MB200 isn't much larger, weighs about the same, needs only a standard AC cable, and has a Speakon connector. I'll stay with that. But more options can only be welcome.
    yeah nice amp the GK ...
    i nearly got one for myself
    (ended up with a Bam200
    which i also like a lot)

    having a a micro amp and
    a couple of different cab options is a good way to go
    i think ...

    the Barefaced cabs look great
    for the louder end of things

    they even said they could load their 10” cab with their proprietary 200 watt 10” bass speaker

    that should be one lightweight LOUD speaker !

  38. #37

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    Since this thread keeps lingering on alternatives to the subject matter, I'll chime in again. If reverb is no issue, then G+K MB 200, Trace Elliot Elf and TC Electronic BAM200 are very close contenders as compact jazz guitar amps. I have all of them. Their build quality is excellent. For bass, I still prefer the MB. Deep bass end, contour switch and four-band eq are its plusses. With guitar, BAM has a warm, dynamic and tube-like tone. On the kitchen scale, it weighs 738 g / 1.63 lbs, i.e. significantly less than the stated 2 lbs. The Elf (at least the 240V version) is way heavier than stated. Many micro-amps are lighter still than this trio, but they have external power units which add weight and clutter just as much as an external reverb does. The BAM is my current fave as a TOOB demo/gig amp. The Elf has found a role as an occasional keyboard amp, hooked to a 10" TOOB bass cab.

    PS Forgot to say that, for 133 euros at Thomann, the BAM is a steal.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    Since this thread keeps lingering on alternatives to the subject matter, I'll chime in again. If reverb is no issue, then G+K MB 200, Trace Elliot Elf and TC Electronic BAM200 are very close contenders as compact jazz guitar amps. I have all of them. Their build quality is excellent. For bass, I still prefer the MB. Deep bass end, contour switch and four-band eq are its plusses. With guitar, BAM has a warm, dynamic and tube-like tone. On the kitchen scale, it weighs 738 g / 1.63 lbs, i.e. significantly less than the stated 2 lbs. The Elf (at least the 240V version) is way heavier than stated. Many micro-amps are lighter still than this trio, but they have external power units which add weight and clutter just as much as an external reverb does. The BAM is my current fave as a TOOB demo/gig amp. The Elf has found a role as an occasional keyboard amp, hooked to a 10" TOOB bass cab.

    PS Forgot to say that, for 133 euros at Thomann, the BAM is a steal.
    You are saying the BAM doesn’t have an external power unit?

    Sounds like a great shout if so. I have a reverb pedal, and the fly rig for that matter.

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    You are saying the BAM doesn’t have an external power unit?

    Sounds like a great shout if so. I have a reverb pedal, and the fly rig for that matter.
    Guitar Sound Systems GSS-f915d441-ad78-4ebf-9710-a836096f38a5-jpg

  41. #40

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    I would be very interested in the BAM if I didn't already have the MB200. But I can't justify yet another mini head. I tried the Trace Elliot head when I jammed with a bassist who had one. I was not impressed.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Guitar Sound Systems GSS-f915d441-ad78-4ebf-9710-a836096f38a5-jpg
    Cor!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I've thought about GSS amps, but the huge external power supply and the proprietary speaker cable connector are deal breakers for me. The GK MB200 isn't much larger, weighs about the same, needs only a standard AC cable, and has a Speakon connector. I'll stay with that. But more options can only be welcome.
    I completely agree with you, all the extra stuff is a PITA. I'm not trying to push the GSS head particularly, just another option, but just want to make the point that the only reason I'll put up with these slight nuisances is because I like the sound so much. I don't understand the logic of having a separate power supply either, unless it's cost. You have to give GSS credit for at least putting a jazz demo video with an actual jazz guitar player on their site. That certainly makes a change.

    I've had enough experience with class D amps to know that they just don't all the sound the same, and you've got to find a sound that you're happy with. One example (for me) is that I've had a couple of AI amps before these other choices became available, and tried hard to like them but couldn't get over what to me was a rather sterile sound. Fortunately they sold easily and quickly.

    Maybe the TC BAM amp is an exception - at that price, it's almost worth a punt without hearing it first.