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  1. #1

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    I'm getting questions about these two great micro-amps. My experience so far suggests that they should get married or at least have a child together. In other words, it's a tie. Having used the SuperBlock US during a 5-day jazz camp all I can say is it is loud enough in a band setting, despite a heavy-handed drummer and a fairly large (265 seats) venue. This with a 6.5" TOOB Metro 6.5BG. The TC Electronic BAM200 offers more clean headroom and a great tone, but less features. The SuperBlock has on-board reverb, FX loop, line out and a separate power unit; the BAM is more Spartan overall and has no reverb, but the power unit is built-in. Equal clutter. The Quilter can be battery-fed on 24V and even 9V. BAM has to be plugged in all the time.

    Mrs Gitterbug's compromise between two pairs of shoes is: buy both and enjoy them. I think these two amps are the best the market offers in the bantam weight category. Having both is not a huge investment, so instead of either or I recommend both and.

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  3. #2

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    I almost bought the BAM but went with the US Superblock for it's additional features. I play guitar and bass almost exclusively at home and didn't really need either one. For bass I have a Rumble 100, a Rumble LT25 (with added speaker output so I plug into a 1x12 eminence beta cab) and a Behringer Ultrabass HD3000 (can go into the 1x12 but I'm putting two 1x8s together with a 4 or 16 ohm switch for it) and an Ampeg BA110...so plenty to choose from...on the guitar side I have a Katana MKi head and Katana MKii combo plus several smaller amps, my modded Epiphone Valve Jr and Bugera v5 are favorites....couple other micro amps and now the SuperBlock US, so I'm more than covered for my needs. Love the Superblock, I plugged in a Yamaha FG820 dreadnought acoustic using a Woody magnetic soundhole pickup and thought the 57 model sounded pretty good...SB is a very versatile amp for my needs..Also, the SB can run into any of my several modest cabs but have been mainly using it through a Randall RG8 cab for a good sound...

  4. #3

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    Well apparently it’s going to be at least November till I get my hands on one of these here superblocks. Grumpy about this.

  5. #4

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    I think what might help the decision is "Clean Headroom" VS "A Little (or a lot) of Crunch".

    I've been Quilter for about 3 or 4 years now after decades of Mesa. I can't speak to the Bam, but Quilter has really figured out how to implement Gain, Master and Limiter to get the old tube feel.

    Of course, there's many many jazz players who are more "All Clean All the Time, and the Cleaner the Better." Maybe Bam is the one for them?

    I think Mrs Gitterbug has the right idea though. I really do!

    Christian: I have felt your pain. I waited something like 6 months for the Mesa Mark0. You have my sympathies.

  6. #5

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    I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days now. I own the TCE but the Quilter looks interesting.

  7. #6

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    November? Thomann claim they have the UK version on stock and will get the US version for September. Quilter Labs issued a backlog update in July for both SuperBlocks and the Aviator Cub. August-September for all.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    November? Thomann claim they have the UK version on stock and will get the US version for September. Quilter Labs issued a backlog update in July for both SuperBlocks and the Aviator Cub. August-September for all.
    I haven’t ordered anything from the continent since Brexit. What’s the vibe atm, or have you been avoiding it?

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I haven’t ordered anything from the continent since Brexit. What’s the vibe atm, or have you been avoiding it?
    What atm are you referring to? I've been shipping a few units to UK lately, a 12B again tomorrow. From Feb-March onwards, no logistical hiccups or delays. You will have to pay VAT and some local charges. The German VAT is back to 19%, so you are not losing a lot vs. pre-Brexit.

    Cheers,

    Markku

  10. #9

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    Hey jazzers,

    A little bit out if topic, but anyway since we are talking if amp heads + speakers…I have acquired both a Quilter 101 and a BAM200 to pair with my Toob 12’. Both are great but with different sounds. Quilter is definitely fenderish while BAM is less colored with lots are medium bass though. As said, BAM necessitates an additional reverb pedal, which I had already.

    I’ll keep the 2 of them.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I haven’t ordered anything from the continent since Brexit. What’s the vibe atm, or have you been avoiding it?
    Thomann advises "in stock in 1-2 weeks". From what I hear, transporters seem to have a last got their heads around the logistics of a post-Brexit world so I wouldn't worry unduly about importing to the UK from the continent.
    I don't have the Superblock US because my Fender sounds are nicely covered by my TMDR, but I do have the Superblock UK with its Marshall and Vox voicings, as well as the BAM200 for my superclean sounds. The BAM is also used for my violin bass and takes the 3 pedals I use with it very nicely : Fender Tre-Verb because the BAM has neither reverb nor tremolo, MXR MR87 bass compressor, Boss GEB-7 bass eq.
    Mrs Gitterbug's advice is sound - get in line with it.......
    In the world of small amps a BAM200 plus 2 Superblocks isn't excessively expensive

    Answer to the OP's initial question is therefore BAM200 AND Superblock(s)

  12. #11

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    I bought the Super Block USA last week. I've never been a Quilter fan (and I kept trying) but this amp is fantastic. It's easy to dial in. It's quiet and I love the sounds I'm getting. Video should be posted in the next day or two.

  13. #12

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    I'm totally clueless with regards to Quilters. How does the Toneblock 202 compare in all of this?


    I have a vague recollection of it being mentioned the last time we talked about TOOB speakers?

  14. #13

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    ToneBlock 202 VS Super Block, as far as I can tell:

    They both have the same knob functions. They have a bit different voice switches. The SuperBlock has a cab sim switch where the 202 doesn't. (cab sim only affects line out and phones). The 202 is much larger, but still quite small. It's 200 watts VS 25 (more clean head-room?). 202 fits in the BlockDocks if you want a nice compact combo amp. 202 has on-board power transformer. SuperBlock has a brick. 202 doesn't really fit on a pedalboard that well.

    It's at least difficult to know what the tone differences might be with a given speaker at a given volume. Like... how do the tone stacks compare? I suspect they're similar. I don't know why they'd change that. They tweaked it when the 202 came out, and it's about perfect for me. I like it much better than the Aviator I had before. 202 has a voice they call Full Q, which is great for folks that don't like the blackface scoop so much. (it has that too)

    And then there's the SuperB USA vs UK, with their different amp voicings.I wish there was a store around here where you could try all these things side by side. I've had to buy blind, or should I say deaf?

    Oh... and the TB202 costs about twice as much.

    I'm happy to hear Jim likes his SuperBlock. I suspect he might be experiencing the tone stack differences from earlier offerings.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    What atm are you referring to? I've been shipping a few units to UK lately, a 12B again tomorrow. From Feb-March onwards, no logistical hiccups or delays. You will have to pay VAT and some local charges. The German VAT is back to 19%, so you are not losing a lot vs. pre-Brexit.

    Cheers,

    Markku
    Good to know. Thomann had a info page which I saw after I asked this, so, I am almost 40% less grumpy.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    ToneBlock 202 VS Super Block, as far as I can tell:

    They both have the same knob functions. They have a bit different voice switches. The SuperBlock has a cab sim switch where the 202 doesn't. (cab sim only affects line out and phones). The 202 is much larger, but still quite small. It's 200 watts VS 25 (more clean head-room?). 202 fits in the BlockDocks if you want a nice compact combo amp. 202 has on-board power transformer. SuperBlock has a brick. 202 doesn't really fit on a pedalboard that well.

    It's at least difficult to know what the tone differences might be with a given speaker at a given volume. Like... how do the tone stacks compare? I suspect they're similar. I don't know why they'd change that. They tweaked it when the 202 came out, and it's about perfect for me. I like it much better than the Aviator I had before. 202 has a voice they call Full Q, which is great for folks that don't like the blackface scoop so much. (it has that too)

    And then there's the SuperB USA vs UK, with their different amp voicings.I wish there was a store around here where you could try all these things side by side. I've had to buy blind, or should I say deaf?

    Oh... and the TB202 costs about twice as much.

    I'm happy to hear Jim likes his SuperBlock. I suspect he might be experiencing the tone stack differences from earlier offerings.

    Thanks for the great write up. Double the price sounds so serious, but given how cheap the SuperBlock is then it isn't that big a deal .. at least for me. I like that it's compact and there is no brick attached. I like that it has more power and if the voicings are similar I'd be inclined to go with the Toneblock. I have no idea how much power is too much in context with the TOOB as I've only ever owned combo's so never had to think about speakers

    But I'm endeared with how nice and compact a package of a TOOB + a block of sorts is


    Thanks!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    during a 5-day jazz camp.
    A bit off topic, but where did you go to jazz camp?
    I've been to 3 different jazz camps in Sweden. It would be cool to try a jazzcamp in Finland if you know of something that doesn't require understanding Finnish.

  18. #17

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    Hi there! It's held annually in Otava near Mikkeli or S:t Michel, some 230 km northeast from Helsinki. This was the 22nd time. Otavan Opisto | Otavan Opisto. All information on the web is in Finnish only I believe, but all the tutors and most participants speak English. In fact, Canadian trumpets Alan Matheson is a perennial guest tutor, alas impeded this year and last by the Covid curse. If you're interested, I can talk to the camp leader Petri Krzywacki, himself a superb jazz guitarist who's studied in the UK. Are you Swedish? Quite a few participants are Swedish-speaking Finns.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    Hi there! It's held annually in Otava near Mikkeli or S:t Michel, some 230 km northeast from Helsinki. This was the 22nd time. Otavan Opisto | Otavan Opisto. All information on the web is in Finnish only I believe, but all the tutors and most participants speak English. In fact, Canadian trumpets Alan Matheson is a perennial guest tutor, alas impeded this year and last by the Covid curse. If you're interested, I can talk to the camp leader Petri Krzywacki, himself a superb jazz guitarist who's studied in the UK. Are you Swedish? Quite a few participants are Swedish-speaking Finns.
    Sounds really cool!
    I've come across Petri on youtube. I agree he is a superb guitarist.
    I'll think I'll consider this a serious option for next summer. I'll perhaps send you a private message with more questions at some point.
    I'm Icelandic but I've been living in Stockholm for 10 years now.

  20. #19

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    I’ve been doing a run of gigs on my Toob Metro BG/BAM 200, been busy enough to form a strong impression.

    Everyone has been intrigued and impressed. I’ve been running my ES 175 into either my Nocturne Brain El Pescadoro or Tech 21 FlyRig 5 as a colour preamp/reverb just for the needs of the gig, but tbh the thing sounds great on its own, although I find it very dynamic and often find myself wishing for a little compression, which those pedals provide ably.

    It does obviously do the ‘small amp turned up’ thing which I’m finding odd after so long of not playing live, and playing at practice room level through my Princeton, but tbh with the SansAmp I would actually be hard pressed to choose between this and a small Fender amp like a Blues or Pro Jr and I know what’s lighter… if the quilter gets it all in one box, then that would be great. I would also definitely use the cab sim. I’m not getting too hung up about the wattage number.

    I don’t think there’d be a problem with drums with the BAM. It’s loud enough for a big band. On a wooden stage there’s a hilarious amount of bass that I need to roll off. as with most small amps I feel you need to use the floor, so this can change things depending on the nature of that surface.