Lab Systems SS600 Reviews 5

I have played bass for 8 years now in a cover band playing classic and Australian pub rock from the 70's, 80's and 90's. Before that I had been practicing and familiarising myself with bass technique for around two years. I started with a Peavey Basic 60, purchased new. It was good for practice. I then sold it and purchased a Yamaha B100 to attempt to keep up with a drummer and tube guitar amplifiers in the band. (They still could not work the amps). It was a little clanky and noisy, and did not have that bass drive that you expect from a bass. After a year I sold the Yamaha and replaced it with a Marshall B150 combo. This amp was close to the sound I wanted and had enough balls to get by live, but it still lacked that attack that I expected from an amp. In a couple of years it was evident to me that I needed an amplifier with a heap of headroom to be able to produce the warm bass tones at volume without overdriving the speaker. I had heard of Lab Systems but knew next to nothing about them.

When I walked into a local music store here in Perth just to try a few, and after giving a budget to the assistant I was directed to a Harke 350 head and a transporter 410 cab. It was impressive, it had punch and power to deliver in spades, but no warmth. No matter what I tried I could not get 'blues' style tones from it. I had first noticed the Ampeg classic SVT410HE with a Lab Systems SS600 sitting atop looking a little out of place because of it's 'brand new' apearance and small 'component' style lines compared to the 'beaten up' looking SVT410. When I plugged into it and played however, all the tones I wished for were there.

The Lab Systems SS600 delivers a myriad of tones from funk and jazz to booming low end and well balanced rock from top to bottom, leaving no frequencies behind in teh power of it. Nothing gets lost! I have no doubt that if were a bassist in a Death metal band by night and a jazz bassist by day playing a funk gig once a week you would only need this amp. It's solid construction make it robust and the toroidal transformer delivers a heap of power while remaining light and compact enough to sling under your arm and carry it to a gig without straining your back.

Caution must be taken not to damage speaker cabinets. I have had the SS600 volume pot @ 3/4 and I was tentative about playing too hard lest it give the SVT cab an aneurism. It is only rated at 500 watts, but it should take a little overdriving.

Steel chassie and solid state jfet preamp and High Power/High Current Power amp. (2RU rack space unit).

What a monster! Most tones you could wish for with a ton of power if you require it. I have found my amplification destination.

Rooney rated this unit 5 on 2007-10-08.

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