Labsystems 250B Amplifier Head Reviews 5

I bought this amplifier new from The Bass Player Sydney in about 1995. The thing that attracted me to it at the time, was that it seemed to offer very good value for money, compared to similarly spec'ed imported bass amps. I paid about $1200.00 Australian(approximately $600.00 U.S.) for it. It has a single input which is selectable for either passive or active basses via a push / push button. It also features a built in compressor with a single ratio knob, which, although very simple and offering no control over the attack, release, and threshhold levels, it nevertheless seems to have very well chosen pre-set frequencies and levels for these functions. To my ears at least, it's the nicest sounding commpression I've heard for bass. Very smooth, warm and punchy.

The equaliser is four band, consisting of: Low, Low mid, High mid and Treble. These are active equalisers and can make a huge cut or boost where ever you'd like to put it. There are also two voicing pots, to tailor the upper mids and highs to your preferences. There is a 600 ohm balanced out D.I. for the soundman, and it has in and out jacks on the front panel for the effects loop. In a nutshell, the thing that sold me on this amp, is its sound. A very warm sound considering that it's a non valve amplifier. But, it's more than just the warmth though, it somehow had an exciting edge to it's sound ( even eq'd flat with no fiddling ) that I just did'nt hear in any other amp I tried. I just had to have it. No bull. A real killer bass sound this one. ( In my opinion )

If there is anything that I would add to this amp to improve it, it would be a blender pot for the effects loop, and also, an input gain control with perhaps a meter to set the input gain optimally. Although it's never blown one, I would also feel more comfortable having a trip switch on the power input rather than a fuse.

This amplifier is all solid state, mosfet design. It has a powerful torroidal transformer and is built using high quality military grade components. It is compact ( about the same size as a G.K. 400 RB ) and very robustly constructed using heavy gauge folded sheet metal casing. They are supplied with a two year warranty. The output is rated at 240 watts into 4 ohms. The manufacturers website says that this is a conservative rating, and that users should be careful to not blow their speakers. I'd believe it too. I've never had to push the volume more that just over half way, and it's LOUD. ( I use a G.Benz quad and a EV 15.)

This particular amp was superseded about two or three years ago by a 300 watt model. The new one has fan cooling and reportedly, an improved pre-amp. I feel no need to upgrade though. I have had my 250B for seven years now and I still hav'nt heard anything ( live ) that's been able to beat its sound, and I've been playing bass for thirty years.

Trevor rated this unit 5 on 2001-12-02.

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