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This article was originally published in issue #40
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Back in GI 13 we reviewed the original EBS Reidmar head and liked it a lot. Then we paired it with one of the Swedish company's CL (Classic Line) 1x12” cabs but this time we paired the new version with the meatier CL4x10 cab, which really rattled the rafters down here at GI Towers!
I will hold my hands up and admit that we debated a bit about whether to review what is, on paper at any rate, not such a huge upgrade to a product we've reviewed before. Space is at a premium, there is always a lot of gear to review, and though this was a power upgrade (from 500 Watts to 750 at four Ohms) was that enough of a reason? Well, I’m glad we grabbed the opportunity, as you’ll see!
Out of the box, the amplifier head feels solid and sturdy in its metal casing, which is rewarding. There is a temptation for manufacturers aiming for the lightweight Class D bass amp market to opt for flimsy materials, but EBS has resisted this and the Reidmar seems to be very well made. Despite that, and despite the fact that it will now deliver 750 Watts, it still only weighs under 4Kg (just over 8lbs).
Before the cameras rolled, I decided to take this ‘rig’ for a spin. This is where I get to spend some proper time with each piece of kit, in the same room to compare and get used to what an amplifier and cabinet combination is capable of. Well, let's just say that one of the ‘digital’ team was upstairs, outside of our sound-proofed studio and wearing headphones. Hecame down to see what all the noise was about. So yes, this new Reidmar head is capable of some big sounds! If you are also familiar with the sort of tones that come from EBS bass gear in general, then I could very easily close the review here with a similarly big thumbs up!
OK, still here? Great, let's get on to that front panel. EBS includes a great ‘Character’ switch. This pre-shape EQ is just spot on and would go as far as leaving the active EQ disabled for a lot of gig situations. There’s enough there for it to be a ‘make your bass sound great’ button!
The full equaliser features beefy boost in the lows and just the right amount of shine when boosting the treble and bright controls. Plectrum bite is accentuated nicely and I adore the sheen that the bright control can add to ultra new zingy strings. It’s not all about top and bottom though, even if EBS bass heads are kinda known as being ‘really clean’ sounding amplifiers. A semi-parametric EQ means that we have access to mid range sculpting via a sweepable mid-range frequency control. I am a fan of parametric equalisers and would be happy to see at least three bands on any bass amplifier.
The Reidmar paired with the 410CL cabinet does go very loud indeed and all that clean audio at tinnitus inducing volumes is rather lovely, but the Reidmar 750 does have a darker side which you may venture into with the ‘drive’ knob. The manual describes the function as a volume compensated tube emulation stage offering up huge gain as well as compressing the bass signal; at maximum settings produces ‘pure imitation’. Make no mistake, EBS can do grit as well as pristine!
The difficulty with making a really small and light amplifier is that some features, like large power and speaker sockets, often have to make way for a cut down feature set. The Reidmar however comes fully equipped with a range of hook-ups. The mains switch, and voltage selector are on the left hand side of a forced air fan keeping things cool and over on the right hand side, there is a single Speakon connector for your speaker cabinets. The 750 also has an effects loop and a headphone socket as well as a line out jack. A balanced DI is a familiar addition on most amplifiers and it’s nice to see an Aux In for connecting external audio devices to play along to.
The 410 CL cabinet we had in for review with the new head features four 10” speakers and a 2” tweeter in the middle of the cabinet. Its multi laminate ply construction means that it is a sturdy beast and I am pleased to say comes in at 34Kg (76 lbs) which isn’t so bad for a non-neodymium speaker loaded cabinet. There are plenty heavier out there - I know. I’ve owned many!
Tonally, it's described as being a little warmer than the EBS Pro Line cabinets and I would be inclined to agree, but that said, the top end boost on the amplifier coupled to a very capable tweeter means that you still have access to some serious Hi-Fi slap tones if you need. On the subject of the tweeter, I am pleased to say it delivers a crystal clear top end, even when the amplifier is working hard.
It would be good to hear this head rampaging away on top of a pair of these 410CL cabs but sadly it seems the 410CL is only available in four Ohms versions. Of course, if you were feeling really determined, there is an 8x10 version available that would achieve much the same thing, but do you really fancy regular trips to the osteopath?
All in all, this is a great addition to the EBS range and pairs really well with the 4x10 Classic Line cab, being capable of a very clean sound with plenty of volume to keep up with your heavy handed drummer. And if you want to make things gnarly and cut through the mix? Well, that will be even easier.
I’m really impressed with this set-up which not only does the job very well but does it at a very good price too, considering the quality on offer.