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This article was originally published in issue #48
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The Magni combos, like the Reidmar heads, are not about growly tube tone, nor do they pretend to be hot rod bass monsters.
You know where you stand with EBS
Great clean sounds with punch and detail
Functions aren’t foot switchable
Sweden's mighty EBS makes a welcome return to the Bassment...where Magni, with a little help from Dan Veall, tries to demolish a wall.
Enter Magni! Son of Thor! Bring on your mighty strength! Yes, we're back to Norse mythology with this 2x10 combo from EBS which, with its 1x15 alternative version, aims to distill the tones of the larger EBS stacks in easier to move and more convenient combo packages. In this particular 21Kg package you get two EBS 10” speakers and a high frequency tweeter for top end tonal sparkle.
As should always be the case with a combo, the Magni was easy to operate and very self-contained, with the controls on the back edge facing upward. The panel is tidy, easy to understand and includes a pre-shape control and bypass-able four band EQ. A simple but musical EBS compressor with just a single control is on board to control transients and in my video seemed subtle in use, that may have been down to the bass I was using.
The four band EQ is a nod to the controls on Magni’s siblings, specifically the Reidmar heads we have reviewed in the past. They all feature bass, semi-parametric mids, treble and bright controls - musical and great sounding with just the right EQ frequency centres for most instruments. So, what does ‘musical’ mean in this context? Well, let’s just say I’ve used amplifiers in the past where the EQ centres, Q or even amplitude sweep, just doesn’t appear to suit the configuration. This is often met with the exclamation, 'I just can't seem to get a good tone out of this amp!' Well, in this case, I’m pretty sure you’ll be pleased that you are hearing a nice clear version of your actual instrument with a dash of that ‘EBS’ flavour!
The mid control has a frequency knob that can be swept from down in the bass range at 100hz all the way up to 6Khz, meeting the point at which the treble control takes over. The bright control allows you to add some real sheen and air to your bass sound, making new strings sound extra zingy!
I really liked disabling the EQ altogether in favour of using just the pre-shape function instead on the Reidmar 750, plugged into a larger cabinet, but on the Magni, given the overall smaller footprint, I did add a dash of extra low from the onboard EQ for this particular room. I think that the frequency curve for the pre-shape for each of these models is actually spot on and as I found with an EBS Session 60 which I reviewed a long while ago in these pages, it seems to make the combo sound much bigger than it actually was. No surprises to hear that the same effect was noticed with this combo too so well done EBS for this very clever sleight of hand!
Round the back of the cabinet are all the connections you may need, including an Effects Loop, DI output, Headphone socket and a Line Out. There’s also a Speakon connector for changing an external cabinet to the combo (8 Ohms minimum rating) to help move some more air!
For those who like a neat and matching stack, you could find a problem with choosing an EBS cabinet to complete the look as these combos have a design that is distinct from the rest of the range. The ‘Neo Line’ being the closest I guess. OK, maybe I'm splitting hairs, because of course you could connect any EBS 8 Ohm cabinet and it’d be fine, but a matching extension cab would be a nice addition, I feel.
Perhaps a more significant exclusion is that there is no footswitch function on offer. If that matters to you, you may want to look elsewhere but many won't even notice it's missing.
The Magni combos, like the Reidmar heads, are not about growly tube tone, nor do they pretend to be hot rod bass monsters. What they do is reproduce your bass tone faithfully. I felt that playing through the Reidmar 750 stack, also reviewed, with my normal bass, my notes were controlled without flappy subs or incoherence. Some would call this a 'tight' and 'clean' sound and I'd agree. You can expect something similar from this great combo which has plenty of punchy, clean output. If that sounds like the sort of tone you are after then you simply have to check this one out!