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Eden Terra Nova TN2252 Bass Combo Amplifier

Does this relatively lightweight combo pack a heavyweight punch?


by Phil O'Keefe



When I first saw the press release about the Eden Terra Nova TN2252 I knew right away I wanted to try to borrow one for a review. I have used a friend's older Eden Nemesis 2x10 combo on several gigs, and know it well. Its size and power generally suited my needs, and I've always liked the portability and punchy sound you can get from a 2x10 combo. Eden is a well respected name in the bass community, and have been making bass amplifiers for over forty years now, and I wanted to see what their latest 2x10 combo model had to offer. Now that I've had a chance to use it, I can share the details with you... 






What You Need To Know

  • The Eden Terra Nova packages the Eden 226 head into a combo amp format, adding two ten inch speakers and a high frequency horn driver in a bottom ported cabinet that measures 15.9" H x 22.8" W x 15.9" D and weighs in at 49.3 pounds, making it quite light and portable by bass amp standards.

  • The high frequency tweeter is mounted to a plastic horn. The crossover frequency is set at 4kHz.
  • The Terra Nova's cabinet is covered in a black felt or carpet-like fabric. The speakers are protected by a black metal grille, and a pair of slit ports are located along the bottom front edge of the enclosure. Two hardware-less cloth-covered handles are inset into the left and right sides of the cabinet.


 

  • The top mounted control panel is well laid out and it will make sense to you fairly quickly. There are two input jacks; one for passive basses and a second one designed for use with basses with hotter or active pickups. A Mute switch, complete with LED to let you know when it's active, mutes the amp at the input stage - perfect for when the band takes a short break.

  • You also have a Comp switch and LED for the built-in compressor, but that's the extent of the compressor's controls. It's based on the auto-compressor in the Eden WT550. When activated it does seem to gently compress things and helps you keep your playing dynamics a bit more even, but if you're looking for more control or heavy squash and want to use compression as more of an "effect", you'll want an outboard compressor.

  • The Input Gain knob sets the Terra Nova's preamp gain stage. A clip light right next to it lets you know if you're going too far - and if you're the type who likes doing that sort of thing, you can get a bit of hair and smooth fuzzy distortion by intentionally doing so.

  • The next knob controls the Eden's Enhance feature. You might be tempted to think of this as an exciter, but it's not.  Turning it up does give you a bit more sparkle and presence, but it's more of an EQ sweep that changes the basic tone at a wide range of frequencies (boosting the upper mids, high end and very bottom, while simultaneously cutting low mids) as you adjust it. It's a powerful control that you'll only find on Eden amps and it helps give the Terra Nova a good deal of extra tonal flexibility and allows for "single knob" tonal adjustments.  



 

  • Next up is the Terra Nova 2252's flexible and effective four-band EQ. This is set up in dual rows of three knobs. The Bass control gives you +/-15 dB at 40Hz. The Bass Boost pushbutton provides an additional 2.2dB at 40Hz when engaged. The Terra Nova has two midrange bands, each with up to 15dB of boost or cut. The Low Mid is sweepable from 30 Hz to 300 Hz, while the Hi Mid can be set anywhere from 200 Hz to 2kHz, giving you a good deal of control over the important midrange frequencies. The final EQ control is a single Treble knob. It also has +/- 15 dB range and is centered at 12kHz. As ith the Bass control, the Treble has a broad, smooth bandwidth range. An EQ Clip LED next to the Treble knob lets you know if the Terra Nova's EQ stage is clipping.

  • The Master knob sets the amp's overall output volume level, and it also has a dedicated Master Clip LED that lets you know if anything causes the Terra Nova's power amplifier to clip.

  • The Eden logo on the control panel lights up and serves as a power-on indicator.

  • The rear panel has a few items of note too. This is where you'll find the standard IEC power socket for the included power cord and the on/off switch for the amp.

  • The Terra Nova TN2252  is designed to run with a minimum 4 Ohm load. However you can run the Terra Nova without any load for those times when you want to use the Terra Nova as a preamp for an external amplifier or as a silent direct recording tool in the studio.



 

  • There is a 1/4" external speaker output jack for connecting an external cabinet. Doing so cuts off the juice to the internal speakers. Since they're rated at the amp's minimum load, adding another speaker running along with them would result in a unsafe load that could damage the amp. The good news is that since the internal speakers present a 4 Ohm load to the amplifier, the amp is already running at peak efficiency and you don't need to use an external speaker to get the maximum wattage out of it.   

  • There are two 1/8" jacks on the rear panel. One is a headphone output, and the other is a aux / line input - perfect for plugging in your MP3 player or other external line level source.

  • An optional footswitch (model number PEDL-70001 ) is available for the Terra Nova. It allows you to remotely turn the  Enhance and Mute functions on and off with your foot.

 

  • Eden recognizes the importance of a DI output and has equipped the Terra Nova TN2252 with all the features you'd want and expect, including a XLR output jack, ground lift switch to eliminate ground loop hum, a DI Output Level Pad switch that  switches it between mic and line output levels, and a Pre / Post switch that allows you to tap into the signal either before or after the Eden's preamp circuitry.

  • Of course you'll want to be in tune when you play, and Eden has thoughtfully included a dedicated 1/4" Tuner Out jack as well, which allows you to leave a tuner connected at all times. The jack remains active even when the Terra Nova 2252's Mute switch is activated, so you can tune between songs without the audience hearing a thing. The amp's DI is also silenced whenever the amp is muted.



Limitations

  • The Mute switch is an input mute and it doesn't shut off or silence the Terra Nova's power amp section, so any slight buzz or hum that's present will still be there when the amp is muted unless you turn down the master volume knob or shut off the power.

  • You can't use the internal speakers along with an external cabinet - it's an either/or proposition. The good news is that you do get the full power capability of the Terra Nova's onboard power amp when using the internal speakers, with no external cabinet required to do so.  

  • There's no amp handle on the top of the unit, so you'll either have to use a dolly or carry it using the two inset side handles. There's no corner protecters either, which further reinforces the impression that corners were cut (literally!) on the amp's hardware. The folks at Eden say it wasn't a cost-cutting decision, but one of aesthetics; they felt that adding the top handle and corner protectors to the 2252 made it look clunky, and since carpet is more forgiving than vinyl and the Terra Nova series are housed in relatively small cabinets, they didn't feel corner protectors were necessary.

  • Unfortunately the headphone output doesn't cut off the speakers to allow for silent practice. Eden is checking into this, so it may be corrected on later versions of this model.



Conclusions

Playing through the Eden Terra Nova is a lot of fun and while they're different amps, it brought back fond memories of my friend's Nemesis. The Terra Nova TN2252 certainly retains some of the qualities I liked about that amp. While it's not going to be able to go toe to toe with some of Eden's larger and more powerful offerings, it's quite compact and light and the amount of power on tap is more than sufficient for a lot of situations; it can easily handle rehearsals and small to mid-sized club gigs, and it sounds nice for recording too. It's well equipped with the kind of features modern bassists need, including a effects loop (which worked great with Eden's Glowplug pedal running in it), Enhance circuit, effective EQ and full-featured DI and tuner outputs.

Unfortunately I do get the impression that Eden left a few things off to save costs - I can understand the single button compressor, and maybe even the missing corner protectors, but not having a handle on the top makes life needlessly hard on the musicians who will be toting this amp to and from gigs. Its absence is particularly puzzling on an amp that is being marketed in part for its otherwise excellent portability. And make no mistake - I suspect a lot of people will be gigging these amps. With a punchy and malleable sound, plenty of features and enough power for even mid-sized gigs all wrapped up in a compact and (missing handle aside) easily portable cabinet, the Eden Terra Nova 2252 is bound to be poplar with a lot of bassists. Just be sure to budget for an aftermarket handle if, like me, you value function more than aesthetics.


Resources

Join the discussion at Harmony Central's Bass Forum

Eden Terra Nova TN2252 225W 2x10" Bass Combo Amplifier ($ MSRP, $749.99 "street")


Eden's product web page




 

 



__________________________________________________

 



Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.  



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