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New Amp Day: EA iAmp Micro 300

One Bad Monkey

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Specs are here


First off, there are a couple reasons I went with this. It had two channels to allow me to switch between electric and upright much easier. Unlike my old GK (700rb-II), it was around half the power (175 @ 8 ohm, 325 @ 4 ohm). Lastly, any correspondence with Gary at EA was fantastic, informative and quick (even for a Saturday morning). Size was a factor too, but not as much as the others; I was just sick of toting around a 4 space rack unit to theatre gigs.


The biggest thing I noticed is that this amp really has no tone. The easiest way to describe it is if you plug your bass directly into the soundboard, before any effects, you get just the dry bass tone. That's what this amp gives you. The only coloration I'm getting is from my Aguilar GS112 cab, which is making the sound just a tad on the tubby side; it's a bit hard to dial it out, which is why I'm thinking more towards selling it and buying a new one. I'm also thinking, since there is only one speakon out on the back, that I'd rather buy a 4 ohm cab to get the full 325 that this thing puts out; as it sits, it wasn't that hard to overdrive the cab a couple of times with just the 112 8ohm cab.


The thing is library-quiet. There was a very very fainting hum coming from it, and as I'm typing this, my computer fan is making more noise than the amp did. The heat is evenly dispersed through the case, but it's not a lot. If anything, after an hour of playing yesterday, the amp was warm but not like the heatsinks of old.


Here's the lowdown of the basses I ran through the rig:


1996 Warwick Corvette 5'er (with active SD pups): the sound that I like so much with this bass unplugged is what I get with the amp. If anything, I boosted the bass a little on the amp to give the 'wick a little more beefiness on the B string. If I haven't mentioned yet, the EA has a really touchy 3 band eq; subtle changes have definite effects on the tone. Fingerstyle was nice and dry, with plenty of definition, especially with dead notes. Slap was what you'd expect.


Lakland 55-02 fretless: I don't know if it's the Aguilar or not, but this bass sounds a lot different plugged in than acoustic. While the new Lakland pups and electronics really let you dial in the sound you want, I still had some issues with tightening up the low end on this bass. Granted, in the year I've had it, I think I've logged 5 hours of playing on it; any fretless noodling I usually do on my URB or EUB, so my inexperience with the electronics may have something to do with it. I dunno.


Kydd Carry-On EUB 6-er: I'm still surprised that with only one piezo element, how awesome this thing sounds. This is one bass where the EA really seems to let the bass shine, with some great low end definition on the B string and beautiful highs. I boosted the bass a little and rolled off the treble just a touch, and it really sounds like an URB. Fiddled with it some more, and it sounds like a fretless electric.


SXP-57 P-Bass: this is my 4 banger, with SD Quarter Pound P pups ran through an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp. With the preamp off, the thing sounds like an angry old P-Bass. I left the amp flat, since I had the preamp, and it sounded beautiful. Turning the preamp on really brought in some thunderous lows, with a crisp top end.


So, that's what I've got. If anything really didn't live up to my standards right now, it is the Aguilar cab. I can only figure that it's one of those things that just doesn't sound as good in this pairing. I don't have any shows that require any amplification until mid October, so I'm going to take some time to look at some new cab options.

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I have been hearing about these amps but havent seen any in any shops around here.


From what I've read, they originally had them available in May. There were some production issues, like a very loud humming, and them overheating, so they stopped production, fixed the problems, tweaked it some more and just started shipping them again after fixing all of the first generation ones.

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