Review: EBS Reidmar + CL112

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One of the new products at the EBS-stand in Frankfurt this year was a compact-yet-powerful bass amp called Reidmar. Kitarablogi.com managed to get hold of a Reidmar RD250, as well as a Classic Line -series CL112-cabinet for this review.

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Both the Reidmar-head, as well as the Classic Line -series of cabinets have been designed and engineered in Sweden, but are being produced cost-effectively in China.

The EBS Reidmar (current street price in Finland: 469 €) runs a Class D power amp with 250 Watts of output at 4 Ohms. Because Class D amps run extremely energy-efficiently, there’s no need for large and heavy cooling ribs, which is why such amps can be much more compact than a traditional amplifier of the same power rating. EBS’s Reidmar weighs in at a mere 3.2 kilos, and fits easily into a compact backpack.

The good guys at EBS were quick to stress that the 250 W (RMS) rating is rather conservative, with the head reaching more than 400 Watts peak power with minimal distortion.

The new Classic Line CL112 -cabinet (current street price in Finland: 299 €) fits the Reidmar like a glove, as it, too, has been designed to pack a massive punch into a handy-sized piece of gear. The cab’s impedance is eight Ohms, and beneath the vintage-style exterior you can find one 12-inch speaker paired with a two-inch tweeter.

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Regardless of its diminutive size, the Reidmar’s front panel dishes up all the goodies we’ve come to expect from an EBS-amp:

Next to the Gain-control you find the Character-button which lets you choose between a linear frequency curve and a loudness-type counterpart, with more bottom end and treble. EBS’ on-board compressor is known for its organic and musical behaviour, as well as its easy one-knob functionality. The EQ-section uses a four-band set-up with semiparametric mids – meaning the user can adjust the mid-range-filter’s centre frequency (in this case between 100 and 6,000 Hz). One EBS-speciality is the notch filter built into the mid-band. A notch filter is a very steep (=exact) filter that can be used to defeat an acoustic bass’ feedback howl or to reign in strong room/stage resonances, without interfering with the rest of your tone.

The back panel holds all your connections to the outside world – from the excellent DI-output to the effects loop.

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The EBS CL112 -cab sports two Speakon-connectors on its back panel – one for the input signal, and one to link another cabinet to the head. The small Tweeter-switch lets you switch off the cab’s tweeter for authentic vintage-style tones.

Even though the CL112 weighs in at only 17.5 kilos, EBS have sunk a sturdy metal grip into the cabinet’s left side.

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A good bass amp should sound well balanced and full before you even touch the EQ-controls. The EBS Reidmar/CL112 -stack passes this test with full points. My old Jazz Bass sounds nice and chewy, with all of its ”wood” and tone intact:

Character off – EQ off

Engaging Character noticeably pumps up the bass and adds muscle to the proceedings:

Character on – EQ off

The EQ-section makes it possible to achieve virtually any tone you want. Let’s start with a nice and clean Pop tone:

Clean Pop

Boosting the bottom end, as well as adding bite, results in a classic slap tone:

Slap

Adding bass while cutting treble takes you straight to Reggae’s swampy realms:

Reggae

A punkish bit of plectrum-driven anger can be dialled in just as quickly on the EBS-stack:

Plectrum-Rock

…and if you fire up a chorus pedal the Reidmar and the CL112 can take you straight to Jaco-land:

Pictures of Blogi – Homage to Jaco P.

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With its Reidmar-head and CL112-cabinet EBS have managed to shrink a bassist’s core equipment without depriving him (or her) of his (or her) tone. True, if a five-string is your weapon of choice, you should probably consider a different cabinet – like the EBS NeoLine 115, for example – to keep the punch in the lowermost notes intact, but in most situations this little gem of a stack will hold its own more than adequately. If you splash out on two CL112-cabs you’d get a very powerful and flexible modular system, which would enable you to take along the second cab to larger gigs, leaving it at home when it’s not needed.

The Reidmar gives you genuine EBS-tone in a compact and very affordable package. The EBS CL112 dissipated all my reservations concerning single 12-inch cabs: Its tone is open and strong, without being the least bit boxy or nasal. The silky-sounding tweeter adds just the right amount of brilliance to the tone. Jättebra!

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EBS Reidmar RD250 & Classic Line CL112

Finnish distributor: F-Musiikki

****

EBS Reidmar RD250

Street price: 469 €

Pros:

+ price

+ sound

+ flexibility

+ power

+ size

+ weight

****

EBS CL112

Street price: 299 €

Pros:

+ price

+ sound

+ power handling

+ size

+ weight

****

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