Posts tagged ‘kevyt’

06/04/2018

Review: TOOB 12J & 12R

Some of the coolest inventions tend to make you go ”Geez, this is so obvious! Why didn’t I think of this?”

The truth is, though, that the basic idea usually is only the first impetus for going on an exploratory journey. You have to have the inventor’s drive and perseverance to grab the idea by its throat, and hold it there for as long as it takes to hew and mould it into its final shape.

Finnish guitarist/inventor Markku Pietinen had become increasingly frustrated by the weight and size of traditional speaker cabinets for guitar. Modern technology – like Class D power amps – has lead to ever smaller amplifier sizes, yet cabinets were still cumbersome and angular.

Then one day, a few years ago, Markku passed by a building site, where he spotted a leftover piece of corrugated plastic pipe (normally used for drainage) on the ground. The proverbial lightbulb went ”ping”, and Markku started pursuing his quest for a lighter speaker cabinet.

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Here is the finished product, called the TOOB™ (current price in Finland: 369 €), which stands for ”Thinking Out Of the Box”.

The TOOB is available in two guitar versions, the 12J and 12R (as reviewed), which come loaded with a 12-inch Jensen speaker. A bass version – the TOOB 12B – is also available, and it sports a Celestion unit.

Standard colours for all TOOBs are black and cinnamon, but you can also order custom options with a painted or covered veneer overlay (you can see a few examples in the opening picture).

The TOOB’s cabinet consists of a length of Uponor IQ drainage pipe. This is an extremely lightweight and strong corrugated tube made from double-walled polypropylene. The mounting rims are a proprietary design, injection moulded from ABS plastic specifically for use in the TOOB cabinets.

Clip-on stainless steel feet come as standard, but if this looks too spartan for your taste, you can always order your TOOB with a magnetically-attached wooden stand.

The main difference between the TOOB 12J (left) and the 12R (right) is easy to spot:

The 12J (stands for Jazz) is an open back cabinet, while the 12R (= Rock) uses a ported back wall. The 12J is also a few centimetres shorter than its brother.

Both guitar versions sport two parallel jack connectors, allowing you to daisy-chain two (or more) TOOBs.

The cabinets are equipped with painted wooden mounts for use with a micro-amp of your choice (professional velcro-type adhesive strips are provided). A top notch angled plug speaker cable is also part of the package.

Both guitar TOOBs come loaded with a lightweight 12″/8 Ω Jensen Jet Tornado neodymium speaker.

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Testing the TOOBs with two different valve amplifiers – a Blackstar HT-1R and a Bluetone Shadows Jr. – it became clear very quickly that both cabinets are focused on delivering tonal clarity and getting the job done with a minimal amount of fuss.

A TOOB isn’t meant to be an esoteric boutique-style speaker cabinet, full of voodoo-like mystical timbres. These are straightforward musical tools, made to withstand the occasional knock or two, and meant to lighten your load (both physically and psychologically).

Both TOOBs offer a very focused tone that is clear and bright, but not nasty or brittle. The mid-range also stays rather well-defined and uncoloured.

I think one shouldn’t get too hung up on the supposed Jazz- and Rock-connotations of the 12J and 12R models, especially as the 12J also performs well with acoustic-electric guitars, but the differences in sound are easy to hear. The TOOB 12J is the airier and more ”acoustic” of the pair, while the TOOB 12R offers much more low-end punch and overall focus.

CLEAN STRAT

Reference speaker (Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo with a 10″ WGS Green Beret; Shure SM57):

TOOB 12J:

TOOB 12R:

OVERDRIVEN LES PAUL

Reference speaker (Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo with a 10″ WGS Green Beret; Shure SM57):

TOOB 12J:

TOOB 12R:

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Any way you look at the TOOB™, you will have to concede that this new type of speaker cabinet is an ingenious solution to an age-old problem. The TOOB is just as rugged and roadworthy as it is lightweight and compact.

These unique cabinets sound great, with more than enough power on tap for most of us working stiffs, who play small to medium-sized indoor venues.

Combine a TOOB with one of the current micro-amps, like Vox’ MV50-series for example, and what you get is a powerful rig that’s hard to beat for ease of use and transportability.

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The TOOB

Lightweight guitar speaker cabinet

TOOB 12J: 369 €

TOOB 12R: 369 €

Contact: TOOB

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Pros:

+ made in Finland

+ ruggedness

+ weight

+ power handling

+ soundSave

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17/06/2014

Review: Warwick LWA 1000

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Warwick LWA 1000 – opener

German maker Warwick is offering a wide range of different bass amplifiers alongside their famous basses.

One of their newest products is the Warwick LWA 1000 – an ultra-compact, yet very powerful amp head.

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Warwick LWA 1000 – front

The Warwick LWA 1000 (current price in Finland: 789 €) is small and lightweight enough (2.75 kg) to fit into many gig bags. Optionally, you can also get a rack installation kit or a padded shoulder bag for this head.

As hinted at by its name, the LWA 1000 offers you up to 1,000 Watts of power (into a 4 Ohm cabinet, 500 W into 8 Ohms). Warwick have managed to squeeze this all into a compact package by using a Class D power amplifier.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel inputs

Warwick’s two-channel preamp has been transplanted from their Hellborg-series, and promises to offer audiophile sound quality from its low-noise Class A circuits.

The two channels of the LWA 1000 are identical, and they can either be used to amplify two different instruments (each plugged into their own input) or to offer two different sounds for use with a single bass (a footswitch comes included with the amp).

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel EQs

There’s a four-band EQ section in each channel, offering up to 12 dBs of cut/boost per band.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel comp + master

The last link in the preamps’ signal chain is Warwick’s easy-to-use compressor.

The master section offers an auxiliary input to feed your mp3-player into, as well as a headphones output for silent practice.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle 2

The stylishly understated look of the Warwick LWA 1000 calls to mind high-end HiFi-equipment. You can get the amp head in two finishes – brushed aluminium and matte black.

Warwick LWA 1000 – back

”Lightweight and compact” doesn’t equal ”stripped-down” in the LWA’s case – this is a fully featured bass amplifier:

Of the four jacks on the back panel one is the tuner output, two are used for the effects loop, and the last one is an unbalanced, line level output. This Warwick head also sports a built-in DI-box with its dedicated Pre/Post-switch, as well as a ground lift switch for safe earth loop breaking.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle

In addition to the amp head itself (and its power cord), the package includes a footswitch and a long, pro-quality TRS-lead (aka a stereo cable).

Warwick LWA 1000 – footswitch

You use your regular instrument lead to connect your bass to the footswitch, and the TRS-cable goes between the footswitch and either one of the LWA 1000’s channel inputs. The TRS tip carries the bass signal, while the ring connection is used to switch between amp channels.

Warwick LWA 1000 + WAC 410

I tested the Warwick LWA 1000 through a Warwick WCA 410 cabinet.

The pro-quality WCA 410 (current price in Finland: 380 €) is a chunky bass-reflex cabinet, equipped with four ten-inch speakers and a four-inch treble horn.

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Warwick LWA 1000 – glowing

Warwick’s LWA 1000 offers truckloads of ultra-clean, quality bass tone in a very compact format. In contrast to many other bass amplifiers the LWA adds only very little unwanted colouration to your instrument’s tone.

Some bassists rely on certain sonic artifacts from their amp for their own signature sound (like tube saturation or distortion, or a non-linear frequency curve), and this is as valid an approach as others (rock on, guys!). Others – myself included – get their kicks from just the type of clean and linear amplification the Warwick LWA 1000 head provides.

The channel EQs work like a dream and the built-in compressors are musical and intuitive to use.

In the studio you will appreciate this head’s processor controlled ventilator, which works very quietly, and only springs into action when needed.

The sound clips I have recorded will give you a good idea of the sheer power this Warwick provides. If you listen closely, you can hear the metal grilles of the studio’s air conditioning system rattle along with the playing in places:

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Warwick LWA 1000 – logo

Warwick’s LWA 1000 is just my kind of bass amplifier. The sound is very clear and dynamic, and there’s enough power on tap to shut up your guitarist.

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Warwick LWA 1000

789 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma

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Pros:

+ power

+ size

+ lightweight

+ ultra-clean tone

+ footswitch included

28/02/2014

Testipenkissä: Warwick LWA 1000

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Warwick LWA 1000 – opener

Saksalainen Warwick tarjoaa sähköbassojensa lisäksi myös laajan valikoiman erilaisia bassovahvistimia.

Valmistajan uusin aluevaltaus on erittäin kompaktien ja ultrakevyeiden bassonuppien lajityyppi, josta Warwick LWA 1000 on firman ensimmäinen.

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Warwick LWA 1000 – front

Warwick LWA 1000 (789 €) on niin pieni ja kevyt (2,75 kg), että se mahtuu tarvittaessa jopa moneen gigbägin etutaskuun. Lisävarusteena on toki saatavilla myös räkkirautoja tai nupille sopiva topattu olkalaukku.

Nimensä mukaisesti LWA 1000 -nuppi tarjoaa jopa 1.000 wattia tehoa neljään ohmiin tai 500 kahdeksan ohmiseen kaappiin. Näin suurta tehoa on saatu pieneen pakkaukseen käyttämällä D-luokan päätevahvistinta.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel inputs

Warwickin kaksikanavainen etuvahvistin taas on toteutettu mahdollisimman vähäsäröiseksi käyttämällä Hellborg-sarjasta lainattua A-luokan vahvistinpiiriä.

LWA 1000:n kanavat ovat täysin identtisiä ja niitä voi käyttää joko kahdella eri soittimella (kumpikin soitin menee silloin oman tulojakin kautta omalle kanavalle) tai sitten yhdellä bassolla pakettiin kuuluvalla jalkakytkimellä.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel EQs

Kummallekin kanavalle on oma nelialueinen taajuuskorjainten osasto, joka tarjoaa 12 desibeliä vahvistusta tai vaimennusta per taajuuskaista.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel comp + master

Helppokäyttöinen kompressori on signaaliketjun viimeinen lenkki, ennen kun bassosignaali lähetetään päätevahvistimelle.

Aux In -tuloon voi liittää esimerkiksi mp3-soittimen harjoittamista varten. Kuulokelähdöllä pystyy harjoittelemaan myös hiljaisesti, ilman kaappia.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle 2

Warwick LWA 1000:n tyylikäs, pelkistetty ulkonäkö tuo mieleen high-end hifi-laitteitta. Nuppi on saatavilla sekä alumiinin hopeana että mustalla viimeistelyllä.

Warwick LWA 1000 – back

Pieni koko ei LWA:n tapauksessa tarkoita ”riisuttua versiota”, vaan takapaneelista löytyy kaikki tarvittava:

Neljästä jakkiliitimestä yksi on tarkoitettu viritysmittarille, kaksi on varattu ulkoista efektilenkkiä varten ja viimeinen on balansoimaton linjatasoinen lähtö. Warwick-nupilla on myös sisäänrakennettu DI-boksi Pre/Post-kytkimellä ja turvallisella maalenkin katkaisimella.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle

Paketissa löytyy nupin (ja virtajohdon) lisäksi jalkakytkin ja erittäin laadukas, pitkä TRS-plugijohto (ns. stereojohto).

Warwick LWA 1000 – footswitch

Jalkakytkimen tuloon kytketään soittimesta tuleva johto, kun taas kytkimen lähdön ja LWA 1000:n tulon väliin laitetaan paketista löytyvä TRS-johto. Stereojohdon voi kytkeä kumpaan kanavaan vaan, nupin tulojakit tunnistavat mihin kanavaan signaali on menossa ja kytkevät kyseisen kanavan päälle.

Warwick LWA 1000 + WAC 410

Testasin Warwick LWA 1000 -vahvistinta saman valmistajan laadukkaan WCA 410 -kaapin kautta.

WCA 410 (436 €) on erittäin tuhti bassorefleksikaappi, joka on varustettu neljällä kymppituumaisella kaiuttimella, sekä neljätuumaisella diskanttitorvella.

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Warwick LWA 1000 – glowing

Warwickin LWA 1000 tarjoaa valtavasti puhdasta voimaa erittäin kompaktissa formaatissa. Toisin kuin joidenkin muiden valmistajien bassovahvistimet, LWA välittää sähköbasson omaa soundia käytännössä täysin vääristämättä eteenpäin.

Jotkut basistit tykkäävät omia mausteita (särön tai omanlaisen taajuuskäyrän muodossa) lisäävistä vahvistimista, ja miksipä ei? Minä taas haen bassostyrkkarista juuri tällaista puhtautta, jota Warwick LWA 1000 -nuppi tarjoaa.

Kanavien EQ:t toimivat tehokkaasti ja sisäiset kompressorit toimivat mukavan musikaalisella tavalla.

Studiokäytössä arvostetaan varmasti myös tämän nupin prosessoriohjattua tuuletinta, joka toimii hiljaisesti, ja vain silloin, kun sitä tarvitaan.

Hyvän kuvan Warwickin voimasta saa, kun kuuntelee näitä ääninäytteitä läpi: taustalla treenikämpän kattovalaisimien ritilät sirisevät nimittäin mukana, vaikka LWA:n master-volyymi ei ole avattu edes puoleksi:

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Warwick LWA 1000 – logo

Warwick LWA 1000 on bassovahvistin minun makuun. Soundi on puhdas ja dynaaminen, ja äänenpainetta riittää vaikkapa muillekin jaettavaksi.

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Warwick LWA 1000

789 €

Maahantuoja: Musamaailma

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Plussat:

+ teho

+ koko

+ paino

+ puhdas soundi

+ jalkakytkin kuuluu hintaan