BGRA: Marshall Bass State B150 Combo

Manufacturer Marshall Model Bass State B150 Combo
Reviewer Ilker Gocmen
Experience 15 Item owned A very, very long ti
Review Date 2005-07-03 Price paid $800
Dimensions622 x 609 x 384 (mm)
Weight39 kg
Speakers1 x 15'
OtherVery durable construction...
This amp has a great versatility thanks to its double preamps. One is a valve preamp, featuring a single ECC83 tube, and the other is a solid-state. You also have the "blend" feature so that you can mix the outputs of the preamps in any proportion you like. Then comes the 2-band primary EQ and the "Deep" and "Bright" switches which boosts the bass and the treble, respectively. If you need further fine tuning of your sound, you can use the 7-band graphic EQ.

I got three basses, a custom 6-string with active Duncan soapbars, a Rickenbacker 4003 and a '75 Jazz Bass clone old Hamer. They have totally different tonal characteristics but B150 can handle all of them with ease. I prefer 100% solid-state preamp for the 6-str to get modern tones. On the other end (100% valve), the Ric barks with its famous mid growl. With a 70%-30% valve/solid-state mix, I can get a typical Jazz Bass tone with the Hamer.

Additional features include dual inputs (active/passive), a soft-knee compressor (not a very pro one but quite useful), an effects loop, limiter and dual line outs (unbalanced and balanced with earth lift switch).

150W output is just the right balance for a semi-pro like me. Quite enough for home use but loud enough for a bar stage or a small-size concert.

Any cons? Of course. The damn thing weighs 39 kgs and is quite large so it is a torture to carry it around.

construction (98%)
Using it for 7 years. Still solid as rock...
clarity (90%)
versatility (98%)
volume (90%)
Loud - Louder - Loudest - Are you nuts?!?
portability (50%)
Need a big-trunk car or a SW. Breaks your back anyhow :
value (98%)
Great value for its price
overall (95%)
Versatile, enough power, a bit heavy, satisfactory at the bottom line...
The BGRA is generously underwritten by David King of Bass Guitar Systems.
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