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Carlsbro B410C Combo


The fashion was set by the big British bass-amp builder Trace Elliot; other manufacturers are now copying. Essentially, the fashion in question demands a big graphic EQ, plenty of interface socketry on the front (XLRs ideally), and large-ish knobs all over the shop. Oh, and a really good bass sound. Yup, the Carlsbro is certainly fashionable.

Installed, the combo makes good, loud noises with plenty of control available. The first thing that strikes the bassist used to the common-or-garden is the lack of tone knobs. No bass or treble rotaries, but a graphic EQ, meaning 11 sliders covering a very wide range of frequencies.

A switch cancels the effect of the graphic and gives you an acceptable preset tone (concocted on your behalf: it sounds like a little mid-bass cut and a touch of toppish boost). So you can switch fairly rapidly between two sounds, one of your making and one not.

The second thing that initially overwhelms is the existence of three knobs to deal with your volume level (more than on some basses).

The big knob focusses the amp's thoughts precisely on the signal your instrument is offering, rather than any noise around it. This aids cleanliness and accuracy. The little knob controls the level passed to the graphic EQ next door for tone fiddling, helping once again to keep noise away, and to limit distortion. The Volume knob does what we expect to the overall result. In practice it still means that the higher you set all the knobs, the louder things get.

The control of the built-in compressor is linked to these gain controls: it's switched on by pulling out the post-gain knob. The combo's 'instruction guide' (six photocopied sheets) says that when the compressor is on, the pre-gain knob controls the point at which the compressor begins to work and the post-gain the level of compression. I found that when I used the compressor it didn't interfere with the gain knobs' ordinary job of level-setting; I wondered why the compressor didn't just have a separate on-off switch.


An impressive, loud, stylish bass combo. It's not cheap. The wonderful Trace Elliot 4x10 is more than £150 away; in the other direction there are slightly cheaper bass 4x10s also worth considering - Cougar's, for example. With the B-series bass combos Carlsbro have achieved a sensible balance between facilities and easy operation, recognising bassists' requirements. Good show, chaps.


PRICE £579
INPUTS high impedance jack or XLR
OUTPUT 150 watts (into 4ohms)
INTERFACE two ext speakers (jack/XLR), phones, two FX loops (pre or post pre-amp level), DI (XLR, 775mV balanced) pre or post EQ, line output
SPEAKER four 10in unspecified brand
FACILITIES pre-gain & post-gain knobs (with warning LEDs 3dB before clip), compressor, 11-band graphic with one factory preset
SIZE 30in (H) x 15in (D) x 23in (W)
WEIGHT approx 80lbs

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The Holger Boatman

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The Stuff That Rooms Are Made On

Making Music - Copyright: Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.


Making Music - Mar 1987

Gear in this article:

Amplifier (Combo) > Carlsbro > B410C

Gear Tags:

Bass Amp

Review by Tony Bacon

Previous article in this issue:

> The Holger Boatman

Next article in this issue:

> The Stuff That Rooms Are Mad...

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