Why I’m getting rid of my TC RH450

In my never-ending journey of tone, I took possession of a brand new TC Electronic RH450 head a few months ago. This head, TC Electronic’s entry into the world of bass amplification (two years ago) on paper sounded like it would be the kind of sound that I’m after. Punchy, loud, bassy, powerful, beefy. This head uses a class D power amplifier which allows the head to be compact and light. The features on the head can’t be beat: three memories, balanced DI out (pre- or post-), effects loop, built-in tuner and compressor. There’s also a TubeTone feature which allows you to dial in the characteristic tone of valve saturation.

However, for all its features, I haven’t been able to really get the head to sound like I want it to.There’s very little high end (a common complaint with the RH450) and the lower bass frequencies seem to be absent, or at least shy. At relatively low volumes it achieves something resembling the classic sound of an Ampeg SVT, but at gig volumes it doesn’t quite achieve the bassy authority that I’m after. This amp simply doesn’t seem to have the headroom that I need; in fact in rehearsals (with unamplified drums) I’ve had to set the master volume about halfway, which seems a lot for a 450w RMS amp. In contrast I struggle to get past 9 o’clock on my 500W GK head.

So, it’s with some metaphorical sadness that I say: it’s now time to part ways.

Good. Room for some new gear, then!