Designed by legendary recording engineer and professional studio equipment designer, professor Malcolm Toft, it essentially places studio quality pre-amplification, tone control and compression at the feet of the bass guitarist. For example, the frequencies chosen in the three band equaliser section have been specifically designed for the bass guitar and offer the same range of control as that found in the very best studio consoles. Ever wondered why studio engineers are able to get great sounds from your instrument when recording? Wonder no more as you will have the same facilities!
With the BPA-1 you no longer need any of the controls on the amplifier head, instead all you need is an amplifier and speaker.
All rotary controls are illuminated when in use so that they can be easily seen, even in low lighting stage conditions.
The unique facilities provided by the BPA-1:
Studio quality, ultra low noise input amplifiers to get the very best, low distortion, wide bandwidth amplification from your bass guitar pickups. Two jack inputs are provided on the rear panel for inputs one and two, so you can connect two different basses or maybe a bass guitar and an upright bass with a piezzo pickup. For this reason input one can be selected for ultra high impedence to cater for such high impedence devices as piezzo pickups. Input two has it’s own independent trim control on the rear panel so that the level from the two instruments can be matched without having to use the instrument’s volume controls which can sometimes change the sound. An illuminated switch allows you to select which input is being used. The input one level control is illuminated red and a four led bargraph display indicates the level in db through the input section. A massive 36db of gain is provided for even the most insensitive pickups.
After the input stage, a balanced direct output is provided on both jack and x-l-r connectors so that you can provide a studio quality feed to a live sound engineer before any equalisation or signal processing should it be required.
Also at this point is an effects send and return loop provided by individual jacks for send and return so that external signal processing can be added prior to the equaliser if required.
The next stage is the equaliser section which as previously stated consists of three individual sections. A unique feature to the BPA-1 is that not only is there an overall equaliser footswitch but each section can also be individually bypassed. When the whole equaliser is bypassed, non of the relevant controls are illuminated. When each of the three sections are bypassed, the illumination of the two controls associated is extinguished.
The first section provides up to 15db of continuously variable boost or cut with a centre detented neutral position. The frequency can be continuously swept between 45Hz and 250Hz and this section is designated ‘Low Bass’. These controls illuminate green. An associated footswitch bypasses this section and extinguishes the illumination for the two controls.
The second section provides up to 15db of continuously variable boost or cut with a centre detented neutral position. The frequency can be continuously swept between 150Hz and 800Hz and this section is designated ‘Mid Bass’. These controls illuminate orange. An associated footswitch bypasses this section and extinguishes the illumination for the two controls.
The third section provides up to 15db of continuously variable boost or cut with a centre detented neutral position. The frequency can be continuously swept between 500Hz and 3kHz and this section is designated ‘low bass’. These controls illuminate yellow. An associated footswitch bypasses this section and extinguishes the illumination for the two controls.
A four segment led display indicates the signal level through the entire equaliser section.
By means of the individual section bypass footswitches it is possible to create a combination of different tones.
Following on from the equaliser section is a very high quality studio quality vca compressor. The attack and release times have been specifically tailored for bass guitar and a single control increases the amount of compression. Special gain compensating circuitry automatically compensates for the loss in level normally associated with the use of compression. A four segment led display indicates the amount of compression and a blue illuminated switch can place the compressor either before or after the equaliser section. The rotary control is also illuminated blue and a footswitch will bypass the compressor section.
Completing the controls is a master level (output) control which is also coloured red and another four segment led display indicates the final output of the unit. A ‘Mute’ footswitch situated next to the output level control kills the entire signal and extinguishes all control illumination. A large red led in the middle of the footswitches illuminates to show that the mute has been activated.
A further balanced direct output on both jack and x-l-r connectors is also provided on the rear panel so that this can be used either for recording purposes of as a feed to a live sound engineer.
It should be noted that great care has been taken to ensure that activation of all footswitches is silent.
In keeping with its studio heritage, the BPA-1 has a massive amount of headroom, being able to provide up to +18dbm before any distortion occurs.
To ensure operation anywhere in the world, the BPA-1 is provided with it’s own self contained power supply that will operate on any a.c.voltage from 85 to 265 volts.