THE LIGHTWEIGHT REVOLUTION that’s changed the face of bass amplification in the past decade is a bit of a mixed blessing; there used to be just a few players in the game, there are now enough options to make your head spin. In the upcoming months, we’ll be checking out the latest in this segment of the market. This month, we start with the Eden WTX- 500, a 500-watt head designed to deliver gig-worthy volume and Eden’s unique take on the tone stack in a package just shy of five pounds.
Though the company initially made its name back in the ’90s with its big-boy World Tour WT-800 head and a broad line of cabinets, Eden has been keen to keep an eye on the shifting sands of the bass amp landscape, and was quick to jump on the ultralight amp wave with the WTX-260 back in 2007. The WTX-500 essentially takes that head, pumps up the power section, and makes a couple ergonomic tweaks.
With its intuitive control array and front-panel jacks (and a full-featured D.I. around back), the WTX-500 packs pretty much everything a working bassist would need into a remarkably tight little package, maximizing space with heavy-duty knurled metal knobs whose push pots control such features as a 12dB input pad, a compressor bypass, a bass boost, a mid shift, and a pre/post D.I. switch. Loading the front panel with aux-in and effects loop jacks frees up the real estate around back, making for a quick-and- easy plug-and-play experience.
Paired with an array of cabinets (including a Mark Bass 604 and an Eden D112XLT), the WTX-500 delivered the quick, clean, dry sound I loved in my trusty WT-800. Cranking up at rehearsal with a rock power trio, I felt I was beginning to push the WTX to its limits—for a full set of high volume performance, a larger 4Ω cabinet would be the best match for the WTX. Though I missed the headroom provided by the WTX-500’s bulkier big bro, you don’t have to sacrifice any of Eden’s famously flexible EQ controls with this tiny head; the pre-shape ENHANCE circuit is a slapper’s best friend, and a switchable mid-frequency control puts the frequency profile you seek just a knob twist away.
EDEN WTX - 500
Pros Feature-rich, flexible, and lightweight.
Cons Lacks the headroom of its bigger, beefier counterparts.
Bottom Line The WTX-500 works hard to keep up at high volume, but it has the flexibility and connectivity of heads twice its size.
Power rating 500 watts @ 4Ω
Dimensions 8" x 2.5"x 9"
Weight 4.8 lbs
Controls GAIN (pull for -12dB pad), ENHANCE, BASS (±15dB @ 30Hz), MID (±15dB @ 550Hz/2.2kHz), HIGH (±15dB @ 5kHz), MASTER, DI LEVEL
Jacks INPUT, effects loop SEND and RETURN, AUX INPUT (left and right), TUNER, XLR DI , ¼" headphones, SPEAKER OUTPUT (one Speakon, two ¼")
Made in China