Traynor Small Block 500 Bass Head SB500H

Traynor Small Block 500 Bass Head SB500H

The Traynor Small Block 500 features

  • 500 watts into 4 ohms
  • Passive and Active (-6db) inputs
  • Limiter switch to prevent power amp clipping
  • Gain and Master controls
  • 4 band EQ - Bass, Low-Mid, High-Mid, Treble and Low Expander
  • Mute switch
  • Tuner output jack
  • Headphone Jack (defeats speaker outputs)
  • Effects loop (Send functions as an additional line out)
  • XLR direct out with pre/post EQ
  • Speakon speaker connectors
  • 3.5 pounds (9.5" x 12" x 2.5")
  • Made in Canada
  • List price: $649

Highly efficient and cool-running Class-D amplifiers have been the muscle behind the explosion of lightweight powered speakers, and Traynor has adapted this technology to their phonebook-sized Small Block 500B. We checked out his amp with our active G&L M-2000 bass and EBS 2x12 neo bass cabinet.

The first thing we noticed about the Small Block 500 is that is has very generous clean headroom. Even with the gain at 3 o'clock the amplifier stayed clean. Cranking up master nearly all the way yielded very strong, tight bass that was loud but very clean. Even on the passive input there is a healthy amount of clean gain when using an active bass. Despite testing the Small Block 500 through our 8-ohm EBS cabinet (it produces maximum power and volume at 4-ohms), there is plenty of volume to handle most gigs unassisted. And for those situations where you need to fill a larger space, there is a direct output that can send the signal either pre or post EQ.

The active tone controls all have wide 15 dB boost/cut range, with the center position being the neutral setting. That's a lot of potential gain at any particular frequency band, and we found that only minor tweaks were needed in any particular range to obtain the sound we are looking for. The Low Expander control enhances the low frequencies, while also contouring the middle frequencies in the 400 Hz range. This is a good control to adjust first while the other controls are set on neutral. This will "set the stage" for the overall response of the amp, at which point you can fine tune to taste with the four band EQ controls.

Overall this is a pretty impressive package, especially given its size and weight. In comparison to our reference power amp and separate bass preamp (42 pounds in the road case) we were able to achieve very similar sonic results. While there were slight differences in tonality -- the Small Block has a slightly warmer upper midrange -- in the end the deciding reason to haul the "big unit" to a gig is shear volume (650 watts into 8-ohms).

Long resigned to hauling large and heavy equipment, the Traynor Small Block 500 is a liberating piece of gear for bass players. Perfect for all but the largest rooms, the Small Block 500 provides excellent tone and plenty of EQ shaping in a package that will make you smile.

MAP 499
Price: $469.00
Quantity Out of stock; call for availability
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