If you want small, we’ve got small. TC Electronic have reinvigorated their bass gear lineup over the last few years with new looks and models. Offering a range of combos and modular setups the BAM200 head and BC208 cab definitely promote the compact yet powerful side of things aimed at anyone from part timers through to pros needing a smaller rig that still has the level of quality you’d expect from TC Electronic.
In the TC BAM200 you’ve got one of the smallest bass amp heads on the market. Not referencing feel, ‘In the pocket’ seriously means just that when talking about this ultra compact head. It’s around 17cmx15cm and weighs just over 700 grams – but don’t let its puppy-like size fool you, because it really rips. TC Electronic’s red and black bass colour scheme is ever present with the red faceplate offering an input jack, Gain Bass, Middle, Treble and Master controls and a Headphone jack on the far right. Basically there isn’t room for anything else on the front which also adds to the minimal and compact aesthetic of the unit. Flip to the back and there’s a power switch, IEC input, Speaker Out (1/4” jack), DI out and a Ground Lift button. Rated at 200 watts the BAM features a MOSFET preamp designed to offer a warm ‘tube styled’ tone, which pairs well with just about any playing style you chug through it. Whether you’re picking, thumping, slapping or even strumming, the TC BAM200 sounds killer, and the minimal aesthetic is great.
Sure, it’s nice to own a huge fridge cab speaker setup, and you can’t replicate the oomph offered by bigger 15” cabinets, but with the power and technology of modern PA’s, these kinds of big rigs aren’t as important as they once were – particularly if you’ve got neighbours above, below and around you. I reckon you almost could with the BC208. Looking for something small and powerful to pair with the BAM200? Well look no further… A 200 watt 2x8 cab the BC208 measures around 55cmx25cm making it skinny and tall enough to sit the head on for a comfy height (or even sit on if needed!) but you could also sit two of these side by side (or stack two on top of each other). A tough covered plywood design, the cab feels strong, has a top mounted recessed handle, heavy duty front grille, rubber feet and 1/4” connectors on the rear panel. Furthermore it weighs just 10ish kilograms meaning its easy to manoeuvre (and easy to carry, put in the boot/front seat/back seat and shouldn’t give you a hernia every time you try to lift it!).
What a cool mini rig! 200 watts is great for rehearsals, practice and small gigs and the BAM/2x8 combination brings plenty of volume, mid range and low end to the table. The BAM has a good amount of clean headroom with the three-band EQ offering a range of tones. Vintage, warmth through to more hi-fi sounds are all possible and the BC208 handles low end admirably (I know that’s always the question that pops up with smaller cabs – will it give me enough low end?). It won’t replace your 800 watt head and fridge rig but that’s not what it’s intended as. Need something pro quality for smaller gigs and rehearsals that won’t kill your back? The BAM200 and BC208 might just be it.
Hits and Misses
The flexibility of a modular rig
Some might have hoped for speakon connectors rather than just 1/4"