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EBS Classic Session 120 Tiltback review

Flushed with the success of using the tonal values of its mighty Classic 450 bass head for the compact Session 60, EBS is now expanding the range with the Classic Session 120, with more models to come.

With a power rating of 120 watts, this is not designed to be purely backline, although it is fully capable of handling smaller gigs with ease, while linking the balanced XLR output to a PA system also makes bigger gigs a possibility.

Bass amps always sound best when they're sitting on the floor, but when using smaller rigs and combos, much of the sound produced is unheard by the player. The tilt-back design allows this combo to work on the floor while projecting the sound towards the player. Alternatively, the Session 120 can be used as a powered bass monitor for bigger gigs.

"The tilt-back design allows this combo to work on the floor while projecting the sound towards the player. Alternatively, the Session 120 can be used as a powered bass monitor for bigger gigs."


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It's a smart-looking combo in black livery, with chromed metal corners and white piping around the classic EBS grille cloth. The amp is almost a perfect cube, and of reasonable weight, but the top-positioned handle is more than adequate for a single-person lift.

As already mentioned, the Classic Session range makes full use of the tonal circuit originally designed for a much more powerful bass head, plus it benefits greatly from an extended EQ section that includes an extra frequency control added to the midrange EQ. It also has the added bonus of valve-like distortion made possible by the soft-clip integrated circuitry – something many bass players like to take advantage of.

Activating the character switch introduces a superb throaty bottom-end boost that will prove to be quite a bonus onstage. But, even without this in action, the controls provide a good range of tones – each of the major controls works from a centre detent with cut/boost options. The extra frequency control allows a more precise targeting of the important midrange and really helps to obtain the clearest sounds from your bass, regardless of make or quality – it's a huge asset.

The combo certainly packs a powerful punch and you experience the full benefit of its sound. While the bottom end is substantial, the tweeter ensures all notes are clearly defined, even when pushing into that soft-clip area. Although there's no way of adjusting the tweeter, it definitely adds to the overall performance quality of what is a very tidy design.

This combo was built in China to help keep things cost- effective, but EBS handled its design and development in Sweden. With phono inputs for media players (mini jack would be better), plus a headphone socket, the Classic Session 120 proves ideal for practising at home as well as being practical on the road. If you have yet to experience something from EBS's almighty bass range, then this would be a good place to start.

MusicRadar Rating

FOR: Tiltback design. Exceptional power and tonal range from small size.

AGAINST: A degree of control for the tweeter would be welcome.

OUR VERDICT: Whether using it at home, in the studio, on small gigs as backline or larger gigs as foldback, this EBS will do the job professionally and with class. A seriously versatile, user-friendly bass combo.

Tech Data

Additional Features Tilt-back presentation, gain clip indicator, balanced XLR, stereo auxiliary phono inputs, ground lift switch, headphone socket
Available Controls Bass, Character, Gain, Mid, Frequency, Middle, Treble, Volume
Country of Origin China
Weight (kg) 21
Dimensions 435х402х455 mm.
Available Outputs Balanced XLR direct output
Channels 1
Available Inputs phono inputs 1/4 Inch Jack Control-Volume
Loudspeaker Type 12”
Audio Output Power 120

 

 

 

 

  13 February 2015
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Views: 302
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