REVIEW: TC Electronic RH750


When they hear the name TC Electronic, most players think of world-class effects such as the legendary TC 2290 Digital Delay, the G System effects processor or the revolutionary Polytune polyphonic chromatic tuner. But the company also offers a pretty impressive line of bass amplifiers, including the monstrous Blacksmith and the RH and BH series amps. The RH750 is the most high-powered version of the RH line, and it’s the amp of choice for no less a bass virtuoso than the legendary Mark King of Level 42.

The RH750 offers 750 watts of power and 1200 watts peak, yet it’s a tiny unit that you can easily carry in one hand, or even pop it in a backpack. TC’s RS speaker cabinets are so light that you could conceivably carry your bass in one hand, an RS112 cabinet in the other and your RH750 and associated cords in your backpack, and load in for a rehearsal or gig in a single trip.

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TC Electronic RH750 750W Bass Amp Head
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Let’s have a look at the front panel. From left to right there’s the active/passive input,followed by Bass, Lo-Mid, Hi-Mid and Treble controls; SpectraComp compression circuit; TubeTone, a tube emulation designed to go from subtle warming-up of the tone to all-out fuzzed-up mayhem; and a Master volume pot. Along the top row, aside from an always-on digital tuner which you could read from across a river, the RH750 features three memory slots (just hold the button down to store your settings), a Shift button for altering the functions of the SpectraComp and TubeTone knobs to become TweeterTone (for adjusting the tweeter level, andwith a bit of additional tone filtering for intelligent treble control) and Preset Level controls, and a very handy Mute button. The Shift button also gives you the option of changing the centre frequency of each tone control, making them semi-parametric. Each knob is circled by a ring of bright red LEDs which indicate the setting, and you can store individual tone settings for each of the three memory slots. The only settings not stored in the presets are Mute and Master Level. Fair enough, too!

There’s a lot going on around the back. Aside from the power switch there’s a Speakon speaker out (and a graphic which declares boldly, “ALLOWED: speaker-free operation); a 1/8” headphone out, a Remote In jack for the optional RC4 floor-based remote control; a 96kHz AES/EBU, S/PDIF-compatible Digital Out connector with selectable Pre or Post preamp operation; an effects loop; stereo Aux ins; and a transformer-balanced Line Driver Out.

 

I tested the RH750 with several TC Electronic RS series cabs: the RS112 (single custom-made Eminence 12″) and RS210 (two 10″). The RS212 (two 12″) and RS410 (four 10″) are also available). The cabinets are extraordinarily lightweight and compact and include a heavy duty tweeter (on the side) with rear HF adjustment. Various combinations are possible, and TC suggests increasing projection by stacking a vertical cabinet like the RS210 on top of an RS112 and setting it back so it’s in line with the bottom cabinet’s back rather than front. This changes the time at which the frequencies hit the listener, creating a clearer, more even and powerful tone. Clever!

The RH750 is an astoundingly versatile amp. It’s capable of everything from very hi-fi, scooped-mid slap and pop sounds to a rounder, more classic rock voice, and its distortion tones are incredible. A lot of bass amps that offer distortion seem to fall short of the kind of mega-gain required of heavier styles, but the RH750 will give you way more grind than you’ll need. Great edgy Tool sounds are lurking right beneath the surface, side by side with some of the punchiest, most stage-ready clean tones you can imagine.

I brought the amp along to a band rehearsal and let our bass player try it out with his Spector 6-string. He set up one sound for slap and pop stuff and another for warmer, punchier lines. I’m sure if the set called for it we could have used the amp’s killer Geddy Lee-like tones as well, but as it was we were able to set up two completely unique but top-class tones and still had a memory location to spare. The ability to store three totally separate presets and then recall them with the footswitch (not tested) means this amp will definitely find favour among fusion and cover band players who require drastically different sounds for different solo sections or songs, respectively. I might also add that the compressor sounds great, and can be used for everything from subtle dynamics-levelling to a sickeningly pinched special effect.

The RG750 is so good that on the strength of that one rehearsal session, my band’s bass player buddy was seriously considering ditching his existing rig in favour of the RH750, and I hope he does, as both a guitarist who enjoyed playing alongside the amp in rehearsal, and as a bass player who might get to sneakily borrow it from time to time.