Germany’s Eich Amplification has become more visible in the past year or so, with its current product range boasting a fine array of amps, cabinets and combos for most playing requirements - so where exactly does this relatively costly combo fit in?
A good-quality combo needs to be transportable and fully featured, offering plenty of power and providing a full-frequency tone range without compromising the player’s performance. Loud doesn’t always mean good, either.
Taking these prerequisites into account, the BC-112 Pro seems on first sight to have the tools for the job. Weighing in at 14.1 kilos, the combo is sturdy and ruggedly constructed from poplar plywood, but is easily transportable, the tough leather handle on the upper surface making it easy to carry. Covered in black tolex vinyl and fitted with metal corner protectors and a cloth grille, the design is simple but effective.
The brushed chrome control panel is well laid out, combining a four-band EQ and a Taste control for tonal colouration; this ranges from a low-end growl with top-end attack, to a rich vintage tone with low-end punch. With various inputs and outputs, the combo can be extended with the addition of an extra cabinet via the Speakon connection or the Line Out socket, while headphones and external audio sources can be attached for private practice. Fitted with a 12” speaker and an additional 4” tweeter, a good spread of frequencies should be achievable despite the unit’s relatively petite dimensions.
For such a small enclosure, the BC-112 Pro certainly brings the noise. Even at low volumes with the tone set flat there is no lack of detail; the bass sounds full, the midrange provides presence and the top-end is pronounced. Covering a frequency range from 40 Hz to 19 kHz and providing an output of 500 watts, the amp’s tone remained intact on both the passive and active basses we used for this review, setting the gain sensibly and pushing the master volume up.
When we brought a five-string into play, the amp rose to the challenge. The low register remained defined without any residual flappiness. This is impressive for a single 12” speaker.
Adding EQ to the passive basses and using the Taste control to provide a warmer, tube-like delivery made the added tonality very obvious. Placing the combo on the floor in the corner of a room gives it some extra projection, and enhances its low-end performance. If this isn’t enough and you still need to hear the combo better, you can make use of the metal rod that comes with the unit. This can be attached to the underside of the combo, which allows it to be tilted backwards.
All in all, this combo is a very impressive unit indeed; all the features that you’d want and expect from it are present and correct, and the complete package packs a solid tonal punch. If you want an amp that has brute force to spare, but which you can feasibly carry with you on a tube train while also wrangling your bass, you may have just found a solution. Whether you’re a slapper, a tapper, a pick wielder or a master of fingerstyle, you’re sure to get good mileage from this feisty little number, so search one out, plug it in, and see what the fuss is about.