EBS is established as a forerunner in the bass amplification market. Its products offer high power with roadworthy build and are well respected for their reliability.
The Reidmar - a 'witchcraft expert, greedy man, probably dwarf' in Norse mythology, according to Wikipedia - attempts to put the features and sounds synonymous with its impressive range of amplifiers into a compact package.
"Great sounds and the entire tonal spectrum are achievable, and without any nasty surprises."
This neatly proportioned head is well appointed in the tonal department with centre-notched bass, middle and treble, an added frequency control for the midrange plus an additional bright control that adds a clean edge to the higher notes.
While most Class D amps of this type use an inbuilt limiter to prevent clipping, the Reidmar uses a soft clip technique that protects the amp without affecting the dynamics - you get great sound quality and projection even when pushing hard. This also means that at really high levels you can actually introduce some worthwhile distortion.
Connection opportunities are provided for effects loop, headphones, line out and balanced XLR, as well as the Speakon socket for the speaker cabinet. This is definitely the preferred method of connector for bass equipment. Curiously, no speaker leads are included.
For the purpose of this review we linked the head through two EBS Classic Line 1 x 12 cabinets, proportionately small in size but extremely capable and well matched to the Reidmar. Sturdily built and sealed at the back, they have an inset side handle and chromed corner protectors.
The driver and switchable tweeter are front-loaded and a front port is included. Speakon connectors for input and link are provided, and as an alternative you could use 1 x 10 enclosures, or even just have one cabinet.
The big red mains light tells us we're ready for lift off, but setting the initial gain to match the output of your bass is essential. For easy visual reference the character and filter switches light up when activated with the character switch providing a 'mid scooped' EQ setting that accentuates the lower and higher frequencies. This produces a traditionally warm and vibrant sound so offers a great place to start.
The filter switch brings in the limiter/compressor control and this is particularly effective when playing at high volumes, holding the peak values in check, but it also allows for controlled distortion. This is quite dynamic - though beware, over-pushing will send the head crawling off the cabinet with the vibration.
Although you're unlikely to want this startling level of distortion, the amazing thing is that the amp and speakers can handle it. Respect.
With controls for bass, mid/frequency, treble and bright, there is certainly more than enough tonal manipulation to hand and even without the filter switch on: great sounds and the entire tonal spectrum are achievable, and without any nasty surprises.
The great thing about this system is it offers high performance amplification with excellent build characteristics for a relatively low budget. The combination of analogue preamp and digital power stage proves a great way of getting a quality amp sound at volume while retaining the natural sound of your bass. With a headphone facility it's also ideal for personal practice at home, as well as being a very capable professional head, so even as a standalone head this is a mighty fine investment, even if you can't afford the complete rig.