TC Electronics

Sweetwater has what seems to be a great deal on TC Electonics amp heads.

$158.99 TC Electronic Thrust BQ250 250-Watt Compact Bass Head
$198.99 TC Electronic Thrust BQ500 500-Watt Compact Bass Head

I’ve been trying to find anything bad about these amps but I’m not having much luck. The worst information I’ve been able to find is…

Great amp but I didn’t care for the sound.
The were bought by a big company.
And, there has been a misunderstanding about the actual wattage of the amp where the 500 puts out 500 unless you use the “tube affect” and it’s only 263 (?) or something like that.

Other than that everything is really positive. So, why so cheap? Nobody seems to have a good answer other than “Made in China”.

I know @JoshFossgreen uses TC Electronics. Josh, and anyone else, I would really appreciate any perspectives you have.


Hmm, I haven’t actually used one in person, so I’m just going off the product info online…

One huge thing that would keep me from ever buying this amp - built-in compressor with no control knobs. Yes, TC makes really good multi-band compressors (Spectracomp pedal is crushing it for the electronic project I’m rehearsing with), but I really want to be able to turn a knob, at least a master “amount” knob, if not actual threshold/ratio controls.

It’s possible they found a way to dial it in so you don’t notice the compression, but to me that makes it a decidedly non-pro-level amp. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it, but seems like they’re trying to make a budget head for beginners/hobbyists rather than a full-quality head like the RH450 (which I like).

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Josh, thanks for all the information. Yep, that RH450 is pretty nice. It has so much functionality, just reading through it was a bit overwhelming. Isn’t that the one you have or is it the 750?

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I have the RH450, which I’ve found adequate for driving big cabinets (8x10, or a 4x10 + a 1x15) with a horribly loud drummer many times.


So I just saw a review of the thing and it looks like that “thrust” knob is actually the compressor and it has an on/off switch for it as well. So maybe not so bad? Price is solid.

The DI out has a switch for pre/post too, which is nice.

One downer - only one speaker out. On a 250 or 500W amp. Seems weird but it looks like it is true of all their compact head units.


Yep. I finally figured that out too. I was really taken with the BQ500. It seems like you get so much for the price.

Finally I found a comparison with other amp heads in the same class. All were more expensive. What became obvious was you really do seem to get what you pay for. The BQ500 ended up just sounding ‘thin’ compared to the others.

If you just need some power for gigging in unpredictable venues this might be exactly what you need. It’s light weight and makes for an easy, one trip load in and load out. This seems to be where it gets the most attention.

If your trying to craft your sound for yourself at home or for recording, you can get a used Rumble 100 for the same $200 price point and I was much more impressed with the tone.

Once again, there never seem to be any easy answers with music gear. What you should get is dictated by what you need at any given time plus whatever sounds good to your individual ear.


Yeah. It’s a class D amp so it’s going to have a different sound than a class A/AB/etc. Not worse, just different. It’s kind of like the old CD vs vinyl argument. Actually that’s a pretty good analogy.

Also - could you link to the comparison you saw? I found a good one on reverb:

and I actually thought it held up pretty well tone-wise.

Marcelo seems to like it too:

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Ah ha! That would change everything. Wish that was made more prominent in the product info! :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah it actually looks pretty sweet. So does the BH250, which replaces the Thrust thing with a settable mutable effect (stock is Chorus and you can program new ones in, including a compressor).


@howard I have watched both of those. I thought both were pretty good reviews. I also was listening to some stuff a guy posted on TalkBass. The Reverb one was what made me think I needed to go back to looking at the Fender Rumble.

What I said before may have been poorly worded. I should have said…

After hearing the comparison, I realized what I was looking for was more in the realm of the Fender Rumble.


How true, @eric.kiser! . . . :slight_smile:

I would add “plus what you think you’ll need in the future” to what you said above. :laughing:

Seriously though, I think it’s great that you’re taking your time, reading all the posts on these forums, doing your research, asking questions, etc. etc. BEFORE making any serious purchases! :+1:

Good luck in your search and with Josh’s course!

All best, Joe


Thanks, Joe. I’m trying to be smart about it.

Yes, there a lot of things I could buy that can get the job done right now. But I know I won’t be satisfied with them in the future. I don’t want to play the game of juggling my way through gear. If, for no other reason, the time spent juggling gear is time spent, not playing.


So this happened:

Have to wait to get home to unbox it.

Also I don’t have a cab for it yet :slight_smile:

But that’s ok. I bought it mostly for quiet practice with ‘phones and some tone shaping before going in to the DAI. I wanted a preamp with more tone sculpting capability than my Rumble 25, and with a pre/post DI out, and was actually looking in to things like the SpectraDrive. But these only cost a little more, and I was looking to upgrade amps eventually anyway, and I liked the tone, so figured what the hell.

I was going to go with an Ibanez P3110D and get the free 10” micro-cab but in the end decided this plus a 12” cab later was a better fit.

Plus it is Danish like @joergkutter so I got it.


Ha, I feel… flattered :grin: But, really, I didn’t know they were Danish…

Also, for the sake of complete transparency, I should probably disclose that I carry a Danish and a German passport - might explain a few things :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


@howard I’m looking forward to an A/B review. :grinning::+1:

Ooooh. You got the more expensive one with all the tone printing. I want to hear what you end up thinking of that.


Yeah it actually ends up almost a wash because they don’t sell the BQ as much here.

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Well, first report is the one they shipped me is defective. Bad hum when an instrument cable is plugged in. Tried a few cables. Doesn’t matter what’s on the other end of the cable.

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Whelp this one’s going back. Tried different cables, outlets, instruments, power cables, everything. Tried turning off everything else electrical including the lights. No dice. It’s got a 50hz hum in the preamp. I know it’s the preamp because it shows up on the tuner as a “G” (G1 happens to be 50hz :slight_smile:


That’s a real bummer… :grimacing:

Bad Danish QC???


Sadly :frowning: