Friday, June 23, 2006

EBS Fafner

The Fafner

Here is one of the most versatile light-weight bass amplifiers I have seen. EBS' Fafner isn't that well known on this continent but it certainly deserves to be. The beautiful case and controls that all "go to 11" merely hint at the real capabilities of this powerful 24 lb. amp.

The approach that EBS took for this creation is unique in that there is a tube between the solid state preamp and solid state power amp. This amplifier's "drive" control sets the level that the preamp drives the tube prior to output which allows anything from smooth and clean right through to full on tube grit. There is also a Character switch that allows the player to retain a smooth and clean bottom end while maintaining the grit and drive of the tube. There are also a full compliment of tone controls, including switches for Bypass (tone controls), Low and High boosts, a bright dial, a flexible compressor and selectable mid frequency sweep.

I have read that some people have had problems with the Fafner amp, although save for a few notable exceptions, these problems were mostly associated with the earlier grey-stripe models. My amp has been working hard over the past few years and has been (touch wood) absolutely trouble-free driving a 2 ohm load at high levels for long evenings. I understand that this issue has to do with the power switch not being correctly buffered. In fairness to EBS I have found their service to be excellent, but one needs to bear in mind that EBS is a Swedish company without an extensive support network in North America.

Based on my personal experiences I would highly recommend this amplifier. The caveat remains that not everyone has had the excellent experience or service that this amplifier has provided for me.