Positive Grid Bias Head - Anyone hear one live?

RockGTR

Member
Messages
110
Hi everyone,

I recently saw a few videos of the Positive Grid Bias Head which is the head version (like a kemper) which uses the Bias Amp software as the backbone but then can be used with the power head, with cabinets, etc.

It's a grand cheaper than the Kemper and I'd rather not spend that much on it.

Anyone heard it live? Good sounds out of a cab?

Thank you,

Marc

EVH Gear Discussion
 

AdInfinitum

Member
Messages
766
i have the Bias Head version that has the power amp built in. PG is releasing a non-powered version soon. i run the BH into a Xitone powered cabinet (use the non speaker out) and it sounds just as good as every other modeler i have. Downside is no screen to see what amp you have loaded (it really should have had a small LCD screen to say what amp is loaded. So you need to memorize the 25 preset slots or use either an ipad or Mac to see what amp is loaded. Front panel knobs work well. Has a can sim switch on the unit so you can easily play through gtr and real cab.

The sync between the app and head works very well. Downloading patches from the cloud and loading them is very easy, but you cannot load tone match patches via the ipad, but can via a mac. it also doesn't have FX built in, so you will need pre and post FX boxes. i use a M13 pre and a Zoom MS50 Post. Sounds great to me.

Almost forgot, no footpedal control, but the ipad app sort if makes up for it. It has built in bluetooth and PG sells a 4 button bluetooth pedal. Also, PG is releasing an OD pedal soon which you can customize the OD pedals.

Note - i dont play live, but i cannot imagine it would sound any different than my bedroom setup when it is pumping some dBs.
 

mattball826

Member
Messages
20,814
Many lost interest since it is only tied into the Apple line of products for BT use. Cost is fairly high for what it is.

Other alt's are KPA, AX8, Helix or amps like the new HK Grandmeister Delx 40 (all tube with built in fx)

Good SS modeling amps also on market are Katana, Line 6 Spider 120, Blackstar Id Core 100/150

Loads of options, and some very good ones!
 

RockGTR

Member
Messages
110
Thanks a lot guys.

The lack of a visual interface on the unit itself bothers me. I want to know what head I am playing when I choose it and not have to remember "oh number 4 is my JCM 800 patch".

After some investigation and feedback especially from Adinfintum above, I won't be getting it. I'll save my money for something.

Too bad as Bias has a good thing here but they need to add Fx and a screen on it.

Thank you everyone
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
7,864
Many lost interest since it is only tied into the Apple line of products for BT use. Cost is fairly high for what it is.

Other alt's are KPA, AX8, Helix or amps like the new HK Grandmeister Delx 40 (all tube with built in fx)

Good SS modeling amps also on market are Katana, Line 6 Spider 120, Blackstar Id Core 100/150

Loads of options, and some very good ones!
Yeah, while I'm an Apple user, that is a drag. Cost of entry really is the BIAS Head+an iPod touch or iPad Mini, since you require at least one of those cheaper Apple devices just to do anything with it, unless you plan on hauling a laptop with you.
 

RockGTR

Member
Messages
110
Thanks everyone for the opinions.

I ended getting the Bias Head and I'm super happy with it. Yes it works best with an apple iPad or iPhone etc so you can see the setting you select.

Besides the lack of effects...which I will get into and the lack of a small screen on the amp itself...this amp is amazingly good for what it does.

I'm a tube purist so I know all the debates about real tube versus the modeled or profiled stuff. Fact is this is amazingly close.

It takes pedals just like any amp would and the effects loop is super transparent.

The use of the iPad actually makes it fun and is so simple to use and manipulate for changing tones on the fly.

The app only needs iOS 7.x which is old and can be used on older devises so you don't need a brand new iPad to use it.

You also don't need an iPad or iPhone to work with the head of you don't want to. Write down your patches on your phone and you will always know what number corresponds to what.

Anyway, I did a very extensive demo of it and wanted to post it. Here you go

 
Messages
1,715
I just returned the one I purchased.

If you want to use cab sims/IRs on XLRs to FoH but want to use no cab sim onstage with the power amp, you lose the fx loop on the onstage cab! It must have something to do with where they tap the output but this decision is a showstopper. This is basic live modeler functionality and PG absolutely failed it. I guess they assume everybody wants to use unpowered FRFR cab and not a guitar cab. I can't fathom a situation where I would want to send loop-based effects to FoH and not hear them onstage, but if you want cab sims off through the powered output but not the line outs, that's what they give you.

The noise gate is awful. Seriously bad. Strum an E on the 7th fret (a shape) and let it ring out... it develops an unnatural digital pulse effect. I tried across every preset and would have to have it turned off to not sound weird.

It includes Bias Amp Pro for PC/Mac, but doesn't include the in-app upgrades for the iPad so that you can access all the preamp/poweramp types-so you have to spend more to really use the iOS app! I think that's an additional $45 if they aren't on sale and $15 if they are. It also appears that certain amp models are only available via these iOS expansion packs.

The sound will break up while USB is attached. Sounds like the DSP is being overloaded.

Documentation is only available via online pages and is very brief. The included printed QuickStart card includes a big typo on a major heading/title right when you open it up.

Their amp matching cloud service is ok, and lets you preview presets, but it's cumbersome to search and scroll since you can only see a small number of results at a time, and scrolling is slow.

On a positive note, the physical build quality is as high or higher than Fractal/Helix/Kemper products I own(ed). The knobs are nice with solid clicks, the handle is luxury quality, and the brushed finish is super classy.

In the end, it's a quality product held back by a few dubious design decisions; some that may be fixable with a software update, others that may require a hw revision and further maturity of Positive Grid. But the parallel/serial cab sim problem will have to be fixed if they want to appeal to people who want to bring their own guitar cab.
 
Last edited:

PBGas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,950
I just returned the one I purchased.

If you want to use cab sims/IRs on XLRs to FoH but want to use no cab sim onstage with the power amp, you lose the fx loop on the onstage cab! It must have something to do with where they tap the output but this decision is a showstopper. This is basic live modeler functionality and PG absolutely failed it. I guess they assume everybody wants to use unpowered FRFR cab and not a guitar cab. I can't fathom a situation where I would want to send loop-based effects to FoH and not hear them onstage, but if you want cab sims off through the powered output but not the line outs, that's what they give you.

The noise gate is awful. Seriously bad. Strum an E on the 7th fret (a shape) and let it ring out... it develops an unnatural digital pulse effect. I tried across every preset and would have to have it turned off to not sound weird.

It includes Bias Amp Pro for PC/Mac, but doesn't include the in-app upgrades for the iPad so that you can access all the preamp/poweramp types-so you have to spend more to really use the iOS app! I think that's an additional $45 if they aren't on sale and $15 if they are. It also appears that certain amp models are only available via these iOS expansion packs.

The sound will break up while USB is attached. Sounds like the DSP is being overloaded.

Documentation is only available via online pages and is very brief. The included printed QuickStart card includes a big typo on a major heading/title right when you open it up.

Their amp matching cloud service is ok, and lets you preview presets, but it's cumbersome to search and scroll since you can only see a small number of results at a time, and scrolling is slow.

On a positive note, the physical build quality is as high or higher than Fractal/Helix/Kemper products I own(ed). The knobs are nice with solid clicks, the handle is luxury quality, and the brushed finish is super classy.

In the end, it's a quality product held back by a few dubious design decisions; some that may be fixable with a software update, others that may require a hw revision and further maturity of Positive Grid. But the parallel/serial cab sim problem will have to be fixed if they want to appeal to people who want to bring their own guitar cab.
Interesting to hear from someone who has actually used it live. This was my initial concern months ago when they first announced the product. I questioned several times and they had told me that you could in fact use the unit FOH with their cab sims enable all the while having a cab connect to the power amp without sims on for your onstage monitoring. Never was it mentioned that you would lose functionality of the FX loop. Ridiculous feature setup for this to happen and a huge oversight. I'm glad I went with my gut feeling on this one and basically skipped it. I'm hoping that this is just something they can change with a firmware update but you never know with PG. Too many hands in the cookie jar and 0 focus on what they currently have running now. I use their apps for both amps and FX with some decent success for filler stuff but I don't feel like I will be putting any more $$$ to them at this point in time.
 

Blix

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,182
Woa, quite a huge oversight about the loop. And good grief having to pay to ugrade the provided software at this price point. Terrible.
 

RockGTR

Member
Messages
110
That's some interesting feedback that I have not heard.

I am using a 4x12 cab using the output for a 4-16 ohm cab. My loop is working just fine with the cab simulation off. However if you are trying to run it FOH and using IRs that's not something I have done so I can't comment on it.

It works just fine as a head to a non powered cabinet with the cab sim turned off.

I also have no issues with the noise gate but if that is an issue use a noise gate pedal. Most amps don't come with a gate anyway. But my noise gate works just fine with no noise or noise artifacts.

The idea to get more expansion packs for the amps is something PG should have given the full software for so I get it.

I'm very happy with it but then again, I'm using it in a different application.
 

Progbusters

Member
Messages
984
copy: Last night I tested mine out on my Orange 112 cab and louder volumes. It doesn't sound convincing at low volumes but it does sound good at louder band-level volumes. Also it was trebly with the one cab so I hooked up another 112 cab for an 8ohm load total and it sounded a lot better with depth and bass. I was mostly using the Hiwatt amp simulation and my epiphone les paul with a duncan custom 5. Next is to test it with a drummer.
 

FPFL

Member
Messages
2,480
It's great if you want a super light, loud amp with good amp only modeling. My band mate plays one.

I think a quilter power amp and an amplifire makes a lot more sense if you don't mind two pieces. You get good FX, three foot switches, and spend less to boot.
 

Progbusters

Member
Messages
984
Tried it last night on a studio monitor with the cab sim on - it sounds pretty good. You have to use the cab sim, otherwise it sounds bad.

On other hand, with cab sim off, you run in through your own guitar cab, and your guitar cab's inherent qualities affect the tone of course.
 

Eric777

Member
Messages
1
Yeah, while I'm an Apple user, that is a drag. Cost of entry really is the BIAS Head+an iPod touch or iPad Mini, since you require at least one of those cheaper Apple devices just to do anything with it, unless you plan on hauling a laptop with you.
Full disclosure: I work for positive Grid. Just jumping in here to shed some light if I may. BIAS Head can be used as is, right out of the box. An iOS device, (iPad. iPhone, etc) is not required. As a stand-alone head, you get 25 classic amp models and a ton of tweakabilty. From the front panel of the amp, you can change the number of preamp tubes, adjust tube type distortion, power amp gain, topology and noise gate threshold in addition to all of your regular amp controls, gain, EQ, etc. Adding an iPad or iPhone allows you to deep dive into amp design, changing tube and transformer types, voicing of the tone stack, cab sim etc. Desktop connectivity allows for amp matching as well. I hope that helps.
 

TimeSnow

Member
Messages
3,151
Full disclosure: I work for positive Grid. Just jumping in here to shed some light if I may. BIAS Head can be used as is, right out of the box. An iOS device, (iPad. iPhone, etc) is not required. As a stand-alone head, you get 25 classic amp models and a ton of tweakabilty. From the front panel of the amp, you can change the number of preamp tubes, adjust tube type distortion, power amp gain, topology and noise gate threshold in addition to all of your regular amp controls, gain, EQ, etc. Adding an iPad or iPhone allows you to deep dive into amp design, changing tube and transformer types, voicing of the tone stack, cab sim etc. Desktop connectivity allows for amp matching as well. I hope that helps.
MAke sure you add your affiliation to your signature or you might get in trouble on TGP. Just friendly advice :) And welcome!
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
7,864
Full disclosure: I work for positive Grid. Just jumping in here to shed some light if I may. BIAS Head can be used as is, right out of the box. An iOS device, (iPad. iPhone, etc) is not required. As a stand-alone head, you get 25 classic amp models and a ton of tweakabilty. From the front panel of the amp, you can change the number of preamp tubes, adjust tube type distortion, power amp gain, topology and noise gate threshold in addition to all of your regular amp controls, gain, EQ, etc. Adding an iPad or iPhone allows you to deep dive into amp design, changing tube and transformer types, voicing of the tone stack, cab sim etc. Desktop connectivity allows for amp matching as well. I hope that helps.
That's cool, but isn't all the stuff requiring an iPad or computer the whole point of this device? Otherwise, it's just another modeler. An expensive one, for what it is.
 

Progbusters

Member
Messages
984
yes to go beyond the models or add your own models and tweaks onto the Head, you use a computer or ipad connected to the head.
 




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