Bowlus Bass Blog

All things bass (electric, acoustic, and upright) related.

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Location: Fremont, Ohio, United States

I am an attorney by day, but that's really just my "backup gig" in case this whole "musician thing" doesn't work out. ;^) I was been blessed with the opportunity to write freelance reviews for Guitar World's Bass Guitar Magazine, and I contributed regularly from the Spring of 2006 up until Bass Guitar Magazine's demise. This was, in itself, a dream come true, and an opportunity for which I am truly grateful. But this was a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and I am now the Editor-in-Chief of Bass Gear Magazine ( Our first issue came out in August of 2008, and we are now the leading bass review magazine, worldwide. Of course, on the topic of my true blessings, I have a wife and two kids, all of whom I greatly adore, so my time for music/bass/songwriting/performing, and yes, even the occasional practicing, is not infinite. Nevertheless, I really enjoy my time spent playing bass, writing and recording songs, and just getting to "play" with all that great gear! This blog is a result of these external interests...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Trace Elliot V8 - The Holy Grail of Tube Heads?

After reading about how great the Trace Elliot V8 all tube head is, recently a friend of mine (thanks again, Steve!) turned me on to the fact that Shane at British Audio Service had a V8 for sale. What I didn't know until after talking to Shane is that this one was a NOS unit that had never been sold (other than to British Audio Service, of course)! The serial number is T0136/74/201. It is our believe that this tells us that it was unit #74, made in February of 2001. It has the square badge and Made in Britain on the back.

Here are some photos Shane sent me:

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For a very, very preliminary report, but I just had a chance to briefly play my new V8 over lunch, and I just had to report back. Being aware of the theory that it ain't mine until I post a picture, here are a couple of shots of the V8 with my "Super Wizzy" 2x12's made by Steve Azola:

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This shot sort of reminds me of a shot of a friend's V* with the two ACME Low B-2's which taunted me so...

And here is a shot with a flash that shoes some of the details a bit better:

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As you can see, one of the Super Wizzy's has its ports "stuffed." This is a means of being able to convert them from a ported to a sealed cab. For now, I think I will leave all the ports open.

Needless to say, this rig sounded good! Dang good! The V8 has certainly lived up to my expectations so far, but much, much more testing is due...

I recently (August 6th, 2005) had a chance to pair it up with my Bergantino NV215 at an outdoor gig. Man, do they sound great together!

But of course, in order to protect my baby, I had to have a nice case made up, right? Well, after much shopping around, I decided to have an Anvil case made for it, much like what The Ox used with his V8's. I am really happy with how it turned out:

The casters are removable.

Here's a shot inside. It fits very nicely, and slides in easily:

I have formed an e-mail "support group" of the proud, the few, the V8 owners. If you own a V8 and would like to be included in our group, send me an e-mail at

Later, Tom.


Blogger Drew "Fretless5verfan" Felder said...

Must you own ALL of my dream gear!?! Hope you love it as much as i would! btw, just listened to some of your tunes with gigely and i dig 'em alot. The bass tone in them is unbelievable!

10:45 PM  
Blogger blood_come said...

I did'nt realise the V8 was so rare! Ive had mine for about 6 years now .I actually bought it direct from the guy who made it in mauldon Essex at the factory for £1200 (discount price) at that time he told me that one had just been shipped to Jason Newstead of Metallica, maybe he still has it?! anyway I nearly sold mine a few years back when I was strapped for cash .Im glad I hung on to it now.
Its the most back straining piece of gear that I own ,fortunately ive always managed to persevere beyond this challenge. Mine is number 16 off the production line built in 2000.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Bowlus said...

Very nice! I am glad that you held onto it! Have you checked out the V8 users support group/website?

10:16 PM  

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