Best amp head for gigging
I've been in a band (first one) for the last couple of months and we are planning to start gigging in the new few months.
Currently I have an ashdown mag 300 c-15, but will be looking to upgrade in the near future, first buying a new amp.
I want to buy a head and cab rather than going for a combo, but looking for some advice on which are the best out there for my price range. I'll be looking to spend between £300 - £500.
What style of music do you play? Are you looking for any special features or specific tone?
I would say get a lightweight class D amp of some sort. A PA power amp will give you lots of power and you can the choose a pre-amp that suits your tonal needs.
Something like a Crown XLS1000 and a BBE BMAX would be around the top end of your budget but would give you a 2* 350W (into 4 ohm) rack mounted setup.
I play between 150 and 200 gigs a year. Never has let me down.
Try to find a store with a lot of variety and play a lot of them in your price range and not. Then you can try to determine what sound you want. Also, browse your classifieds for people selling used gear and try to arrange a way to do a demo. Once you find the gear you want, BINGO!!
It's impossible to get a reliable answer to the "what head should I buy" question cause everyone has different tonal goals. I.E. I bought the GK Fusion head and it is very well built, but I absolutely hated it. It just was not at all what I wanted out of a sound. So I ended up with a simple Hartke LH500. It is exactly what I was after. Now a lot of people who are after the type of tone and flexiblity the GK's have to offer had the LH series for being too simple, and in their minds limiting. But I am not after THEIR tone, no am I.
Long story short, go out and try, try, try different amps. Find the one YOU like.
Thanks for the responses.
I'm playing indie/Brit pop mainly. I don't really know what sound I'm after, maybe as you say I should just go somewhere and try a load of different amps and see what I like.
What are Hartke Ha3500 like? Reviews seem to be good and reasonably priced..
What GK could I get in my price range?
GK and especially Hartke tend to be much brighter voiced than something like Ashdown or Ampeg, for example. Going for what you're after soundwise, I would think Ashdown isn't a bad choice. Have you thought of adding another 15" speaker cab underneath your Mag 300? You'll get more headroom and lots more volume for not too much cash, and then you can save up longer to get the rig you want. I think that budget limits you quite a bit in terms of a head and a cab that is more powerful than your Ashdown with an extension cab. Throw a few hundred more on that total and you'll have many more quality options. Of course, you could always consider the used market.
I'm a preamp + power amp player, but I liked the G-K 700RB-II enough to pick one up for tinkering.
It has a very wide range of tonal controls, and is built quite solid at 18 pounds.
I have it running in a Chinese knock-off rack..
This is an itty-bitty one I got on the cheap from a TB member.
The rack has a covered depth of 8.75" and holds the 700RB-II just fine.
I put a shim of 3/8" baltic birch under the amp to help carry the weight in the rear end.
The covers work well, and the rack does the job.
There are no handles on the side of the rack body itself, which takes a bit of getting used to.
The SKB Xrack3 will also work well for the 700RB-II.
Good idea! Think I'll look to get an extension cab for my mag 300 for the time being.. Didn't think of that as an option!
What many, many inexperienced players don't seem to realize is that, until they get enough experience to at least satisfy a few very basic questions about 1) what they like, 2) what they don't like, 3) what they want, and 4) the reasons why, they're not in a position to fully appreciate or even comprehend the advice and suggestions they're likely to get from more experienced players.
So much of that advice and direction needs to be qualified in order to be of any real use. And if you're not yet able to qualify your own needs and goals, then much of that feedback will be based only on guesswork and assumptions - at best.
A vague, generic question can yield only a vague, generic answer. A precise, specific, well-informed question, however, has the capacity to yield a precise, specific and well-informed reply.
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