Help me spend my nephew's money.
My nephew, Jason, called me the other day asking me about the Acoustic B200 MkII 1x15 combo. He and my brother, Ron, tried one out at the local GC. He liked the sound very much. I've had the opportunity to play through one in a gigging situation. I remember liking the sound too. However I warned him against underpowered combos for the loud rock bands he is in for reasons often mentioned in this forum.
He and I further discussed his needs. He started playing bass a couple of years ago. I put together a Ibanez Roadstar and BA112 to get him started. A year later, since he stuck with it, I put together a rig with a Yamaha PB-1, a Crest CA-9, a Bag End s15d, and a Sonic 15. He added a Sterling by Ernie Ball, and most recently a Fender American Standard Jazz. Now he is looking for more portability since he rehearses with one loud rock band at his house, another loud rock band at a friends house, and is playing in the school jazz band. He has been using the BA112 at his friends and at school because it is portable. The combo is fine for the school thing, but clearly underpowered for the loud rock situation. Not surprisingly, he blew the speaker on the BA112.
So Christmas is here again, and Ron wants to get him a new amp. Since Jason is 15,and cannot yet drive, Ron is concerned that Jason will call him at the last minute to go pickup his rig and transport it to somewhere. Ideally, Jason and Ron want a rig at each location and one to take to school.
I talked to my other brother, Joe, about this. Joe is a very experienced musician in L.A. We came to a couple of conclusions. First, a kid in high school does not need 3 bass rigs. Second a healthy, fully functional, 15 year old boy certainly can shlep a rig around. Third, Ron should just say no to being his roady.
Tone wise, he is not really sure what he wants. His tastes in music tend toward 70's style rock. I am trying to get a better handle on his tone goals. For now lets assume loud rock.
I think the best solution is to add another S15D, which I happen to have, and replace the CA-9/PB-1 with a micro head. I am leaning toward the Aguilar TH500. Now I am willing to give the s15d to him as a Christmas/birthday gift. (His b-day is Jan 10th.) Ron has budgeted $500 for the Christmas and doesn't want to give him something used. So the Aggie is a considerable stretch. I am looking for a deal on one though a couple of dealers who are personal friends. If that doesn't work out, I am considering chipping in some money for the head and work a trade for the cab. I think that if he just gets whatever he wants he will never learn to appreciate it, so there needs to be some give and take.
I am looking for your suggested solutions. I am supposed to talk to Ron and Jason tonight. This conversation will require a lot of tact.
Basses: Fender Am Std P5 (x2)
Amp: Verellen Meatsmoke Preamp, Crest Pro-lite 2.0
Cabs: Fearless F115, F112