HOW ON EARTH DO I DECIDE ON A NEW BASS AMP?
First I WANTED an old hartke combo. Then I got sold on the Hartke LH1000 bass head, I've never had a real powerful amp, most wattage I ever had was in a GK800rb and when they get hot the sound suffers a bit.
I also happen to love the GK head Hartke Bass cab sound. So I don't know if I should stick with a newer more powerful GK head or go with the Hartke LH1000 since it sounds so good when David Ellefson demo's it.
Currently I have the 800rb and two older Hartke XL cabs with a 15 and 4x10 in the other. I have not used them for a gig since 1999! :( SO I don't even know why I want to replace them with the newer hydrive cabs but that is where I am being tugged. And where I live there is very little hope of getting into a band playing what I want anyway. Yet I still want a new rig when all I really need is a 1x15 Hartke combo to jam with whoever whenever I can and that is not much. But for the money I keep thinking to get the cab and amp but what I really need is portability but I find it hard to fork over for a combo when I could get a half stack.
GK or Hartke head? How can I figure this all out? There is so many heads out there. It's not like it was when I bought the 800rb, it was the best at the time and now they have so many great amps. :bassist:
Personally i'd go with a Ampeg SVT or an Ampeg B15 for smaller gigs.. oh i did :)
The only way you'll know what you want is to try stuff out.
At first, it seems like a challenge. That's why I tell people to take their time when choosing gear.
First thing you do is be honest about the amount of money you have to spend on the gear in question. Can you afford to buy the gear?
Next, determine what you really need. Then do your research.
Maybe all you need are new cabs.
Lastly, things have changed a LOT since 1999. Gear has improved significantly. Personally, I wouldn't purchase a piece of gear based on someone else playing it. Try to base your decision on what fits your needs most. Portability? Budget? Things like that.
When you break it down like that, you will start getting the picture.
two ways realy. try stuff out OR find someone who has the same taste and ear as you and get what they have. trying as much as you can is best. if you can give as much info as possible the guys here will give you some ideas on the sort of sound you can expect from them . i dont like when people are talking about getting new amps as it gets my GAS glands going.
try not to spend money on things you don't need and don't hold it back when it comes to getting something you require.
if you say you want a rig but you only need a combo then buy the best combo you can afford.
this way you won't be wasting money but still have good equipment that you will actually be putting to use.
But honestly, take this advice. Be honest with what you really need out of a piece of gear. More often that not you can take what you want, cut it in half, and then discover that what you actually need is smaller, cheaper, and just as reliable and nice sounding.
My take is to think of the kind of sound you are after and then seek out the best deal. I knew I wanted a hybrid head and lightweight cab. I only ended up with an Ashdown Head and GK cab because they were the best deals at the time on that combination.
Accept the fact that some of this will be guesswork and you can always sell stuff on if you don't like it.
Keep the 800rb and get a Bergantino NV115.
It's a painful roller coaster ride. Checkbook goes on life support. Wife awakens at 2AM looking for you only to find you all balled up in a dark, dank corner, sucking your thumb.
But when you find it, you will dance naked on the roof of your house, and don't care when the neighbors call the police.
"Tone" is so personal. If you want something that works in the mix, that's easy with the number of choices available to us today.
If you want your personal dream tone, that's where things get weird.
Do your homework to define needs versus wants. Buy right so that if the new rig fails to blow your dress up, you don't take a beating on the resale.
Try and have fun, but keep your therapist on speed dial just in case.
I say keep the 800RB. Have a tech look at it, they shouldn't sound any different once they get warm.
Some good advice! One factor playing into this is the old saying that if you don't get what you really want/need you end up spending money twice. I have found this to be true every time I have only bought what I needed. whole reason I am in this boat is because I went the cheap rout and only bought what I needed just to practice alone with the Rogue 50 watt bass amp I have. Now jamming with drummers on occasion I need more power. My full rig is too much power and too heavy to lug to a meeting with a drummer or three piece situation only to find out they can't play to save their lives. I am sure you guys have found yourselves in this situation? You show up and the guitar player can't even play anything in time and is utterly clueless about it? Think's he's god's gift to the Rock Masses? Ya so I don't want to drag my rig out unless I know its going to be worthwhile. Plus my rig is stored at my folks place an hour away.
So I need a combo with power but for the prices I could get a half stack. Decisions decisions. I was looking at the LH1000 but considering if I ran the LH500 with the 800rb it might be best of both worlds. But then what if I like the hartke so much I want to dump the 800rb? Then I am stuck with a 500 watter when I should have gotten the 1000 watter. Sigh......
My process is usually:
1) decide on what my budget is
2) decide on the tone that I am looking for
3) decide on how loud I want to go within reason
4) double the results of 1 and 3 and be broke for at least a month!
An efficient 2x12 will be lightweight, loud, and full of great tone. Definitely worth looking into some brands and then buying used if you want a good rehearsal rig. I use the Genz Benz Neox212t. Bought used it can be had for around $500. Not super cheap, but it'll be loud enough for any occasion. Add a second cab and a head that can work at 2ohms and you're set for any gig!
So how about used gear? Is it risky now days? I bought a lot of used gear in the 80's and 90's all was good.
I bought the GK MB 115 II Combo which weighs about 35 lbs. and it was sufficient for practice. Since I had that I needed more power & highs so luckily GK makes a powered cabinet that chains from your combo with a standard mic. cable. I chose the MB 410 Powered Cabinet at 500 watts plus the 200 from my little combo. the 410 weighs about 35 or 40 lbs. Both fit easily in a compact car backseat & is more than enough power & I love the tone & power, great design.
My suggestion would be to fix the 800rb amp.
If not, sell it in the classifieds to fund you another GK amp.
I just purchased a 400rb-II and was amazed of the tone.
Next week I'll be cleaning it since some knobs are scratchy and also maybe changing/installing some parts. Pretty loud for a 200 watt head.
I'm not a fan of hartke stuff, but the new amps surprised me when I heard someone playing some funk. It sounded phat and clean.
Lots of folks on TB can suggest things if you can describe the sound you're going for.
Also if you carefully buy used and you don't like it you can flip it without losing money, sometimes even coming out ahead.
I played the LH1000 at a sam ash and really really liked the tone. It was plugged into a hydrive 810 and I was playing a lakland JO5 (passive).
It was a very deep tone with enough clarity ontop. Mids were even, not pushy.
Not to sell you on the amp, but it is plenty powerful and I don't see them at our repair shop.
How old is your 800? GK switched the output section of those amps a few years ago. Not a bad thing, just an update.
NOTHING wrong with my 800rb works fine I love the tone. It's not as powerful as the modern stuff though.
I made a decision but it is pending on if I can get a deal or not. I have decided to go with the LH1000 and a 4x10 hydrive cab. Got an offer in on a head on ebay hope they take the offer.
I plan to add the LH1000 to my small rack, it will fill in the last two spaces, I have in it an
and adding the LH1000 I will experiment with running them in stereo. :) If I love it I will keep it all. If not I might sell the 800rb if the new one just does everything and more I ever wanted.
Depending on how much I like the new cab will depend on if I sell the Hartke XL's or not.
Glad to hear the LH1000's are not seen in the shop much. I looked at the newer GK stuff on youtube and was not too impressed. Some guy had some noise issues with his GK 500 watter.
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