Looking for new Bass Amp - Can use some advice.
I have a Music Man Sting Ray 5 (5 String Bass) and a 200 Watt Eden Nemesis. I am not crazy about the sound of the amp but my real issue is it weighs a lot and tough to lug around. I play out locally but most of the venues are pretty small (e.g. typical bar, etc) and when we play larger venues we are usually miked. The Eden amp is a beast and I am never louder than 3 (I really don't understand what the purpose of these super high watt set-ups if your not playing on a huge stage).
I play a variety of music from 60-80's classic rock (ABB, Dead, Steely Dan, etc) to jazz/funk music. I slap and walk. I any case I want something light and versatile. I am looking to get something used for under $500. I don't really have much of an opinion regarding combo vs. head/speaker set up as long as it doesn't break my back. I was looking at Phil Jones but they are way to expensive and can't find anything used (but love the concept). In summary, light, loud enough to play at the local bar and rehearse with the band but not overkill, great sound, and want to make sure I don't distort. Also, since I am probably looking at ebay or Craig's list, amp can't be so obscure I can't find anything. Any ideas? Thanks!!
Check out the TC Electronics BG250. Nice and light, good tone, 250 watts, $400.
Size and weight come with the territory for a significant degree when it comes to bass cabs. I love the Eden 15" cab tone, but it weighs a lot and is big. I love the size and weight of the Markbass Traveler 15" cab, but it doesn't project as much bass as I'd like.
Try out what ever you're thinking of - if possible, at gig volume.
I second the TC BG250. If tone is your primary issue the Toneprint function will give you plenty of shiny tones to play around with .
I used to love my Eden Nemesis head but the line were notorious for not having a good power-to-weight ratio.
If weight is a major deal you could go lighter and get the TC BH250 and a single lightweight 10" enclosure
You think 200w is plenty for gigging classic rock... wow! During our band rehearsals in the basement, I need 500w into a 4x10 to even stay in the game with the drums, keyboards, two guitars, and vocal PA down there.
On any stage - indoors or out - I'll take each and every SPL my 1500w main rig will thump out for me.
Funny our different perspectives. It's all great fun, though, isn't it?
200watts (with 2 810's) use to just cut the mustard. Then people started to go nuts and proceeded to blow the audiences eardrums out!
I would pass on the BG250 recommendations, I had one and the tone sucked,,, perhaps the deadest, dullest tone of ANY bass amp I have ever owned,,, loved the built- in tuner and the tone print feature,,, but the tone made me want to throw up in my own mouth.
For what you listed as your wants and needs I would strongly recommend the soon to be released next week Gallien Krueger combos MB210 or the MB212, they are the new series ll coming out,,, the new GK MB115 series ll is now for sale at just under $500.00 new or less for a B-stock on eBay,,, it's only 200watts but its a very loud punchy 200watts and "might" fill your needs just fine.
The first generation of those combos can be found for less money on eBay, Amazon or sometimes Craig's.
I have owned more bass amps and brands than I can even remember and the GK combos are the the very best bang for the buck.
The GK combos mentioned will be fine for a med to semi large room as long as your band does not play at ear bleeding levels with no PA support,,,, and the GK combos have that killer bass tone that most combos can never get.
For what it's worth I currently own the new series ll GK115 for smallish gigs,,, for the big gigs I use my Ampeg SVT410hlf with GK MB500 head,,, so I'm not just suggesting GK cuz that's all I own.
Different folks, different strokes!
GK has a 200W 1x15 combo (Mb115) that is light as hell and would prob. be great for what you're looking to play. I'm not huge on GK tone - but that's an easy and affordable correct with a pre-amp.
Im going to agree with Davyo here.
If you can swing it the new 212 combo should be killer, and cover a lot of bases. If its not enough the 212 extension that should be released to pair with it will make a killer 412 rig.
It's all about headroom. If you don't have it, you can't magically twist a knob and GET it in the middle of a gig.
I played the GK MB115-II and TC BG250 side by side at GC the other day to see if I liked the sound of the new ultralight 1x15 combos. The BG250 sounded awful at first - until the master volume went above 4 or 5. Then suddenly it took off and had more volume than the GK all the way to redline. The TC won the "headroom" war between the two.
As for tone, I found some really good -- and also some really awful -- settings for each amp. With the GK I was quickly able to dial in a better string pop sound; the upper mids and highs were easier to bring out and more pleasing to my ear. Both had plenty of usable tones. The TonePrint feature on the BG250 I found to be a gimmick (unusable for shows).
But honestly, what I discovered was that neither one of those two combos was good enough to keep up with my Carvin BX500 head + GK 115MBX cab. The BX500 is only 6 lbs and offers more tonal range, more power, and the ability to add an extra cabinet if needed. I picked up the amp for $350 new off eBay (had to add a 12AX7 tube). The GK cab I paired it with is just a budget cab and has limited power handling, but sounds great and only weights 40 lbs. So at 46 lbs total, this rig is a better compromise in my opinion than the 35 lb BG250 or MB115-II.
If I were you, I would look into finding a newer class D head (Carvin BX500, Ampeg PF350, GK MB200/500, etc) and a cab that's "light enough for you" from the used market.
Yeah. I'm going to agree with both Davyo and shaginwagin. I heard a BG250 and immediately became so bored that I fell asleep. Because I still had the hideous, boring tone in my mind, I dreamed about it and threw up in my mouth. I almost choked to death on my vomit. True story...
Dangerous amp. Stay away...just sayin'
I agree with everyone saying go big, but you have to look at what the OP is trying to accomplish. Portability, decent power, and a $500 budget. Now if I was trying to go loud and light I would be packing a pair of 12/6's or fEARless 112's, and a 900 watt micro. That isnt going to fit in the budget though. So something like that GK 212 combo would give decent power/weight/price ratio.
My main rig has 3200-watts on tap thru 4 hybrid 810's. I have only needed to use about 2000-watts against a full Marshall stack.
These days it sits unused in my parents basement.
I currently use a 200-watt amp thru a ported 110 for practice, studio work and small gigs. So far I have only needed half of its clean output.
The days of needing something more are likely over for me.
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