Please Advise a lowly guitar player: Carvin BX250 or Hartke 2500
Hey guys this is my first post here so please don't be too hard on me.:hiding: I'm the worship director at my church and we desperately need a house bass amp. I'm on a pretty strict budget because we also need some other items (new drum kit, a couple in ear units, etc.) so I feel like these are two of the better options in my price range. I'm a guitar player and a gear nerd, but my bass gear knowledge is much more limited. Hence I defer to you guys. What say ye?
A couple things you may need to know.
-my bro is loaning us an ampeg SVT-410HLF cab for a while so I only need an amp head
-micing the cab is an option but up to this point we have only used the amp for stage volume. Because of this having a line out that is selectable to be pre/post eq is a must. Compression is a nice feature as well.
-we play modern worship music there.
I'm open to any possible suggestions, these were just the only two I found that really fit my criteria. Any advice is appreciated and if there is a similar thread that renders this one redundant please refer me there.
Hey, welcome to TB Austin,
So, how much $$ is your budget?
Head only? What happens when your loaned 410 cab disappears?
You can put the bass into the PA via direct box so lack of XLR out on the amp is not a show stopper.
I had Carvin's bigger brother for 10 days. It was good but my Aguilar TH350 (more $$) was better.
The Carvin BX250 sure seems like a great buy.
- Keith -
The Carvin BX250. But if you can spend another $100.00 get the BX500. Just a little more versatility.
Thanks for the response :) I don't have a budget down to the penny, but under $500 is a must.
The cab is sort of on loan for as long as I need it. The way I look at that situation is I can get a nicer head only with the same money I would spend on a lesser quality combo. I can use the loaner cab for a few months and store away some funds to buy a cab later.
I don't mind using a DI to go into the console at FOH but I would still need a line out on the amp (to your point it would not have to a an XLR out).
I'll vouch for the Carvin. Aside from the comp and pre/post out it is well built. Only the knobs are plastic!
Ok under $500 for a good bass head.
I'd go straight to the used market looking for an Aguilar TH350 (sold mine last week for ~$400) or Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 ($300 to $350). I'm seeing GB shuttle amps on eBay for good prices these days with Fender apparently putting Genz Benz on hold.
I assume for church you don't need huge volume level so a couple hundred watts into a 2x10 or so would be more than enough.
Really, an Ampeg BA-115 may be all the bass amp you need, though the separate head would be nice.
Now, the BX500 is about $100 more than the BX250, but Carvin sometimes sells them on eBay with no tube (http://www.ebay.com/itm/CARVIN-BX500...item232f1577bc) for $350. The BX500 has the advantage of having Speak-on outputs and can drive a 2 ohm load. The build-in graphic EQ is useless as is the tube preamp. On the down side, the BX500 has a cooling fan which can be heard. It is not loud, by any stretch of the imagination, and even in a small room probably would not interrupt anything, but it is there, and it does make sound. The BX250 with no fan is absolutely slilent. No way it will interrupt prayer time.
Oh, one more thing. The BX250 has a pre/post switch for the XLR DI. The BX500 does not. I don't recall if it is pre (probably what you want) or post (yuck) only.
- Keith -
I might be reading between the lines so bear with me.
Do you "need" an amp? You stated that you're only using the current borrowed setup for stage volume. Will you be using the planned in ear purchase?
It sounds as though your FoH might be enough by itself for you to use a DI box.
If this is the case TECH21 has some very products in your price range.
We definitely need an amp. We used to run DI only and the bass player would either use a floor wedge or in ears for monitoring. The problem was that the music had no feel, especially for drums and bass. We are currently using an older bass amp that someone gave us, but it is only somewhat functional and is less than ideal. We need the low end from the amp on stage so that we experience the feel of the music that the congregation is experiencing. Also we would absolutely use the extra IEM units.
Thanks everyone for all the input! It seems like between the two I was looking at, the Carvin wins in a landslide. Any takers on the Hartke? I also like the looks of the Aguilar TH350 that Keith mentioned. If anyone else wants to chime in on the Aguilar I'd be interested to hear your thoughts
The Carvins are great amps. I can vouch for the 250 as a solid piece of kit. I also owned the older BX1200 and it was an absolute tank. I never got the BX500 as the tube is not part of the DI chain and it seemed silly to have it there but not used everywhere.
One more to maybe consider is the TC Elcectronics BH250. Tiny little thing with an onboard tuner (4 LEDs, but will tune a 6 string), DI (pre and post) an interchangeable onboard effect and a few other things.
I use the combo version of it (BG250) and it's a monster. It adds a 5 LED tuner (will also tune a 6) and TubeDrive and is freaksihly loud.
Both are well within your budget.
I use a Carvin BX250 at church. Great amp. Would recommend to anyone.
Alrighty fellas based on your feedback and the price it looks like its gonna be the Carvin BX250. I'm gonna go ahead and order it straight from Carvin tonight ($279 sure seems like a great buy) and ill report back with some thoughts when it comes in. I'm digging tb so far, you low end guys rock!
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