1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

fEARful 15/6 Amplification

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by backin82, Dec 18, 2013.


  1. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Well, I finally finished my 15/6 build, and it sounds awesome. Problem is, it exposes the weaknesses in my amplifiers/basses.

    I have a great bass to work with for the time being - an EBMM Stingray. It appears to be in solid shape with very little noise.

    I have a Hartke 3500 that's beat up like crazy. It is producing a fuzzy sound through the mid driver on the 15/6. I love the overall tone, but can't have that type of fuzz happening for shows.
    I also have an Acoustic B600H that does NOT have the fuzzy/hiss sound in the mid driver, but I've never really liked the tone of that amp.

    Ideally, I'd like to get a replacement that has a lot more power but a similar sound to the Hartke. So far, my options have come down to a Carvin B2000 or maybe a Hartke 5500, LH1000, or KILO.

    I'd prefer something under $1k and not super heavy. I'd also like it to have decent power and a tube preamp.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    For that cab, the GK MBFusion800 would most likely make you giddy. GREAT power at 8ohms (around 500 watts... perfect for that cab), EQ that is voiced nicely to smooth the top end and punch up the low end, and nice extended low end extension, which that 3015LF just loves.

    With the often running 15% discount from Musician's Friend, that should be just under your price limit.

    The GK MB800 is very nice also (same amp without the tube preamp). More similar than different, smaller, less expensive.
     
  3. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Smoothing the top and punching the low sound just right. I'm cutting everything above about 1-2k and having to boost between 100-200 Hz currently.

    I don't think I'll ever get an amp without a tube in it. I LOVE the sound of my Hartke and will strive for a very similar sound if possible (just with more power).

    I've done some reading about the B2000 and it seems like some people have had issues with them (along with the BX1500). Never been a big fan of GK's controls, but if it has the right sound, maybe I could get over it.
     
  4. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    Nice head. Simple but powerful EQ... the center/shelving points line up with the fEARful pretty well (nice low mid to punch it up, nice upper mid to dial down the gank, and a treble shelving to take the edge off. Probably the best 'bang for the buck' on the market, and with the MF discount and 30 day+ 'return with no questions asks', definitely worth a try.

    Kind of sits between the Carvin1500/2000 and the TecAmp Puma900 in price/quality. Nice head!
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Looks like a lightweight "micro" head as well, huh? I'm not completely sold on them at this point, but lighter would be nice.

    What discount are you referring to on MF?
     
  7. KJung

    KJung

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    The only difference between lightweight amps and heavy amps these days is the weight (and, in some cases, the ability to run safely at 2ohms).

    MF regularly runs 10% or 15% off sales on line. You just type in the discount code when you check out. Most cases, no taxes and free shipping, so a pretty good deal. And the 'no questions asked return' makes shopping pretty risk free. If you don't dig it, you are only out return shipping, which is very inexpensive.

    The key to getting the fEARful to sound 'right' (IMO and IME) is ability to punch up the low mids and reduce some deep low end, and especially the ability to dial down 2K and above. The GK allows you to do that. It will sound VERY bright out of the box, but easily tamed, and will allow you to get the most out of that nice woofer with the 8ohm power.
     
  8. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Assuming what you just typed is accurate, I'm very interested in one of these heads. I read some reviews that the BX1500 was a little "clicky" and "clanky", which didn't seem to match up well with my bass/cab (which I consider to be very "clicky" sounding). I don't mind rolling off the 2k+ range, but I didn't want to completely eliminate it, either.

    I'll keep my eyes open for that sale. With my year-end bonus check, I could probably afford one of these bad boys now. Now....what to do with my extra 3015LF...?
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yes, I can say, the MBF800 is great with the 15/6.

    I can also say that I'm pretty sure I like my 1001RBII a little better with the 15/6;
    though if weight/size is important, the MBF800 wins there.

    RMC Audio have the best GK prices I've seen.

    Personally, I'll never try a Carvin anything again, after the 4 I've had. Yuck. YMMV, and plenty of folks like them.

     
  10. eriky4003

    eriky4003

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Although I support KJung on his pick, ever thought of getting the Hartke 3500 serviced? Maybe the tube is starting to show signs of age or if you search around you may find there can be other issues with the amp (solder joints, etc.). May just need some TLC and you can keep the sound you love.
    BTW, I went from the 3500 to a GK MB500. I miss the warmth of the tube but love this micro amp.
     
  11. Marial

    Marial Three Weeks of Freedom Start Right NOW Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Emerald City
    Could the same be said of the MBF800 with a 12/6 or 12/6 + 12 Sub stack?
     
  12. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeessssssss......
    I regularly use either MBF500 or MBF800 with a 12/6/1+12sub.

    Totally awesome.
    Unless you play Really Loud, the MBF500 is plenty with that stack.
    I mean, Really Loud.
     
  13. wcriley

    wcriley

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Western PA
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Neither of these have great "tube sound", but my favorite amps though fEARful cabs are:

    GK-1001RB-II (with the 4/5 button engaged) for huge bottom end with adequate EQ capability.

    Genz-Benz Shuttlemax for adequate low end with huge EQ capability.

    Both are ~$750 or less new, although the Genz may be hard to find unless you buy used.
     
  14. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Media:
    11
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    My vote would go to the Ampeg Pf-800 for a micro. For something a bit bigger, the Carvin B1500 is my go to.
     
  15. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I would, but my 3500 was bought used in beat up condition. Then, I gigged with it and had idiot bandmates toss the thing around like a beach ball. Half the knobs are broken. Its scratched all over the place and has some bent spots in the plate steel. Its in rough shape, but works great as a practice/backup rig. Some electrical engineer friends of mine recently went through and did some work on it which brought it back from the brink of death.

    Honestly, I'd rather just get a new amp and sell my Acoustic amp to recoup some $$$. I want something similar to the 3500 (hybrid tube sound) and don't mind spending just a little money to get something of good quality and power.
     
  16. Marial

    Marial Three Weeks of Freedom Start Right NOW Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Location:
    Emerald City
    Excellent. Well, whenever I put the funds together I think I have my fEARful rig spec-ed out now. Thanks!
     
  17. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have owned and used a to spec fEARful 15/6 with both the Carvin BX1500 and GK MB800, GK MB500.

    They all sound good IMO.

    In terms of volume I'd go:

    1. bx1500 bridged at 8 ohms for 900w
    2. mb800
    3. mb500

    Build quality I think the GKs are a bit better and they sound better flat tonally. In fact I barely moved the dials on mine. The gks are nice because the highs sound really smooth. The bx1500 sounds good too but where it really wins is its versatility. If you're a knob twiddler you would love this amp. One caution is that many have reported having to clean the ribbon cable (not hard to do) to keep the amp 100% sounding its best.

    I would also consider the carvin b2000. They sound really nice, weigh only 14LBS yet pack alot of watts and fully use those Eminence drivers to their max. TBer "Canadian Eh" has a clip up of his somewhere and man it sounds good.

    If I had cash to buy a new amp it would be between the b2000 and mb800. I should note that I ALWAYS use an external eq pedal to boost 125hz about 3db with my fEARfuls. That gives a good punch to them.
     
  18. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I would have been on board with the B2000, but after reading a bunch of threads on various forums today, I'm kinda shying away from Carvin stuff. I'm sure it sounds good, and it probably works flawlessly for a lot of folks, but if I can spend $100 more and get peace of mind, I'll do it.
     
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My brief Carvin summary:
    The B1500 I had sounded great. It blew up twice. They fixed it twice, then sent me a new one, which I promptly sold.
    B800 and B2000: sounded great, had tons of power I couldn't reach because they clipped way too early. Sent them both back to Carvin during the trial period.

    Plenty of folks like their stuff; so, ymmv.
     
  20. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I read some of your experiences over on the greenboy forum (IIRC), so you're one of the people I have to thank for the Carvinphobia :cool:
     
  21. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I posted in the GB forum?
    Holy Cats, that must have been long, long ago. I don't remember doing that, nor last time I was there. Could be though I guess.

    Really, a lot of folks do like those and have reported different experiences; so, if you think one suits you, they have a great trial period.
     

Share This Page