Looking for versatile amp. Overdrive + compression + graphic eq + $700>

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by jon36992002, Nov 29, 2012.


  1. jon36992002

    jon36992002

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    I am trying to replace my slowing dying head+cab with something a little more reliable and with a few features I need. Due to my location, there are very few places for me to play on different amps.

    Features I use now:

    Graphic EQ - Have a 10 band that makes my Jazz bass more versatile when I need a more even dynamics

    Compression - Could be replaced with a pedal, but I love it for switching between tremolo lines and emphasized solos

    Overdrive - I use a tube amp pedal, but am not satisfied with its tone. This also could be achieved with a pedal, but I love the sound of SWR preamp overdrive.

    What I use now:
    Hartke 5500c - good power amp, not pleased with the tone
    Hartke 410XL Cab
    SWR Strawberry Blonde as preamp (not a bass amp, but the preamp beats the hell out of my Hatke)
    MIM 5 string Jazz Bass
    Fender Squire 5 string with frets ground off
    Homemade 4 string

    Genres it will be used for
    Black Metal
    Death Metal
    Folk
    Jazz
    Funk
    Prog

    All of my gear I have gotten dirt cheap because it was available. I am trying to put in what for me will be a very large investment ($400-700) for a good piece of used gear. Due to the lack of music stores in my area, I am trying to accumulate recommendations to search for.

    What would you buy?
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton OH
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: J Worrell Bass
    My Bassman 300 Pro again. It needed one output tube ($50) and a new 12AT7 (on hand) and ran me $450 off of CL. A year and a retube later and I'm still only $800 deep for a tube monster. ;)

    Be patient and buy used, IMHO

    Ps the 1200 Pro looks to be an absolute monster and falls within your budget used.
  3. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    i use a mesa d180 with 2x115s, but i have been going super clean with it and not crazy overdriven like most who have this head, the eq is really nice, and it has treble, bass, and ultra high boost, if you like earth shakingly loud heads check out the mesa 400+, i have had no trouble keeping up with super loud drummers

    maybe 600 or 700 used depending on condition
  4. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
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  6. musicman666

    musicman666 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    ca
    You left out Dance/Pop in your genre list...lol
  7. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    DC
    You might be able to get one of the newer Trace heads used for that much, ie an AH-600-12. Tube preamp with switchable overdrive, 12 band graphic EQ, switchable dual band compressor, very comprehensive effects loop, and they sound awesome. Trace seems to do their ratings a bit differently, I think that model is 500w RMS and 600 peak, but I suspect the peak number is a bit on the conservative side.

    Anyway, they are awesome heads (made in USA as well, designed in the UK).
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
  9. jon36992002

    jon36992002

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Thanks for the responses

    Fender Bassman - I used to have a fender rumble, and while it was a solid amp, it didn't have that interesting of a sound. It also is pretty pricey, and while fenders are common, I have only a slightly better chance of finding it compared with another top of the line amp. How do you feel about the tone compared to high end tube amps?

    Mesa d180 (or mesa bass line) - I haven't had a lot of experience with older mesas or mesa bass gear in general. I love the double and triple rectifier guitar sound, but I always felt it lacked versatility. How do you feel about the variability of the tone, ie going from heavy stoner rock fuzz to subtle and precise fretless jazz lead?

    Carvin BX1500 - I love the build quality of Carvin amps and PAs, but I have never had the opportunity to play a bass amp. I have always been wary of buying any equipment without playing it, and the huge price spread on Carvin gear has made me suspicious that there are serious quality gaps between the low end and high end amps. Do you play on one? How does it compare to slightly higher priced specialty gear like SWR and Eden amps?

    Trace Elliot - Looks awesome, I will be sure to check any out that I find.
  10. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    jazzy piano type tones are no problem, thick and dynamic od tones are pretty easy too, i was actually surprised how well defined and rich this head sounded, i bought it because i was into ride the lightning as a kid and thought it would be cool, didn't know that it was pretty multi purpose though
  11. Tuned

    Tuned

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Use your existing preamp/EQ
    Peavey IPR1600 poweramp
    Traynor TC410 cab

    Well that's more like $950, but maybe $700 if you find'em used. With special cables you can bridge the amp so it's 1000W into 8 Ohms, and there's a light that tells you when you're passing 500W, don't go there for very long. That's a crapload of power for the buck, and you can keep adding cabs to that amp until the van axle breaks.

    I'd suggest a 2x10 but visually for metal that's like bringing a knife to a gunfight ;)
  12. Pills Are Yummy

    Pills Are Yummy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, California
    Krank D800 wouLd be best for your metal tastes
  13. jon36992002

    jon36992002

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Picked up an SWR SM-500 for $200. It doesn't quite do everything I wanted, but it has killer tone and the price was right. I am happy with it and as of 1 month of ownership would recommend it to anyone.

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