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.

Recs for My First Gigging Rig

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Icculus, Dec 20, 2013.


  1. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    So it's time to upgrade from the combo. I have a GK MB115 right now that's in the process of getting repaired, and I intend to use it as a practice/spare amp when I get it back. I know, I know… "Do a search", "Tons of threads on this". etc… I'm going to get more specific in a second.

    I mostly play funk, rock, "jam band" and some electronic sorta stuff. I'm starting to play with bands more and am looking for something that will suffice in a larger bar-type venue, but with the ability to kick it up a notch if needed. After tone, affordability and reliability are my top deciding factors. First thoughts:

    GK MB500 w/ 1x15 Neo Cab - I do like the sound of my current GK amp and wouldn't mind keeping the tone.
    Ampeg PF500 w/ PF115HE Cab Very intrigued, but haven't played it yet.

    As mentioned, reliability is important. I'm hoping to buy used on the forum, so I don't want to have to worry about inheriting something sketchy that's out of warranty. Seems like no matter what the brand is, there are people on here who have had issues with it. What else would you recommend in addition to what's already listed?

    Is 500W enough? I figured I could always just get a second cab down the road for the larger gigs.
     
  2. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    On the used market you "may" find better reliability with the MB500. Both units will only be around 350 watts with a single 8 ohm cab. They definitely sound different from each other. Neither one has a transferable warranty.
     
  3. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Thanks B. Do you feel that amount of power may not be enough?

    I also some curiosities with the Aguilar TH500.
     
  4. Systolic

    Systolic

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Location:
    Madison,Wisconsin
    I'm honestly thrilled with this new fandangled preamp/power amp setup thing. It's got so many pros and so very few cons. I use a Zoom B3 into a Crown XLS 1500. There is kinda nothing i can't do with it. I can get 98% of the way to GK tone, Ampeg tone, Aggy tone, BDDI tone, etc...I have power for days, when I need to go DI, i go straight out of the pre, and the FOH gets the tone that I have already dialed in. It's highly portable, super light, and relatively inexpensive, and can be had for very little used. If don't need the 1500, get the 1000 and save even more money. From there on out, the cab is kind of up to you. For your application i'd probably go with a GK 212 or 115. IMHO of course.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Go for a 2x12 or 4x10 and a 500 watt head or you won't really be upgrading much. If you get an 8 ohm cab you will be able to add another should you need to down the road. You don't mention your budget which for most folks figures into the equation. Lots of good deals in the TB classifieds right now. I suspect you would not be disappointed with the TH500 and a nice cabinet. Check your local Craigslist for the cab as many people would rather not ship if they are trying to sell one.
     
  7. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Enough depends on the other players and the venue? The people I play with and venues we do no problem. The biggest hold back is the single 15 (or a 210 for that matter) to cover the volume needs. Speaker area makes you louder than wattage alone.
     
  8. Abrahampost

    Abrahampost Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Boston
    I'd go with the GK rig and you can always pick up a second 15 later on if you need more volume. I had a th500 and it is an awesome head but i just couldn't deal with such an small eq section and switched over to a Eden head instead.... funny part about that is I barely ever touch a knob outside of the master and gain on the Eden now. If you are think the Tone Hammer definitely play one first and make sure it is for you.
     
  9. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    500w is more than plenty but I'm not sure a single 1X15 would cut it. It really depends on how loud your band is.
     
  10. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    So maybe a 410 unless I wanna buy a 115 now and another down the road.

    Price range… hoping to spend under $750 on the used market.
     
  11. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Under $750 for both the head & cab?
     
  12. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Yeah. Seems like it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  13. Belgand

    Belgand

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    You mentioned wanting to get away from a combo, but I have to say the Genz Benz Contour 500 deal that everyone's been raving about is incredible. 500 W (@ 4 Ohm, only 300 W @ 8 Ohm as sold) into either 2x10 or 1x15 for $390 shipped. Extension cabs are on sale as well for $200 if you want to take full advantage of the amp section. Since they're an authorized dealer selling a new product you can also generally get any other retailer to price match. So for about $600 shipped you're looking at a 500 W full-stack. True, it's a combo and lacks the flexibility of separates, but that's a hell of a deal on a quality product.

    I'd say I was in roughly the same boat and looking at some of the same rigs, but for the price this made my mind up pretty quickly.

    Here's the TB thread on the subject: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/great-deal-genz-benz-contour-ctr500-115t-1030775/. It started out a little over a month ago, but the site is still offering the same prices and I was personally able to get Guitar Center to price match for me. Just go directly to the seller's website (http://www.andrewsmusic.net) rather than going through the eBay shop.
     
  14. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia

    Interesting. I'll have to do some hw on GB and this amp in particular. I'm less familiar with it, but wouldn't mind a gigging combo for under $400. That's less $ than my current amp!
     
  15. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Act FAST as it is existing stock only for sale. Fender stopped production and has absorbed the Genz-Benz people. New things will be coming but no real clues yet. Don't worry if you have trouble (unlikely with Genz), Fender is fully supporting warranties and agedhorse here on TB has set up a repair station in his R&D lab.
     
  16. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Going to be hard to pass up for $345. Might see if Sam Ash or Guitar Center will price match it tomorrow.
     
  17. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    It is Pro, good sounding reliable equipment at a ridiculous price right now ;)
     
  18. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Looks like I'm going to be a combo player for a little longer haha

    Now… 210 or 115...
     
  19. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Just got the 115 for $379 from GC. $345 minus 10% for the price match, plus $45 for shipping, plus tax. I might have been able to negotiate the shipping but whatever. Solid deal. Thanks TB!
     
  20. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
  21. Icculus

    Icculus

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    South Jersey/Philadelphia
    Got the 210 extension to go with the CTR500-115. Looking forward to seeing how they sound together
     

Share This Page