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$1500 Head/Cabinet - Followup (Tried more gear, have more questions)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rsilverst, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. rsilverst


    Oct 9, 2005
    Hi - thanks to all for first round of responses. We hit some more stores today and based on what we saw, he's honing in on what he likes. I started a separate thread because I'm jumping off on a tangent a bit.

    For heads, here's what we liked:
    Gallien-Kruger 1001RB-II (new 750)
    Mesa M-2000 Basis (used, 850)
    SWR SM-500 (1300, but we're ruling this out because it didn't sound better than the other two which cost much less)

    For cabinets, we liked:
    Ampeg 4x10" (400 used) (not sure which one it was - used, a few years old - had round ports on front, and had slight angle near top of back)
    Ashdown ABM 210T (550 new)
    Gallien Kruger 115RBH ported cabinet (250 used)

    Here's the questions:

    1. Between the Mesa and the GK, which would you say is a more reliable/popular/wise/recommended choice? In harmony central, I see people slamming the M-2000 as being unreliable, but I am never sure how much to trust a small sample size.

    2. One sales person we saw told us that 2x10 with tweeter would be fine for small clubs. But the next store we went to the guy told us that there was "no way" that 2x10 would cut it on stage, and that you needed either 4x10 or 1x15 minimum. I know this depends on lots of things, drummers, etc. But is it ill-advised to go with 2x10 as *the* cabinet?

    Unless something big comes along and changes his mind, I'm betting he's going to go for the GK1001RB-II with a 4x10" Ampeg cabinet. Pretty sure he liked the GK and the Boogie better than the two Ampegs (the SVT 3-Pro and 6-Pro) and the Eden Traveler series that he played the other day. I'd love to hear the Schroeder cabinets, but not sure how we could try one out in Seattle - and I don't see him buying a cabinet without trying it first...

    FYI, we also tried an Ashdown ABM500 (I think) head and he wasn't crazy about it. And he wasn't crazy about the SWR Workingman Pro heads, or a Fender head that he tried either. And pretty much didn't like any of the SWR cabs that we heard (from both the Workingman, Goliath, and Bertha models).
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Did you get a chance to hit up Bass Northwest? On their site, they have a SVT-2 Pro for $1000 worth checking out. They also have an Albemic F-1X ($450) along with a Stewart power amp ($400) worth checking out. They also have a SWR head or two (I don't like SWR heads though) along with quite an assortment of SWR cabs. Quite frankly the only thing in your list which catches my eys is the M-2000 Basis which I have heard great things about actually, but mever really tried one. Be sure to check Craigslist.com too.
  3. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    You mentioned in the other thread that both guitar players use 1x12 cabs... most quality 2x10 bass cabs will be comparable to that. The guy that said otherwise would tell you that both guitar players need 4x12's also.. he'll be deaf before he's 30. I'd bet a solid 1x12 or 1x15 would work too.

    In my opinion the GK/Ampeg rig is a great setup. It will be more than adequate for almost any band situation up to and beyond large clubs.

    Bass NW in Seattle has a great selection of cabs and great people there to help you with 'em. Go there before you buy elsewhere (unless you find a great used deal). Their prices are as good or better than any online guitar megalomart and their staff actually know/understand gear. No pressure... no hassles... great service... great store...

    and don't spend his $1500 without at least trying the existing combo with a 1x12 or 2x10 extension cab. You'd be suprised at how much that will add to /improve the sound and volume level.
  4. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    $750 is way too much for a GK 1001RB-II.. They are going for around $600 new.
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    For the GK head try these guys. Rik's Muic On Line I had them open the box and do a burn-in on the amp so that I wouldn't encounter a dead-out-of-the-box situation. No problem. Probably not necessary but they were very accomodating as well as selling for significantly less.

    I would scale up inyour cabinet search. In the range you are talking about you can think in terms of Epifani, Aguilar, Bergantino, Bag End - Amy of those will smoke the cabinets on your list in terms of tone and will certainly hang in there volume wise. If your son really likes the tonality of the Ampeg, then the Aguilar GS 4x10 would be a great cab to audition.

    I run a single Bag End 2x10 with Co-ax tweeter for small clubs, lounge gigs. I brong in a second tweeter-less version of the same cab for higher volume gig's. For small stage, hihger volume gig's with PA support. I'm back to 1 cabinet, but on a tilt-back amp stand as a monitor.

    FWIW, I paid $350 each for my two Bag Ends in the used market. There was a 4x10 version in Chicago for around $400. A Wanted to Buy add on Bassgear.com got me the second cab. It took about two weeks.

    What part of the country are you located in ? Maybe we can help you zero in on a loca demo. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, near Portland, OR. I can hook you up with my rig as well as a couple of others for instance.
  6. rsilverst


    Oct 9, 2005
    My bass player is going to be entertained that you referred to him as my son! :)

    Thanks for the good suggestions - everyone, actually.

    An interesting comment I'd like to make. We started out at Bass Northwest (we're in Seattle) and we were really turned off by the place. I was disappointed. The staff there were NOT friendly, NOT helpful, and they seemed to be barely patient about connecting a different head to a different cabinet, AND they wouldn't let us touch anything.

    We're both in our mid-30's and we don't look like dirtbags and we came in stating a budget of $1500, not $300, so it seems like we should have been perceived as serious customers. Only thing I can think of as to why they didn't give us proper treatment was that my buddy didn't bring his own bass, so maybe they interpreted that as a sign that he wasn't really looking... I don't know. By comparison, American Music and Trading Musician pretty much let us do all the connecting and swapping (even moving stuff around the store) for ourselves, which I found much easier than feeling like I'm "interrupting" someone from doing nothing - which was how we felt at Bass NW...

    I'll make sure to convince him to check out his Basic Black with an extension cabinet, although I think he's itching to get a "killer" rig, and he's also concerned that during rehearsals (where we don't play particularly loud at all) his BB has been getting a burning odor from overheating. He wants more watts - hard to convince him otherwise.

    If anyone knows of a local-to-Seattle source for demo'ing those Schroeder cabinets, it'd be much appreciated. The bass player is a native of Portland, so he still travels down there pretty regularly, so either here or there would be useful.

    I'll let you all know what he finally decides. And thank you so much for the info!!
  7. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    If your in P-town talk to Frank at Apple Music. He will let you play through anything in the store and has always treated me very well. Apple is a G-K dealer so they should have several heads and cabs to play through. BTW, G-K heads and Ampeg cabs are a Killer match-up. Like a Stingray through a G-K head; it just sounds right.
  8. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I know this are not any of your options, but I'd recommend a BBE Bmax preamp with a Carvin DCM1000 or DCM1500 and get any 410 that you decide. I'd recommend Aguilar, Eden, GK, Ampeg or even Avatars which people seem to love and are very inexpensive.

    The preamp/powermap setup is very inexpensive and sounds insane. I used to own one and I was very happy with them. Very versatile, clean and powerful.

    I hope this helped or made you even more confused;), jejeje just kidding.

  9. If he likes the GK-1001 (it's a nice head), I'd suggest ordering that online at riksmusic.com . It's the cheapest price really anywhere. After that, shop around WITH the GK and see which cabs sounds best with that. That way, you'll eliminate a variable AND get a good price.

    Hope that helps! Good luck!
  10. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Try tubes too.... just for the hell of it. A ton of tube power can be had for about $800 used... or $600 new with the Traynor YBA.

    If he likes the 1001RB-II, definately get it at Riks Music. $150 is a lotta coin to save. That leaves him with $900 for a cab situation. That's definately a fantastic budget to have.

    It the guitars are only running through 1x12's, then a 2x10 should easily cut it for the bass. However... think of the future. If the guitars should morph into halfstacks... your in a bit of a bind with the bass then. Schroeder cabs have most immensely positive reviews of any bass cab I've ever encountered. I've never tried one... but I wouldnt hesitate to buy one if I had $700 laying around. But.... that's me. If you think he's really weary on that idea, then forget about it, even though I'd expect him to be satisfied with it. The 1210 would be enough with the 1001RB where he probably wouldnt need to upgrade if there were 2 halfstacks in the mix.
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Too funny ! There was a thread a week or so from a dad that was looking at about the same equipment list and I just assumed... oops.

    I've had decent experiences with the guys at Bass Northwest. I wouldn't scrap them at all. Maybe give them a shout and make a loose appointment with a particular sales rep, explain what you're looking at and then make another trip. If it were me, I would let them understand that you already have the head ... if he's settled on the GK.

    If your bassist is in town next week, my band is doing the 5pm to 7pm slot at the Harvest Fest in Hood River so he could hear my rig up close. That one is ouside in a tent so there will be FOH support. He'd have to up by the stage to hear anything other than the DI... Not a chance to mess with it though as it's a quick load in / out scenario. We're at the Maryhill Winery, Sunday but that is a real low volume gig and it's tough to get any idea of what the rig sounds like from that. Neither are great opportunities to hear my rig but there you go...

    I'm still really high on the GK head from Rik's. I like my 1001 RB II a lot .. and I came to it from a Demeter 201 pre and Crown power. I layed down a couple of blues tracks last night and used the DI off the GK. Clear clean and hot. I ran it in post EQ and used the EQ setction to dial in a sound as I was working quickly. 5 minutes and I've got a track...

    I see one of the real advantages to the GK as it's more or less neutral personality. It can get in your face aggressive, it can also do a good full round slightly gritty blues, it can do clean smiley face slap or a nice reedy Jazz bridge sound. Very flexible amp.

    There is also a new bass shop in Vancouver, WA that has Epifani, Ashdown and Eden. River City Music (or something like that - I think they are on the Epifani Website). Personally I find Apple Music in Portland to be an also ran. They have a lot of gear, true but it's very mid-range. Not much in the high end. Quite a high pressure sales environment as well. Not my favorite Portland resource. Pricing wasn't all that attractive but I've never bothered to attempt to negtiate with them so there may be flexibility there ...

    Your experience might be different than mine though, after all I liked the guys at BnW.
  12. rsilverst


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'm betting anything he'll decide on the GK, and he'll probably get it thru Rik's as you all suggest. I've purchased other items from them, and was very happy as well.

    I was a little inaccurate when I said that the guitars are only running 1x12" :) I usually play a 1x12" Mesa (Maverick or Mark IV), but I *always* use an additional 1x12" cabinet, and a couple of the cabinets I have are very large enclosures (made by Musiclord) that have either an EVM-12L or a Vintage 30 in them... so I push quite a bit more sound than just a 1x12".

    He's leaning toward the 4x10" option. But he'll still try some other cabs with whatever head he purchases.