1st Amp head what should I buy $500 +/-

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Huw Phillips, Feb 28, 2019.

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  1. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    I am looking to buy my first amp head and would like some idea of what to buy, I see a vast array of different models and don’t know what I should be looking for in watts, are tube amps fragile, etc. I like the specs and prices on the Aguilar TH 350 & 500 is this a good choice, I have the idea to buy something smaller that sounds nice rather than a beast, I plan to run a single cabinet 10/12” I have been playing for a little more than a year and would hope to play out with the head for a while so prefer to buy something that will last.
    The above may come off as uneducated please teach me I am keen to learn
    Thank you in advance
     
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  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    You can't go wrong with one of those Aguilar amps for your first, and even, your forever amp. :thumbsup:
     
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  3. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Thanks for your reply I assume that the 500 is the one to go for given that it has more power and a double speaker output?
     
  4. I was considering a TH 500 a while back. I ended up getting an Ampeg PF 500 head. The growing pains of this amp were ironed out a while back and it has been totally reliable. It's a bit bigger in size than the TH but that was no big deal for me. Fits in a Targus laptop bag nicely and has a zip pocket for connecting wires and some other stuff. If I recall correctly , the PF was about half the cost of the TH. I gig regularly with this amp.
    If you plan on getting into a band situation in the future , a single 10 or 12 will probably not be enough. Save up for a couple of 2 10 cabs or a good 2 12 cab. These will usually get you through most band situations. I'm currently using a 2 12 av cab from Ampeg and it is more than enough to get me through both of the bands I have played with it. Before that , I was using an 8 10 cab. It was also more than enough by a long shot. My current band is fairly loud with a mic'd horn section and mic'd drums. I don't need to go through the PA with the 2 12.
    You will probably get a bunch of different ideas from others in here and I am sure they would work well too. I'm just telling you what has worked well for me. Rock on.
     
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  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    So long as you speaker cabinet can handle to potential power, the 500 is not all that more expensive than the 350, in the long run. The two speaker outs are just added convenience as most speaker cabinets should have two connectors for daisy-chaining more cabinets. If you don't plan on more than just the one cabinet you have in mind, it's irrelevant, anyway.
     
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  6. 3rdcurve

    3rdcurve Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Sullivan, MO
    Pick up one of the used Quilter BB800s and put the rest toward a good cab. I’ve been through a ton of high end gear, and the BB800 is a wonderful head at a steal of a price.
     
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  7. Clap Trap

    Clap Trap

    Jan 27, 2015
    Israel
    Ampeg PF500/800
     
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  8. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    +1 on this. I've been through a lot of heads and the Quilter BB800 is among the best at any price.
     
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  9. DoctorZee

    DoctorZee Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    New York / New Jersey
    I assume you don't have the cabinet yet? You might want to think in terms of total budget for head+cab. This is especially helpful because you might want to consider used gear which often comes as a set, for a nice price. Why used? You'll get more bang for your buck, and since you're just starting out, you'll likely get the itch to try something different at some point in the future. You're just starting to learn what you like and need. When the time comes to sell this set of gear, you can get most of your money back if you buy it used to begin with.
     
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  10. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Hi, I do actually have an empty cabinet for a 12” speaker that I am planning to buy a speaker for that’s another project, I intend to buy a second hand amp from TB I live in NYC so there’s lots to chose from, I have look at all the above and it’s made me see amps I hadn’t know about, I see a lot of older stuff on near is that realistic or something people collect for nostalgia, meaning it does t go out of the house I am looking for light and hardwari g
    Thanks for your input
     
  11. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Thanks they look good I will check them out
     
  12. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Thanks Quilter 800 in first place
     
  13. tripp2k

    tripp2k

    Oct 31, 2010
    DFW-TX
    You'll get a bunch of answers. I've always purchased my gear second hand and have never had a problem buying from sellers who value their reputation whether here, on eBay or Reverb. That said, I recently picked up an early Markbass LMIII that I've been pleased with as a backup. You'll have funds to spare and it's tiny/light weight. You'll read opinions here from others that don't like this amp, particularly in it's most recently produced model. If I were to consider a 3rd brand (Mesa is my "A" rig), I'd take a look at G-K.

    Enjoy the hunt but try as many as you can.
     
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  14. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Will have a look in the city to try one, thanks
     
  15. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    Making your decision based on a TalkBass popularity contest is not a good idea. Research the amps mentioned here and read other reviews. Also see if there is any commonality in the amps your favorite bass players are using. Also keep in mind that amps react differently to different cabs. Just because an amp may sound good with one cab does not mean it will sound good with yours. I suggest buying new from a dealer that has a good return policy like Musicians Friend so you can try them out.

    And after I've said all of that here's another to consider. It's $100 off now with preorder and will go up when they start shipping in 2 weeks. The Fender Rumble is a very popular amp with a 2 year warranty.

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/fender-rumble-800-800w-bass-amp-head?rNtt=fender rumble&index=11

    And if you want to save some money on the Rumble head that was just discontinued last month go here:

    Brand New "Fender Rumble 500 Bass Amp Head"
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
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  16. Methaneman

    Methaneman Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chicago suburbs
    If you can, try before buying. I've heard good things about Aguilar and I believe the are made in N.Y. Go 500 min.
     
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  17. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
     
  18. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    Thanks I appreciate your input, there’s lots out there and I have a soft spot for fender having a MIM P, that I am happy with a year later, the no longer available amp looks tempting at $350, I need to go and try things as you say and once I hear what I like it will be the one.
    Thanks for help very valuable h
     
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  19. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    Hoboken
    thanks I will try one and report back cheers h
     
  20. rodsnhawgs

    rodsnhawgs Custom builder. G-ratio basses Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    U.S., WV
    In addition to sounding different with different cabs, you need to think about what kind of music you'll be playing...Amps (and cabs) coupled with your bass and your playing technique will greatly effect the tone and ability to find your musical "voice". As a new player, these factors will most likely go through an evolution over time. It's a good bet that this first amp won't be your forever amp.

    That said, it's solid advice to see if you can find a way to do a live test. So many good choices of equipment out there and so many good sellers here, I don't envy you. Good luck.
     
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