$2000 plus rig vs. $120 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by heavyhitter, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008
    Ok here is the scoop. I have (2) Ashdown ABM 210T cabs, a MAG 300 & 600, and a MarkBass LMII. And I do not like my sound with any combination of this gear. I know that they say “tone is in the hands” well my hands must suck. But get this, I really like my sound with a Crate BT25 practice amp. I also have a little Peavey amp and I hate it too.

    I mainly bought the cabs to compete with a drummer and 2 guitarists with Marshall JCM800 with ½ stacks. I was thinking about gigging with them but I have no interest. So now I am thinking of selling all my amp gear and buying a loud but manageable combo, preferably one with 3-4 tone controls and maybe a compressor (which I think I would really like to even out my notes and string volume)

    What say you?
  2. What matters is finding a sound YOU like, no matter how popular or high quality the gear is. One of my favorite amps ever was a Trace Elliot BLX-130 combo with a single 10" speaker.

  3. Huh, now you know what to do - get ten of them and link em together.... :bag:
  4. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    sounds like you need to try a bunch of different gear. don't limit yourself to combos though -- there's no saying that all combos sound like that combo, and all heads/cabs sound like the ones you have.
  5. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008

    Yes I would love to do that. Only things I can try where I live are Eden, Mesa and Ampeg.

    Then there are some of the low end combos like Fender Rumble and the little Ibanez units. Not much for gear where I at. 99% of what I own now, minus my basses I bought sight unseen from the web.
  6. The tone you hear solo (i.e., from your practice amp) is always different from what you hear in a mix, different amps or not. A lot of bass players prefer their solo practice tone.

    Keep the LM II, sell the Ashdown heads and use the funds to try different boxes. Start by trying a 1x15 with one of the 2x10's.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I say .... less about the gear, more about the hands... and the ears ...
  8. TheVoiceless


    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    If you are not gigging and only playing in your room then you dont need a live rig. But dont think that you cant get a tone you like from the gear, Have you honestly tried different settings at practice? And if you have then you need to do your research and find gear you like. What is it about the combo that you like so much anyway?? Just curious.

    It took me 6 months to find a setting on my rig that I am happy with my new band. Note you that I have used my rig for over 6 years. The settings I used for my last band just did not work. And not to say I know everything but I have over 15 years experience. So consider the fact that you may not be using your amp correctly for the application.

    Start by finding out what gear your idols use. Then consider the application (metal/country/hip hop).

    Also consider the difference in string volume could be caused by how you bass is set up. Have you had it set up?Adjust pick up height. String height also plays a factor. And of coarse you attack. Practice even attack on all strings. But I would say that your rig may not be the issue completely.

    Good luck :)
  9. Gubna


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco
  10. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008
    What I like about the lil combo is that I can find 3 tone options that I like alot in seconds. Actually I have the dial settings memorized. I found a tone that I use the most I found with after owning it for one day.

    The others I play and play with knobs and never quite get the tone I am looking for. I will be the first to admit that I'm not one of those guys who can go up to a new amp and in minutes or even seconds dial in a great tone.

    As for the tone of the guys I like and listen too....well most of them use or did use Classic SVT's. But then again what rock band that has been around for awhile not use a SVT atleast at one time? I have no intrest whatsoever in a 70-80lbs head.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Tried the Sansamp VT Bass pedal yet? SVT tone in a half-pound box.
  12. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I'm actually considering getting rid of my power amp and a pair of 2x10 cabs because I'm in love with the sound I get from an older 1x12 combo I recently found from Genz-Benz. Thinking about getting another combo - maybe a Nemesis 2x12 - and using both combos together when I need the most sound. I've got a preamp that I like, too, but for practicing at home or rehearsing with the band, the 1x12 combo throws plenty of sound around for me. I don't see a lot of Genz-Benz gear, but what I have seen has only impressed me, including their M-Line combos.

    You might consider a combo that works on its own and can also run an extension cab if you need it. I sat in with some guys last year and got to use a Carvin 2x10 combo with the R600 head in it. Not the kind of combo you'd grab 'n go with one hand, but it had a lot to offer. I'm not too familiar with these Nemesis combos yet, but a couple that I've read about will run up to around 300-320 watts with an extension cab. The used ones I've seen in ad's go for around $400-$450. I even tried out a newer Crate 1x15 combo that worked really well when I test drove a bass at a shop. Pretty sure that this combo could drive an extension cab, too.
  13. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    Shoot that sounds like a fine variety of gear to start with!
  14. If you can find one that works- get an older acoustic control head. I got one of those acoustic 370 a few years back. Instant tone. Simple preamp - bright switch, 3 band eq, and a small parametric. Oh and it comes with a 15 foot power cord.
  15. LP75


    Aug 29, 2006
    You never know when something will grab you. A bit over a year ago I bought a new Fender Rumble 100 1X15" as a new rehearsal space amp because it was a floor demonstrator model that I got a serious discount on (very clean though - looked like out of the box). I didn't really care about "serious tone" - I just needed something about that size, and it happened to be the right price.

    After I had been using it for a short time, I realized that my basses sounded GREAT through the thing. To me it's a small amp, to some it might be a big amp. Either way, I love using it now, and it's much easier than setting up my big rig.
  16. sell the rig and find a bigger Crate amp?
  17. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Scoop all the mids with your LMII and you'll get your sound :p Practice amps are notorious for this.
  18. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008
    Hmmm, might be on to something here. I will have to look into this.

    I never been a pedal guy, never even tried them. Do you just run your EQ flat and use the pedal for the tone?
  19. I really think that your problem lies in the fact that sounding good at low volume in a bedroom and sounding good at high volume are two very different things. You'll never be able to get the tone you have in your bedroom live, it's just impossible.

    You have to learn how to make your big amp sound good, and that is mostly acheived with technique.

    I mean, it's not like your rig is not good, with such an amp setup you should at least be able to get a decent tone, it might not be exactly what you want, but it should at least sound good. I think that you need to keep on experimenting with attack, technique and everything you can.
  20. ryognbass

    ryognbass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    North NJ/Worcester MA
    first of all, i second the motion on scooping the mids. quick fix for tone haha
    also, ashdown heads are notorious for sounding crappy at low volumes. really crank the suckers and see what tone you can get outta them...

    hope that helps :bassist:

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