$300 dollar small amp challenge.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CrackBass, Jun 12, 2020.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    Hey guys,

    I would like suggestions for a budget amp to fill a need of mine. My main rig is a GK700RBII with 2 112’s. It handles my electric, full band gigs no problem.

    However, I find myself getting more and more three piece semi-acoustic gigs lately. Acoustic guitar, Electic bass, and Congas. Everyone sings. I have been going direct and that’s OK, but I think a small bass amp with a good di would make things better for me. We usually carry at least one powered sub to these gigs so FOH is good to do the heavy lifting, but I seem to want for a little more stage sound. My rig with one cab does the trick, but I’d like to find a small one handed grab and go solution.

    Is there an amp that will do it for under $300? Used is OK. I’m considering a Rumble 100. Is there something else that I should be considering.
    pcake likes this.
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    What about a lightweight head that could act as a backup for your GK700RBII? Then you could just take 112 and drop the micro head into a shoulder bag with the cables, flashlight and strings. Same amount of carry as a combo, but much more useful and generally better quality.

    GK mb800, mb500, mb200 all seem like good candidates here. Tiny and 5 lbs or less.
    Murch, Haroldo, tindrum and 17 others like this.
  3. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I use a Rumble 100 for trio, electric guitar and cajon. It doesn’t break a sweat, fills up a small bar no PA, only use the line out if we’re outside. So power-wise, that would fit the bill. Tone may not be your cup of tea though, best to try one out and see for yourself. GK mb 112 is the obvious choice, but a little pricier. Hartke or Peavey may have a $300 combo that will come closer to GK tone

    important to note the Rumble line out is post everything, EQ and master, which is a deal breaker for some
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  5. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    GK mb112 or mb210 If you can find one used.
    CrackBass likes this.
  6. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    I sat in with a rumble rig a while back and was pretty impressed by a buddy’s rumble 40 for what it was. The rumble tone is pretty good for the kind of sound I want on these gigs. I am pretty set on getting a combo. Anything more than that and I might as well take my current set up.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    GK MB200. Use 1 of your GK 112's.
    Timmah, cm3ohana, tindrum and 5 others like this.
  8. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Well if you like the 40, the 100 is a safe bet. The tone seems to have a love/hate reputation, but that’s really the only reservation to recommend it IME. The 22 lbs sure is nice! I got mine 2 years ago used, and still going strong.
    Iristone and Bamboo633 like this.
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Since you like the GK tone I was going to suggest this same thing! You may even be able to find a good sale on GK and get the head new for $300. Mine sounds great with one or both of my Neo 112II's.
    packhowitzer likes this.
  10. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Except if you use 1 1x12 instead of 2, and get a 3-5 pound head instead of 15-20 like your 700RB, you shave literally 40+ pounds off your rig and about half the size. So it's not really a "might as well take my current set up" kind of situation.

    Getting a decent class D head is going to be a much more economical and yet higher quality solution. Also, think about storage space. Instead of adding a bulky low quality combo with minimal resale value, all you add is a small head, which you could also use as a backup on your bigger gigs if you wanted. If you buy a head used, you could basically resell it in the next couple years in similar condition for probably about what you paid. Combos are always going to be going more and more obsolete most likely, unless they are pretty nice to begin with.

    I really feel like this is a forest/trees situation here.

    Personally, I wasn't that inspired by the GK MB heads, but they are solid choice, just not "sexy". A 200 is probably fine, a 500 would make for a good backup for the 700 and would probably be a better match for a single 112 (I don't think you said specifically, but presumably the GK NEOs). A Genz Shuttle 3 or 6 variant would also be good (6 would be better). A Shuttle 6.0 might start being a bit above your budget BUT would provide a nice alternative to the GK sound and you'd be getting a high quality professional head.

    There are any number of other options too. If you could spring for a Shuttle 6.2 and the sound and feature set strike your fancy, that's what I would do. One of my main heads is the ShuttleMax 9.2 and it's a great head and pretty flexible but overall fairly simple to operate. For a super cheap option, I actually kind of like the newer Acoustic class D heads (they make a 300 and a 600). They are dirt cheap and feature rich and sound pretty good and look kind of cool (depending on your aesthetic sense). I would bet you could find a 600w version used in your budget, especially on the GC used site (which gives you a generous return policy).

    So yeah, your bass rig now is about 80-85 pounds total. If you add the Rumble, that goes up to 100-110. Adding just a class D head to use with one of your existing cabs brings you to 85-90, and much less physical volume displacement (but probably more SPL). I mean, one of your 112s costs something like 50% more than the whole Fender combo. So that gives you an idea of what kind of quality you'd be giving up.
    GreyMark likes this.
  11. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    I sat in with a rumble 500/410. The 40 was not in a live situation. I generally like the tone. The only reservation I have is the XLR is post master. I can work around it, but just looking for suggestions that maybe I haven’t thought of yet.
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  12. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    Well, I do take just one cab for a situation like this. The difference between my 17 pound head and a 5 pound head just isn’t worth it for me. A sub 30 lb. combo that can do it would be worth the money just for the extra convenience. Considering that I do most of these gigs direct currently, I don’t think it’s a stretch that I can find something that will work.
  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I use a
    Rumble 100 for just that purpose. It is perfect. For that type of gig, the bass I use is a Breedlove Solo Jumbo. I have also used a Fender P.

    Here is an example, but our percussionist hadn't joined yet.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I've seen the GK MB-200 here used for $200-250. Great amp, and get any cab for more stage sound.
    alaskaleftybass and Al Kraft like this.
  15. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I didn’t even learn about the post master thing until I had it about a year! It’s never really been an issue. I have a Markbass combo I use for my rock and blues band, which has the individual line out control if I really need it. But I prefer the Rumble tone for my bluegrass/country band . Great little amp
  16. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    For your purposes I think that the Rumble 100 can’t be beat. I have one and while I can’t say that I’m in love with the tone it’s a fairly versatile amp.
    TN WOODMAN and CrackBass like this.
  17. Rfan


    Dec 31, 2017
    I have a Fumble 40 and a mxr
    m80 that gets me around the direct out from the amp.
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Rumble is a good amp for the money, but it's tone is different than the GKs.
    westrock and Al Kraft like this.
  19. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    Rumble amps are great. I found one of the older Rumble 150 in my area on FB, damn near new condition for $135. It's a killer-sounding amp with a lot of nice features (compressor, contour, 2-band parametric mid, DI, effects loop, aux and phones jacks, etc).

    I'm sure you could find a number of other used combos in your local market as well.
    Al Kraft likes this.
  20. SunByrne

    SunByrne trained monkey Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX
    If you're not a fan of the Rumble100 tone, Ampeg makes a $300 combo, the BA-112. Somewhat less wattage but probably enough for your environment. Heavier, though, so I'd probably still go with the Rumble.
    Iristone and Michael Bauer like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.