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300 Watt Bass Head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by OliverHumanzee, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. I have an Ashdown 100 watt that was cranked during practice and it died. I am going to use the combo as a cab and sit a head on top of the 15inch enclosure. I am looking to buy a new head in the area of 300 watts. I think it should be enough. I am having trouble trying to decide on which to buy.

    Ashdown MAG 300H 300W Bass Amp Head

    Gallien & Krueger Backline 600 Bass Head

    Behringer 450-Watt Bass Amp Head BX4500H

    Behringer BVT4500H 450W Bass Amp Head W/Modeling +

    Hartke 2500 Bass Guitar Amplifier Head 250 watts

    Ampeg B1RE 300W Solid State Bass Head Factory B-Stock

    These all seem like viable options but I have no way of testing to see what I like. GCs bass section sucks.

    I value your opinions.
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Did you like your Ashdown enough to give them a second chance? If so I would default to that (unless you are sore on them that your first one died). Personally I was not impressed with the MAG heads when I tried them out a couple years ago, but that's just me.

    Out of the rest of the list I would probably recommend the GK or the Ampeg. In my experience, Hartke head quality has slipped of late (though their cabs still rock.) Behringer, no.

    It looks like most if not all of your options are solid state so if you want some "tubiness" then consider budgeting another $200 for a SansAmp BDDI and run it between your bass and your amp input and I think you will be very happy with the results. That little black box excels at making mid-grade equipment sound much better.

    BTW you might want to check the max wattage on your combo speaker (which I assume is 8 ohms), and make sure whatever head you buy isn't putting out much more than that. And make sure when comparing amps you are reading the 8-ohm wattage specs (since most manufacturers publish the bigger number which almost always is a 4-ohm rating).
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That particular Ampeg is just about their bottom of the barrel.

    In terms of bang per buck, your very best bet will almost always be a used head from the TB classifieds. That's what I'd do in your position, with no doubt. Just spend some time reading in there and asking the sellers questions.

    If you're going to buy new, then I recommend Carvin for bang per buck. Check them out.
  4. The Ashdown was really kind of a hand me down. I am not partial. I do like "tubiness" in guitar at least. Im really just getting into bass. I have a blues deluxe amd a mesa subway rocket. As far as bass sounds ive liked, Ive tested some ampeg combos and GK combos. I liked both, I guess its just a matter of bang for the buck. I dont want to spend much.
  5. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Used G.K. 800, 200 watts at 8 ohms....300 watts at 4 ohms.
    I've seen them in the T.B. classifieds going for $250.00 to $350.00.
  6. Just bear in mind alot of other things come into how loud you'll be, watts is one of the less important factors.
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Be careful that you don't pump too many watts into that cab - The combo was designed to match speaker to amp (in theory), so 300w may end up blowing the driver.

    Me, I'd get a used GK400rb. True, it's only ~140w, but it sounds great and can be had CHEAP.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah, that's what I was getting at. However, I would bet most of those "300-watt" heads are actually 130-150 into 8 ohms (which this setup would be), so I think the OP would be OK... but that's why I advised checking the 8-ohm specs. If it's getting up to the 180-200 range at 8 ohms, then the OP may be back here in a couple of weeks asking for cabinet recommendations as well :crying:
  9. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    G.K. 400....180 watts at 8 ohms....280 watts at 4 ohms. :)
  10. I second this, they are pretty awesome for what you pay for, and they just began making one with a tube in the preamp. That might be worth looking into.
  11. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Fairfax, VA USA
    I liked my GK 400 RB, used it with a Hartke 210XL that was rated at 120 watts, with no prob. In fact I have used that cab with several amps, including SVT Pro 3 which is rated at 275 watts at 8 ohms.

    My understanding about matching amps and cabs, from what I have read here, is that cabs can handle more watts than they are rated, by as much as 2 to 1. Someone please correct me if that is bad information I got. Dr. Bass has posted on his website "2 watts of amp power to every 1 speaker watt."

    Not sure how that applies to combo units.
  12. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    If you buy Hartke - try looking for a used 3500. I've beat mine up for years - only ever had to replace the fan.
  13. My vote goes to GK, it's a good sounding head that will last you though future cab upgrades.

    For the money I'd look for a used 800RB though. They are tough as nails.
  14. Dan55


    Apr 26, 2006
    If it was only the preamp section that died on the original head and the power amp section still functions, you can buy a SansAmp BDDI for $200 and plug into the effects return and you're done. If it's the power amp that's dead, I agree that the G-K 400RB is a great choice for a replacement head.

  15. burgerdj


    Dec 4, 2006
    Is the cabinet 4 ohm or 8 ohm? Keep your eyes open for a used Eden Time Traveler (WT330). It will push 330w into 4 ohms, can push a 2 ohm load and is bullet-proof reliable. Simple, but effective EQ, DI, etc. Really a nice head.
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    And, the 3500 comes with a tube pre-amp that you can blend in with the solid state sound at whatever percentages you want.

    Played one of those for years and loved it. FWIW I believe those drive 200 watts into 8 ohms.
  17. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Fairfax, VA USA
    +1 on the GK400 RB, Hartke 3500. Had them both, liked them, never failed me.
  18. Thanks for the info so far. I appreciate the quick response. I took out the speaker while I was on hold, it is an 8ohm 150 watt speaker. I am aware that the 300 watt rating is not accurate for me because its always at 4 ohms, i was just using that as a figure to communicate the range of power im looking for. So based on this, is 300 at 4 still a reasonable option.
  19. GaryLC


    Apr 6, 2006
    Scotia, NY
    Get yourself a used Carvin B800, great amps & relatively cheap!
  20. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Here's another vote for a used GK 800RB.

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