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6 string convert needs direction

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by OddCoffee, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Hi there,

    I've been a guitar player for about 8 years and kinda pride myself about knowing an amount to do with the quality of different brands of guitar gear and how some stuff works. I'm hoping that doesn't sound completely pretentious and cocky.

    I've recently been offered the position of a bassist for a friends band, a kind djent stuff with a prog mix(slang for 'we like technical metal but we suck'), and have had the opportunity to start playing a MusicMan sterling5 and at the moment the only amp available to practice and play with is a fender rumble. My point is, I know absolutely nothing about anything to do with bass amps and/or gear, but just enough to know that a rumble definitely does not provide anything near the sound i'm looking for and want to know, with a budget of around $1400 what quality gear would be perfect for the metal bassist who wants to be noticed?

  2. Bass Unique

    Bass Unique

    Nov 3, 2011
    Metal bassist - do you still play with a pick (if you are from guitar) or fingers? The pick often sound sharper but may limit your ultimate technique.

    Either way, you probably want a powerful sound with good metallic attack. I would make sure you get something with bigger speakers to ensure you are loud enough and have enough bottom end ( 1 x 15" or 2 x 12" as a minimum or multiple smaller ones such as 6 x 10) and you should go for a cab with a high sensitivity such as 99 dB/W or more. You probably want 500W plus in your amp if you are gigging. Most amps give full power in to 4 ohms.

    Other than that it is very subjective for what you buy. Use the above specs as a starting point and find a dealer with lots of stuff to trial and take your bass along. Be aware that a brighter sound in a shop does not sound so bright when you get gigging and that the low end is often fuller when cranked up. Best thing would be make a decision based on some shop trials and then see if you can trial at a rehearsal / gig as well or buy one on sale or return basis for trialling.

    Use the forum to search for anything you have spotted to see what the issues may be or how popular they are. There is no right product unless you think it is - everyone has separate opinions and prefers Ampeg/Markbass or whatever.

    Of course, it has to be black and silver for metal :)
  3. Thanks for that. Some really helpful sounding advice.

    At the moment, I still use a pick, but I really want to progress and learn finger style. It never hurts to learn something new.

    Before I start trying stuff out, I wanna hear what sort of stuff others prefer so I have an idea of what range of stuff to look for. At the moment, without trying anything, I've seen alot of hardcore style bands getting around with Ampeg gear (which seems strange to me, I would have picked any gear to do with hardcore to be all epiphones and behringer crap, haha), aswell as Troy Sanders of Mastodon (i'm a Mastodon Fanboy), and I really like some of the sounds that they can produce. Just from cruising the Ampeg site, the SVT3 pro looks like a winner, simple, with good control a few nice features. Any thoughts on that, anyone?
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Depends on how you want to be noticed. Orange, Matamp, Emperor, Green/Electric, and Verellen are some brands of amps and cabs for metal players for whom appearances are important. Their prices are mostly above your budget, though. Even an Ampeg SVT and 810 fridge, the standard classic metal rig, might be too expensive.

    There are loads and loads of great amps and cabs within your budget that are perfectly fine for metal, but they mostly won't have "the look". So you have to get creative if you want more noticing than that; one way is to go BIG.

    The larger your speaker cabs, and the more speakers are in them, the louder you will get with any one amp head. Plus huge speaker stacks are a very metal look. So I'd suggest trying to find two 8-ohm 8x10 fridges, or two 2x15's at least. You'll want 8 ohms each because most amp heads aren't stable at the 2 ohm total that you'd get if both cabs are individually 4 ohms.

    From there, anything is possible. You could get a relatively dorky-looking amp head, and nobody will notice it because of the wall of speakers--which incidentally will be very, very loud. Luckily, black and silver are very common colors for amp heads, so that part's easy.
  5. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    Take your time and save more money. While $1400 is a lot of money , you can easily run over that budget with just a head. Buy used if you can and see what others in your area are using. :)
  6. Well, the look, although is a large part, isn't all that important to me. Our guitarists plays a orange 2x12 on its side with a butt ugly rack unit ontop filled with 80's looking digitech gear and a beat up, old looking Marshall power amp while wearing cargo pants, black metal t-shirts and cargo pants, all wrapped up with the stage presence of a cyberman. Haha! I more want to get noticed for the quality of sound I produce.

    I don't think I really need to worry all that much about the prices of the head, as inflated prices here in Aus generally drive me to buy smaller stuff overseas. With a quick troll around the dreaded ebay, I found SVT3 from $500-$900 with shipping that's not that terrible. It's really the cab I want to worry about, as i'm almost certain if I want something that matches, i'm looking at more then I can afford.
  7. I play hard rock with a Mesa PH412, the cab can be had for less then $1000 and is a KILLER cab

  8. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Mesa m9 carbine
    Ampeg svt7 pro
    Ampeg pf500
    Trace Elliot

    Those are my top selections for what you are looking for
  9. Thanks for the input, but I probably should have specified in the first post, I am in Australia. So anything will cost twice as much here (as a sweeping generalization), especially as I live in a fairly rural area with access to only Allans music and a few independents which can't really compete. Which is, again, why I opt for overseas purchases and shipping. Even with a step down trans., most stuff will probably be less from overseas then buying local, sadly.
  10. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    There's no standard recipe, but a 4 Ohm 810 cab with a head that pushes at least 500 watts into 4 Ohms is a basic formula. Using a clean head with a pedal for your distortion will likely save you some bucks and provide more flexibility. Look to buy used and save a bundle-the TB classifieds are a good place to shop. Older, heavier, larger heads often go for cheap (like a Harke Kilo) but nowadays even light fare is reasonable. A Genz Benz Shuttlemax 9.2 with 900 watts into 4 Ohms can now be had new on eBay for under 700.

    oops-just saw your location....
  11. For all of my projects this is what I play through. For the metal group it defiantly has the sound. Has the look too though...

  12. What gear is readily available for you in the stores? What brands do your stores stock? Maybe we can give you some help and you won't have to order in.

    Ordering in an amp shouldn't be too expensive, I'd assume it's the heavy cab that will bring the cost up (though I'm not sure).
  13. Here's the large store:
    And the local ones have Marshall, Fender, Peavy, Hartke, Laney, Eden and Warwick.

    Edit: 'Readily available' probably isn't the best description. Whenever you ask for anything slightly out of the ordinary here you get a 'We can get that in' which pretty much means 'expect a phonecall sometime in the next 6 months'.
  14. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Given those brands and your budget, I'd go Peavey for reliability and see if you can score an 810 with at least a 500 watt head.
  15. Agree. That said, my heads are putting out 400 or 350 watts into my 4 Ohm 810 cab and they are both stupid loud.
  16. Going out on friday to try some amps out.

    I travel to Melbourne alot and a shop I know has a used Ampeg SVT18 cab for $600. I'm not to sure on the prices of bass gear, but it seems reasonable to me. Opinions?

    What are peoples thoughts on on the sound quality of Peavy gear?
  17. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    You're going to want to maximize the amount of speakers you can get within your budget. I agree with the idea of looking at used 810's or 215's if you can. 410's have less stage presence but I'd take a 410HE or 410HLF over that SVT18 any day.

    That said, try every single bass amp and cab you have the chance to audition with your main player bass so you have an idea of what you like.
  18. Just so i'm clear, is there any reason more speakers is better? My thinking is that a bigger speaker has a greater surface area to push more air, although that's not actually based on anything.
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, more speaker area definitely moves more air; and this is true whether you're talking about more small speakers or bigger speakers (assuming the cab is designed adequately in each instance).
  20. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Yes and yes, sort of. You can very roughly equate a 118 to a 410 and a 115 to a 210. The diameter of speakers used itself is one of the lesser important details.

    Let me better explain my stance on the SVT18:

    I'd recommend matching your speaker cabinets to the best of your abilities. The SVT18 is a less common Ampeg cabinet and might not play well with other cabs you also use like a 410. Then again, it might have no issues! In my experience, the best price to volume ratio with cabs are usually used 810's or 215's because they're usually big and missing some tolex.

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