a little amplification advice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bus_Mute, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. hello everyone!

    my name is Joe, I'm sixteen, and I'm new to talkbass.com.

    I play in an ambient/post-rock band, and I am looking into buying a new amplifier - my budget is around 850$

    I figured that by coming here, I could get some feedback from people that have used the equipment I've been planning to get, rather than going and buying it blindly.

    after a lot of thread-browsing and price comparison, I've come to find that I like the idea of :

    Peavey Firebass 700 w/ an Avatar cabinet.

    I'd really appreciate it if someone would give me their opinion about that equipment, or make another recommendation.

  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Welcome to the site, and I hope you enjoy your tenure here.

    I can vouch for Avatar cabinets as pretty decent - I actually just traded my first-series 2x10 for something a little different today, but they are great. Many people seem to like the 2x12, so you should probably check that out.

    As far as Peavey heads - they are absolutely rock solid, and are pretty much the standard in bar gig bands. That said, I'm not too very fond of the tone. If high wattage is a must for you, I'd say check out Carvin's B1500 - but that goes for about $700. Probably a bit of a stretch, but maybe you could find one used?

    Another option - Gallien-Krueger 700 or 1001 used. Great heads, and in my experience, GK and Avatar go well together.

    Let's see what other guys have to say.
  3. thanks a lot. I was definitely looking at the Avatar 2x12's.
    they look a little bigger than most 2x12's I've seen, but I've heard that they are reliable.
    the same with the Firebass.

    I am in desperate need of higher wattage, because I play extremely loud post-rock that's built around bowed guitars and a lot of feedback looping and volume swells. I'm just concerned because I'm on a pretty tight budget. I know that I can't expect an amazing amplifier for around 800$, but I'm hoping that I can atleast get something that is competent and will lend itself well to the style I play.

    you said you didn't like the tone of the Peavey, would you mind telling me how it sounds? I'm looking for something with a good low end and midrange. I'm not too concerned with how well it handles the highest strings, since most of the time when I play them, an effect is being used and it's for some sort of swell or harmonic.

    thanks again for the advice.
  4. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Amps are very subjetive, and a lot of time people just recomend what they like or have, so be aware of that and you really should play it first.
    That being said, I've heard nothing but good things about those two items. Not what I play, but I think you're on the right track.
    What's the wattage on the 212 and how many ohms are you getting? Do you want to add another cab later?
  5. I'd like to add a new cab later, but my budget is extremely tight as it is.

    the 2x12 is rated at 1000 watts, which should be enough to handle the Firebass, unless I'm mistaken.

    it's 4 ohm.

    I've definitely found out that I need to be careful of what people tell me to buy. this is the third forum site I've been to, and almost everyone seems predisposed to tell me that I should get whatever amplifier is in their 'gear' list.

    thanks again.
  6. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    That's going to be pretty good on it's own, but unless the Firebass goes down to 2 ohms, you won't be able to add another cab.
    Do you know about ohms?
  7. this is my first time buying anything other than a combo. I've been playing bass for about six years now, since I was ten or so, but up until this point, I had been playing through a 100watt ampeg combo.

    I lead worship at my church, and I've recently gotten involved in a very loud ambient/post-rock band, so the Ampeg isn't cutting it, even when I have it running through the PA.

    I'm new to the whole head/cab thing, so I apologize if I sound incredibly ignorant or if I'm saying anything that makes me seem like a fool.

    I could definitely use some enlightenment, but if you say that a 2x12 should be sufficient, I'll take your word for it.

    thanks again.:smug:
  8. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I have a Firebass and a Steelsound 2x12 (cheap 2x12). Regarding tone capabilities (not volume), I've found that the Firebass is run-of-the-mill by itself. It's not bad, but not like a nice GK or Hartke where you might have a more distinctive tone when the settings are set to 12 o'clock and more tone-shaping options...But it also depends on the quality of your speakers and from what I've heard about the Avatars you'll be fine.

    The Firebass's strength is in pumping out decibels, reliability, and price. I would recommend it for a hard-rocking band. I run the 2x12 along with a 2x10 using the full 2 ohms, and man it is loud well before hitting a 5 gain and 5 volume. You should be able to get by with the 2x12 alone for your volume needs, but if it isn't loud enough for your tastes you can pick up another 4 ohm cab and go supersonic and deaf at an early age. I seriously recommend earplugs if you go with the Firebass nonetheless. If you have a decent effects modeler that will help add variety to the Firebass's tone.
  9. sweet.

    that's easily one of the most helpful replies I've gotten on any of these forums so far.

    if the tone is atleast decent, I can deal with it. I'm more concerned with volume, although I do want clarity. since volume swells and effect loops make up a big part of my band's sound, I don't think that mediocre tone will be that big of a problem. I don't expect anything amazing, considering my price budget.
  10. naughtry


    Jan 31, 2004
    NYC / D.C.
    plus your not going to find hardly any forums with people that know much about the styles of music you mentioned. I think the sasy solution would be to find out what gear your influences are using to get there sound and find similair gear used at prices you can afford.
  11. Welcome Joe.

    Learn to use the search feature on this board. It is excellent, and will provide you with a huge amount of knowledge.

    Read - Read - Read

    Immerse yourself in what interests you, and you will learn quickly.

    As to gear, my advice is "buy used". Like every other bass player, you will trade equipment sooner or later as you progress. Try to pay no more than 66% of new-discount price for used gear, and you will always be able to recover your investment when you trade up.
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The firebass DOES go down to two ohms.
  13. thanks a lot guys.

    I looked at the gear my influences use, and I've come to find that more than one of them actually use a Peavey Firebass.

    they are running through several speaker cabs, but I suppose I couldn't go wrong with just a 2x12 for now.

    I'm definitely looking to buy used. I think I may have found a used Firebass on another forum for about 450$. which isn't bad, according to what the guys on the forum said.

    as for cabs, I'm looking for a used Avatar, but the price of a new one isn't too bad, so if I can't find one used I think I could afford a new one.
  14. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Hey man, welcome to the site.

    I built a good sized rig on a budget. I'm a college student and the needs of my band drastically increased a few months ago.

    First though, let me tell you why people tend to give you advice on gear that they have in their gear list. That's because it's what they know of first hand! That doesn't mean that they can't be jaded either way and it's good to be wary of people's opinions, but once you can sort out the good suggestions, they're very helpful.

    Anyway, how many guitar players do you have, what are they playing through (4x12's? combo's?).

    I bought a used head for $550 (from someone here) to replace a small head that I had on top of a 4x10 that I bought used for $200 at a local music store.

    The head put 700 watts into just the 4x10, and I tried that once and it was plenty loud against two half stacks and a drummer with a big kit, but I had bought a 1x15 (for another $200+) in the meantime that allowed my head to put out 1000 watts.

    But I had been using my old head with the full stack before I sold it, and at 300 watts it was okay, but the tone was lacking and I wanted more head room to play in larger places.

    Hmm long post... basically what I'm trying to say is that by searching around and buying used you can find a head that you might be more satisfied with a year down the road than the Firebass, not that it isn't bad, but I think you can do better and still stay under your $850 limit.
  15. I have no idea what kind of music you are talking about and I have never heard or seen a bowed guitar, plus I am 60 years old. Now that we got that out of the way, I would say that it is hard to go wrong with the Firebass at 16 or even 35. It is a solidly-built, powerful amp that will go to 2 ohms if you need it to. I had a Peavey Special 130 guitar amp that I used hard for 25 years in bars and it was still going great when I sold it to get something lighter. Peavey is noted for durability and reliability above all else. There are several amp companies that are very highly regarded here on Talkbass for their advanced designs, technical sophistication, light weight and tonal purity that cost 3 to 4 times as much as Peavey and are significantly less reliable. What good does all that sophistication do you when you have a gig and the amp doesn't work?

    I think your choices are excellent. A few years from now when you have more experience and more money you will probably want to move on to something "more advanced"... and then a few months later you might be kicking yourself for selling the Peavey.

    Since you say that you need lots of volume, you might consider the Avatar 410, it should be louder than the 212. Another thing to consider is a used Peavey cab. An 810 or a couple 410s, or a 410 and a 115 would put out a LOT of volume. They weigh too much for me to want to haul them around anymore, but you and your friends are young.
  16. wolfs


    Jan 18, 2006
    Just to throw out a couple of names to narrow your search for heads... for your price range, Peavey's great for reliability and watts. Also, look at the Hartke 3500 used, very flexible amps that can be found pretty cheap (definitely well within your price range... used from $200-300).

    If, however, you don't like the clean solid state tone of Hartke or Peavey, consider the Ashdown MAG line. It's pretty inexpensive new--I'm not sure of its availability used--and has a sexy, bassy tone. I played one for quite awhile at a local guitar store and liked it very much. But for now I prefer my Hartke for most things that I do (punk / post-punk). I don't think you could go wrong with either Hartke, Peavey, or Ashdown used, it just depends on which you like best...

    For cabs, I think Avatar (though I haven't played one) is a good starting point based on the praise that they get on this board. Think seriously about a 4x10, lots of volume there... I think that's all... definitely use the search function liberally in this forum, "pearls of wisdom" as my high school history teacher used to repeat incessantly.
  17. wolfs


    Jan 18, 2006
    One more thing... I have the Aguilar S210 and like it very much. For some reason, Musicians Friend is selling the Aguilar S line for ridiculously cheap right now. (Does anybody else know what gives?) The S410 is under $400 for the time being... that would leave you $450 to get a good head. Get it in the 8 ohm and you can add another 8 ohm cab later (a 2x12, 1x15, or another 4x10). Here's the link:


    Seriously, I have no idea why these are so frickin' cheap right now.
  18. thanks for all the responses guys.

    I really appreciate the help.

    Aaron, the reason that you probably haven't heard a lot of post-rock is probably because it's typically a younger crowd.

    most of the guys in the bands that influence my band are in their mid-twenties. I'll try to get a link to an mp3 on here in a few minutes.

    Daytona - my band has two guitarists. they play through Fender Hot Rod Devilles. our drummer uses a high end Yamaha drum kit. I think their amps have two 12's, but they're tube, and it gets crazy loud, especially when they start using the bows or a feedback looper.
  19. it's one of those genres that you either love or hate.

    I really like the dynamics though, with lots of volume swells, and weird effects.