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Advice on suitable 100W combo available in UK

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suicas, May 10, 2004.

  1. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    I've had a good look around the forums and various review sites to try and find a decent 100W combo.

    For most recommendations I can only find the amp in question in the US however (e.g. SWRs, lots of valve amps)

    So I was just wondering whether anyone could recommend a good 100W combo (for around the £400 mark), which they know is available in the UK.

    Alternatively, if anyone could point me to any good online amp retailers in the UK, that would be much appreciated.

  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What have your local music stores got in stock? That would give you the 'try before you buy' advantage. The Bass Centre in London might also be worth a look (The Gallery as well but I'm not so sure that would have the kind of thing you're looking for... worth giving them a call though).

  3. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Hi there,

    The amps I would suggest you try are SWR Workingmans 12 and Workingmans 15 (they are available in the UK... and are bloody good amps!) and some of the ashdown stuff, either the electric blue series or the MAG series. You could probably get an ABM series Ashdown second hand in really good nick for a lot less than 400 quid.

    Other than that there's always the peavey stuff, but I can't really vouch for it other than to say it's bulletproof... but I don't really like Peavey amps.

    Are you restricting yourself to 100 watts? Nearly all of the above are capable of quite a bit more (depending on the model!)


  4. Johnny BoomBoom

    Johnny BoomBoom Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Glasgow, Scotland
    As Bigwan said - you can get a whole lot more than 100watts for the kind of money you are talking about!

    I would recommend the Ashdown series of amps


    Definitely their Electric Blue series of combos (now 180 watts) is within your price range (I have an older 130 watt version which is great).

    Also, I reckon you might be able to get something from the MAG series as well. I've never tried the MAG series amps, but I also have the ABM 500 head with Ashdown Mini cabs. All of the Ashdown amps I've tried have sounded great!
  5. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Had a look at my local music stores, in four shops they had a total of three amps in the range I was looking for, none of which really appealed:
    Hartke Kickback 15 (no effects send)
    Laney HCM160B (hated the sound)
    Peavey (TKO 115 I think..hated the look!)

    The rest they had in stock was either in the 60W range, or in 4x10 or 2x12 combos.

    Not that easy for me to go further afield and bring an amp home, so I was thinking of biting the bullet and buying one over the internet based on reviews I've read, and the help of the folks here :)

    The Ashdowns do look tempting, as do the SWRs, I've had trouble finding any SWR retailers though, any URLs appreciated!

    I'm looking for at least 100W, quite happy to exceed this by a bit, just want something that's a good balance between power and portability.

    The features I'm really looking for are an effects loop, XLR out, some eq., maybe an active/passive switch. Tuner outs and built in effects I can live without I think.

  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Effects loops are pretty pointless - if you get any stomp boxes, they'll sound way better in front of the amp than in the loop. XLR outs are very valuable as is a bit of EQ (3 band with semi-parametric mids is perfect IMO). Active/passive switch is unnecessary, the gain knob should have enough range on its own.

    The SWR Workingman's 12 is a very good sounding little combo. The Ashdown Electric Blue 12 is pretty nice - more midrangey with less top and bottom than the SWR, so it depends on your preference.

    IMO, 12" combos sound better than 15", the extra clarity and punch more than makes up for the slightly reduced bottom.

  7. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    So far it's looking like it's between the Ashdown Electric Blue 180W combo, or the SWR Workingman's 12.

    Can't find a single dealer selling SWRs online in the UK though! Couple of Ashdowns going for around £290 which seems reasonable to me.

  8. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    I think the bass centre, Mansons and the gallery all sell SWR and you can get their phone numbers off the web. Buy Bass Guitar magazine and have a flick through to see if you can find anywhere else. Don't just go looking for online retailers 'cos there aren't too many in the UK!
  9. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Just had a look on the gallery website (www.thebassgallery.com) and the price on a WM12 is £475... they're good but not that good! I'd go for the Electric Blue or MAG stuff. Just my opinion though!
  10. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Yeah, people seem to rate the Electric Blue 12 and the SWR 12 fairly similarly, I can't imagine the SWR is £200 better anyway :)

    Think the MAG series look good too (still within my budget), but I think 300W is a bit more than I'll actually need, doesn't seem worth having to lug an extra 12Kg around...

    Thanks for the link to the bass gallery though, they seem to have a pretty decent stock.

  11. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    ...just a quick warning on the bass gallery's stock... Don't go by what the web page says. There are a few items on the site that I know for a fact sold more than a year and a half ago! But give them a call... they're good guys (they just prefer actually talking to someone than using these infernal machines!!!)
  12. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Yeah, figured I'd phone my order through once I decide anyway. Music shops with up to date websites and online ordering seem pretty few and far between..

    Looking like it's going to be the Ashdown Electric Blue 12 I think. Just comparing prices and gathering as much info as I can before I finalise my decision :)

    Cheers for the help,
  13. Don't know if you've bought anything yet, but have you tried Nevada in Portsmouth. They've usually got a few combos.

    I bought some Ashdown gear from a mail order place up north. They have an up to date website and some of the best prices in the country. If you're interested I'll dig out their website address
  14. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Dont overlook laney......