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Affordable head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by firstbassman, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. firstbassman

    firstbassman Apples & Dirges

    Sep 6, 2004
    NYC/Northern NJ
    I've been trying to figure out my sound for a while now, mainly trying to attack it from the effect/bass DI route since my band has me playing straight into the board through a DI. My bass has been lost in the mix, both through the speakers and in the monitors. It's a brand-new PA, which seems to have plenty of room at the low end due to a big subwoofer, but it didn't quite react the way we would have anticipated in practice.

    I know that they want to be able to do an easy control/mix for all of us, so I've been reluctant to come off the main and into my own rig. That, and I've only got a limited budget of around $300 to spend - I don't want to push the wife too-too far.

    I have an old Peavey combo amp that I'm kind of over, and an old Hartke 4x10 speaker that was left to rot without being used for years. Don't know if this speaker would be sufficient anyway, even though we don't play anything too over the top (a broad mix of classic rock, Motown, and some new alternative stuff, nothing too harsh.)

    I asked about this in the effects forum, but now I'm wondering if I might need to be a little bit more aggressive in my thinking. I'd rather not have to go the separate rig way, seeing that storage and budget are an issue, but I'm just trying to cover all my bases (basses?).

    So, any ideas?
  2. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Man, I saw that subject line & I thought it was open season... But, when I d-clicked & saw the volume of text this thread contained,, I didn't have the heart to go there....
  3. firstbassman

    firstbassman Apples & Dirges

    Sep 6, 2004
    NYC/Northern NJ
    Geez - talk about focus. I didn't even realize what you were talking about until you said that. Where was MY h...

    Oh, nevermind.

    But, hey, whatever response I get either way should be helpful, no?
  4. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    Have you tried differant EQing of the bass? Move it more into a frequency range that isn't filled?
  5. firstbassman

    firstbassman Apples & Dirges

    Sep 6, 2004
    NYC/Northern NJ
    Kind of, at least as much as I could, but it still didn't bust through. I play a vintage Rick 4001, so it's kind of limited anyway. That's why I was trying to go the effect/DI/modeler route - less complicated all around, which is good.
  6. For around $300 you could get a used Peavey Firebass, which would be a kickass amp for your needs. More than enough power (700 watts into a 2-ohm load) and plenty of tonal options.

    In fact, I just bought a Peavey 450 Max earlier this year and I'm already wishing I'd saved a bit longer and gotten the 700 watter myself.
  7. I bought a used Hartke 3500 for $269. in X cond at www.daddys.com but you would have to have it sent to a local Daddy's store.
  8. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    If a Ric is not cutting through, you got problems.

    Sure your strings are not dead?

    I would suggest different or newer strings (DR Hi-Beams might work) (playing with a pick would also bolster 'cutting-through' big time; if you don't like playing with a pick, try playing just in front of the bridge -- you might have to turn up a bit to keep the volume the same -- the closer to the bridge you get the less string movement you'll get, along with a tighter, crisper attack sound).
  9. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    me too.
  10. lowfreqfreak


    Jul 1, 2001
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses, GHS Strings
    Hartke 3500. You can find them used for about 300 and they are built very well. I bought one used on ebay for about $350 including skb case 4 years ago. Haven't had any problems.
  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I would get some DR Highbeams (Stainless Steel strings) and a DI box with that budget, that way your signal will be boosted and cleaner but yet still retain the sound of that Ric. I think you can get a fishman DI around that price. But a DI always seem to improve your signal to the PA rather than going right into the channel, for some reason doing that makes good basses sound bad. My Ric sounds great with DR's and DI'd into the PA, sounds like poo to me without the DI box.

    What kind of board, amps, and speakers/mon do you guys have? You have subs so you must be running at least a 2 way system and crossover right?
  12. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    There's a Peavey Classic 400 tube head up for auction on Ebay right now. That's 400 watts of tube power at 4 or 8 ohms with two channels that are switchable. The tubes consist of 8 x 6550 power tubes and 5 preamp tubes.

    Price is only $400.00 A great price, they usually sell for $650

    I play my early 73 Rickenbacker 4001 through my Classic 400 with a Peavey Pro 410 cab. There's only one word to describe the sound, and its outstanding!

    Check it out,

  13. Diowulf

    Diowulf Guest

    Aug 4, 2004
    San Rafael CA
    Also have a Hartke 3500 (new though) and It's treated me fine.
  14. I know you're asking for advise on a head, but based on your situation I want to suggest you try an amp modeling type DI box like the Sansamp ADI that I have.

    The Sansamp Bass DI is the more popular box around here. This could be just what you need to shape the tone to your liking. It would be a lot cheaper than getting a rig, and they make a great addition to a full sized rig anyway.
  15. I just noticed that you mention having a subwoofer on your PA but you make no mention of the power you have running to it. As you know the bass hogs a lot of watts. Maybe picking up a powerful power amp would be a good idea. This can be the start of a pre-power rig for you down the road.