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All-purpose light, cheap, modest college rig!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Snarf, Jul 23, 2005.


  1. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I'm currently looking for a rig that's as inexpensive as possible, but be as light as possible. Price range for head + cab is ~$500-800. I need the flexibility to have enough power to play in a jazz standards and jazz fusion setting, as well as a possible hard rock situation (two of my old bandmates from years gone by are going to be at Berklee as well next year, so we may want to do some jamming on the old tunes). I have a series of questions that need answering so that I know what my best options are.

    1. Will a 210 cabinet with 250 watts going through it at 8 ohmswork at rock volumes? The guitarist has a Marshall half stack . . .
    2. What about 150 watts? (doubt it, just asking)
    3. Same question, but 200 watts, with 115, 112, or 210 cab
    4. What's the "best" standalone cab that will work for jazz, fusion, and/or rock? (115, 112, or 210)
    5. Will a 112 pair up well with a 210?

    I'm thinking the MAG300 may be disqualified if I need to keep up with a rock guitarist. I'm posting this mostly to plan out my final options, as I'm not going to commit to any purchases until I actually get up to Berklee in September and know my jamming situations after a a couple months or so.

    Here are some combinations I've put together that fall roughly into my price range, all with the intention of adding another cabinet in the (not-so-near) future, except for the Eden stuff.

    --------------------------------

    Ashdown MAG300
    Dr. Bass 210 (8 ohm)

    Ashdown MAG300
    Dr. Bass 112 (8 ohms)

    Eden N12S
    Eden CX110

    Ashdown MAG300
    Avatar 210NEO (8 ohms)

    Acoustic Image Clarus 1
    Dr. Bass RX112 (4 ohms)

    Acoustic Image Clarus 1
    Dr. Bass RX210 (4 ohms)

    Acoustic Image Clarus 1
    Dr. Bass RX115 (4 ohms)

    Yorkville XS400H
    Dr. Bass RX115, 210, or 112 OR Avatar 210NEO

    ----------------------------------------------

    So, I could definitely use some advice from jazz and rock players alike, and if you've been to Berklee and know what kind of rigs bass players should have to satisfy the need for light weight, compactness, power, and low(ish) price point, all the better! Thanks much in advance, and sorry for the huge post.
     
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    [​IMG]

    I know you said you wanted head/cab, but this is a seriously loud combo, with great tone, and with the extension cab, it's about 800 bucks.
     
  3. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I do love the tone of Yorkville's combos, but 60 lbs for a combo is too heavy for me. I guess another criteria for my rig should be that no cabinet should be more than ~45 lbs. I'm a spindly weak little white geek that shrivels in the sun, and my really old Nemesis is 60 lbs and kills me. :)
     
  4. justBrian

    justBrian

    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    What about a used GK 400 or 700RB and an Avatar cab of your choice?
     
  5. andrewd

    andrewd

    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    if you're going to be living in the dorms, you should know that you aren't allowed to use amplifiers in your room. this is my first semester as well

    i'm going to be taking my schroeder 1210, and hopefully whatever lightweight amp i get before i leave. i'd LOVE something by acoustic image, but they are expensive.

    even though if you get a killer lightweight setup, you should get some sort of hand truck. in my experience, casters aren't sturdy enough on their own.
     
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I'm playing around Berklee all the time as I have friend's who teach there and go there. You'll be spending most of your time getting together with people in the practice rooms. When you're gigging is pretty much the only time you'll need your own rig. I would suggest a GK400rbIII (I just played one in Daddy's Junky Music in Boston that was like $300 or so). You can get a bag for that amp to carry it in or just throw it in a backpack. Match that up with any 210 and you'll have plenty of volume, although make sure the 210 is a 4 ohm cab so you can get all of the power from the amp. One of the best sounds I ever got was using a GK210 combo that was the backline amp at a club I was playing at. Great stuff.
     
  7. quallabone

    quallabone

    Aug 2, 2003
    This got me through college just fine
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hmm, I didn't have GK on my list because people say they're pretty bright. Can I get a good warm sound out of one? If I can then that looks like a very nice head.
     
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The GK heads have a presence and a contour knob right next to each other. If you turn them all the way down the amp is very warm sounding. I just found this out recently.
     
  10. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    And a 210 cab will have enough volume and lows to cut it, even in a rock situation? Sounds like a GK + 210 would rock.
     
  11. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'd get a 210/112 for maximum portability
     
  12. I'd say a GK or Ashdown head (GK's can be found cheap with a little looking, I got a 1001rb with rack for $350) with an Avatar 2x10.

    I'd then buy a 1x12 if you need the volume. Everything would weigh less than 45 lbs if you go with a NEO cab.

    My opinion.
     
  13. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I say if you want a warm head for not so much $, you should go with the Ashdown. As for a cab, go for a Avatar 212 and possibly another cab on top or bottom, or some Dr. Bass cab, as I have heard they are on par with Avatar for price/quality. If you go with the Avatar, you can get an awesome Ashdown head with it for very cheap. With the GK, I have been able to get a tad bit of warmpth out of the newer heads, but its not really a very warm amp and is not suited, in my opinion, to a rock sound. The rig described above isn't really very lightweight unless you spend a bit more for Neos, but for your price range and situation, you need more volume, not more portability.
     
  14. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I don't think the 212 is an option for me, just too big.

    And I should make clear that I am not a rock player, I just happen to have 3/4 of my old rock band from freshman year of highschool going to Berklee at the same time (guitarist will be a freshman, the drummer's a senior), and that's the only live rock outfit I expect to be jamming with. For all other intents and purposes, I am a jazz player.

    So it looks like the Avatar + Ashdown rig is good for this then? Only real concern I see is that if I want 300 watts, I'm looking at a 4 ohm cab which means no additional cabs in the future.

    Of course, by the time I need an upgrade, I'll probably be looking at new heads anyway, so this may be indeed the way to go.

    Still not wedded to any plans yet though, more input is always good! And thanks for opinions thus far, guys.
     
  15. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    GK not good for a Rock sound? Have you looked at the GK website and seen their endorser list? :eyebrow:

    Ashdown is warmer but I'm not a fan of the Mag series and the ABM's are more expensive. You're better off with a GK, being a student. Not too many people are going to care about ripping off your GK but an Ashdown is a different story.
     
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have to say that with my suggestion you can get a very warm sound from the newer GK amps. I'm actually considering getting one because they sound great and are easy to carry around. This is coming from someone with a Crest CA6 and an old Demeter preamp. I also have an iAMP350 but I like the GK1001rb II more. For a bit of background I play jazz in a variety of settings, with acoustic players and electric players and I greatly prefer a warmer sound to a modern sound from my six string Roscoe. I LOVE the Ashdown ABM amps but I trust the GK for reliablity more and again, being a student, I think it's a safer amp to haul around.
     
  17. Monomer

    Monomer

    Jul 22, 2005

    A bit off-topic; but you DO realize that watts isnt a measure of sound, right?
     
  18. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Well, level of wattage must have a large effect on volume, right? :confused:
     
  19. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Wattage is only a part of overall loudness. Speaker area and sensitivity have a greater impact.

    Snarf: If you have a dorm assignment already for Berklee triple check that you cad have an amp. When I lived in Boston I had many friends at Berklee and none were allowed to have amps in their dorms. This may have changed since then though, but I would call the school and verify that your dorm in specific allows amps.
     
  20. spockrock79

    spockrock79

    Dec 7, 2004
    NC
    i'd go with a dr bass 212 if i were you...you could get a 4ohm model to get the most from whatever head you get and it's not too big at all, mine is quite easy to tuck away in the corner and weighs in at just about 50lbs(according to marc when i ordered it it was less than that). as far as the head goes, i have the mag 300 and recently acquired a gk 700rb II. by itself the ashdown is a little warmer than the gk but not very noticeable, the gk can do a lot more in my opinion and is louder. i can always put my sansamp in front of the gk too for some warmth, but i find i'm liking it more on it's own...you can really coax a variety of tones from it...