Amp/Cab help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by musicboyy, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. musicboyy


    Mar 22, 2006
    Chelmsford, MA
    I need to purchase a bass amp and since I can't remember the last time I had to buy an amp (I have been playing through a POD), I'm very confused by all the options out there.

    I am currently only a home studio musician. I usually play my guitars through a POD X3 which go through my 8 inch Event studio monitors. Now that I am seriously getting back into playing bass, this setup is just not working. I find that the POD models for bass do not do much for me...not to mention my little 8 inch monitors are not handling the the bass sound well at all (especially from the low B). Plus, I just don't want to ruin them...

    I've been looking at different heads and cabs because I figure I can easily change one or the other out later down the line and even thought I don't gig now, that could always change in the future.

    So far, I have been interested in a used Hartke 5500 head and a Peavey Firebass 700 (both $380). Is there one of those that you guys recommend over the other? The Hartke was made in Korea while the Peavey was made in the USA...should that make any difference?

    I played through one of those Line 6 bass combos and while I though it was rather nice, the only "model" I'd ever use was the "clean" one which I found out is based on a SWR amp. I was wondering if I should be looking at their stuff. Does anyone have any recommendations? I saw a used SM-500 for sale at a store for $699. Is that too expensive?

    I just want to make sure to get something that I won't want to change out too soon and also something that I could gig with if the opportunity arrived. One of my definite needs is a direct out for recording.

    Sorry for all the questions...I didn't realize how much stuff is out there and how hard it would be to make a decision. If there is anything else out there that you guys recommend, please let me know. I want to keep this setup to $1000 or under. Also, I like clean sounding bass and my main bass is a Pedulla ThunderBolt 6 string. I play with my fingers (no pick) and love tapping and some slap.

  2. RADUB1

    RADUB1 Guest

    May 11, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI
    The Eden 260 would be a great little head. Small, lightweight....great Eden tone, and can power a cab if you need to.
  3. I'd look at the Genz Benz Neo Pak 3.5 There's a great deal on these on ebay right now. I just picked one up brand new with warranty for $410. These were (and still are) selling for $700+ on other sites. The general prediction is that GB is about to launch some new models and these neo pak 3.5s have been discontinued. Get 'em while they're hot!

    For cabs, I'm a fan of Avatar. Read some of the reviews here and on Harmony Central. Its hard to beat these cabs.

    I've had a few Hartke amps. They're pretty good, but they've never blown me away. Mine have always been sturdy and reliable just tonally nothing to write home about.
  4. Edit: Looks like the GB Neo Paks may already be gone at that price. There are a few other sellers with them in the $460 range though.
  5. musicboyy


    Mar 22, 2006
    Chelmsford, MA
    Thanks for the suggestions! The only thing that worries me about those is that I don't think I can try either of those before I buy them... :(

    Any recommendations on the ones I mentioned?
  6. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    I think finding good quality used gear is an option. Maybe a used head and a new cab?

    I have been playing Marshall bass gear exclusively, and I love it. All of it was second hand, and sounds f'en amazing.

    The head I started with was a 3560 Jubilee head, but after wanting more, I found a 7200 series DBS. Initally, they were expensive, but can be found for under $500 now, and pack a whopping 2000 watts peak power!!!

    I have one for sale if you are interested, but this is not a slaes pitch.

    I have used Hartke amps, and find them to be very tonally flat. They have good power, but are basically a hartke sound...

    I think finding a powerful, used head in great condition is the way to go. You will be happier with the headroom, and since it is used, you will be less picky about cosmetics, and not worry about the small stuff when gigging.

    As for cabs... Find an older Ampeg 4x10, or a G&K SBX 4x10 to start, or get anything else that fits your price... You would be surprised what $800 can buy you these days.
  7. musicboyy


    Mar 22, 2006
    Chelmsford, MA
    Thanks again for the info! Ya, I am thinking used is probably the way I'm going to order to get more bang for the buck. Both of my basses were used, so I don't really have a probably with used gear.

    I don't think I really want an amp that has a distinct sound of it's own...I'd rather the sound of the particular bass to come through. If the Hartke is like that, then maybe it's out now. Is the Peavey FireBass 700 rather "transparent"? I also found a local person on Craigslist selling a SWR Bass 350 head and Goliath 2X10 cab, both in excellent condition for $600. He has the head in a rackmount with a 8 plug AC power unit (included).
  8. I can chime in on the tone of the Firebass head. I own the same package but smaller outut, Nitrobass. IMO, IME, that line of Peavey amps is great. Is there better heads, is there worse things to own, yes. But, if you want a piece of gear that is near indestructible, get the Peavey. Plus, having the ability to run a 2 ohm load may prove handy down the line somewhere. As far as transparent, that actually depends on your cabs. Your cab determines the final voice in your sound.

    I can pull off the oldschoool rock tone, a bassy Dub reggae tone, R&B stuff, etc... with the right technique, amp eq settings, and a bass guitar, you can pretty much achieve any tone you want. The Peavey has a gain level and a volume level. Throw on some gain for thet tube like stuff or, go full on with the master and use the gain to adjust overall volume. $380 is not a bad price but, the peavey can sell fro around $300. Maybe $380 for the head with free LaBellas and an instrument cable... Out the door price.

    As far as country of origin, usually it does not make a difference. There seems to be more concerns with with quality control than anything else. Is the place you are shopping offering any kind of warranty? If not, you may want to give it a heavy test drive.

    You should try both heads. IMO,IME, you can get very usable tones from either one. I like Hartke with Hartke cabs...
  9. wingnut

    wingnut Guest

    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    If those two are your options, I would take the peavey. They are bullet proof, sound good, and they've been around forever so if something goes wrong you can find parts and fix it. Also the 2ohm load is a bonus if you start gigging down the road.