Amp for both DB and BG

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by ldduarte, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a new amp that could use both for Double Bass and bass guitar. I'm very inexperienced with amps, just began to research about. I use to have some lousy cheap amps and lately I have just a 10W practice amp. I'm a full time orchestra player getting back slowly to the bass guitar and doing some experiments with amplified Double bass.

    I heard a lot about the GK, specially the MB150S but it seems that was discontinued. So, after searching more, I'm tending to go for the MB110 or MB112 , but didn't decide if need 200W(Now I'm just looking for a practice/recording amp). But I also heard about the Genz Benz (also seems to be discontinued) and found pretty interesting the Genzler Magellan, but I didn't found much about it, if it works well for both Upright and electric basses.

    Does anyone have thoughts about it?

    The idea is that costs around $500, light and that delivers full real sound for both basses. Would be used at home and eventually small gigs.

    Thanks everyone!!
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I've personal experience with the Fender Rumble 40. It fits your weight criteria and works well for both upright and bass guitar. If you need more power go up to one of the larger models.
  3. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I have had good experience with the MB112, but there are many options. Just peruse this board and you will start to hear more about other brands and possibilities!
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  4. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    If you’re looking for a head, take a look at the Euphonic Audio (EA) Doubler; I understand it’s good for both. You might find a used one in your price range.
  5. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I use my Acoustic Image head for my upright, electric bass, mandolin, & my Les Paul with very successful results, but I do have a decent pedalboard and pre amps to process them all differently.

    A separate head / cabinet is always more versatile because you can swap them out with others and more power is almost always better than not enough power.
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    It is great for both. Highly recommended.
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  7. A used Genz-Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T might be nice and light. If you can find a used one (they are discontinued) it might fit your budget.
    I‘m mainly a DB player and seldom take a BG in my hands, so my sound expectations for the BG may differ from common sense. But I like it for both.
    Only one channel, so either use the effect return (not on DI out) for the second instrument or don‘t double.
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  8. Ludwig


    Aug 17, 2006
    I would recommend an active PA speaker with different preamps for DB and BG. Some active speakers have more then one input, could be used for both at same time. The two active speakers I use are both out of production, cannot recommend somthing to buy new.
    If you want a bass combo, I would recommend the Fender Rumble 100. but most combos I know can only support one instrument at the same time. Usually you will have different sound expectations for BG and DB, for that you need different preamps/effects in front of final amplification / speaker. That is the reason I prefere having my personal PA box or the use that as monitor and go to FOH, if more power is required.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
    ldduarte likes this.
  9. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I’m pretty happy with my Markbass CMD 121P combo for both upright and electric. It’s loud enough for any gig I’m likely to play, and light enough that it’s easy to schlep. It’s not super hi-fi but I can always manage to find sounds I’m happy with.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've found that of all bass guitar amps, the GK amplifiers have the most DB firendly preamp sections. Particularly the high midrange control. Most bass amps voice a single midrange EQ about an octave lower which is too low to correct for the upper midrange bump common to piezo pickups used for DB. Literally every single pickup I've used (about a dozen by now) had that issue. So for a mass market amplifier head, GK is a good choice for DB. For combos, keep reading.

    What makes an amp good for DB is the speaker system, almost any amplifier circuit will do the job. A speaker that works well for DB will be pretty flat in response, sounding almost like a PA cabinet. That type of cabinet makes for an uncolored sound for BG, which is not how most speakers for BG are voiced.

    The suggestions for the Fender Rumble amps should be taken with a grain of salt. Although they have four bands of EQ like a GK, they are highly colored with an emphasis on frequencies below 500hZ, which can make them sound muddy and feedback prone for DB use. I owned a Rumble head, so can't talk about the combo versions. Whether or not the speakers used in the combo when coupled with the Rumble preamp voicing will work well for DB. No two combo models use the same speakers, either. I strongly recommend trying one before you buy.

    I was playing BG for a number of years before I started doing gigs with an amplified DB. It took me about ten years before I arrived at a pickup, amp head and speaker cabinet combination that worked for me. On the other hand, through that decade every single amp and speaker I used worked fine for BG, although each sounded different.
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  11. BobbyT


    Feb 19, 2017
    United States
    I agree with this. I‘ve bounced around many different brands and Gallien-Krueger is one of the most affordable brands I’ve come across that sounds great with both electric and acoustic. Other “big names” like Fender, Ampeg, etc. will work fine for electric, but not so much for acoustic in my experience.

    Euphonic Audio and Acoustic Image are also great—I’ve owned both—but are in a higher price range.

    I now have a Gallien Krueger MB200 head and would recommend it as a good starting point for both electric and double bass. Find a good cabinet to go with it and you’ll be in good shape for smaller gigs.
  12. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 or now using TC BAM 200 for both.
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  13. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    For around $500? The Traynor SB112. Sounds good with my Fender basses and sounds good with my double basses, even with no external preamp. Light. 200 watts. And Gollihur sells it, which is in itself an endorsement.
  14. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    Good amp. But for me, I have the Rumble 100. And--it's so light compared to my old Ampeg B-15.
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  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Ain't that the truth, I distinctly remember gigging with my trusty B-15N(C) and thinking how fortunate I was to have a combo

    amplifier that only weighed 75 lbs. Then I bought a Walter Woods MI-400-8 and thought how incredible it was to have a head

    that only weighed 9 lbs, so even with a cabinet that weighed 30 pounds I had almost cut the weigh of my rig in half. When I replaced

    that setup with a powered MAS 1/8 it got even lighter, especially if you go unpowered with a EA Doubler for your head.

    Personally I think the Traynor or a TC Electronics. BAM 200, with one of their 2x8 cabinets is a great way to go.
    ldduarte likes this.
  16. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
  17. Thanks friends!!! That's great, so much response and information!

    I live in Brazil and I'm searching for and a friend would bring to me, since he is moving back here and bringing all his stuff by sea (so he could bring me even a heavier combo/amp). Said that, unfortunately I can't try and most of this amps are very rare and extremely expensive here. And I'm not comfortable in buying something used without try and if I can't return it, so I'm looking for a new one for now.

    I really liked the TC BAM200 that Vic and Ric mentioned. Great reviews, simple and cheaper than the others. I heard about the Traynor, looks very interesting! The others mentioned here, like Acoustic Image, MarkBass and Euphonic Audio are too expensive for now.

    Just a last question. Does anybody have experience with the Genzler Magellan in this use, Double bass and bass guitar? I was very curios about it. (Probably going for the BAM200 but not totally decided yet)
  18. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Genzlers are great amps, I have the Magellan 350 and it works well for DB and electric bass. Used they sell for around $350, new for closer to $500. And you’d still need a speaker cab. I also have the BAM 200 that I keep as a backup and it’s ok but nowhere as good as the Magellan.
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  19. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    How is the fan on the Genzler? Is it quiet? Does the 350 have enough headroom for medium sized fusion gigs?
  20. BassiklyAC

    BassiklyAC Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was going to add my thumbs up to the recommendation of the Acoustic Image head (particularly the 2-channel version) but I saw that it was not within your budget.

    If you have a single channel head that you like, you might look into the BassBone by Radial Engineering. It’s a two-channel preamp that allows you to switch between channels with a foot switch as well as have separate EQ settings for electric & upright. Really warm sounding preamp.

    Anyway, hope you find what you’re looking for.
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