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Amp Info Overload.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wrilley, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Wrilley


    Jan 2, 2012
    Detroit, MI USA
    Hi TBers,

    I've probably thought my self into a corner here, but after
    looking through a million threads here about amps, I've
    decided I have no clue what I need. So this is a lifeline
    request for a reality check. BTW, I'm a total newbie to
    bass, I've been playing for less than a month.

    I'm looking for something for practice, including being able
    to take it to a class , or to a friend's place to jam (thus not
    a headphone amp), so it needs to be portable. Really really
    portable as I live in a third floor walk-up. :crying:

    That said, I'm using a friend's Fender Rumble 15 and really
    don't like it. I have a five string, and the B makes me fear
    for its life. I think I need one of the amps that is sort of
    a "hybrid" practice/small gig type amp.

    I thought I'd decided on a GK mb115 but the second one
    I played on was very bland, the first one had a great rumbly
    sound that I loved. I don't know if that's normal, but it
    made me rethink the GK.

    I don't have a particular preference between combo vs

    My musical taste is very eclectic so versatility is a plus
    but I don't plan to add an EUB if that matters. Tonally
    I like a bit of growl, but I'd be happy to have a transparent
    amp if I could add it with a pedal or something.

    Price is a function of time, cheaper means I can get it
    sooner, but I'm happy to save longer if it's the right thing
    to do. Except if it goes over $1k my wife will give me
    The Look :scowl:. She's Irish AND a teacher so The Look :scowl: is
    something to be feared.

    I'd like something that could possibly be used for a small
    gig or a monitor at some point, so features that cover
    those needs would be beneficial.

    Sorry for the long post, but I was trying to be really
    specific about my needs. Thanks in advance for any
    advice you guys give me.

  2. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    In my opinion, if you have been playing less than a month you should be more concerned with "how to play" than finding the right "sound".
    I would suggest buying cheap. If you find that bass isn't your bag it will be no great loss.
    If you are still playing after a year upgrade your gear.
    Let it evolve at the pace that is right for you. Be advised that learning to play bass well is going to take a long time.
  3. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    I won't recommend a brand, but I would look for a micro head 200-500 watts and a 1x12 or 1x15 cab for right now. If you need more vol. in the future you can get another cab to match what you already have. My smallest is a 250 watt head and a 1x12 cab that weigh 29 lbs. Also if you look around long enough you can find what you need for cheap if you are okay with that.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Give the MB115 a second look. Perhaps there was something wrong with the one you tried or it was just in a funky spot in the room. The boost circuit will give you growl without a pedal. It's also loud enough to jam with a drummer and light enough to carry around.

    The Markbass 12" combo's are pretty dang good sounding as well. Again loud enough and light enough. Smooth warm sound but stay clean, a pedal would be needed for your growl sound with that one.

    Up to $1000 will get you some really nice stuff. You can have something you really like without hitting the $1000 mark.
  5. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    sound advise ^^^^^^^

    Definitely start with a combo.

    You dont need to be fussing around with patch cables, speaker cables, impedance and wattage criteria,, etc....
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. Go to a local music store, try what they have for used amps in your size/price range, buy the one you like the best.
  7. Wrilley


    Jan 2, 2012
    Detroit, MI USA
    Thanks for the replies so far. You're making me feel better. Liam, the "right sound"
    thing is definitely something I kept tripping over while reading threads. I'd start
    off thinking, mid-size combo = perfect, and an hour later (TalkBass is addictive)
    I'd be thinking that I needed an SVT Classic and 8x10 cab.

    Sounds like I'm in the right ballpark at least. The GK and MarkBass were both on
    my shortlist. I like the value of the GK, seems like you get a lot for your money.
    Will33, thanks for the suggestion to try another, I think I needed the reassurance =)

  8. Do yourself a favor and give the Ampeg PF350 or PF500 a try with one of the PF115 or PF210 cabs. I'm in a similar situation, portability was an issue for me as well. Less than $800 (if you find a deal) buys you power, versatility, quality of construction and TONE. A gig-worthy amp under 60 pounds, these amps will do everything and anything you'll need it to do.
  9. Wrilley


    Jan 2, 2012
    Detroit, MI USA
    Thanks for the advice so far. Liam is spot on in that I'd start off thinking
    small combo = perfect, then after an hour (or three, TalkBass is addictive!)
    I'd be convinced I needed an SVT Classic and 8x10 cab, or a fEARful, or...

    I appreciate the reassurance that I'm in the right ballpark of about 200ish
    watts and a 115 (or similar) combo. Thanks to will33 too for the advice to
    try another GK, I think I needed some reassurance on that. That and the
    MarkBass are both on my shortlist, though I definitely like the price tag on
    the GK, it's well away from The Look event horizon.

    Shredhead, I hadn't considered the portaflex line. My GC doesn't have them
    in stock, I'll have to see if I can find one to try.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006

    This is also great advise.

    But, yeah, it's nice to be able to get loud enough with decent sound to play with others. That will also make you a better player. "Making it all work" with a group is quite different than practicing solo. There's plenty of stuff available nowdays that can do that and not get "The Look". So get together with some guys of similair skill level and have some fun.
  11. pudgychef

    pudgychef Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    this - you have no need at all for a Markbass or Ampeg set-up - why invest up to a grand now until you see if its for you and if your playing goes anywhere? Your playing will change so much in the first 6mths you may find you want an entirely different tone altogether once you can play better....
  12. You need light and not expensive right now. Your tastes (and GAS) will change the more you play. IMHO the G-K MB115 would be a good choice and the max you should be spending at this point. Always take your own bass when trying out any equipment BTW, it is with your hands at least 80% of your sound, :)
  13. I see in your profile you play drums. What have the bass players you know suggested? Mabye scope out the open jams an see what other bass players are bringing and you like the tone of. Also we are in a new year and the GTG will start happening might be worth it to wait till your local GTG and see some other gear you dont normally see in GC.

    But for just my thought i would say look at that gk again. Also while there check out the Ampeg combos they are a little more wieght but have very nice tone. Also hard to go wrong with Carvin light, priced right, and made in the U.S.A down side is you cant demo one unless you find someone with it already.
  14. Wrilley


    Jan 2, 2012
    Detroit, MI USA
    I switched to bass partly because I live in an apartment and didn't like
    vdrums, and partly because no one in my musical circle plays bass =)
    Also I've always wanted to learn to play but got the "you should learn
    guitar first then switch" advice which I decided to ignore (finally).

    I hadn't looked at the Carvins. That MB12 three way looks VERY
    appealing, I like the mid-range driver concept. Same price too.

    Has anyone played with that enough to advise, or maybe even
    compare it to the GK? Same price but it looks to be even more
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    In general, clean sound, doesn't get as gritty as the GK can, but there's always pedals. They do have a return policy if you don't like it. It'll cost you shipping to return it. More features and the 3-way will have a clearer sound.
  16. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    ^^^ This is all you really need to know. A new PF350/PF115 rig can be had fo $700 minus any discounts, has great tone, and it is sufficient for any small to medium size gig you may play in the near future. I got my PF350 new for $235.
  17. canadian*eh


    Jan 4, 2006
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    A + 1 to what everybody has said so far. A combo is defiantly a good place to start. The first amp i used was an old peavey combo mark III that my dad had not to long after that GAS hit and well $$$$ latter and loads of different amps and cabs i am a place where u am happy:D check out for sure GK they have some nice stuff for real good prices as well as carvin. The only thing with carvin it is kinda hard to try before you buy since you have to order it from factory. the best thing you can do is go to a store and try as much stuff as they wil let you and let your ears(and wife's approving looks:p) guide you. Once you know that bass is for sure the thing for you then let GAS take hold and never look back:p best of luck mate!!

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