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amp noobie

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by taygunov, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Hi, so I've been playing bass for about 5 years, mostly at home. I been using a tiny combo all these years and never gave it any thought. But now, gigs are coming up.

    Thing is, I have absolutely no idea what to look for. I'm guessing I need a head and a cab? I need something loud and obviously nice sounding...preferably light. something that wont break or blow out on me in half a year. My budget is fairly low but I understand that I'm not gonna get a pro rig for pennies, so I'm willing to save up more.

    Any suggestions? Any information needed to help you decide for me I will be happy to supply.
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    What kind of music are you playing? What kind of tone do you want? What's your budget? How big is the show? (How many people?) Will you have PA support or will the bass have to carry it's own? How loud is your band? (What amps and anything else you're up against.) Ummm... That's off the top of my head.
  3. 500W head (or combo) with 4x10 cab or a 2x10 + 1x12 cab combo. My template answer.
  4. pan1k


    Sep 16, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    +1. Pretty much the jest of questions you should ask yourself
  5. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Music: hardcore to jazz and EVERYTHING in between.
    Tone: From clanky and bright to smooth and 'uprighty'
    Budget: Under $600 preferably but ofcourse I can save up more
    Show Size: I guess bars, lounges, average sized music clubs...
    PA support : lets say no and yes? not sure
    Band: drummer tends to really bash on the skins so louder wouldn't hurt ;)
  6. Sound like you need a versatile EQ section. Something like a Genz Benz Shuttle/ShuttleMAX 6.0 or a Markbass LMII/III. Either can be had for less than $600 used.

    For the cab, I suggest go with either 410, 212, or a 215 setup if you're not sure of how loud you're going to need. Possibly an Avatar. Or start with a 210/112/115 cab and add another one in the future if you need more volume. A pair of cabs is a tad more expensive in the long run but can save some money if you find a single cab is sufficient.

    Other alternative would be a used Ampeg Micro-VR/210AV rig. Especially if you like that Ampeg tone. Granted it can't go too loud, it's got a great tone at an affordable price. Get them used and you might squeeze in one additional 210AV for a modular 410 rig!

    Don't overlook offerings by Hartke too. LH-500 or HA3500 with either a HyDrive 410 or AK410 (bright-er vs dark-er) doesn't sound bad at a quite affordable price.
    As always, try finding them used (and local) for better value ;)
  7. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    Welcome and Happy New Year. To cover most situations, a 300-500 watt head, and a 2x12 or 4x10 cab. Buy used if you can, and play as much stuff as you can. Also check the classified section of this forum. There are some good deals to be had.
  8. taygunov

    taygunov Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Thanks guys. I'll go to guitar center ( just to play ) and see what I like, and I'll report back here.
  9. So you're saying you want a LOUD rig that does EVERYTHING for ~$600.......... :eyebrow:

    Just giving you a hard time. We were ALL amp newbs at one point! :cool: ;) lol

    There have been some good suggestions so far, but it sounds like what you'd really benefit from is a modular rig. A good example: a 300-500 watt head that's 4 ohm stable and two 8ohm 2x10 cabs. Then you could use just one 2x10 for the lower volume jazz gigs or both cabs for the bigger/louder gigs. The benefit of having this type of modular rig as opposed to just one cab is:

    1) you could use one or both cabs based on need.
    2) stack them vertically on stage for a smaller footprint and still have a "big" rig for louder gigs.
    3) easier to handle than one bigger cab... maybe an extra trip, but cabs are lighter and less bulky, easier to manage without help.

    Ever since switching to my current amp setups, I've been a big proponent of modular rigs. I've got two separate setups that can cover any need and won't ever go back to a "one big cab" option. :bassist:

    For $600, I'd suggest hitting up the used market for whatever you decide on. You'll get more bang for your buck.

    Just my $.02 though.

  10. Carvin BX500 head. Lots of tone shapping, compressor 2 ohms stable, 500 watts. On sale now $369.00. Got mine used for $250.00. Used 4X10 cab. I got my goliath III for $225.00 on CL and a Goliath II off eBay for $100.00.
  11. In your budget, a combo that should fit the bill G-K MB212.
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I'm with a lot of these guys. A modular setup is great and helps with versatility. I'm a jack of all trades too so I know how it goes in finding a good rig. My modular rig is my Ampeg PF500 and it can team to either my 110, one PF115, or both PF115 for more than enough volume. Plus it looks rad and sounds good in the mix. :D
  13. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    First off, my band has a loud drummer, also a 1000 watt PA with two 15's and horns. Even the monitors have 15's. The guitar and keyboard have loud amps and dI into the PA. Slide guitar has two amps(stereo). I use a Hartke LH500 with two 2x10's and they hold their own with these guys. Sometimes they ask ME to turn it down.
  14. +1
    IMO, G-K offers quality, power, features & convenience at a lower price point than most mainstream makes.
  15. pan1k


    Sep 16, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    1 GK is looking to be a good choice for you.
    2. Tell your band mates to stop being tards, if you have a loud amp as is, you don't need pa support. Not in a practice situation.

    3. Do a lot of research on here before making any purchase. Tbers are very knowlegable. Also you tube is a good place to hear some of these amps before you purchase / test them out.

    Depending on your goals, I would save up more than $500 if you currently have a rig. Some of these new cabs are more effecient and produce higher fedelity while using less space
  16. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Ok so because of your budget constraints and because this is your first rig, I am going to suggest what I normally don't suggest. Get a combo rig, and get it used. Normally I am of the "separate head and cab" school of thought for versatility and flexibility, but I don't think your budget will allow it. So shop around using YOUR bass and find a 300+ watt 210 or 115 combo you like the sound of, and then buy a used one. Make sure it has a DI out so if there is a PA you can plug into it. Get a stand or couple of milk crates and raise it up, and if it has side by side speakers put it on its side so teh speakers are vertical - that helps.

    Down the road some, you can save up for and invest in your permanent rig, which should be 500+ watts in a head, with a pair of matching cabs, maybe two 210s, or 2 115s. Hopefully if you treat your first combo well and get it for a good price, you can sell it for close to what you paid, too.

    Good luck and remember the key is shopping for it with your bass, and at your first chance after buying it, audition it with your band, to see how it fits into the mix and whether it keeps up without farting out.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I see you're in Brooklyn? Is this going to be something you need to lug around on the subway or in a cab?

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