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amp questions - options and clarifications sought

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mindabout, Apr 27, 2004.


  1. Mindabout

    Mindabout

    Apr 11, 2004
    Australia
    Hi all,

    I've just spent a couple of hours looking through old posts so I hope no one will be too greatly offended if any of my questions are answered in the forum history. And if they are, please put up a link to them.

    As I'm new here, I'll fill you in a little on my situation. I have just recently finished up 5 years of study in visual art and am a weekend muso hoping to put a bit more of my time into music since having finished study. I wish to get an amp set up that is acceptable to jamming in band situations but have a very tight budget - I am not in the situation where I can save up for an extra couple of months and get something better (than what I'm looking at) as my first priority really should be saving up to go into business.

    Now, to the questions:

    1) Behringer - For those of you who have ever owned a Behringer Ultrabass BX1200 combo or BX3000T amp - have you encountered any technical problems? How often? How significant?

    I have heard a friend play through a BX1200 as her first jam-worthy amp and was very impressed at the sound. I have since heard her play through a BX3000T (with a GK cab) and am also suitably impressed. Thing is - her BX1200 was in the repair shop 3 times within 8 months... she liked to play with gain and volume maxed.... I am wondering if her problems were self imposed? (Not really sure of the nature of the repairs - just that she "blew" the amp). So far, no problems with the BX3000T over 4 months.

    2) Repair of amps - for everyone who has ever owned an amp - do all amps go to the repair shop sooner or later? What are common problems? Should it be viewed like a car - if you can't afford a top notch brand new car and have to buy second hand expect to have to get some repairs done over time? In the same vein - do second hand high end amps and brand new low end amps see a comparable amount of repair work? Do repairs tend to be unreasonably expensive?

    3) Does anyone know of a website or other publication that explains as clearly as possible and in lay-mans' terms how to figure out what cabs and amps make a good match? I've tried to research this but always get confused over the relationship of Watts and ohms and whether it is the amp or cab that should have the higher specifications.

    4) Does replacing the speaker/s in a cheap amp/cab with the equivalent to what is in a high end amp/cab considerably improve the sound? Could it be likened to putting expensive pickups on a cheap bass? Would the expense of replacing cheap speakers with expensive speakers effectively negate the savings offered by buying at the low end? Also, might upgrading the speakers be a reasonable consideration as something to do down the track if budget allows?
     
  2. Hurley

    Hurley

    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    Hey! Welcome to TalkBass.

    I'm no expert here, but I'll see if I can help...

    1) I have no experience with Behringer. I know it's fairly inexpensive. I've heard mixed reviews about them, so I might suggest other brands. Ampeg and GK make some good sombo amps, whick can be had pretty cheap used.

    2) Amps can break, and do. Unless you got a real lemon, they shouldn't need repairs all that often. The only repair I've had done to my amps in the past 4 years was to get a $5 input jack replaced. An amp could go 20 years without repair, or it could be repaired every month. Read reviews in these forums to get a good idea of a brand's reliability.

    3) As for any questions about ohms, watts, and how to understand what they mean, I'd say search these forums. I know you said that you looked, but I know the answers are here.

    4) I think the best solution is just to get a cabinet that you're happy with. Some people like to experiment, but I think it's only worth it if you really know what you're doing. It would be a better deal to just buy a used cab. There's relatively few "bad" cabs made today. I doubt you'd be unhappy with any major brand out there.


    I'd suggest buying everything used. It's always a much better deal. Hopefully, other people will post some info.

    I hope this helps.
    :bassist:
     
  3. Mindabout

    Mindabout

    Apr 11, 2004
    Australia
    Thanks Hurley,

    The watts/ohms question WAS sort've an afterthought... I didn't do a search specifically for that - will do now though :D .

    Just another question that's come to my mind. Is there a standard ratio for power required to reach equivalent volumes in valve and solid state. A friend of mine who plays guitar recently bought an Engl head and cab - the head I think has a 60W valve amp and the cab is 4 x (I think) 10" speakers. Anyway, point is, it plays waaaaay louder than a solid state 60 W amp would... I'm really baffled as to why this is the case. Also, is valve very common in bass amps?
     
  4. Hurley

    Hurley

    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    The valve watts vs. solid-state watts is all over these forums. It has to deal with how we hear sound. I'm not getting too technical (but there are people here who can), but tubes produce sound that is louder to our ears. Also, tube amps can be driven harder (into clipping) while SS amps don't do this nearly as well. I play with a 350w SS head and a 300W tube head, and there is no comparison. Tubes win. It's been said that tubes amps can compete with SS amps 2-3 times the power. Search around for these threads.

    :bassist: