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Any advice on a semi-hifi, honestly rated, sick sounding head in the $500 range?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gruuv, Apr 3, 2006.


  1. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    I generally don't start too many of my own threads. . . but I need the TB expertise. I have done a few searches and I know this topic - Amp under $___ - comes up fairly regularly, but I want to get my situation out there. I have a Crest CA9 and Demeter 201/Epifani Quest II through Epifani cabs as my "big rig." What I'd like to do is find a head that can get a fairly hi-fi vibe and good power (preferably above 300 watts at 4 ohms) for the small stuff -- all I've really got in mind is Eden in that price range. I understand that nothing is going to be truly transparent, especially not an Eden, but something that has clarity and bite. I'm thinking a TF 420 is the best bet for that great all-purpose tone and good power, but that'll run in the $700 range. There's a WT 300 on the Bay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Eden-WT-300-Bass-Amp_W0QQitemZ7404286817QQcategoryZ1288QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    Only 175 watts at 8 ohms but not expensive at all.

    Anyway, any ideas?
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Get a GK1001RB MK1 head. They can be had used at pretty good prices, and they sound fairly hi-fi.
     
  3. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    Thanks, man... there's a 1001RB-II on bassgear for $525 shipped. Is that a decent price? Is it rated fairly accurately?
     
  4. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I"ll second a used 1001RB, but I'd say to be patient and try for a II instead of the original (Mk I). I just bought a 1001RB-II from another TB'er for about that price - $525 shipped and he included a 4-space rack. If you're patient you can find some great deals. This amp can give you the "fairly hi-fi vibe" you're looking for and it's well over 300W at 4 ohms (700W at 4 ohms, 460W at 8).
     
  5. the Yorkville xs800H isn't too bad an idea either. alot of people compare it's sound(s) anywhere between ampeg and swr. Has a distortion channel as well if you like to rock it. a lot of people swear by it. 800 watts @4 ohms, 600 @ 8 or 2 ohms.
     
  6. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    Was this from a cat in Memphis, TN? If so, I think that's the one I was looking at on bassgear:crying:
     
  7. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    Wow, that's definitely good power. . . unfortunately I've never been a huge fan of the SWR or Ampeg thing. I appreciate the input though.
     
  8. SWR is hifi though, isn't it??
     
  9. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    Well, yeah, you could call it that. It's definitely not tubey... but it's got a pretty distinctive voice that's never really been my cup o' tea.
     
  10. But I faced exactly the same thing last summer. The "big" rig was covered with the Demeter 201/PLX setup, and I wanted something to fill the gap for the smaller stuff as well as be scalable for what I needed. I tried several combos as well as several heads.

    Then I just kind of built my own smaller rig. I got a nice, light 3 space simple rack. I then bought a Crate SPA 300 for 100 dollars even (evil Bay worked this time). To feed the Crate, I bought an ART Tube PAC and an ART Tube EQ and swapped the tubes for some very nice JAN NOS tubes - gave me exactly the same circuitry as the Tube Channel. Speaking of the Tube Channel - Bass Taster's has a nice sample of what it can sound like (as well as some nice words).

    Anyway, I covered the extra space in the light rack with a very classy black screen and used a black rack shelf to mount the two tube pieces and voila', I had a very nice, lightweight rig that is capable of 300 watts into 8-ohms bridged, or it will put 150 watts a channel into two 4-ohm loads. It really works nicely whether using one or both Wizzy cabinets, and for those that haven't tried Crate amplifiers, the SPA-300 is a very nice-sounding single space amplifier. Obviously, I got a great price on a very lightly used one - but I'm very impressed with the amp.

    I know this doesn't really suggest a "head" that might fit the bill, but this smaller, lighter pre/power rig only cost me less than 300 dollars total (including the tube replacements) and gives me a preamp/compressor/parametric EQ 3-tube "preamp" stage allowing quite a bit of tone-shaping for any number of venues. I use this with a single Wizzy for church and the jazz 3-piece, and it also doubles a quick recording rig. The whole package weighs somewhere between 20-25 pounds.

    Sorry if this is off-topic...I just wanted to share it as I was debating the same options about 8 months ago.

    Jay
     
  11. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That GK 1001RB MKII sounds like a good deal. And that thing is massively powerful. I mean, 18lbs and 700 watts? can't get a whole lot better for that price!

    BTW, I have a MK1 and I have never been wanting for power, or reliability.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    SWR SM900 aint too shabby. love the EQ section on that guy. easy to bring the SWR outta suckadom. the GK suggestion is good, too, but i like the look of the SM900 more.
     
  13. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I think so. His TB name is xcental34x.

    Sorry about that, I had no idea anyone else was interested. I think I was the only person to respond to his ad in the TB For Sale forum.
     
  14. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    DOH! Just kidding, hope you're digging it!
     
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I'm shooting myself in the foot I think but, why pay $525 for a used GK 1001 RB II when you can get new, delivered for $599 ? My GK is staying put (unless someone offers me a 2402 in trade...) . The best $600 I've ever spent on amplification.
     
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Another SWR vote here, but I'll put in a nod for the SM-400S/SM-500, which has one of the most effective EQs I've ever seen on a head. Its not switchable like the SM-900, but its actually more flexible for getting a single sound.

    I'm in the process of trading for an SM-500 with the exact reasoning you're using. Alembic/WT-1000 for the loud stuff, SM-500 for small gigs.

    They go for under $500, and run a true 400 watts bridged, you just have to keep the enhancer down or it'll chew all of your power trying to reproduce 40hz. Good sounding DI too.
     
  17. gruuv

    gruuv

    Jan 23, 2004
    Tennessee
    Whoa, I didn't know that's what they cost new. That does seem like a heck of a deal (on a new head rated at 700 watts). Gotta love TB! Thanks for the info. . .
     
  18. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    You're right, but somewhat unfortunately for me I found out that RMC Audio (formerly Ric's) sells them for $600 after I bought this one.

    Still, I can't complain a whole lot. The one I got is only a few months old, is in great shape, and I got a free rack case, so all in all I'm still mighty happy with the deal.

    But, if I had that info a month ago ...
     
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    What do those go for used? I would have thought that it would be over $500. I'd like to check one out with my own basses and cabs someday. It was hard to get a feel for the 900 the few times that I have played one in a store with unfamiliar gear. I hear some cool things about the 900, though.

    I would think that other contenders would be an AMP BH-420, Kustom Groove Bass 1200, maybe an iAMP 500 or Mesa Boogie Walkabout (if you can find either one in that price range), something from Ashdown (pretty impresssed with all their gear - at their respective price points), or if you were willing to consider an all-tube head, a Traynor YBA200 (they are actually quite small and pretty light for a tube head).

    Tom.
     
  20. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I'll add another recommendation for the G-K, and do make sure you get the Mk. II of either the 700RB or 1001RB. The power increase feels like much more than the specs suggest, and the re-voiced EQ sounds noticeably better than the Mk. I models. I have 700RB Mks. I and II, and the Mk. II blows the previous model away, with much more depth and warmth. The "boost" control seems more effective too. In fact, you'd probably do just fine with the 700RB-II if you don't feel like popping for the 1001RB-II, especially if you have an efficient cab.
     

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