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Are old Class AB amps even worth their salt anymore?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lavmonga, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    I have a Mesa/Boogie M-Pulse 600 rack amp from the 90s, the 131st M-Pulse 600 made. I've had it for almost 20 years and I've been thinking about downsizing my rig since i'm not gigging anymore really, but with all these new Class D amps, I ask myself, is it worth even selling? I mean the amp sounds great, it's just a bulky rack amp that goes to a bulky set of cabinets. For a while it was worth over $1k, and my full rig was probably about $2k, but now I debate whether I'd even get $1k for the entire rig (M-Pulse 600, Boogie 2x10 and 1x15, both road ready)? I was thinking "I'll just sell all this Boogie gear and buy a small Class D head and a 1x12, and i'll probably still have a good amount of leftover dough!"

    What do you guys think? I feel like big rigs are now dinosaurs of the past and have lost a significant amount of value and my 600 watt head, and two cabs would be barely worth a the cost of a replacement head by itself.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  2. Absolutely - they are well worth the bulk. I've had a load of class D amps and they all lacked that hit you in the chest slam that a class A/B has. The only one I've tried that sounds close is a Quilter BassBlock.
    Don't sell it until you've spent some time with a class D - you may miss it....
    P. Aaron, shoot-r, Eckie and 17 others like this.
  3. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    If you say so, dude.

    OP, I switched to Class D four years ago and have yet to miss any of the other stuff. If you're running through FOH, in most cases, your amp is nothing but your stage monitor anyway, so you might as well make it easy to schlep.
  4. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    There are still lots of people looking for led sleds. Just check here, on Reverb or eBay to get current prices.
    That may help you make a decision. However, if you’re going to get $900 for your old rig, and a new ClassD head and small cab wil cost you $1500, do you want to shell out even more money since your not gigging?

    If you’re looking to save space, clean house, etc., I’d look at getting an old combo like the Ampeg B100R, $300 ~ $400.
    Also the 12” Walkabout Scout, expect to pay $900 for one of those.
    wmmj and dan1952 like this.
  5. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    MordBass, SNCpre and svtb15 like this.
  6. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    My Mesa Carbines certainly can certainly still put smiles on faces. I would also say that unless it's purely a size and weight contest (and we're not comparing supertankers to row boats here), those older heads aren't going to embarrass themselves in any performance category IME.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  7. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    OP, if you aren’t gigging any more, why would you bother downsizing?

    When the day comes that I stop gigging, I certainly won’t go out and buy different gear. I’ll just use whatever I had been gigging at that point. YMMV.
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    It depends how important size and weight (and to some extent feature set) are to you.

    If it's important, then there's nothing wrong with many of the better class D amps and compact light weight cabinets.

    If it's not important, then there's nothing wrong with keeping what you have.

    You don't have to compromise either way, depending on what's important to YOU.
    smeet, tom-g, Ronzo and 26 others like this.
  9. I'd probably decide which of the two cabs I preferred when used on its own with your current head and sell the other one: instant cash and downsizing.
    davidprice and mudpup like this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    they are for me! --- but a lot of folks prefer to keep and use them. nothing wrong with that. i'm too old for the schlepping part of a big rig but i get a kick out of playing them when they're available. i've sold my soul to class D, however, so i don't have any other amp (including PA) these days.

    worth their salt? = you bet!
    worth their weight in gold = :laugh:
  11. Pretty sure your Class AB amp didn't stop working as soon as Class-D amps hit the market. If it works, and you like it, "run what you brung."
    P. Aaron, Jaymo, BassGreaser and 6 others like this.
  12. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Agreed. I love my class D amps but admit they don’t have the punch of class A/B. I compared my Fusion 550 to a MBFusion 800 with the same bass and cabs. The 800 got close but the 550 just had more punch and fullness. You could feel it in a way you couldn’t with the 800.
    jeff7bass, Commreman, murphy and 2 others like this.
  13. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    I had an opportunity to do a similar comparison, and while I liked the sound of the MB Fusion, I felt like I kept turning it up to feel punch out of it that was just effortlessly there with the Fusion 550. That said, I sometimes find the 550 to be a bit underpowered with an 8 ohm load. I wish that GK would have produced the Fusion 800 (non-MB) that was rumored to be coming out some years ago, but they probably saw the writing on the wall with the increasing popularity of micro heads and abandoned it.
    AlexanderB and Cantstandsya like this.
  14. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I believe I have pictures of a Fusion 1050 at NAMM some years back. I’m guessing that never came out ? I use my 550 with 4 ohm cabs and it’s always been more than loud enough.
  15. ad9000

    ad9000 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    Leucadia, CA
    Oh yeah, it was the 1050 that I was thinking of, not "800" - got my numericals confused. I saw it at NAMM also.
    Yeah, I try to use my 550 with 4 ohm configurations when possible, but a couple of my regular gigs have house rigs that aren't easily moved offstage so I use my own head(s) with their 8 ohm cabs.
  16. j0616bass

    j0616bass Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    Indianapolis, IN
    There's nothing wrong with a class AB amp. If you like it, and size or transporting isn't an issue, I wouldn't think there's any reason to trade it out for something different just because class D amps are becoming (have become?) the standard. Heck, a lot of bass players go to a gig with no amp at all these days. I don't think that will never be me, and good luck prying an SVT (or other heavy tube amp) from a doom player's hands, but it's certainly a thing.

    The class AB probably does not hold the resale value it once did, but in the end I'd say it just depends on the player's particular needs and circumstances!
  17. Scootbass1

    Scootbass1 Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Chillicothe, Illinois
    I still have my class AB amps, and use them. I also have a couple of class D heads as well. I use one of the AB heads as primary with a class D backup. I also use either 6X10, 2X15, or a Traynor cab with a fifteen and two tens in it. Use what you want to use. I play Classic Rock with two guitarists that use Marshall half and full stacks depending on venue. Here is a picture of two of my AB heads on top of the Traynor.

    BassGreaser, wmmj, mikewalker and 3 others like this.
  18. To me, no. To others, yes.
    It depends.
  19. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I recently bought a an 8ohm GK Neo 410 from a friend. Haven’t picked it up yet but when I do, I guess i’ll find out what the 550 is like with an 8ohm load.
  20. NNOO, no, nonono...NO, nono, no...ad nauseum...

    My gear Mesa Venture.

    This is my Mesa. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    My Mesa is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

    Without me, my Mesa is useless. Without my Mesa, I am useless.

    I must fire up my Mesa true. I must play louder than my enemy who is trying to play louder than me.

    I must out-Class A/B him before he out-Class D's me. I will...

    @agedhorse , tell anyone involved with the M-Pulse project, thank you!!

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