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Bass Amp: combo or stack

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by todjk, Apr 26, 2002.

  1. I am in the market to buy either a bass combo amp or a head/cabinet.

    I don't do a lot of playing but need something in the $500-$700 range that is well worth the money (that is, built well, great sounding, not overly huge, not overly heavy, not a rocket science issue).

    I'm looking for advice from people who "know their stuff."

    I've read about the Peavey Professional heads, the Gallien-Krueger 400RB/210 combo. Everything looks cool, but I live in a rural area with no guitar shops in the immediate area to try them out.

    Please feed me advice on what would be a smart purchase with the best value.

    Thanks, Tod. :)
  2. Well how loud do you want to be?
  3. Um, I'd say no less than 160 watts. Preferrably 200+.
  4. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    go to carvin.com and look at there combo bass amps. only here good things about them
  5. Yah, nice stuff at Carvin...at least what's on my screen. Ever heard it live?
  6. Or a dual combo setup! Like 2 Ampeg B3158s! ;)

    ($350 for one, $450 for the other)
  7. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    the carvin RC210 is a great combo for the money. the R600 head that is inculded in the combo is great, powerful, and ver versatile. the negative to everything carvin is the speakers. they work fine, but are not the most efficient, or bassy things on the planet. theyre made by eminence, but to carvins specs. not the better normal eminence stuff. i play through an RC210 and it hasnt failed me yet in two years of fairly frequent practicing and gigging. however, i do want to replace the speakers with a good 410 or 610 cabinet now. the thing works excellent with a 4 string bass, but as soon as you throw a low B at it you will need some eqing to keep it from farting out. (speakers cant handle it)
  8. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i bought a brand new carvin 15 replacement for my fender cab. 600 watt handling and 4 ohms.
    it sounded awsome.
    it was louder than the fender 15. and it sounded better.
    i am selling the speaker by itself now.
    i think i have a buyer on the fender cab empty.
    so is anyone intrested maybe?

  9. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I agree that the carvin speakers & cabs are cheesy. That's judging only from what I have read here in the forums. People have nothing but good things to say about their electronics though so I guess the heads are good.

    I again would suggest to stick with combos if you don't need a stack. One alternative to the Carvin RC210 combo would be the Carvin R600 (or R1000) head with an AvatarSpeakers.com 2x10 cab. I bought a 400wattRMS/8ohm 1x15 cab from Avatar and it sounds great and it only cost $199 from the factory. Best deal period! Do a search here on the forums for "avatar". Plenty of good things to say about them. They make a variety of cabs for different applications and for Bass Guitar, they make a 2x10, 4x10, 1x15 & compact 1x15. Don't be fooled into thinking that a $199 cab must be inferior to any $600+ cab. These cabs sound good plus that would just make you an idiot for spending more!:p The Carvin/Avatar setup would cost approximately the same as the Carvin RC210 with chessy speakers but the Avatar cab will sound much better than the Carvin Speakers. You do the math.
  10. Thank you everyone for the kind feedback. It's clear that you all have great insights in to different aspects...which is exactly what I was looking for.

    My challenge now is to come up with a final decision. I'm siding to not go with Carvin, due to the speaker horror stories I've read in this thread and others.

    I'm thinking that I'm going to try the GK 400RB. My latest dilemma is determining whether to go with a 115 or a 210 option.

    I've always been one to like a real rich low-end. (Yes, I'm aware that I've got to spend bookoo bucks for a real nice setup...we'll get there eventually. :))

    If I go with a 115, is it going to tend to be a bit muddier? If I go with a 210, is it going to have a rich enough low end? Again my "disability" is that I've not had the pleasure of trying out different amps. To add fuel to the fire, I've got a gig coming up in 1 week...it's one of those situations where the organizers are renting a sound system for a smaller venue...that reaks of a cheesy system that won't support a good low end. So, I'm forced in to buying based on not hearing the goods. I'm not liking the situation, but nonetheless (like in life) we've got to do the best with what we've got.

    Knowing what I've got typed above, can anyone speak to my 115 or 210 questions above?

    I thank you all kindly. Tod. :)
  11. I have a GK 400RB-III 210 and am very satisfied with it. It has a button to switch from 4 to 5 string. Since I have a Fender P5 Bass this works well for me. I also have and extention GK 210 cabnet. The wieght is managable also.

    Good Luck on whatever you select. :D
  12. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You seem to be real big on having a good low end which is similar to myself. I find myself using the 1x15 more than the 4x10 for two reasons. It has a fuller low end that I would not describe as "Muddy" and it is 50 lbs. lighter than my 4x10 which helps alot on the stairs. It is just as loud as well. It may not be as clear as the 10's but it fulfills "MY" tone requirements. It may just be that all of my combos had 15's and I am just used to having that sound. In the end, I use the 15 more therefore I must like the sound of the 15 more.

    If I was shopping for myself and the GK was my option, I would go with the 400RB-15 combo and then later add a 2x10 cab as funds allow. I just see myself using the 15 more. Or if you are speaking about the 400RB head then I would first get the 15 extension cab and then add the 2x10 later. The market seems to suggest this as well as more higher powered combos use 15's. I don't work in the music retailer field though so I could be wrong. Just trying to help.
  13. Thank you so much for the FYIs, everyone.

    It's good to know that GK is a good product. Again, I've never played on one so this is an extreme case of blind faith.

    I've checked out American Music Supply, as well as Musicians Friend. Are there any other suppliers out there who have great prices, a wonderful try-out period (30-45 days), and good return policies?

    Thanks again everyone. I'm thinking that I'll try the 15" option.

  14. I got my GK from Musicians Friend. Log on and go the the Scratch and Dent section. You will save in this section and there is nothing wrong with the functionability of the equipment.
  15. To make your choice more fun, the GK customer service is natoriously bad. Do a search for it, it is so bad that I would never even consider buying any of their stuff, no matter how good it is.

    Or go for it, and hope it doesn't break.
  16. Does everyone agree about the GK Customer Service? Is it that bad? (I thought that a person could take a broken amp to an authorized GK dealer for repair?)
  17. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I would go to a music store and try as many combos as you can before buying. One good choice might be an SWR Workingman 15 combo. You could probably find one used for around 400, or new for 700. Check Ebay to get an idea on used pricing. Zzoiunds has free shipping for over 200 purchases.

    Good Luck!:)
  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Try an Eden Nemesis NC-210P if you can find one. 50 lbs, 2X10 with a tweeter, 225W RMS, with a built-in compresser, enhance and semi-parametric mid control. Very clean sounding. Between $500-600 new, and comes with decent customer service.

    Only downside is that the external speaker jack is wired in series, so adding another cab doesn't give you more power. (Maybe not a downside: you can't blow the amp up because of your own stupidity.)

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