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Bass Heads (I'm lost)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by berssedc, Sep 4, 2008.


  1. berssedc

    berssedc

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hello,

    I am a fairly new bass player. I have played guitar for about 15 years now and bass for about a year. My band is currently starting to play shows in small-mid venues. We play a funky, jazzy, blues rock. I really enjoy getting a rumbeling low sound (much like dave mattews band.) I need to upgrade from my practice amp. I just bought the Hartke VX-215 cab (very nice cab) But I have no idea what to pair with this as far as a head. My budget is up to $600.00.

    Here is what I'm considering
    Markbass Little Mark II
    Hartke 3500
    GK 400
    Blackline 600
    Ashdown Mag 300
    Peavey 700

    Out of these which would be the recommendation. Or, if you have your own thoughts on different heads please let me know!

    -Thanks
     
  2. BassIsFun17

    BassIsFun17

    Jan 16, 2006
    Atlanta
    ive played the mark bass head. and i really dug the sound.
    id also recommend the genz benz shuttle 6.0 head.
    my friend had one at his house, and i played through it, i really liked the sound of that head.
     
  3. berssedc

    berssedc

    Sep 4, 2008
    Thanks I appriciate the response. Out of curiosity for playing live shows, what is more important? Power, tone or a combination of both. There will be PA's where I'm playing so does high watts really matter?
     
  4. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've played though the GK and the Hartke. I own and love a Little Mark II. Of course, I'm absolutely shameless about my feelings for that little amp, so your own personal mileage may vary. :smug:

    -Mark
     
  5. IMO power is a big part of tone. Without a lot of headroom from your amp, certain frequencies get clipped and will sound slightly distorted. But with at least 400-500 watts, I think you should be fine for just about anything, especially with PA support.

    I wouldn't recommend the Hartke 3500, I hear a lot of complaints about how its underpowered and has a tinny tone.
     
  6. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Quebec
    For small to medium venues with a PA, you really don't need more than 200-300 watts tops unless you play with raving lunatics or have a 10 people horn section. People around here harp a lot about "tone", "headroom" and "needing huge watts to bury half-stacks", but for funky, jazz-blues rock, but the facts are, unless you ply without a PA, your amp will only be there as a personal monitor/fill for the band. And since stage space is usually small, not arriving with an overkill head will have the soundman rave about you.

    I have an old GK400rb that has only 200 watts and it has been fine by itself even in 150-200 seaters. The bass tone was solid, but not annoyingly loud. I have a Peavey 215 paired with it. If you decide to buy new, RMCAudio (is that it?) has huge discount on GK product. A nice stomp box tuner + a DI (can I suggest radial or countryman, every soundman love these) can be bought with the difference if you go under budget. These things are almost a necessity, IMHO.

    BTW, all the amps you listed are fine except for the MAG 300 wich I found sounded like carboard crap (the EVO line is where it's at). The backline 600 blew up on me also.
     
  7. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I'd prob take the Backline and Hartke off the list. The Backline has controls, but they don't really do anything.

    I love the MAG personally, but people talk a lot about Markbass around here too.
     
  8. whitedk57

    whitedk57

    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    You can get an Ashdown Mag 600 for $463 on Musician's Friend (was $299 for a while). It's twice the power of the Mag 300.
     
  9. BassMaster4s

    BassMaster4s

    Jul 28, 2008
    Wind Gap, PA
    Get a used GK 700RBII or 1001RBII. They both fit in your price range, and if you ever need the extra power in a certain situation, like you PA needs to use a temporary mixing bored with only enough channels for vocals, you will have it. Also eliminates the need to upgrade in a few months when you realize you want more power. The LMII and GB shuttle are much lighter, but GK is very light compared to most other amps with comparable power. Also, the 700RBII can be bought new in your price range if buying used scares you. Go for RMC audio if you want to go the new route. Good luck!
     
  10. berssedc

    berssedc

    Sep 4, 2008
    So it looks like it coming down to the Markbass II and the GK 700. What would be the opinions on the likes of these two compared?
     
  11. Your VX 215 is a 150w RMS cab (75w drivers). I wouldn't sacrifice tone for massive wattage when you won't really be able to put it to use, so pick the head that you think sounds the best.
     
  12. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    I have the VX215 and my owners manual states that its 500 watts, and its a 4 ohm cab. I am running a Genz Benz Neo Pak 3.5 (350 watts @ 4 ohms) and it sounds really good. I like these cabs, especially considering its price/weight. I have run many different heads through it, and I dont see how you could go wrong with any of these choice...I also like the new Hartke LH heads a lot too. Gk and Markbass are great heads as well. Play 'em and see which tone ya like best.
     
  13. wildcard

    wildcard Guest

    Go for the ,
    1. Little Mark II{the best IMO}
    2. Hartke HA3500 is nice { jack Bruce used Hartke on that last Cream Tour in London }
    3. Peavey 700 {is nice & very dependable}
    Forget the rest. Just IMO
     
  14. Yes, it is rated at 500w. The manual for the 215 isn't on the samsontec site, but the 115 states: "Power Handling 300 Watts Peak Power Handling". That tells me that the Peak power handling of the VX 215 is 500w. That means the RMS rating is much lower than this...and I'm going off a review on AMS where an owner of the VX 115 pulled the (blown) driver and stated it had 75w RMS speakers.

    Just throwing that out there into the discussion.
     
  15. Gubna

    Gubna

    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco
    Get yourself a GK800RB.

    don't get the GK400.
     
  16. berssedc

    berssedc

    Sep 4, 2008
    Just wanted to say thanks again for all of the feedback. I'm buying the head tomorrow and I am watching this post every second I can. You are all great for helping me out.
     
  17. I just got a Markbass LMII, and am loving it. I like the tone and controls on it better than my GK 400RBIII, plus it's much lighter. I use it more often than the Ampeg V4BH i recently acquired, because it's much easier to take in a backpack.
     
  18. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    I have never pulled the drivers from my cab, but I wouldnt doubt what you are are saying either. But I do own one and gig with it, and it handles all the power I have thrown at it from many different heads, and it sounds great with the Genz as well...and it handles the Low B string well which is more than I can say for a lot of cabs.
     
  19. berssedc

    berssedc

    Sep 4, 2008
    So RMC audio just offered me free shipping and no tax on the GK 700 head. They knocked the price down to 519.00.

    IS this a good deal? Is it worth taking over the MarkBass Little Mark II?
     
  20. You can get the LMII at Music123.com right now for $529 with rack ears.

    Here's the thread.

    I haven't actually played through one yet but mine will be here Monday. There is overwhelming support for these things here on TB.

    The GK is a great amp too, but the LMII is small and light. And hey, it's Itailian! ;)
     

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