Bass n00b needs rig for big venues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by grapes, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. grapes


    Jan 28, 2014

    I may be joining a band on bass this summer to play some pretty massive festivals and outdoor gigs. I am a longtime guitarist/guitar nerd, and I have messed around bass but am only now learning about bass gear. I've been snooping around the site, but figured I'd ask for specific help.

    Here are the deets:
    -Style of music is synth-pop, a lot of the bass lines were originally written on synthesizer and are played on bass for the live show. I would thus be using copious amounts of bass distortion and octave fuzz. I'm using a P-Bass w/ a pick.

    -The band has their own sound guy so this is mostly about having something for the stage. The current dude uses a 2x10 and does just fine.

    I want to spend as little money as possible while still sounding professional. Must be roadworthy. I love to buy used. I really can't see spending more than $600 on a cab and a head for the moment. Just wanted to get some ideas so I can start doing some research and craigslist scouring. What should I be looking for?

    If you've made it this far, thanks for the help, forreal!
  2. Joe Milo

    Joe Milo

    Nov 1, 2009
    Geneva Ohio
  3. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
  4. There are good deals to be had, especially if you don't need something right away. Keep your eyes open and read reviews on things that pop up. I picked up an SWR megoliath 810 cab on craigslist last week for $200! Those went for $1500 new. Missing the emblems, casters were broken, plastic slide rails missing, and the tweeter was blown when I tested it out at the guy's house. When I took the tweeter apart it was just full of sawdust. Cleaned that out, and $30 worth of parts later it is ready to rock.
  5. Cheap, quick, and roadworthy - a Rolls PM351 with Shure SE215 earbuds only cost about $175.
  6. grapes


    Jan 28, 2014
    I do want to get some sort of actual amp - for smaller gigs that may come about, if nothing else...but this is certainly the lowest cost solution. Thanks for all the suggestions so far dudes!
  7. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
  8. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    Some other low cost suggestions:

    Do you happen to own a guitar amp head that can be used for bass too? Maybe a Fender Bassman or Marshall Super Bass or something similar? Then all you'd need is a bass cabinet.

    Or do you happen to have an amp modeler with a couple of presets for bass? Can you get hold of a power amp for these gigs? Again, you'd just have to buy a cabinet.
  9. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    An amp is easy.

    First I'm curious as to how you intend to get your effects?

    Through pedals?

    If so is are they coming out of the budget or do you already have those in hand?

    Assuming pedals, pretty much any 2 x 10, 4 x 10, or even single 15 cab would work. I happen to like Ampeg and Peavey stuff, Peavey holding the edge for value but can't dismiss the brand recognition and tone of Ampeg. All IMO of course.

    Used they are both pretty reasonable, even the Ampeg gear, and can definitely stand up to the road.

    Don't sweat the amp to much, particularly since you have a sound person and I assume a decent PA. Also with an effects heavy sound don't worry about spending extra money for "tone" nuances or whatever. Just find something at least a few hundred watts or more with a size and weight you can live with and whatever features you are looking for. Some features to consider: a DI to the board/PA, effects loop, compressor, tuner or tuner out. If it was me again I'd give a hard look at Peavey or Ampeg brands (okay, you get that I like these brands but for these exact reasons), but really it doesn't matter too much.

    Also if you are using pedals don't overlook a good equivalent size and wattage combo. You may find them easier to travel with, particularly gigging large festivals with a PA. I play a lot of outdoor festivals with my blues band, and my main rig for many years now has been my trusty little Ampeg BA210.

    However, if you intend to get your effects with rackmount processor, then maybe you'd want to snag a used poweramp, get a modest cab, and call it a day. I don't do racks so I'll leave it to someone else to make suggestions in that department.

    Good luck, sounds like a great opportunity and a lot of fun! :)