Battle of the Lightweights

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by uglybassplayer, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    It figures. I sold my PLX1602 and 4x10 cabinet back in September because it was way too much firepower for the small coffee houses I've been playing with my band. Now it looks like I may be playing with another band thats much louder and playing in larger venues. I ordered a 1210 from Jorg so I have the cabinet end covered, and I picked up a Behringer BX3000T cheap off of ebay a few weeks ago which will suffice for the short term, but I'm wondering what recommendations you guys would make regarding a small lightweight head to drive the Schroeder. Here's the deal:

    The band is a fairly loud rock praise & worship band (2 guitars, bass, drummer, anywhere from 3 to 5 vocalists) playing at churches (some fairly large) and retreat centers. Typical attendance is somewhere in the area of 100 to about 300.

    I'm looking for a lightweight head, say less than 16lbs with a minimum of 300watts at 4ohms (The ability to drive a 2ohm load would be a plus, but not a necessity). It doesn't have to be pristine sounding, in fact I'd like to be able to dial in a bit of grind (although I'm willing to use my SansAmp for that if necessary)

    I haven't given cost much of a consideration at this point, but now that I'm thinking about it, I'd like to keep it to under $800 if possible.

    Looking forward to your suggestions.

    - Frank.
  2. lawndart


    Oct 4, 2003
    Northern NJ
    hows about a used Mesa Walkabout. I scored mine for around 600 if im not mistaken.
  3. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yup, the Walkabout would score on all fronts. 13 lbs, 300w into 4 ohm (and I can attest to its stability at 2 ohms), can dial in anywhere from a slight bit of grit to a full-blown overdrive, and last I checked, there's even one for sale here on for less than $600!
  4. a GK 700 or 1001RB would be sweet too, has them for cheap, well under $800.
  5. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    +1 :bassist:
  6. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Acoustic Image Clarus, thats one of the most light weight, most drool worthy amps that i can think of right now.

    I wish they werent so expensive here :)
  7. chardin


    Sep 18, 2000
  8. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    Acoustic Image FOCUS! 600w at 4 ohms and only 4 lbs!
    If you're looking for small/light/loud and you've got the extra $, that's what I'd get without a doubt!
  9. i vote for eden wt 400 or wt 550.

    Or even the time traveller 330. I have this and love the "warm" circuit. 2 ohm stable (400 watts). Retails at 1,000 but you figure a good dealer will sell you one at 650-700ish. Or you can get a used wt 550.

    I'm sure God will like the Mesa, but your wallet won't. Have your church take up a collection. Problem solved.
  10. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Don't forget the Iamp350. I love the sound of mine
  11. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    eden 550
    genz benz 400
  12. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Wow :eek: , lot's of very good suggestions. I guess I'm going to have to get my fat A$$ out and check out some of these heads. I'm particularly intrigued by the iAmp (500 and 800), the AI (Man, 4lbs! I wonder if I could get away with the Clarus with the Schroeder as opposed to the Focus), and the Thunderfunk.

    Thanks All!

    - Frank.
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    if you want some cool gritty mojo, the Eden's got it. check out the classifieds section, alot of these amps are availabe at one time or other.
  14. +1 for Eden Wt-400.

    I have one. It's fantastic sounding, and 400 watts is plenty. I regularly play mine at church (400-600 ppl) through a 2x10 SWR Goliath Jr (which only uses about 250watts) and it's loud enough, and clear enough, that I don't need to go through the PA - just run from the amp. If the Wt-400 got broken/stolen, i would use the insurance money to get another one for sure.
  15. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I love the iAMP 800 and the Walter Woods, but based upon your initial criteria, I didn't recommend them before. Both are over 16 lbs, either would be very hard to find in your price range (though you might find a TF, if you're lucky), and neither can dial in grit/grind like the Walkabout. As for AI, the Clarus doesn't get you 300w into 4 ohm, but will handle a 2 ohm load. The Focus gets you the power you want, but won't handle a 2 ohm load. The little Clarus SL seems like it comes closest (250w into 4 ohm, 350w into 2 ohm), and it is ridiculously small! However, the price point may be tough, and AI amps also won't let you dial in grit/grind, but as you said before, you could use your SansAmp for that.

    So, if you are willing to forgo some of the initial criteria, then by all means, iAMP 500/800, Thunderfunk, and the AI heads should all be on your short list.

    With regard to the Eden heads that come closest to your criteria (WT-550 and WT-330), while both are very nice amps, I personally think that the Walkabout is just that much better (mostly in the tone department). If you shop used, the Walkabout can be had for under $600 fairly regularly. That said, either of those Edens would likely do you a good job, and if you like their tone, I think that you would be very happy with them.

    Good luck, Tom.
  16. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the suggestions Tom, I hadn't given much thought to the Mesa, but your points make a lot of sense. I guess I really shouldn't rule out anything until I've had a chance to play through it. I should have my 1210 in a few weeks, then I can start checking these out.

    - Frank.
  17. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    I got to play my Clarus through Scooperman's Schroeder 1210 (see scooperman's "taste test" thread). It wasn't gig conditions, but my impression is that that combination would get through a rock gig quite respectably as long as the onstage volume is sane (i.e. not much drum mics in the monitors).

    The Clarus is a nice little amp (literally). I haven't gigged at all since I got mine. But so far I'm impressed. The tone is really sweet and pleasant. The EQ is not very radical, but still quite useful, and it doesn't take any serious tweaking to get a nice sound.

  18. Scooperman


    May 28, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Not to mention that since the Clarus can do 2 ohms, you could always get a 2nd 1210 if you ever wanted to play at reeeaaally loud volumes.
  19. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    I finally went out on my "head hunting" expedition (got to fool around with a lot of cool gear :cool: ) and bagged a GK 1001RB-II. At 18lbs it's a wee bit heavier than I had originally set my sights on, but with 700w @4ohms, I think I can live with it :D . With a bit of dealing, I got an incredible price on it (brand new, boxed) from GC (45% off list). They didn't have one available on the floor, but they did have a 700RB-II for me to check out through several different cabs. I'm in love...superb construction, killer sound! I was surprised at how much that "5string" button could affect the tone. I also liked the contour knob (similar to the shape knob on the BX3000T I picked up). I'm playing with the new band at a retreat next weekend, so I'm hoping the Schroeder arrives by then, but if not, I'll be borrowing a 4x10 for the gig.

    Thanks again to everyone for all of your suggestions!

    - Frank.
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    SWEET! I'd like to hear the GK into a 1210.... I'll be waiting for the reviews :bassist: