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being economical, looking long term, looking for upgradeability

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sigterm, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. sigterm

    sigterm ;) ;) ;), love y'all Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Atlanta G of A
    *ducks and hopes to not get smacked*

    these are the amps/cabs/combos/etc im looking at now:

    im trying to look down the road, keep in mind, and watch price at the same time. i dont currently play with anyone else, but its forseeable, as a result im not gigging. im not afraid to save up a little and the taxman is being friendly enough to cover any 1 of the expensive items. so heres my picks for you to narrow:


    buster bass $850
    workingmans 15 $630
    workingmans 12 $350
    workingmans 10 $399 (go figure)
    GK 400RB 2x10 $749
    Ampeg BA115 $449
    Bassman 60 $385
    Ampeg BA112 $370

    GK 800RBII (300W) $649
    Ampeg B2R (350W) $549
    Ampeg SVT3 (450W) $899
    SWR 350X $749
    Bassman 350 $399
    SVT350 $649

    Workingmans 4x10 $560
    Trace Elliot 4x10 $450
    SWR Goliath JR $549
    Mesa P210 $479

    I really like the workingmans, but the gk combos sound just as good. but all i've ever had are combos, should i stick with what i know or would it be better to invest in one of those heads and get a cab to go with it a little later (and keep playing through my horrid terrible miserable nearly unplayable practice amp)? what's my best long term investment, keep in mind i have a civic coupe.
  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I'd say you can always use a good, medium-large combo. It's enough for band practice and small gigs, and you can leave it at your practice space and use your small amp at the house. It's great to not have to pack a bass amp around.
  3. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Well, Im no expert on practically anything, but as for upgradability, go for a head with cabs. I just bought a carvin R600 from the classifieds here, for $350, 600 watts... It will last a very long time, all Id need to do is get more cabs if I want more sound. I figure if you get a combo, you could attatch more cabs to it, but to upgrade the amp itself, you would lose the money paid for the speaker that is attatched to it. Also, you would get a better choice as to the selection of the gear, for example, carvin amps are good, but ive heard the speakers and cabs and such just are horrible. So you could get different things more suited to what the purpose is.

    Of course, I could be wrong....but just my $0.02
  4. Well, without knowing your type of music, whether you play a 5 or 6 string, the type of gigs you think you may play--it's hard to give lots of advice. But trust me, there's lots of opinions here on this forum (and some opinions will directly conflict with others). Some want a bright, hi-fi sound, others want a warmer 60's motown sound. Some slap, others play with a pick.

    So, all I can do is offer my vantage point. I've played more than twenty years and I've found my own ideas have changed. Years ago I wanted POWER and eventually I bought into the concept of a huge bi-amped rig. Though that's great for massive metal, I've progressed into more types of music--types I thought I'd never play, like country and old 50's rock. The big rig is "out of place" for the gigs I usually play now, besides, at 2 in the morning the 2x15 cabs are awfully heavy. (So is my 4x12--and a 4x10 isn't light either). Try carrying a tube amp up a couple flights of stairs in the middle of the night after a four hour gig!!

    Now I'm willing to sacrifice a little tone for portability. I've just gotten a used combo amp for $225--a Peavey Databass, 450 watts into a single 15, weighs 70 lbs. My goal is to make it from the car to the stage in one trip, or more importantly, from the stage back to the car in one trip. Some of the places I've played were pretty sleazy and I don't want to stay any longer than necessary--especially when making multiple trips, you can't be with your gear and who wants to leave stuff unattended in the car or at the stage door.

    I agree a separate head and cab is more flexible. Nowadays there are some lightweight high-power cabs that sound great. But they are expensive and take huge amounts of power as a general rule. The good thing is there are high power lightweight amps out now, but again, they are expensive.

    I don't know if that offers any advice so here's my 2 cents worth. Get plenty of power. You can always turn down, but the knob eventually runs out of real estate if you're constantly trying to turn up. (leads to the inevitable conclusion that some bands play too darn loud, gosh I'm getting old) :D
  5. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I agree with these last two posts/advice...
    get a decent head and you can adjust from there. Portability is still available with a 2x10 and a 500 watt head and you still have flexibility to add later.
  6. 1. BUY USED -- at least the head.
    2. Go head and cab rather than combo. That's the upgradability you spoke of. You can always go to a pre + power amp setup later, and use the same cab plus others.
    3. I like my G-K 400RB head (old model). Light, reliable, sounds great. The 800RB is another good used choice.
    4. I may sound like a shill for them, but I still believe that Avatar is the best cab value out there, despite the recent price increases. I'd suggest the B210 first, then a B115 later. (I put my money where my mouth is, too -- but I got the B115 first.) The two cabs complement each other well. And the B210 plus a G-K head should fit in your Civic with no problem, especially if it's a hatchback version. For that matter, a hatchback might fit both a B210 and a B115, especially if the passenger seat is unoccupied.

    Avatar B210 = $264, shipped.
    Avatar B115 = $281, shipped.
    G-K 800RB on eBay = $440, avg. shipped price in the last 30 days. The 400RB is about $100 less.

    A kick-ass rig for under a grand.
  7. sigterm

    sigterm ;) ;) ;), love y'all Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Atlanta G of A
    i was just checking out those cabs, sounds like a great value. i play alot of variety so my needs are more general. right now im playing nofx and sabbath. i like the high end more than the low end, but when i play low i want some low end. the sound i like most comes from 10's. i have a 4 string and a 5 string and plan on a brice/essex 6 in the near future.

    i get stuck in my ways, especially with large purchases so i feel that i should get a combo but want the head and 2x10. you've swayed me to change so i appreciate it. its one of those things where i know thats what i should get but i dont at the same time.
  8. sigterm

    sigterm ;) ;) ;), love y'all Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Atlanta G of A
    does avatar accept payments via mail?
  9. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    Yep; very easy to deal with.


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