Best 2-space amp under $500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VifferMike, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm looking for advice on the best amp for under $500 (new or used) that fills no more than two rack spaces (I've got a four-space case, and my Furman PC and BBE 362NR are NOT moving out of it). My early-2000 SWR Bass 350 is OK, but it's a little underagressive and quiet to me and has been rather unreliable of late.
    I play primarily blues, rock and metal (mostly fingerstyle) and am about to start gigging, and I need something reliable in general and reliably loud. My main bass is a Lakland 55-02 (a Spector ReBop 4 is coming); my cab is an older 4-ohm Genz-Benz 410T-XB2 (can take up to 700 watts). I also make full use of a SABD and Aphex Punch Factory compressor.
    I'm simply not quite satisfied with the power, projection and volume that I'm getting from the SWR, and am looking to switch. Yes, the pre-amp tubes in it are fairly new, and yes, I've contact-cleaned the knobs and switches.
    So: lay the suggestions on me! Thanks!
  2. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Kustom Groove Bass 1200 (1200 watts). Best sub-$500 head out there period (brand new with warranty). I've had or tried most of em. It wins hands down. Do a search.
  3. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    I have a couple SWR heads, the SM400 and the Studio 220. I would agree that they seem underpowered based on their given ratings. If you are basically looking for something in the same tone family with more power in that price range, you could check out a used Eden head, maybe the WT400. Another option would be GK, either the 1001RB or the 700RB. I haven't played through the Kustom Groovebass, but I've heard great things about it here - and you could get it new in your pricerange.

    All of these heads are 2 space.
  4. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i like most anything Ashdown used. built like a tank, and wont break the bank.
  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Yorkville XS400H.
  7. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    You may be able to find a used TFB420 for a little over $500.
  8. Peavey T-Max amps are quite nice for the price

    But, for 2 rack spaces you could probably get a 1U pre and a 1U power amp, altho, that might be pushing the budget?
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 for the new options. In the used category, you have a number of options. But for the price, new, that Groove Bass is very, very impressive, IMHO.

  10. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone ... I'm wary of the Kustom for two reasons: 1) it's made in China (I have theological and humanitarian issues with products made there, and avoid buying them when at all possible) and 2) it puts out more power at 4 ohms than my cab can handle, so I'd be risking blowing out my cab. I understand that the Yorkville and Ashdown MAG series are made in China as well, so they're down a ways on the list.

    I'm curious about the Genz-Benz GBE400 and the Tech21 Landmark 300, as well as some used options (Trace Elliot in particular; a friend's TE combo with a 250-watt 7-series head sounds KILLER and can handle volumes up to medium-sized clubs). Anyone have any experience with any of those, especially concerning reliability?
  11. sitback


    Dec 1, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    None of Yorkville amps are made in China, I know that for a fact, they are all made in Toronto, Canada.
  12. Too much power isn't a problem.