1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Best amp for Jazz Theater Gigging

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Byrinthion, Jan 21, 2017.


  1. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    Hi TalkBass,

    I've just recently been invited to join my campus' jazz band, but the college's theater is huge. Like 1,500 people big. I have a Fender Rumble 25 currently, so not a gigging amp.

    I would really like an amp with enough power to fill the room, with a sort of vintage-y warm tone. And realistically, I'd like if it was <$800 but any dollar amount is fine.

    And for the sake of it, would you suggest a stack, or a combo for this? I know there's a debate for effectiveness for gigging, and I could use some guiding input.

    I play on a Rickenbacker 4003w also by the way, so if anybody has an amp that pairs well with a 4003, that will definitely be taken into account.
     
  2. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    When you start talking serious money ($800+) in my mind you are always better off going modular - separate cabs and amp. You can add more cabs as needed. With a jazz band your volume should not need to be huge - maybe start with something like a Mesa Subway D800 (used on TB for $500 or so) and a single 2x10 cabinet (I like RevSound but there's many good choices nowadays). Another good amp choice for vintagey sound would be an Aguilar Tone Hammer 350 or 500. Probably cost a few bucks less than the Mesa.
     
    Ewo likes this.
  3. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    My first choice over the last 5 years has been Genz Benz or Genzler Amplification which is Jeff Genzler's new company.
    I have a Shuttle 6.0 2x10 with a 12t to go under it if needed. I also have a Contour 500 2x10 which I can also put my 12t under if needed.
    Check out the classifieds here and on Reverb. I have seen some great prices on used Genz Benz gear here as of late.
    Best of luck in your search.
    Duke
     
  4. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Agree with the duke above - a used Streamliner would be a good amp choice for the right price.
     
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    1. Is your amp going to carry the room, or are you going into a PA?
    2. I wouldn't obsess about type of amp ("vintage"). EQ is your friend. Find any good quality amp you like. I play jazz with a GK MB-500.
    3. Head - look for 300 watts @8 ohms / 500 @ 4. Lots of options used here - Rumble, GK, Aguilar, etc.
    4. Cab - look for a good 2x10, 1x12 or 1x15, or a used fEARful/ fEARless. If you want more volume for that or any other band, get a second matching cab.

    That setup will carry you for any gig you will ever play.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  6. Dave Wightman

    Dave Wightman

    Jan 21, 2017
    New Jersey
    If you have PA support, I just recently acquired and have been a big fan of my Markbass CMD 121P. It is extremely portable, loud enough, you can add a second cab on to increase the power to 500W and using the VLE feature can help give you a nice vintage tone that you would be looking for. And as of now, the price just dropped to $750 for a new one, so it would be right in your price range. Good luck with your search!
     
    dderatz likes this.
  7. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    They'll be putting the guitar into a PA, so it's safe to assume I too will be going through a PA. I would really like to have amp that carries though. I was looking at a Fender Rumble 500 actually, but the combo setup tends to be a turn off for most bassists. I like the sound of it and it's got the volume to play the gig, and it's prettycosteffective, but again, combo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  8. Dave Wightman

    Dave Wightman

    Jan 21, 2017
    New Jersey
    They do have a separate head and speaker setup you can do too. If you like the Fender sound, it might be a better fit for you.

    Rumbleā„¢ 500 Head | Fender Bass Amplifiers
     
  9. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    If you're going into the PA, and you know you're going into a PA, then you don't even need an amp. A good preamp pedal would be adequate. Any amp with a DI would be good enough for a PA supported gig. When you talk about filling a room with bass on your own, that's generally reserved for gigs where there isn't any PA support.

    The engineer running the board will ensure the right amount of bass is where it needs to be. You'll just have to make sure you're in the right key and timing.
     
    PauFerro likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If you are going into the PA, the only thing you need the amp for is a monitor. As long as your amp has a DI out, you are OK. I am assuming you are going to be doing other playing eventually, including maybe a rock band. That is why I made the suggestion I did (post#5). If so, you are better off with head/cabs as opposed to a combo.

    The Fender stuff in not top shelf, but gets plenty of love by some - check the Fender Rumble club thread.
     
    PauFerro likes this.
  11. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    I'll definitely be doing rock playing on both bass and guitar, that why an amp would be really convenient and good for me. But it's a big, and quite old theater. Concert hall sized. And the jazz band has 30 members in it, so a little volume might be good to have. Even just for rehearsals but I do have a 25w that should suffice for rehearsals( right?)

    It was built I think in the early 1930s, but was updated and renovated circa the 70s or 80s( maybe even early 90s) so it would be really safe to say there's a PA.

    However, again, I do have a sort of ragtag rock group that I'm getting together, probably for similar sized venues, so an amp would be really nice to have.
     
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Talk to the director of the jazz band. Tell him you are looking to get a new rig, both for this and other projects, and want to know what the theater has with regard to the PA, so you make sure what you get is compatible and the best thing for the situation.

    One other thing about having two cabinets. You can keep one cab where you practice, and the other where you rehearse with the rock band. This way you only have to travel to rehearsal with just your bass and head. Makes life easy.
     
    PauFerro, seang15 and Bioflava like this.
  13. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Agree with you, an amp will be necessary. If you like Fender sound go with the separate head/cab approach. I noticed there's a Rumble 500 head in the classifieds here in TB for around $300 - leaves you lots of $$ to get your first cab. I tried the Rumble head at my local store and was impressed.
     
    PauFerro likes this.
  14. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    Would anyone suggest VOX? Rick users seem to have a real Vox fetish but they're all rock players. Are they any good for jazz playing?
     
  15. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  16. Dave Wightman

    Dave Wightman

    Jan 21, 2017
    New Jersey
    I have no experience with Vox, but Ampeg should do the trick for you. Take a look at the PF series of heads and cabs, they would probably suit your needs and a PF500 or 800 with a 1x15 or 2x10 can be found for <$700 used
     
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    SVT - do you REALLY want to carry a head that large and heavy? I would play it any day, as long as I didn't have to carry it. Do youself a favor and get a class D head - under five pounds.

    My rig is a GK MB-500 head. It fits in a backpack with my mic and all my cables. I have a 38 pound Revsound 2x12 cab in one hand, and my mic stand and bass in the other. One easy trip from car to venue, and enough power for any gig (I play in rock, modern country, and jazz bands).

    K.I.S.S. - trust me
     
    obimark likes this.
  18. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    There is absolutely no amp designed for a singular style of music. Find out what jazz sounds like to you, then ask questions about amps based on the sound you hear.

    The worst thing Leo Fender did was call the J bass a Jazz.

    Fender made an amp called, the Metal Head a while back. Can you guess who never embraced it? Metal heads.

    Again, decide what tones in existing jazz songs you like. Pick an amp based on that sound.
     
    PauFerro likes this.
  19. Byrinthion

    Byrinthion

    Nov 11, 2016
    You're right, they are awful heavy. But I do like the we control on the SVT, and I like the Ampeg sound a lot. The portaflex's are eye grabbing though. About as much controls, but a lot lighter.
     
  20. Dave Wightman

    Dave Wightman

    Jan 21, 2017
    New Jersey
    And if you're into the Ampeg SVT tone, the portaflex is the closest thing you'll find to it without any additional pedals or DIs in my experience. The best thing you can do for yourself though is get a few models on a list and go try out some of the amps. When I had my list together, I was almost certain I would end up with a PF800 with the 1x15 PF cab. In the end, I ended up taking home the Markbass Mini CMD 121P and haven't turned back.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.