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Best Bass/Bass Amp combo for under $1500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 98dvl, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002
    Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I've been lurking for a while now.

    Anyway, I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

    I've recently started playing in a small band. Most of us are pretty new, and this is our first band. Needless to say, we don't plan on selling out any arena venues anytime soon! ;)

    But, we're coming along pretty well, and we've got high expectations and hope to play in a bar venue later this summer.

    Right now, I'm playing a Fender P-Bass (Mexican made). In the past it has always suited me just fine (playing at home). I'm playing it through a 15W practice amp (if you want to call it an amp).

    But, seeing as though we're looking to get into a bigger gig than my buddy's living room, I was hoping to get some advice on amps and basses.

    Our work bonus will be coming out in about a month from now. So, I'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of $900-$1500 to spend on some new equipment. What I'm hoping to do is get a new bass and a new amp... But, for now, I'm just looking to get a new amp.

    We're playing a lot of classic rock covers (CCR, AC/DC, SRV, Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, etc.). I haven't been using my amp for practice, but I've been using another guys 100 W Fender (not sure on the model) guitar amp. It's really not enough to cut through the mix right now as I have to crank it way up.

    I've looked at a couple amps (Fender Bassman and SWR LA series) here at the music shops. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Bassman (probably 200W if I can find one). But, before I purchase anything, I wanted to get some more feedback. Would 200W of Fender Bassman be enough to play in a bar or street venue? This is my first "band", so I'm not really sure.

    I'm thinking a combo amp is more of what I need. I'd like to keep my whole amp setup as small as possible (yet still have a decent sound/power). I drive a Jeep, so space is somewhat limited for hauling stuff around.

    I'm hoping to spend about $500-$700 on an amp and about $500-$700 on a new bass. I'd really like to get a 5 string as I think it'd be just a bit more versatile than a 4 stringer. I like the sound of the MM Stingrays, but right now, that's just outside my purchasing power. What really sucks is that I missed out on an opportunity to pick up an Eden 600W combo for $750!!! (In the local paper, I called too late!)

    Does anyone have any recommendations for me? I'd really appreciate the help. I'll base my final decision on sound and all, but I just need some places to start looking.


  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I would suggest getting 410 cabinet and a 300-500 watt head. If you buy used, you should be able to do that for about $600 or so. If you have to go a little higher for a good amp, I would. There is nothing at all wrong with your MIM P bass. It will serve you well, I promise.

    Getting a good amp with plenty of power will do wonders for your tone and your techinique. Plus you would be able to carry any bar-sized room out of the house if you had to. (And if you are going to play bars, you'll most likely have to) A 200-watt combo may work for some venues, but much of the time, you'll really be pushing it hard.

    Spend what you have to spend to get the right amp and stow the rest away to start saving for a stingray.

  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I would agree with Chasarms. A cab and an amp would serve you better than a combo. Get as big an amp as you possibly can afford. Five hundred watts minimum,(you can't have to many watts ), and get a good 4x cab to go with it. With seperate components you can upgrade one at a time as you go along and you will buy more gear. Combos really don't cut it in a loud rock band.

    And welcome to T B.:)
  4. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
  5. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.

    No you may not.:D :D :D
  6. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Okay, I won't then!

    Whatever you do, DO NOT get a Carvin amp!:D
  7. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002

    With all the joking aside, I went to check out the Carvin page.

    Now, I haven't heard these puppies play, but I like the prices that I see.

    It seems like I could get a pretty decent stack for a decent price:

    Here's what I'm looking at:

    1000W head, 4x10 cab, 1x18 cab: $1300

    1000W head, 4x10 cab, 1x15 cab: $1230

    600W head, 2x10 cab, 1x15 cab, $1089

    600W / 2x10 combo, 1x18 cab, $1070

    600W / 2x10 combo: $800

    Hmmmm so many options. I guess I'll have to find a store in my area so I can test this stuff out!

    Any other brands worth looking into???

    I read some reviews on harmony-central about the R1000s and R600s from Carvin. They don't seem to positive from a reliability standpoint. Can anyone else vouch either way? Perhaps they were talking about older models? How do the series III amps hold up? I don't want to be shipping amps across the country all the time for repair.

  8. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    i would sugest the carvin 600 watt 2x10 combo. then go to www.musiciansfriend.com and look in the basses section for the Spector NS2000-Q4(you might even be able to find a cheaper one on ebay). if you get this bass and amp you will spend between $1500 and $1600 and you will be a very very happy man. trust me i own the spector (5 string version) and im about to get a carvin (1000watt 4x10+15) cause my friend has one and it sounds cool. good luck and let us know the out come.;)
  9. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    For combos, I recommend the following:

    1) Eden Metro 2x10 Combo
    2) SWR Red Head 2x10 Combo
    3) GK 700RB 2x10 Combo

    The best value and easiest to transport
    is the GK for around $1000 (www.riksmusic.com)

    They all are comparably powered and have
    a unque sound. You'll find most people will prefer
    the Eden, SWR in the middle, and the fewest giving
    the nod to the GK.

    Truth be told, they all sound really good. Give
    them all a try and see what you think.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I think the question you must ask is how loud is your band going to be, and how big are the places you are going to play?

    My Dad has a 100watt Sunn and it's more than enough power for the band he's in.

    For my band, I have a 100watt Crate, and it needed micked through the PA until our lead singer was given a 2x15 Cabinet and an Ampeg head that he lets me use. (My next major gear purchase is definatley going to be my own head/cab)

    It's all a matter of what situation you're in.
  11. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    i think he's looking for a more affordable amp so he can get a new bass as well. and carvin is his best bet in terms of quality and affordability imho. i havent heard any amps in that price range (about $750) that sound better imho. but i could be wrong. wait a second me, wrong:eek: :D
  12. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002

    Right now, that Carvin looks like good stuff.

    I'm just leary a bit after what I read on H-C.

    But, the reason why I posted this in the amp forum, is because I'm looking to get an amp first. I figure I shouldn't have any problems sounding decent with a good amp.

    I may even just blow all the money on one of those stacks, and wait a while to get a new bass.

  13. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Yeah, then you can save a while and get a purty new bass to play through your tower of power!

    I used to own a Series II Carvin R600 and it never let me down. The only problem I ever had was my volume pot became scratchy, but that is easily fixed...

    You can order from them and test drive your stuff for 10 days and if you don't like it, you can send it back and get a refund, less shipping.

    Good Luck!
  14. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    if your gonna do that you should get the one that im getting. 1000 watt head 4x10 and a 1x15 shipped to you doorstep for $1370. its better to get more power then you need than to get less. plus its not realy as loud as it sounds say if your guitar player went and got a marshall stack even though its only 100 watts, you would'nt be heard without a huge amp. you might as well spend a little more money now that have to spend alot later to upgrade your amp. i made the mistake of getting a low wattage amp and now im paying for it. peace;)
  15. lesfleanut

    lesfleanut Guest

    Sep 25, 2001
    Syracuse N.Y.
    im sorry the price for the 1000 watt 4x10 1x15 is $1300 i was looking at the one with the 1x18. i would not want the one with the 18
  16. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    For the $, Carvin is tough to beat.....

    Go for it!

    For the money, the only thing that's going to be
    better is used gear....
  17. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002
    Just curious, why not the rack with the 18" speaker?

  18. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    18s can have a tendancy to sound muddy. 15s usuall sound tighter, quicker. i would personally highly reccomend picking up a used carvin R600 or R1000, moreso the R1000, its worth the extra $$. great amp, ive got one, and its never let me down. then take your new head with you to as many local music stores as you can, and play as many cabinets as you can. id suggest you look at used stuff for your money... its hard to beat. plus if youre gonna play in bars its gonna get dirty, you dont want shiny new cabinets. spend as much as you hafta on a head/speaker cabinet to get significant wattage and a high quality speaker cab. then start saving for a bass, your MIM P will work fine for the time being. welcome!
  19. Hartke. The kick Back is Powerfull I sometimes use my GK Monster stack that you can combine with a cab. But i use Aguilar systems(i have way too many amps trust me) But hartkes are the best in that price range. But you can buy almost anything for that price
  20. What ever you do, Dont get SWR stuff! A good bas in that rang is a carvin
  21. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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