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Best Bass Head for 2 1x15 Cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zfunkman, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    I've been using an SWR SM-400 for about 20 years; it finally needs replacing. For cabs I use 2 Bag Ends; a 1x15 and a 1x15 coaxial. 8 ohms for both. The search for a new head can be overwhelming. 2 amps I've been looking at within my price range are the SVT 3Pro and the Orange Terror Bass 1000. There are also a few more that I will be looking into that I don't yet know much about. Its been a long time since I've shopped for a new bass head.
  2. If you are interested in th Orange amp the TB500 would be a cheaper option.
  3. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    I never said I was looking for "cheaper." I'm well aware of the Terror 500. I'm looking in the $1000 - $1200 price range. I'm looking for opinions and knowlege, not suggestions for what is "cheaper." Do you have a TB500? And if so, how do you like it? And, what style of music do you play?
  4. I think he was pointing that out in relation to the fact that your paif of speakers is likely displacement limited south of 500 watts, so the additional watts and cost of the TB1000 would go un-used with those particular cabs.

    One of the "classic" TB matchups is the Markbass little mark series with those cabs. Might be a good direction to look in.
  5. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    I'm playing through two 8 ohm cabs which = 4 ohms, which = more wattage. I can see what you are saying if I was only playing through one 8 ohm cab. School me if I'm wrong.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Your 2 cabs are limited in how much wattage they can handle. Any cab has it's limit's. CLPeavey was pointing out a good option for you, your response is a bit harsh, considering. You can use any amp you wish with your cabs, but they will handle not much more than 400 watts, no matter. So, a 1000 watt amp would be buying alot more power than you could feasibly use with those cabs.
  7. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    From what I've read and heard the Genz Benz Streamliner 900 pairs up really well with those cabs.
  8. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    The cabs nominal impedance has nothing to do with how much power they can handle FROM an amplifier. The lower the number in ohms the greater the load placed on the amp, 0 ohms is a direct short.
    More money does not equate to quality, so choose by reputation of a makers model.

    That being said I have not been happier than I am with the G-K Fusion 550. Might want to test drive any model you choose first as each persons needs/wants vary?
  9. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    I'm looking for good not cheap. I also want some headroom. Also, while checking out the specs for the Orange bass heads there was not any specs on ohms; just 500 for the TB500 and 1000 for the TB1000. For example; The SVT 3Pro . . . 275 w/8 ohms, 450 w/4 ohms(what I have). If the Orange head is similar I may only have about 300 watts with the TB500 and no headroom.
  10. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    If you are looking at specs the Fusion 550 is rated 500 watts @4 ohms. Bass Gear Mag. bench tested and it made 504 watts IIRC and in sustain burst hit 836 watts @ 4 ohm load. Enough to fry your cabs so be careful when wanting "headroom".
  11. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    THe TB500/TB1000 amps have an impedance selector switch on the back and deliver more or less the same power to either a 4 ohm or 8 ohm load.
  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I have 2 Bag End S15D cabs and find that they have a bit of harsh clatter (read: a non-musical sound reproduction) somewhere around 2-4k so my only firm suggestion is that you use something with some sort of para EQ so you can cut specific frequencies. I generally undertax these fairly low-wattage speakers using a Mesa Walkabout, which does about 300 watts at 4 ohms. They sound great, BTW, as does the head. Lately I've taken to using my old 200w at 4ohm GK 400RB. Less tonal flexibility, but engaging the mid-contour scoop switch and cutting back slightly the amp's treble (2k) solves the issue mentioned earlier pretty well. To my ears, the GK beats the Mesa - and while I know these are not the heads you are considering I just toss that out there as a user of a similar cab configuration.
  13. With such highly efficient and low power handling cabs, high wattage would seem to be one of the least important features of an amp in your situation. Find one that you like the sound and feature set of, and it's likely to work very well.
  14. Of all the factors to consider, price and how many watts over 400 are bottom ranking. You can afford whatever tone floats your boat, either used or new.

    Your cabs make nearly all their volume with the first 200w. The next 200w is headroom, after that you're risking cooking and shredding speakers.
  15. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I gigged for years with a GK1001RB and never bonded with the tone. The low end was just sort of dry and sterile. It was a good head, and with an SDDI, it worked well, but an accident with a glass of ice water took it down.

    I bought an Ampeg PF-500, and the tone is so, so different. The low end IS what I was looking for, but it does have more grunt, and sounds more like a large tube amp being pushed. The midrange freq's are far different than the GK. It sounds like an Ampeg, and if looking for a bigger amplifier, I believe I'll stick with Ampeg.

    I gigged with an SVT into some 15" EVSRO cabinets in the 70's and loved it, but got rid of it in the early 80's when I wanted to get into biamping, plus it needed a retube and that was an expense I didn't want to deal with. I missed that tone since, until I got the PF-500. I have no cut-out issues and this one (my second) is doing great.
  16. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    I concur with the consensus. Anything over 400-500w with those 2 cabs isn't really going to get used. After 200w (total), everything is "headroom" anyway, really. But even if an amp is rated at 500, that means you are going to have peaks up to around 1k or so if you running flat out, which is probably well beyond the combined handling of your 2 cabs.

    If you really want a head that's a bit on the pricier side that sounds killer and has great features, unless you are dead set on something "micro", I can highly recommend the recent Trace Elliot 12 band heads (ie AH-600-12). I have one and it is killer. More than enough power for just about any situation, sounds amazing, is versatlile, and has a bunch of great features. I think they go brand new for $1200 or so.

    Why exactly does your SWR "need replacing"? Those are supposed to be very nice amps, and it seems like power wise it would be a great match for your BE cabs. You know that just because something is 15-20 years old doesn't make it obsolete, right?
  17. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    The bass terror 500 is plenty enough juice to explode those two bag ends - I wouldn't bother with the 1000. Right-sizing.

    The SVT-3 pro is a dinosaur. Wouldn't ever recommend anyone get one of those unless it was super cheap used or something.

    That said, switching from an SWR amp to a Terror Bass or an SVT-3 is going to be a huge culture shock.

    If you want something that sounds more like the SWR, I'd look at an EA Iamp Pro or a Shuttlemax 9.2 possibly. Neither one of those is going to sound exactly like it, but they're in a close enough area you could get a similar tone.
  18. Here is a list of amps that I would check out.

    Orange TB 500
    Aguilar TH500
    Genz Shuttle series heads (600 watt versions)
    Genz Streamliner 600
    GK MB 500
    GK Fusion 500
    Carvin BX500
    Ampeg PF-500
    Markbass LMIII
    Eden WTX 500
    Hartke LH 500

    Each has its own tone, and are loved for different reasons. They will also have more than enough power to throw your speakers out of the cabs they are in. If someone was going to give me one of those for free I personally would take the Aguilar Tonehammer 500 or the Orange TB500.
  19. I am a Hartke fan. I have one (the 3500) with a lot of mileage on it and it still sounds great. It has a tube pre-amp section, built-in compressor, and a graphic EQ that can get a pretty wide variety of sounds. They have models with more power than the 3500 too. You can see all amplifier models they have here.
  20. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    I have not found the "one tube/starved plate" pre tube to not be of much sonic use. IME/IMO.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

    Mar 6, 2021

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