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Best Digital Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Santos128, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Ahoy!

    I need help,i am looking for a high end Digital bass amp that fits in a rack (2RU Max). Light weight that I can just DI straight from the head to the mixer as I wont be using a cab.

    I just bought a new Warrior custom shop bass and i feel like i need an amp that really complements my new guitar. :bassist:

    At the moment I am using a RH450 TC Electronics bass head but feel like I could have something better

    I was looking at the:

    Mesa M9 Carbon
    Ampeg SVT 7 Pro
    Ampeg SVT 8 Pro
    Phil Jones D-600
    GK MB Fusion 800

    Maybe even a Kemper and profile some tube bass stuff

    I need something super reliable due to international touring and i dont care about the expense.


  2. FYI, the Mesa M9 is a 'full weight, full size' head. The closest lighter weight version of that head (i.e., BIG bottom, very bright, aggressive top end) is the GK MB800. Impressive head if you like a somewhat modern, full range tone (which would fit nicely with the voicing of your bass IMO).

    Not sure about rack ears for the GK stuff (most would get rid of their racks once you have all that power and EQ power in that nice small, light format.

    The RH750 is a nice amp, but its inherent voicing is meant to somewhat vibe a classic, sealed multi 10 cab rig, so the low end is a bit compressed, and the entire head is somewhat midrange voiced. The GK voicing (and the M9) is literally just the opposite.

    If you are looking for a very warm, mid present, warm sort of punchy voicing, but with less compressed low end than your RH750, the Aguiar TH500 is a good choice, but again, as far as I know, isn't set up for rack mounting.

    The MB800 (or the MBFusion800 if you want it just a bit smoother and more relaxed up top) would be the best bang for you buck, and would give you a startlingly different tonality than your current head.

    Edit: The 7Pro is impressive, but still too many reliability posts for me to recommend that one. Don't ever hear much about the 8Pro, so not sure there.
  3. PS I just noticed the 'international touring' thing. So, make sure any amp you get is good at different voltage. I don't think GK is, nor is the Markbass stuff.

    TecAmp Puma900, Aguilar TH500 are two that come to mind that are switchable easily to 110/220. Do your homework there.
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    If you're not using cabs why have an amp at all?

    Couldn't you use a DI like a REDDI?
  5. mazdah


    Jan 29, 2010
    Kalisz, Poland
    SVT-7 and 8 are NOT digital. Class D =/= digital!!!
  6. Let's not go down that path again. Close enough. What he is asking is for a lightweight amp. Most understand the request:)
  7. +1 All the way. Read over/missed that he won't use a cab. I'd just get a Tonehammer DI pedal and be done! Quite frankly, the DI of his RH750 is quite good.

    For the ultimate in great tone, reliability and classic performance, the JDI is about as good as it gets, especially with an active bass. Classic passive DI used worldwide for decades!
  8. See, one of my mates had an old Sansamp rack mount, but i am looking for a sweet warm punchy tone and find that they come up a little short
  9. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Given that he won't be using a cab, the lightweight criterion would be satisfied by pretty much any preamp. Digital doesn't come into it unless he wants some kind of DSP or effects built in.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    So you tried ONE of the hundreds of options on the market and didn't like it.
  11. +1 Again, let's not go down the 'what is digital and what is not'. Clearly, he is using digital to proxy for lightweight. Zero issue. Edit: Interestingly, his RH750 is one of the few amps out there that I am aware of with a 'digital' preamp (or mostly digital anyway).
  12. As Bongo says, there are hundreds of high quality preamp/DI units available. From high end tube amp emulation units like the REDDI (big, heavy and expensive), to the classics like the JDI, that is a very pure, high quality send to the mixing board, costs under $200, and will fit in your gig bag.

    If you want EQ control from the stage (usually not a good idea), the Aguilar ToneHammer is pretty awesome... fat, warm, small, under $300.

    Those are three of literally hundreds of possible units. (Edit: The JDI is a passive DI box and an industry standard. With a passive bass, and the impact of capacitance on non buffered pickups, the JDI will roll off a touch of upper treble. Many like that, since it takes the edge off of a front of house system a bit. With an active bass (buffered) zero issue. If you use a passive bass and want it warm but as uncolored as possible (i.e., no roll-off), the industry standard is the Countryman DI. Both units are good enough for the most demanding live gigs IMO and IME. Both are under $300 and will fit in your gig back. I was pretty impressed with the new VT DI from sansamp also. If you are looking for that bright Ampeg grind sort of thing, pretty cool.

    I would still like to hear what you don't like about the RH750 DI. Pretty darn nice (based on my experience with the RH450.
  13. Mcnailit


    Nov 22, 2011
    Amarillo, Tx
    If you don't need to run a cab, it's hard to beat a Demeter preamp. Great warm tone and a good DI built in to it.
  14. JeffLieby

    JeffLieby Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Orange, TX
    Buy a REDDI! It will be cheaper than most of the other options you mentioned, less fuss, and it is nothing but the sweetest, warmest, punchiest tone available, IMHO.

    No shortcomings on the REDDI whatsoever.

    All DI's are not created equal. The REDDI is killer and will deliver the goods night after night without breaking a sweat.
  15. I would look at a quality 1U preamp (Alembic, Demeter, ?) and a Two-Notes Torpedo Live. That would give you:
    • preamp (check int'l power capability)
    • choice of power amp
    • choice of speaker cabinet
    • choice of cab mic
    • choice of cab mic preamp
    • 2U
    The Torpedo Live has balanced in/out but it is TRS.
  16. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    iPad, clips to a mic stand.
    Excellent modeling software by many companies.
    Blueboard wireless pedal
    The interface with DI straight to the board.
    Carry a spare if you want, or buy one in any city.