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Best gigging amp for small to medium venues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cdseverance, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. cdseverance


    Apr 9, 2008
    Hi. I am just here to get some idea's on the best ( and loudest) amp rig that is portable.......without having to haul a ton of gear around. I used to use strickly GK....and have always wondered about tens. Are they worth spending money on since they can't hit the depth of a 15"? Everyones idea's would be highly appreciated.
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    It's more about surface area than it is about the size of the speakers. 4x10's will have more surface than 1x15, so all other factors being the same you should get more volume out of a 4x10 cab at the same power. (There is a butt load of math that goes into speaker design, but that's my take in a nutshell.)
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    They cant?

    Driver size is only one variable that dictates how a cab will sound, and its among the least important. Most modern commercial cabs with 10" speakers go lower and louder than most modern commercial cabs with 15" speakers. Now if you get into the realm of well engineered cabs, yes 15" speakers get you louder with a single driver, and with low frequency offerings in 12" and 15" speakers they will get you lower as well (recently new 10" LF options have been announced, but we have yet to see them implemented). But for generic commercial cabs, more cone area = louder. Larger cone diameter =/= anything.
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I used a small GK Backline 115 for small venues for several years. It's easy to haul, fits in the passenger seat of my car, isn't over the top powerful, and still puts out enough clean and bottomy bass for my needs. I've also DI'd it a few times with good success.
    But since I got the Markbass LM3 rig the GK has been retired to my project studio, where it works great as a practice amp.
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I always used a 410 cab these days. I like the tone I am getting out of 10's vs. 12s or 15s.

    A 410 is overkill for most small gigs, but I like having the headroom AND my 410 is on casters.... So it isn't that hard to move around.

    I am using a Mesa M9 head with the 410. Again, overkill, but I like having headroom.

    I used to run a GK 1001RB-II with a 410 and it also can sound great... And loud if needed.
  6. All loudspeakers are not equal but generally 15s are louder than 12s and likewise 12s are normally louder than 10s. Let me ask you a question, when you say “small venue” - you mean small events with sound reinforcement and not some small bar right - yes, no? And when you say “medium venue” how many seats are you talking about?
  7. cdseverance


    Apr 9, 2008
    It will probably be a small bar. Medium venue 2-300?
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I am digging my Markbass Little Mark III head and dual Markbass Traveler 151P cabs. For most gigs I use just one cab. The tone is truly awesome, especially with both cabs. I can get old school and new school sounds from it.

    For more of the old school sound you might also enjoy flatwound strings. I do.
  9. Yea, you don’t need a very big bass rig for small bar gigs, but 300 people is a good size little room - will your larger room gigs have sound reinforcement? I have few more questions, are you in a really loud band, IE - power trio, metal, punk, etc? What GK bass rig did you use to have, also what is your budget? And the last question is what’s wrong with your Markbass Little Mark III, 151P cab and 121H combo?
  10. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    I use an Ampeg PF500 into an Ampeg 810 for larger/medium venues. For smaller stuff I use the matching Ampeg PF115he cabinet with the PF500.
  11. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    Aguilar TH500 would be my choice for the amp, then any decent 2x10" cabinet or upwards.
  12. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Hey, Joe, are you confusing me with the OP? I have those pieces of equipment, and I'm using and loving all of them.

    I have all my situations covered now that I also have a new 151P to add to my other 151P. Heh, I tried the LMIII and both 151Ps against an Amber VR and 810 last night. My rig ruled, IMO. Really! The Ampeg could get louder, that's all.
  13. Hi Russell and thank you. Oops, yes my mistake - it looks like I somehow combined your signature with the OP post - it must of been a long day yesterday. I’m thinking the OP might have best results with a nice 500-600w amp and two 8ohm cabinets - use both cabs at the bigger gigs and use just one cab at the smaller gigs. Maybe stick with GK since it’s known the OP likes GK? Anyway, it looks like the OP is in good hands here so I’m going to bailout of this thread - and thanks again.
  14. pgullo64


    Jul 23, 2010
    New York, NY
    I use a Tonehammer 500 and a 4 ohm epifani 2-10 cabinet - works for all my gigs - smaller bars - to mid size events at catering halls, etc. Anything larger we have FOH support so the rig is great for stage volume in thoses situations. Also fits in the trunk of my 2 door sedan

    You wont miss the single 15 cab - try either a 2-10 or if yo think you will need some serious volume get a 2-12 instead.
  15. My fEarful 15/6 only weighs about 50#s. I drive it with a Carvin BX1500, and LOVE it. I much prefer it over my old 4/10, as it is half the weight, and definately louder with much better bottom. As has previously been said, bottom is NOT a function of driver diameter, but of driver capability and cab design. Modern drivers are much more capable than they used to be.
  16. I was looking for the same as you a few months ago.

    Got this......GK MB500 + GK 410mbe/4 ohm (500w @ 45 lbs total) You can easily research all the features. With discount - paid about $725
    Thumbs Up! :D
  17. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    I run a fEARful 12/6 and add a 12/sub if I need more volume. I run a preamp/HD1500 so I have plenty of power. I'm looking at the BX500 for smaller gigs as well. So I say 12/6 and the micro head of your choice and you have a rig that's under 50lbs total. Under 45lbs if you by one of the lighter micro heads (GK, TH500, etc)
  18. vlado


    Mar 14, 2006
    Buje, Croatia
    I used to work with a Workingman 12 for years, through it to the PA and using it as a bass monitor to stay beside. It worked quiet well, even with the 9 piece band with brass section and all, on big open air gigs in front of 5000 people. I don't know how good would it be without using the PA, would it be enough to fill the soundscape in a room with 300 people... Nowadays I'm still using it occasionally, but I've only started playing with the band again few months ago, 'cause the last five years I've concentrated more on solo acoustic guitar gigs with my original songs... If I wanted to invest now in an amp I'd probably go for a Eden head and maybe some Hartke box, to make it sound good and still be able to move it around. I like the mellow earful of bass sound nowadays much more then anything punchy. I'm playing 70's Framus Nashville bass most of the time. If I had some more money to put in it I'd probably want to get me an vintage P bass and aim for the old Motown sound.
  19. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Traynor SB115
    200w @ 31lbs
    Your welcome ;)