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Best lightweight amp for upright?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jason Sypher, Aug 17, 2012.


  1. I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and become an amp guy. What should I get? I know the AI, the Genz Benz, TC Electronics, Markbass. It should be small and powerful. I'll match it with a small 2x10 or a 12...

    I've heard ok things about Genz and Markbass but better things about AI and TC. Opinions?
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, I got a Woods. But everything I've heard about AI customer service has been nothing but five stars across the board. I heard Bob Sabin at KAVEHAZ (SoHo) a buncha years back with an AI and a Markbass 12 speaker cab and he got a great sound.
     
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    For speakers, start with this thread.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f4/arnopol-8-cabinet-winner-848274/

    Mike also makes a crazy 88 and a single 12 out of composite. They are all very nice sounding and very light weight. I've only used them with an EA Doubler but I'm sure they'd be great with any amp.

    If you can wait a bit, he's gonna be making some Big E design cabs and I think they may be the best small cabs yet. The most natural double bass sounding cabs I've heard. As soon as I get one to gig with, I'll report.
     
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 same here for the Walter Woods as I have two and there simply the best amps I've ever owned. Actually, I've been playing though one since 1980, without a hitch. Unfortunately, their very expensive. I like the Genz Benz, but there all single channel amps, so, if you happen to double at all, their not ideal for that. If you are doing both EB and DB then the Acoustic Image or Euphonic Audio Heads are full two channel. That's the deal breaker for me.

    Ric
     
  5. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    I have a Markbass F1 and a TCE RH450, and find the Markbass better for DB, the TCE better for EUB and BG. The Markbass is far more "transparent" than the TCE, which does a really good job of emulating an Ampeg-style tube amp. I've used a Genz Shuttle 3 and liked it, and an EA iAmp 500 on one gig under less than ideal conditions without time to tweak it. I won't blame the amp for that experience! Almost everything else I hear about that amp (and others in the series) is positive.

    Edit: I should add that the Markbass benefits greatly from the addition of an fdeck HPF-Pre into the chain. The TCE does as well, but the difference is less marked.
     
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The Shuttle-Max series are 2 full featured, switchable channels. All you need to add is an AB switch to select between inputs, the channel switching on the amp itself is included with the amp's footswitch. The 2 sweepable mid eq's can be helpful for some acoustic bass applications.
     
  7. Thanks everyone. Anyone have experience with the TC Electronics stuff or the Aguilar TH series. What about Eden? I'm not a doubler but, who knows, I may have to be someday. For now a single channel will get me through the gig. I'm not opposed to a combo though my instincts (and Ed Fumanchu) lead me towards a small head and a 12 or 2x10). Also consider this a "wanted" post for anyone thinking of selling or trading. I've got that QSC K10 with stand to work with. I'm strapped for cash so the first rig may not be the dream-rig, but I'd also like to not waste time and money on something that ain't right.
     
  8. playbass0410

    playbass0410

    Feb 8, 2008
    PUHMA Combo 212 is lightweight and great sounding amp for both EB and DB. But you have to like a very clean and transparent sound. And it is very honest in terms of amplification of bad instruments or playing technique: **** in results in loud and transparent **** out..

    More likely not for the rocker/rockability in my opinion.
     
  9. I've been using the Aguilar TH500 for several months now and I love it! Plenty of power, and sounds great. Lots of flexibility with the tone controls and the gain/drive circuits. I think these tiny amps don't have the face-plate real estate for lots of knobs and eq bands, but I'm very happy with the controls on the TH500. I play a range of music from gypsy jazz (in which I go for a very uncolored, true-acoustic-but-louder sound) to rockabilly (a little louder, bassier, some growl) and straight up speedy, gritty swampy-tonk (balls-out, volume and shaking low-end). I haven't been disappointed yet by this amp's ability to adjust to my needs.

    I've been playing it through a JBL keyboard stage monitor with an 8", 10" and a horn for louder stuff, and have played a few gigs through my new Crazy8 from Mike. They both sound great, and I've been very happy with the Crazy8 so far! They're both 8ohm, so I'm looking forward to trying them together! Ultimately, I'm thinking I'll need a bigger cab with some more balls...one of mike's 12s, Barefaced Midget, Crazy88 (though not 8ohms...) or something. Though I was happily surprised by this JBL that was dropped in my lap. Sounds great and was practically free! Doesn't have great bottom, but I haven't needed it lately. Both recessed plastic handles broke off in my hands...the labels on the handles read "performance series"...

    Done rambling.

    Be careful, it's a slippery slope...I was an amplification luddite for the last 10 years, happily playing through hand-me-down gear, blissfully unaware of the how much better my bass could sound with really nice gear. I finally decided I needed to invest some $$$ into some high quality stuff, spent A LOT of time surfing around researching (I even had no idea about impedance and matching cabs and amps and such...plug in, turn it up...what's that I smell?), and picked up my TH500 and Crazy8 (and acquired the JBL). Now I just want to keep getting more...Big E? Intriguing! Thunderchild? Sounds bitchin! Barefaced? Maybe I should get a nice mic, too? Why not! What's another $800 if I can add some versatility to my sound setup? Maybe I should just turn off the computer and go practice!
     
  10. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Aged Horse,
    Interesting, that wouldn't have occurred to me. That's a rather elegant solution. Personally, I prefer a smaller simpler amplifier than the Shuttle Max, that's why I like the Shuttle 6.2 design, with it's simpler EQ section.The Shen Compact's pre amp is exactly the design I'd like to have, but for my needs, a little bigger power amp would be useful. In a word, it's exactly what I'm interested in. If I'm playing a show ,with quick changes between instruments, remembering the foot switching sequences, going back and forth between two instruments, in a pit, when the light's are down, just wouldn't work for me. Just my opinion though.

    Ric
     
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    In order to get that many features (including seperate effects loops) and power, it has to be bigger than the Shuttle otherwise it wouldn't be very useable or practical for folks with normal sized fingers. It's one of those tradeoffs...

    All you would need is the AB switch and the channel switch. The other switches remain as is throughout the set (unless you wanted to change more throughout the set). Both are available with tally LEDs to show you where you are set.

     
  12. Good info but I'm actually looking for something simple, lightweight, powerful and great sounding. I don't use effects etc
     
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I've used an Eden WT300 head quite a bit for DB. It's a good unit with good eq, but I think it colors the sound a bit too much. The EA Doubler that replaced it is more hi fi with more punch, although I wish it had parametric eq.

    What don't you like about the K10? Add an extension speaker to it?
     
  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Aged Horse,
    I do realize that there is only so much real estate on the front panel of all the newer amplifiers, including the Genz Benz. Frankly, I think it's amazing that engineers, like your self, can squeeze all those features into that tiny box with it's small front and rear surfaces. To me it's magic. You folks are wizards.

    Unfortunately, for me, a guy who grew up with the 4 knob's on a B-15N (which I still own by the way :)) all those controls, that I'm sure sound great, are way out of my comfort zone, that's why I like the Shuttle 6.2 and it's simpler EQ setup. great amp IHMO. Using the A/B switch would most likely, end up with me tripping over my own feet, or something even more disastrous, like pulling the head to the floor, or toppling the cabinet. Years ago, I forgot about locking the dolly on that B-15N and it toppled backwards of a 6ft platform, fortunately, it survived, Let's face I'm a klutz :D. Great suggestions though, I'm sure for everyone else, it would work and sound great.

    Ric
     
  15. I've been using a GK MB210 combo for about two months now and really like it. It weighs a total of 33 lbs and sounds good at low and higher volumes. I just plug straight into it, no pre amp. It's 350 watts with out an extension and 450 with an 8 ohm extension. I have also used it a couple of times with my slab and it's great with that too. It cost a little over $500 and it's paid for itself already.
     
  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    GK wasn't mentioned in Jason's original post. I had both versions of the original 200MB. It has a great pre amp voicing for Double Bass, and had a input impedance set at 1 meg ohm. GK carried that over into their later designs, and the new MB combos have a similar pre amp.
    I believe that the new Series II Gallien Kruger MB line may have lots to offer. I'm not sure what will happen to the older design once the new ones move into full production. My guess is that they will be phased out. I'd most likely test drive one of the newer ones, as I believe Mr. Gallien recently moved production back to the U.S.

    Ric
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Another vote for the 200mb. They show up from time to time. I've had mine since '87 or so. I've never tried anything else. There are certainly many amps made since the late 80's that I haven't tried. I'm very happy with what I've got. I use it for a monitor when there's house sound. It has lots of line out options. It sounds fantastic with the upright and with the Steinberger Electric Upright. Both thumbs up.
     
  18. abaguer

    abaguer

    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I've been using AI Clarus and Focus for last 10 years and have never regretted it. I've taken both to Europe many times (going again tomorrow) since they can be switched to 230 by flick of switch. With a realist pickup they sound great without a preamp. Using Underwood, Rev solo I end up using a fishman pre. They also sound good with EUBs I've used (Messenger, Eminence, Merchant Vertical bass).
     
  19. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    My series II Clarus is ten years old and the HPF/Notch switch has finally failed. After talking with Rick I sent it in for repair at his expense. That kind of service is priceless.

    I've owned several other amps but the Clarus/Crazy 8 are getting it done with a level of confidence that allows me to focus on playing. The HPF is essential in getting the most out of the Crazy 8. My backup is the GK MB200 2# head. Although it sounds good, the Clarus sounds better to me.
     
  20. I've got a line on a GK MB210 combo. 500w into 2x10. I wanted to avoid a combo but it just might get me down the road to a place where I have more money to be particular. Anyone try these, they're basically the mb200 with a 2x10 cab.
     

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