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Best quality amp & cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Floridamax, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Floridamax


    Jan 4, 2005
    Many years ago I played a 64 Fender Jazz Bass through a Vox AC100 with 2 x T100 cabinets (4 x 15" speakers). I am now re-living my childhood!!!

    If money were no problem which head and speaker combination would you go for for pure quality sound?
    I would be playing mostly blues and jazz in clubs - not large venues - using a 64 Jazz Bass and Rickenbacker 4003.
  2. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Jack Reed Purity preamp

    Stewart World 2.1 power amp

    Bergantino Model HT322 cabinet with two 10s and one 12
  3. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Read Purity preamp
    QSC PLX 2402 power amp
    Accugroove Whappo Jr

  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Demeter or Aguilar tube power amp, with a whatever flavor pre strikes me.... sitting on a couple 'Modern / Boutique' cabinets
  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    let me clarify

    I am set with my current rig (linked in my sig)... If I was building from the ground up with no worry for cash....

    I'd get either aAguilar 728 or a Demeter VTHF-300M and match it to whatever Pre struck my fancy at the moment... plug that into my choice of modern cabs.
  7. Amps:

    1. WW Ultra;
    2. AI Focus.
  8. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    Glockenklang HeartCore
    Accugroove El Whappo (and I only have an Epifani 2x12!)

    Dan K.
  9. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Sorry to go old school...SVT CL and an 8-10. 200 lbs of pure guts.
  10. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Walter Woods Ultra High Power
    Glockenklang Bass Art Classic
    [Both these heads will only power a 4ohm min. load, therefore, based on the cabs I would use, I'd go with a rack rig.]

    Rack Rigs:
    Millennia Media Origin STT-1
    Read Purity Preamp
    Lab.Gruppen fP6400 Power Amp

    Speaker Systems:
    two Schroeder 410
    or (for more modularity)
    two Schroeder 1210 + two Schroeder 1010
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    go try out a ton of stuff

    we live in a great era for bass amplification. there are scores of fantastic heads, preamps, poweramps, speaker cabinets, and even (yuck) combos available today. while this can be a great thread for all of us to shout out our favorite stuff, its kind of like you standing in a gourmet ice cream shop and calling all of us asking what flavor you should get. You'll end up confused and still hungry. Fortunately, the good shops will let you try a bunch of flavors on those cute little spoons before you decide.

    I'll give you "if money was no object" citeria for an amp rather than specific items.

    1 If the amp was mono, I'd want it to be able to safely power down to a 2 ohm load, if stereo I'd want it to be able to power down a 2 ohm load per side, and be able to run in bridge mono mode (which by default would let me run a 4 ohm load in bridge mode).
    2 I'd want it to be able to put at least 400 watts into an 8 ohm load (or 400+ into 8 ohms per side)
    3 It wouldn't matter if the preamp had a tube or not, I'd just want it to sound awesome when set flat.
    4 Passive or active eq would be hard to choose from. both have their strong points. I'd definietly want it to have bass and treble shelving controls, some sort of mid control, and a bright switch and/or a presence knob woudl be nice. another great eq option would be to have a 2 band fully parametric eq like on the aguilar DB680 or demeter HBP-1, having it bypassable like on the demeter would be cool too. Second choice after the fully parametric eq would be 3 or 4 semi parametric bands like found on the thunderfunk, eden, and swr amps.
    5 Feature wise having a balanced di out would be first, with a pre/post eq switch, a ground lift switch, and a pad or +4 dB/-10 dB switch. If i was using a head instead of a preamp/poweramp setup i'd want it to have a post eq line out so i could run other poweramps off of it. Other nice features would be a tuner out jack, blendable parallel effects loop, headphone jack, and a mute switch.
    6 Head or preamp/poweramp setup, i'd want it to be lightweight. Scratch that if it's a tube poweramp section. I like tube poweramps and solid state poweramps. they both have their strong points sonically, so i guess i want one of both.
    7 As far as speaker cabinets go, I just want them to sound good. Apart from sounding awesome, I would go for several small 8 ohm cabinets so i could bring as many or as few as i wanted to a gig. Maybe a few exceptional 4 ohm cabs.

    not too demanding am I?? :D
  13. White_rabbit


    Jan 3, 2005
    Yeah!! Thats a dream combination. Old scool rocking sound.Pure tone and loud enough to make you feel it :D
  14. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    If you're trying to re-live the past, you might consider the Alembic F1-X preamp. Based on the old Fender Showman tone stack and with a definite old-school tone and warmer (I think) than the Demeter 201s. The Demeter seems to have a brighter tone to it IMO. I own both and prefer the F1-X. It's run through an SWR 750 power amp and 2 Ag GS112s. Suits my taste for vintage Fender tone.

    Edit: Maybe I should rephrase my comment on the Demeter. Perhaps I should describe the tone as more hi-fi than the F1-X.
  15. Ken Lloyd

    Ken Lloyd Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Portland, Maine
    The Acoustic Image line (Clarus models, Focus, SLR...) are the cleanest, most uncolored amps available (my opinion and the opinion of many). they work great for bass, for jazz guitar, for classical guitar, for violin, for any quality instrument with a sound you want to reproduce accurately.

    They sound great with any quality cabinet(s) you connect to. I use different cabs for different gigs and rooms, but my Clarus goes everywhere.
  16. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    Millennia STT-1 pre-amp,Meyer Sound LD-2 line driver,Meyer Sound UPA-1P powered 1x12 w/horn,and a Meyer Sound USW-1P powered 2x15 sub.I own this rig and it amazes me everytime I play through it!
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Man, that is a tough call. There is so much great gear out there right now, but here are a few of my favorites that I have tried:


    Walter Woods Ultra is probably top dog, if price is not a consideration. 1,200 watts (at 4 ohm) in a 7 lb package, and tonal nirvana.

    The iAMP 800 is incredibly good for the money. Able to drive a 2 ohm load (at 1,000 watts), and lots of EQ flexibility. Very tight/strong low end. But, its controls take some getting used to.

    Mesa Boogie Walkabout and Thunderfunk both deserve "honorable mentions", and are very good for the money, both are fairly plut and play friendly, and both are fairly powerful for their size (though not in the same category as the WWU and iAMP 800).

    Some additional heads which I would love to hear include the Glockengang, new Epifani, and upcoming Sadowsky heads.


    If you can find them, mulitple EA VL-208's (now discontinued) are incredibly good, especially for players who double on upright. I find that you need at least three for satisfying low end on a 5-string at higher volumes, but two is fine in most lower volume scenarios. The newer EA cabs are great, too, especially the Wizzy 1x12 and the NL-210.

    Accugroove makes a stunning line of cabs. From the smallest to the largest, they are very impressive. Depending how loud you need to be, a Tri 210L might be just the ticket, or a Whappo, Jr. if you need more volume. While I have not tried them, some guys have had great luck with two Tri 112's. I have a Tri 110 that I like a lot, but I would need to pair it with another cab to get all the volume/low end that I like.

    Jim Bergantino makes a wide variety of great cabs, but my favorite comgination is an HT112 with an EX112. Both of his 2x10's sound great, and the HT210/HT115 combo is quite popular. The new HT210S should have a matching "sub" cabinet fairly soon, too. The Walter Woods Ultra with the HT112/EX112 is one incredible combination.

    Epifani cabs are also very nice. My favorite combination is the T-112/T-110UL. Their T-310UL is also an outstanding cab. Both Epifani and Bergantino are somewhat colored to my ears, but not to a great extent, and both are very musical.

    The only Hevos cab I have tried is the Midget 1x10, but it has really impressed me. One or two Midgets could probably handle any gig you would throw at them (since you are not playing very large venues). Very accurate, full-range, and clear.

    A number of players have been discovering Jorg Schroeder's cabs. While I have not used these in a live setting (which is where most guys really rave about them), I did try four of his models, and they really do offer you a lot in a relatively small package.

    Preamp/Power Amp:

    You have seemingly endless possibilities, here. I really do like the pre/amp setup, but it is more to lug around. I'd say get thee to basstasters.com, listen to the preamps that you like, then match one up with a quality amp like a QSC PLX-series or Crest CA-series amp.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
  18. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I'll go along with most of the response posts and especially the advise Ivanmike provided and Tombowlus. I can also verify that the Walter Woods Ultra is all that is stated and more. The Bergantino HT/EX paired with the WWU (my favorite of all time) is very impressive but I admitt from time to time I have a hard time cutting in some very unfriendly rooms I play. I can verify also that Schroeder cabs have a great "cutting" ability in a live mix. EA is very nice and I should revisit that line. The Accugrooves are popluar and I have yet to play one live which would tell the tale for me. There are many lines of gear I have no experience with. I will further varify that the CREST CA9 is a heavy amp but a deadly weapon (Clint Eastwood voice on) "Feel Lucky? Well, do ya punk?" (Dirty Harry voice Off) :D PLX has it's merits too. I have read very good things about Stewart 2.1 and the Ready Purity for a Pre. I have the Demeter 201S and like it a lot.
    I hope you are wealthy and can try all this gear... and report back to us your findings. TB is a wealth of experience and knowledge in itself. You will spend much time here trying to cure your G.A.S. (gear aquistion syndrome)
  19. If I had the dough, (and I almost do), I'd go for a nice portable straight forward set up. Mind you, I've never heard what it would sound like:

    Demeter HB600 head
    Bergantino 322, or two HT210S
  20. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Just a word...
    Mind you, I love Demeter and Bergantino, but I don't know if that Demeter head/amp would be enough to make that HT322 sing, you might want to call Jim Bergantino first... I guarantee that would be one of the best phone calls you ever made.