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Best Small Amp Options for Gigging Bassist With a very small car!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by daveface, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. daveface


    Jan 1, 2012
    Hello - apologies if noobs are meant to say hi somewhere else prior to asking annoying long winded questions / ramblings! :bag:

    but .. here goes anyhoo!

    Been playing the bass for around 10 years or so and currently play with a Fender P .. I started with a Ampeg V-4b and a fender bassman 215 cab (both 70's) .. got fed up lugging around the v4 and bought a tiny ashdown superfly. I joined a really loud band a year ago and bought a ashdown abm 500 evo111 and a 2x15 hartke xl cab. I swapped the alu coned drivers for some eminence ones and I'm pretty happy with the sound out of the amp.. HOWEVER .. I'm now gigging twice a week with a new pub/wedding covers band and my current rig really struggles to squeeze into the back of a fiat 500!

    I'm currently contemplating selling all the gear I've mentioned above (all of which I've still got) and buying a nice small rig. I reckon all the gear I've got must be worth a good £700-800?

    Any suggestions for a decent sounding small setup for that sort of wonga or less? I recently bought a secondhand Ampeg BA115 for when I need to fit more stuff in my car than just my amp! .. and TBH I don't need a drastically louder amp than the small Ampeg .. however something with a bit more headroom and a few more 'pro' features such as mute, effects loop etc. would be nice.

    I quite like the look/sound of the Ibanez promethean series, the genz benz shuttle 3.0 combo and the orange tiny terror combo but have yet to try any of them out .. or actually see them in the flesh!
  2. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    Look into fEarful designs. The 15/6/t will give you a good sensitivity and a high power handling, allowing one fairly small box to go very loud indeed. If you choose to biamp the rig you'll probably get even more volume from it!
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Yeah, I would think a single fEARful 12/6 or a 2x12/6 would maximize your potential volume without sacrificing tonal capacity... while having a small footprint and modularity. Then pair it with any number of light/small high power heads and you're ready for just about any stage situation.
  4. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Walkabout Scout
  5. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    When I got a smaller car, I had to get rid of my 4x10 cab which couldn't fit in the wee Corolla. I ended up simply replacing that single cab with a pair of 2x10 cabs and even though it requires an extra trip when I load in or out, I haven't missed the bigger cab one bit. It's also nice to have a "small rig" option with just the single cab.

    I use a rack preamp and power amp to push my sound, but might shop around for a lightweight head with decent sound to reduce a little more of the hassle with lugging the gear. Even if I had a hatchback or a truck/van to haul my stuff, I wouldn't have much of any interest in going back to a 4x10. While many hands make light work, many cabs make big sound!
  6. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I'm going out often with my Markbass stuff (Little Mark III head and Traveler 151P cab). It's covering even loud gigs, especially when in the PA. It all fits in the front seat of my little Ford Ranger pickup, including my MagnaCart handtruck. Ain't too cheap, though.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you like the BA115, try the PF350 or PF500 with a PF115he cab. Totally loving mine!
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Best option IMO, but the general idea of a pair of good 112s is the ticket IMHO
  9. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I ended up going with a single 2x12 rather than two 1x12's. It was cheaper, I figured I'd always take both cabs "just in case" and I can easily manage a single 2x12 kick and roll cab, where as two 1x12's would be more of a challenge.

    I also prefer a rack width, vertically aligned cab to a "two 12's in a 4x10 form factor cab" because it's easier to get through doorways. I went with a used Genz Benz NeoX212T.

    I struggled with buying the rig for over a decade before finally puling the trigger and I have no buyer's remorse. I've had it for a couple of years now.

  10. The Shuttle 3.0-10T combo is great, but I don't know if a single 10" would cover your needs. If you have the dough, you could get the 10T extension, or just pair it with an 8 or 4 ohm cab with more speaker area. I've ran my Shuttle 3.0 head through an Ampeg SVT210AV and together they have a tiny footprint, something like 27/28lbs and can really pack a punch. Add a second vertically stacked 210AV and there's a killer modular 410.

    If you want a more vintage tone, the Promethean 210 combo, the PF350/500 and PF115HE or maybe even the SVT-VR/210AV mini stack (if that's enough power) would suit your needs!
  11. My Precision and my Orange Tiny Terror and Orange SP212 fits in the passenger seat of my Pontiac Solstice. Scared the heck out of a band I was filling in with when I pulled up to the gig. They thought I hadn't brought any gear with me.
  12. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    TC Electronic is worth checking out, the BG combos and BH head/BC cabs come at great price points. RH heads and ES cabs cost more, but are great IMO.

    The new/upcoming Aguilar Tonehammer 350 looks interesting as well, and there are plenty of Markbass and Genz Benz gear to choose from. Check the classifieds. :)

    Plenty of great gear options these days. :)
  13. Small class D head (Markbass, Orange Terror, Ashdown MiBass, Ibanez Promethean etc..) and a Barefaced Midget or Compact. That will give you what you need and much more.

  14. IntrepidCellist

    IntrepidCellist Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    If you're in the UK, check out Barefaced Bass for your speakers. They have a huge range of smaller/lighter options that punch way above their weight.

    Barefaced Bass - Ultra lightweight high power bass guitar speaker cabinets

    As for amps, any of the 500-800w lightweight heads these days will have enough volume. I went with the Aguilar TH500, but you could also go for a Markbass Little Mark/F1/F500, Genz Benz Shuttle/Streamliner, Gallien-Krueger MB500/MB Fusion/MB800, Ampeg PF500, Orange Bass Terror, or any of the other lightweight options out there.
  15. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I use my ABM 500 with an Epifani UL-110 for small jazz gigs and it sounds great. For a bit louder situations I add a 1x12 or 1x15.
  16. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I've gone through a similar experience recently. Got tired of lugging my Ampeg 4x10 and 1x15 cabs around (even though I have plenty of room in the vehicle). I chose the Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0-12T combo (600w removable head to a 12" driver with tweeter). For my country band gig, I thought I might have to add a 2nd 12" cab, but it turned out to be plenty loud (with lots of headroom left!) by itself. Now, rather than get a 12" cab, I'm looking for a used 8" cab with the combo bracket (or I'll add one) which will give me a 13 pound (yep, just about 5kg) combo that will handle my acoustic stuff with ease. The thought of showing up at a gig with the upright bass over one shoulder and my amp in a bag over the other is a dream come true ;)

    Even had I needed the two 12's, the entire thing would have been around 60 pounds, in three pieces (none over 30 lbs), that could have blown the doors off the places we play.

    You might find the Shuttle 3.0 (300w) to your liking if you think the Ampeg B115 is loud enough for you.
  17. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Personally I dont care for modern cabinet aesthetics but
    to keep up with what your use to, and lower the weight/size

    A 2x12 is the better suggestion
    the only 2x12 i would care to invest in off the shelf is the Genz Benz NEOX 212T mentioned above. Expensive but can be found used.

    Select a matching high power amp from Genz Benz and it should be able to squeeze in the back or front seat of your smaller Fiat no problem and still handle the power to get a Med size cab up to loud band levels.

    Otherwise do a wider custom 2x12 cabinet for vertical stacking.
    Running a pair of Eminence S2012's fullrange
    or the typical 2way cab with a pair of 3012LF and a 6.5 midrange.

    Doing a 2way cabinet I like the looks of the Carvin BX1500/2000
    it has a active crossover and is 2ohm stable.
    So you could skip out on crossovers and just include 2 jacks and run active crossovers with the carvin head.
  18. RedElefant


    Feb 20, 2011
    Birmingham, AL
    Second the PF500 rig. I myself use the 2x10 cab, and love it. Use it for country, rock, and bluegrass. I can always dial in the tone I need
  19. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    That's what I use.

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