best small combo amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by s9meyers, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. i've been looking into a lot of small combo amps and trying to find the best bang for the buck. more than likely i won't play this out much, but that doesn't mean i don't want decent volume and tone.

    i'm looking for something that can keep up with drums and a guitar, but not at stage volumes. mainly for practice monitoring... i play mostly rock with a little jazz. no funk or slap.

    weight/size is a main concern. i want something i can easily fit in the front seat of a car. so no redheads or eden metro sized combos.

    my current axe is an early 90s stringray.

    items i'm interested in are:
    phil jones breifcase
    euphonic audio wizzy 200
    yorkville xm50 or xm50c (i know.. cheap, but have you heard it?)
    ashdown abm c110/300 evo
    aguilar ag 500sc-112c

    i'm open to any other recommendations as well.

    i'd like to stay under $1500... $1000 preferred.
  2. a. meyer

    a. meyer

    Dec 10, 2004
    portland, oregon
    Check out the Acoustic Image Contra. It weighs about 30 pounds and puts out 300 watts. It's designed for double bass amplification, but I recently played a theater gig where I had to play electric also and I was amazed at how full and rich it made my electric bass sound. It's right in your price range, too.
  3. the_home

    the_home Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I'll put my support behind the PJB Briefcase. Its only 28 lbs., puts out 100 watts and sounds simply incredible. And if your budget goes to $1500 you can almost get three!

    I took delivery of a Briefcase 2 weeks ago and have been impressed over and over again with volume, tone and 'body' of this little wonder. It compares favorably with my other amps, and that's quite a feat (also play SWR and Matchless).

    You really need to try it before you make a decision.
  4. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    SWR Baby Baby Blue! :) I love mine! And pretty easy to transport too!
  5. Yamaha bbt 500h 250watts 1x10" combo. Will do 500 watts with external speaker.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    :eek: I want one!

    Best small amp I've played, however, is that really small GK amp. Sounds huge.

    edit: Microbass! That's what it was.
  7. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    I'm personally a big fan of Euphonic Audio. You can review the comments about the Wizzy combo here on TB and you'll see that people love the little power-house.
    Most people seem to think that it has a bit more natural "warmth" in its tone compared to some of the other EA products, probably due to the Wizzy speaker.
    I personally love the clarity and efficiency of EA amps and cabs.
    Good luck on your choice!
  8. Jorge


    Jul 6, 2005
    Ampeg B-100r with an ampeg svtdi

    With this set-up you will get tube tone without the tube weight or hassle
  9. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Miura, Japan
    I think you're on the right track with the Whizzy 200 combo. Sometimes the EA 350 combos show up used. Also check out the Epifani 112 combo! 300 watts (600 with extension cab)and tiny! But more than your budget I guess...
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    For $1000 you could buy two Yorville 50s and still have money left over. They are a great amp for the size and money and for a practice amp and low volume jams in a small room work great. I've used them a lot. I like them and they're reliable.

    The GK Microbass combo is better but a lot more money.
  11. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    The only drawback is that it might not be loud enough, even for what you're planning to use it for. They are well-made amps, though. I've had one for a few yeas and they can be had for a good price.
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I really like the tone of my Briefcase, and it is amazingly loud for its size. But, if I were to pick a combo cab that had more potential for keeping up in an amplified practice setting with guitars and drums, then I would go for the EA iAMP 200/500 Combo.

  13. i went to three local places here in michigan. they carried aguilar, swr, used euphonic audio, ashdown, ampeg, eden, and lots more.

    i got to play the yorkville xm50c, and i have to say... it surprises me every time. it has excellent tone. i played it with an american passive jazz, Ernie Ball active stingray, zon, warwick active & passive, and a few other names.

    the euphonic audio is definitely powerful along with the ashdown, but they definitely start to bark when you crank the speaker, so why buy something for $1000 if you're going to distort the speaker? makes no sense to me...

    i bought the yorkville for $279... an incredible deal. it has solid, very solid tone. it's also one of the smallest "pro" combos i've come across. i'll keep playing it and probably write a gear review in the coming months.

    i have a practice tonight and i'll be playing with a drummer and two guitarists.
  14. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I will second the vote for a Contra. Due to recent back surgery I had to downsize (I mean really downsize) my rig as I have been unable to lift more than 25-30 lbs. I bought a Contra and a Contra-ex extension cab and couldn't be happier. The sound is very full (with the ext cab it pushes better than 350w) and clean. So small it virtually disappears on stage....and very lightweight!

  15. i played the yorkville xm50c last night with a guitarist playing a fender deluxe reverb combo, 1x12 22w (tube) ... and another playing a mesa 50w (tube) 2x12, and a drummer.

    the yorkville kept up alright... if it were a live situation i would have wanted to go direct, but for practice it worked great. i had to bump up the mids to 7 to cut through, which isn't ideal, but it is working out.

    i kept everything else right at 12 oclock. i can turn volume up to about 8.5 or 9 before the speaker starts to give unpleasant breakup.

    at about 7 the amp really has a nice smooth sound with just that faint growl. a real nice rock sound.

    the highs are definitely not crisp (no horn) but it puts out a lot of volume for 50 watts. it's got front porting and the speaker sensitivity is excellent, so it really pushes the sound.

    i would have to pay 3x as much to step up to a boutique sound, and i have a great rig for venues so i'm pleased with my practice amp purchase.
  16. this may be a bit quiet but, Kustom KBA16 (they do do louder ones, check out their website but the 16-watter has killer tone...)
  17. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Glad the Yorkville worked out for you S9. For the money it's hard to find anything better and the 2 year "even if you break it" warranty is great. Yorkville is making good stuff these days.
  18. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004
    if i were you i would look at a markbass combo!