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Best small low volume bass combo - which?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KF2B, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. KF2B


    Jan 28, 2013

    complete newbie here (and with bass) so be gentle :help:


    So... Just began my path as a bass player and thus looking for a combo that would suit my needs:

    - I can not play loud due to my living accommodations so I have no need for sheer power nor extra punch on the low notes - what I want instead is finesse on very low levels.
    - I am not interested on paying extra for brand name but am willing to pay extra for quality of both sound on low levels + quality of manufacture (with or without brand name).
    - I want minimum fuss so looking for a combo rather than separates....
    - ...and have no ill will towards solid state, hybrid nor pure tube design as long as I get the sound, quality of manufacture and no fuss.
    - Knowing myself as the old geek that I am I have no use for sound tweaking attributes - that means that the more Spartan the device, the more likely it will be what I am looking for....
    - and last but not least, I need to be able to source one in Europe (CE regulations) and the smaller the thing the merrier!.

    So far I´ve looked at stuff like the Phil Jones Briefcase, Orange tb500c and V8 T.A.N.K 20W Mobile (guitar amp but hey, it´s here to give you an idea) ; of which the Orange is probably the best but also the biggest which is a no-no as space is really tight...:bawl:

    Any ideas what I should be looking at?


  2. freu


    Dec 7, 2010
    I realy like this little combo from EBS.
    Very small and you can play with low volume but with big sound.

    I use one of this combo from Roland.
    Small enough for me to put it on my desktop. With closed doors nobody in my house must hear my bass-adventures.
    but this one is not sparta, it includes different effects and amp simulations.

  3. Battery preamp and headphones. Is that spartan enough for you?

    That was my first "bass amp".
  4. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    I like any of the Roland cubes.
  5. I would say Markbass cmd121H pretty much ticks all the boxes you've got there. I'm surprised you like the Orange - it's natural tone is prety gritty - not what I'd call "finesse".

  6. KF2B


    Jan 28, 2013
    Not solely but a very good option for late hours... What kind of preamp would be suitable or does any good hi-fi preamp suit - I guess passive is no go?
  7. KF2B


    Jan 28, 2013
    As stated I´m a newbie and running with only www-info so far. - I´ve not heard any of these amps live :ninja:
  8. IronLung1986


    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
  9. The one I had was a piece of junk.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "hifi preamp" but that would probably not be the go.

    Passive would be driving headphones from the pickups, no good.
  10. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Markbass CMD 121P combo is smaller than the 121H combo, if that helps.
  11. Moi J.

    Tervetuloa TalkBass keskustelufoorumiin KF2B.

    Well, nothing against the aforementioned combos, but IMHO if You want a good 'ol tone while lots of power/volume isn't important, any and all (except perhaps for Ibanez Valbee) of the small tube combo offerings from plethora of manufacturers should fit the bill very nicely.
    You should be able to test most of them in stores, providing that You live near to a decent sized city ;). If not: Posti kulkee ja Kusti polkee :).
    You'll probably need to swap the speaker with something more bass frequency friendly, but that's about it.

    If it's Spartan You're after, and have an active bass, you can usually skip the pre and insert the headphones directly to the bass.
    It doesn't always work, due to the different methods of switching the power on and off, but that's how I played my bass in the barracks while in the army back in the early 90's.
    IIRC I modded mine with a jack that used switching contacts instead of the R & S of the plug to make the connection.
    Without additional tinkering, You'll only hear from one pad though...
    Mono M to stereo F 1/4" to 1/4" adapter works around the modding, if You can find (or make) one.

    A simple DBX, ART, Behrinkeli etc. tube pre works well with headphones also if a combo isn't necessary.

  12. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    I love the Rx for low volume fooling around .....it's a great little amp and sounds amazing for what it is..