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Best sub-$500 amp for gigs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by strost, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Hey all,

    Any thoughts as to what is the best all-around sub-$500 bass amp for light gigging (bars, parties, etc)?

    I mostly play a Fender Jazz Fretless (MIM) and my little Line6 110 doesn't have enough juice.

    Something that doesn't weigh 60+ lbs would be nice too.

  2. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    Obviously, you have to try different amps to see whats pleasing to your ear but I would recommend trying Hartke's stuff...either the LH500 or LH1000 depending on how much power you want. The LH500 is way below your price range and the LH1000 is right at it. I've used both and currently play through the LH1000 and its absolutely perfect for me.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I would urge you to shop for used gear in that price range. Your dollar will go twice as far, meaning, much better gear for the money.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    totally used. you can find some high dollar amps for under $500 sometimes.
  5. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA

    I should have specified - I'd like a combo amp or stack for $500.

    I'd love to find something used but live in a "small market". I will have to drive a ways even to try a limited number out.
  6. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    you can get a solid 300-500w head and 410 for well under $500 used if you're patient. that'll cover any gig you'd want to do. but don't go for a cheap cab. good cabs are only slightly more money used than cheap ones. if you have to skimp, skimp on the head.
  8. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
  9. + 1000. this is the best advice you'll ever get
  10. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    If you can find a peavey max115 to try out give that a go. don't let the 60w rating fool you, this thing is plenty loud enough for bars and the like. sounds great and you'll be well under your $500 limit
  11. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
  12. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    I don't know all that much in this category, but in my experience you can get some Great deals on old Traynor Gear from the 70's and 80s. I have used a bunch of the heads, tube and solid state, and they pump. Bit heavy, but really solid. The Mono-block line and the Group B series heads (solid state) are awesome for under 200$ and the YBA heads are all tube, and sweeeeet. I love my YBA3 custom special.

    They are Canadian, so if they come up and you have no clue, give em a look, you can find a gem.
  13. I can't say enough good things about my GK MB115,great tone,tones of low end,light weight,powerful,and a good price.
  14. Peavey Mark


    Oh, then Peavey Mark IV & some cheap 410... Can easily be had for less than $500 on craigslist if you wait a bit.
  15. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Thanks for the advice all!
    Not sure I have the storage space for a 4x10 but I'll give that route some thought. Been eyeing that GK MB115. Might try to find it somewhere nearby and try it out. I might just have to rely on my friends who have big amps for a while.
  16. +1 from Yours Truly!
  17. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    OK. I have borrowed my friend's Ampeg BA115 and it is plenty loud. Does anyone know if the GK MB115 is comparable in pure volume? (still haven't found one to try) I actually like the Ampeg but I don't like the 65lbs that I'll be lugging to practice every week. Plus is sounds a bit muddy for my liking. And it seems to hiss a lot.

    Thanks again!

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