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Better amp head or better cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by matthewfoote, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. Question to you guys out there.

    I need to get a new light weight rig and I have decided on an Eden head probably the WT 300, and for the cabs an Epifani 1x10 Ultra light and a Epifani 1x12

    My problem is I cannot afford all of it at once. Would you guys get the head first and cheap cabs say two 1x10 SWR workingman's, or would you go for the Epifani cabs and a cheap head then upgrade when the money is available.

    Which way would give the best sound before I can upgrade. I know I cannot afford to buy both head and cab together.


  2. I'd say go for the head first. You can borrow the cabs on some gigs more easily than the head. The head alone is also usefull in studio work, rather than a good cab.

    Happy head hunting

  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What level of power, and what limit of weight, do you need to achieve in the first instance? I would tend towards getting the top notch head first and the cabinets later... but if weight / size is a big issue you might find the other way round works better.

  4. Thanks for the replies guys. I think that the power of the WT300 should be enough as I do small pub gigs or play in a church. I am not aware of any heads that are cheap and light weight [under 20lbs]

    Regarding the cabs the weight is the main factor. The workingman series is light weight but does not have the sound of the Epifani cabs and are a fraction of the cost. I need to be able to carry bits easliy and small seperate cabs and a light head really appeal to me.

    So I think I am swaying towards the head first and decent cabs later when I can afford them.


    Edit if anyone knows of a good used WT300 in the UK could they let me know - Thanks
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This may not be exactly the helpful reply that you are looking for, but FWIW, I have a rig similar to what you are looking to pick up, and let me tell you, you will not be disappointed! I have both the Epifani T-110UL and the T-112, and you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding pair of cabs. They both sound great on their own, but together, they achieve real greatness. I power mine with a Mesa Boogie Walkabout, which I would also highly recommend. I have an Eden Navigator in my rack setup (and a 212XLT), so I am an Eden fan, but for a small compact head, I am totally sold on the Walkabout. It is very loud for its 300w rating (into 4 ohm), and the tone is to die for.

    It's hard to say what is the best thing to get first. I think that the Epifani's are going to sound great pretty much no matter what you drive them with, but you are right, it is hard to find a quality portable head for a cheap price. If you get a good head (the Eden WT 300 is good, but IMHO the Walkabout is even better), you might be able to pick up a pair of Ashdown Mini cabs fairly cheap. I saw Mini 10T's going for $195 BIN on ebay (and I bought one, but they sent me a 10H - which is another story...).

    Ultimately, those Epi cabs with a good head are going to make for a killer rig. Here is mine:


    Good luck, Tom.
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    "Pub and church" venues implies, to me, that you will be using your own rig all the time. In that case, I would go for the cabs!
    Cabs have more impact on the actual sound (i.e. the cab-room system) than the head.
    On the other hand, it seems that there is a lot going on in the cab department, so you might end up regreting a quick choice...

    I will, as soon as possible, go against my own advise! And buy a decent head, that is. Mine needs replacing... No, actually, the reason is that I know what head I want, but not what cab. So I ant the head to go around and listen to the different cabs with the right gear.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Cabs first, they have MUCH more to do with the overall sound than the amp head.
  8. Suburban/Brianrost

    Thanks for your comments. If I went for the cabs first, can you recommend a cheap and light weight head that I can get?


  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    What do you consider cheap, and what do you consider lightweight?
  10. Tombowlus

    Good point. Cheap would be £200 / £250 for the head and weight would be around the 15lbs mark

  11. Wait, wait, why would you buy some cheap cabs (or amp) now, only to rebuy in a few months? That's not an efficient use of money IMO.

    What are you using now? If you can't buy everything now, why not use some of the gear you have now and buy either new cabs or a new amp? That is, if you decide you want a new amp first, keep using your old cabs until you can get the cabs you really want--why buy new cheap cabs, then have to sell them (at a loss) to buy new better cabs? Or, if you want new cabs first, why not keep using your old amp until you can get a newer one--why buy a cheap amp, then sell it (losing money again) to buy a new amp?
  12. Richard

    At the moment I do not have a rig.

    All my live work is done to the PA. and then back to me via monitors. We have a good sound check each time we play so the mix is fine. However I will be doing some different stuff soon hence the need for a rig.

    Any recording I do, I do direct into the desk as my bass has a D.I. built into it which allows me that luxury. I get to sit behind the desk when I play hear my sound as the engineer would and to mix my own sound [I am a bit of a control freak].

    I also recently got my new bass and wanted to find out all the sounds on that before getting the rig.

    Now is that time. :D


  13. Aha, all is now clear. Since you're starting from zero, you don't want to put yourself in a position where either half of your gear is so unsatisfying or underperforming as to be useless or needlessly frustrating. Now, I imagine that Eden gear is not particularly cheap in the UK. What I'd do if I were you is get the Epifanis, then look for a *used* British head, which you ought to be able to pick up for significantly less than a new Eden--maybe a Trace or an Ashdown, I dunno what else is there (Carlsbro? old HH?). Maybe even a used Peavey? To make things easier, I'd say give up on the idea, for now, that the head has to be lightweight; that will only limit your current options. In other words, get more bang-for-the-buck at the temporary cost of greater weight. When you can afford the head you really want, then get a lightweight one. Besides the Eden, you might want to look into Euphonic Audio iAmp, Mesa Walkabout, and Ampeg (isn't there a small Ampeg head)? Also, ever hear of the Acoustic Image Clarus? www.acousticimg.com

    Hope this helps.
  14. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you bought the cabs now, how long would it take you to get the money for the head? Translate that into the number of times you expect to need it and figure out whether the cost of the temporary head (cost - expect selling price + cost of hassle of selling) would make it economical to consider renting instead.

    Also, how about getting one of the cabinets and the head? I'm not sure what prices you're looking at, but would that be a feasible solution?

  15. Thanks guys for all the suggestions - plenty to think about.

    Please keep comments and suggestions coming


  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i know this is redundant but.........
    one more vote for good cabs 1st
  17. Lenko


    May 3, 2003
    I'd go with a good 1x12"; Epifani or maybe Aguilar. Those are not too expensive and you might have left enough money for a good amp (how much does Eden WT300 cost in the U.K.?). If you don't have that much money, buy a cood cab or two and buy an expensive amp later.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I would also check out Ashdown amplifiers. They are pretty light for the amount of power they have.
  19. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you are starting from nothing, I suggest a good moderately powered combo. Then buy an extension cab if you can. I say this because you will always find a use for a combo even when you go ahead and purchase other components. There will be times where you just don't want to carry around all those pieces.

    I would recommend Ashdown to you too since you are in the UK. They make awesome combos and components.
  20. BFunk

    That's exactly what I was going to say, and that's exactly what I did, expect I had a crappy Fender combo before I got my GK combo. I later got my Bag S15B-D as an extention, which I've had for almost a year.

    However, I don't know about Ashdown since I've tried them. But I would not recommend a GK 700RB 210 combo, which is what have, because are they way too freakin' heavy! "Portable" my arse! If you can stand the weight and they're afforable and available in your area, then go for it. They sound great and have tons of headroom. Right now I have mine set to less than half-way and I'm still pretty loud! Oh, and the overdrive sounds pretty good too if you're into that, by the way.

    ;) Good luck,