Biggest sound from smallest box?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hawtin47, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    For around $500, what's the best-sounding, smallest amp? Something easy to haul around, doesn't take up much space, but really surprises you for the fullness and depth of sound?

    Thanks -

  2. $500? I'd say the Ampeg B-100r is a good choice.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    SWR Workingman 12.
  4. I'd suggest looking into Ashdown Electric Blue combos if you can get them for that kind of money!

    I got one of the 130 watt ones with a 15" Speaker - fabulous for the money and immensely portable.

    There are newer version out with 150 watts and I believe they have just released 180 watt ones!
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Power wise - Hartke 3500's in good shape seem to bring 275 to 300 in the used market. That is a heck of an amp! You can then add a 2x10 avatar for $250 (a bit less as I recall) and be pretty much in your range - or pick up a good used cab based on high quality, efficient 15 " drivers EV, JBL if you like that sort of tone.

    You ought to be able to put a reasonable rig together around your budget based around that head. Have a look around in the used market and let someone else pay the 'immediate devaluation' that happens when you plunk down your dough at Guitar Center ...

    I'm not really against new gear or GC for that matter. I just limit my new gear GAS to recording gear as the coolest gizmo's don't hit the used market until way too late. Amps and Cabs ? Almost never, there is too much good stuff out there used. For around $600 I put a 3500 on top of a Music Man 2x12. Is it perfect - no, I'll probably change the Hartke over to a pre-power amp setup as the cab is power hungry but... it will eat any 100 to 200 watt combo for lunch and is certainly enough rig to gig with.

    I haven't had the chance to push this thing in a band / club environment yet, but having stood in front of a boat load of amps, this thing is going to do pretty well especially considering the modest investment.

    Have fun - look at the used market, ask lots of questions and do it one piece at a time.
  6. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    gk mb 150

    Screw the ratings, put them together and then tell me what you think!
  7. I'll offer up my silly little Peavey TKO115. The cab is just large enough to hold the 15" Black Widow and tweeter, so it is small and easy to move around. It has no bottom, and tone is questionable, but the 75 watts is loud as hell in a loud bar venue. And, I can pick it up with one hand.
  8. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    Depending on the venue (arena rockers need not apply), I would say the SWR WM 10 does a great job. I've used mine in small rooms, medium rooms, and even outside, and never really been disappointed.

    Obviously, there's some tradeoff when your main concern is portability, but for the size it's a great little amp. Plus, the direct out means you can get all the reinforcement you need from the PA.

    Not that I'm not GASsing for a bigger, louder rig :( :rolleyes:
  9. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    I paid $350 shipped for my used 200W Workingman's 15. Pretty loud with money left over for a 210 ext cab.
  10. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yeah those or if you can find an 'AER Combo' (from Germany, I think), Loudest and smallest thing I have seen some one play through.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ampeg BA115.
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I agree. I gigged with one for over 300 shows. It's light,portable, and reliable. It is versatile and clean sounding. It has 100 clean watts, which means that when you crank up the master volume to 10, it will still have usable sound. The little thing is loud for it's size. It has a DI, so you can run it into the PA. It also has an effects loop. Lots of useful features for a little combo.

    You can get one for around $300 used. Add a 12" or 15" extension cab and the head will crank out 160W. Nice volume. Really good bang for the buck.
  13. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Unless you have a low b. It that case, I'd go with the Workingman's 15.
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The Workingman's 15 still won't produce the fundamental of a low B, but it will probably handle lows better than the 12.
  15. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    I ended up buying a used Peavey Cirrus 5 (should be here next week sometime), so I bought a Fender Bassman 25 due to praise for its low B representation. Plus, I hear it will drive a 4x10 cab if I need it to down the road, which is cool.

    Thanks for the help, gang.

  16. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    both the swr wm 12 and 15 are great
    i hate combos but those two get the thumbs up from me
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