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Buying a new amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by klejst, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. I am looking to buy a new amp this week and have narrowed it down to what I think are some good choices and that I can also afford. Therefore, I am just looking for opinions on which would be a overall better choice. I am not able to try each of these amp out so I will basically have to go off reviews, demo YouTube videos and input from the ever helpful TB community. I have been ampless for my main rig for about a month now, been using my Fender combo, but now it's time to pull the trigger on getting a new amp.

    My cabinet is a Mesa/Boogie PowerHouse 2x15EV and the only downside is it is 8 ohms and I play Fender Precision standard basses. Below is the amps I found - Fire away.

    - Ampeg B1RE
    - AMPEG B2RE
    - Acoustic B200h
    - SWR PB-200
    - SWR Workingmans 4004
    - Gallien-Krueger 400RB-III
    - GK MB200
    - GK Backline 600
    - Hartke 2000
    - Hartke 2500
    - Hartke 3000
    - Hartke 3500
    - Peavey Tour 700
    - Peavey Firebass 700
    - Peavey Delta Bass
    - Peavey Mark III/IV
  2. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    My guess is that a few of those heads (mb200 etc) don't have enough power to push that cab well. what sound are you looking for? What are your tone goals?
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Really, it's a matter of personal preference. If you're able to try all these amps out, then you can decide with your own ears. Otherwise, all anyone here can do is pick what *they'd* like best. I will say, with an 8 ohm 215, I'd be looking at getting as many watts as you can, but all those amps will sound different from one another, and tone is a personal thing, not a popularity contest.
  4. Was mainly looking for opinions from those who either own or have used any of the amps I listed to make a choice a little easier. I know obviously they all are different and will sound different.
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Ampeg and Gallien-Kreuger are going to be the by far more popular choices (here in these forums) as far as the brands you've listed there. And, at the risk of oversimplifying... do you want a classic, retro sound? Or do you want a more hi-fi, modern sound?
  6. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
  7. Scott thanks for the input. I kind of figured GK and Amepeg at least going by brand were going to be the more popular and they are both great brands but I am more going for a amp that can (at the risk of kinda avoiding your question) do a combo of retro and modern. But not so much as that but has potential to dial in almost any kind of sound/tone. Basically this will be my main amp for awhile I am sure due to money being tight so I want to get the best I possibly can right now (within my means of course). Thanks for the suggestion Tvrtko, however the above amps I mentioned because I found them within my price range and as much as I would love to I really cannot shake out of that.
  8. I've found the Hartke 3500 very flexible tone-wise as it has both a tube and ss preamp you can mix to your heart's content. Also has a decent graphic EQ. IIRC that's 240 watts into 8 ohms, not bad.

    The EVs are very efficient speakers so they don't need that much to get them going.


    May 3, 2010
    How much do you want to spend ?
    The Genz Benz Streamliner 900 is a real kick-ass amp :)
  10. If I can keep it below $200 that is my max right now, so I am obviously buying used. Again I am not really expecting too much, however something decent.
  11. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Another vote for Hartke. HA series heads have the SS and tube preamps each for itself. That way you can really make it sound tubey like old school or SS modern kind of sound .. and of course mix of both :D The awsome graphic equalizer can be used to shape any kind of tone you want. If you are looking for many different and good sounds, this is it.
    Also you must remember that Hartke amps are almost undestructable and even if something gets damaged, Hartke offers really good customer support.
    If I'd be you, I'd go with Hartke, but I would get HA5500, just to make sure you don't ''run out pf watts'' ;)
  12. mwig


    Aug 6, 2005
    fresno, ca
    At least you have a great cab. I have a Mesa powerhouse 215 cab and its a beast despite its massive weight...$200 that's not much to spend so your options will be limited. I still own a SWR 4004. It's a solid, reliable head. I used to drive a 410/210 setup without difficulty and I played in a loud metal band. $200 seems about right for it.
  13. Yep as I mentioned I am fully aware of my limitations with a $200 max budget, however just trying to get the best possible outcome with what I have. The Mesa 2x15 is solid though.
  14. Just on the Peavey note, the Deltabass is a much lower output version of the Firebass. They also had the Nitrobass which was somewhere in between the two. However, the Firebass and Nitrobass amps were rated down to 2 ohm for maximum output.

    They were also released as the Delta, Nitro and Firebass as the Peavey Max 160, Max 450 and Max 700 respectively (as far as I'm aware it was just a change in name and possibly some minor internal changes, prettymuch the same amps).

    Also, to throw a spanner in the works, have you looked at Ashdown, Trace Elliot or Laney amps? I'll admit that I'm not sure what the prices would be like stateside.

    Out of interest, do you know if the individual speakers in the Mesa cab are 4 ohm or 16 ohm? If they are 4 ohm speakers you could put them in parallel, making a 2 ohm cab. Would get a bit more juice from the amplifier and be a little bit louder (if you went for an amplifier that was 2 ohm capable).
  15. I own vintage as well as GC Acoustic.

    I own the GC Acoustic b200 combo as well as the b200 head and 1x15 cab.

    The combo was purchased because I needed something compact and lighter due to lower back, hernia nad transportation issues.

    It was a false economy, as the seperate head and cabinet; although 2 trips is actually easier to transport; both components being lighter; seperately on their own. The b200 head/ cab is a little more expensive.

    Also, the head/ cab can truly utilize a second cab, whereas there is an ohm mismatch when you plug in a 2nd cab to the combo; actually loses power.

    I have tried every combo out there. Granted the Mark bass has a better tone at 4 times the price..not worth it for something that small and weak. Also the Markbass could not handle B-String. I have no farting-out issues with either Acoustic combo or head/ cab rigs.
  16. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Of that list I would say a GK 400RB would be solid. Tone-wise, that would be my favorite.
  17. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    i'm in for the peavey firebass or nitrobass. very heavy but also very reliable, you can still get parts directly from peavey
  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Best of luck to you on this endeavor!

    How did you come upon that Mesa cab? Did you find it used as well?
  19. Thanks, I think I know what I want, just have to pull the trigger on it. I bought the cab used last year. Only cost me $299, I thought it was a pretty killer deal.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 6, 2021

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