Buying amplification without playing it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by klamaz, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. klamaz


    Aug 8, 2004
    So, at the moment I am looking to upgrade my amp rig. Definatley going to go modular, looking at getting a pre/power setup, probably with a QSC RMX 850 as the power.

    I am kind of tight on money, so I have been scouring ebay and watching classifieds to try to get a good used deal.

    But my question is this: I have played a number of amps, cabs, etc. But, I haven't really mixed and matched much. If I like an amp, and I like a cab, will I necessarily like them together? Mabye an example helps. I tried a GK 700RBII head through a GK 4x10 cab in Guitar Center a few days ago. Would I be likely to dislike the head putting it through an Avatar cab? How much would the sound change? Should I avoid buying before playing the specific item that I am buying to make sure it's really what I want?

    Hope the question isn't overdone, and it made sense.
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    try before you buy. If possible you should play used gear before buying, but on some sites (like TB's classifieds) you can't. Still, you should try one of the amps/cabs in question before you decide to buy one online.

    Ditto for anything new, you've got to be able to try something (with your bass) before you commit to buying it. Or, some mail order companies have an "X-days" trial period, and if you don't like it, you can ship it back.

    Overall, if you aren't familiar with a particular amp, cab, bass, etc. you're a dunce if you buy without trying it first (unless you can return it).
  3. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    Avatar will let you try for 14 days, and you can ship it back if you don't like it for a full refund. Save the box.
  4. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Definitely try before you buy!! If you don't mind shipping and are really sold on the avatar try it. I have a situation where I have a cab and amp that don't sound well together but are great pieces separately (Aggie 728 and berg 310). You never know till you try it. Especially if you can take it to a gig!!
  5. If you are going with a solid state power amp (RMX 850), you can safely buy this without hearing it. All the decent solid state power amps add very little coloration to the sound.

    The RMX 850 is a decent amp for what it is. I owned two. The first was sold only because I needed more power. The second I bought ($135 shipped, eBay) for my daughter's band ( for their rehearsal PA system. The RMX is assembled in China from decent parts and a good design. I would own another RMX any time. The only disadvantage is the weight: they are MUCH heavier than a PLX, but much less expensive.

    As for speakers, you will have to listen, or keep buying and selling until you get what you want. Commercial cabs have very distinct flavors that you may/may not appreciate.
  6. klamaz


    Aug 8, 2004
    Ok, thanks for all the advice. A lot of good stuff, picklebass had the main answer I was looking for(That I need to try everything out together to make sure its what I want).

    bgavin: Just how heavy is the RMX? It actually dosen't concern me too much, since I'm not going to be playing out a whole lot(And it probably won't even come close to my hardware bag for my drumset). Are there any lighter alternatives I should look into with similar quality and power?
  7. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    RMX: is heavier and affortable
    PLX: is much lighte butr more expresive.

    Both are very good quality.
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    This is the dilemma that I face right now. I am looking for a different rig, but here in ND, my choices are pretty limited as to what I can try out (right now, it's Peavey, Ampeg, Ashdown, and Fender amps in stock). So, I am going to have to rely on reviews, sound clips (like Basstasters), etc., to get an idea on different gear. After that, it is down to the trial periods from mail order companies to make sure it is what I want. Kinda sucks, but it is the only way I will get access to most anything that is interesting me right now.
  9. I have all the QSC vital specs cataloged in the Power Amps section of my spread sheet.

    The RMX go from 35 to 68 pounds, and the PLX are all 21 pounds no matter which model.