Buying my first bass amp for gigging.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JayBoog, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. JayBoog


    Jan 19, 2012
    So I'm looking to buy a bass amp. I'm in a band and we have a gig. It's our first gig, and all this is a completely new experience to me. There's a PA there, but is that the usual thing? I've looked here and elsewhere for info and I've decided to make this topic. I will continue to look here and elsewhere afterwards.

    Firstly, from what I've seen so far 300w seems to be the minimum for gigging purposes. I'm leaning on the side of a stack. It seems more versatile to me. But is it overkill for the time being? We're just starting out. My budget is about 500euro (XE - Universal Currency Converter) and I'm seeing things within my budget. I'll probably be going the second hand route.

    If I go for a combo I can probably get something @300w for about 300euro new. But I dunno.. I still just feel my other option is more versatile.

    Secondly, the actual amps. I'll give a list of things I've seen. Most of these are second hand. If it's new, I'm using: Welcome - Thomann UK Cyberstore. If anyone has any feedback/recommendations, fire away.

    >Trace Elliott 712 (150w). This has a built in DI. That's for a PA right? Someone recommended just to get a good DI, but I dunno. I need an amp. Cost: 250euro. Used.
    >Marshall MB150(or MB60 more likely). Comes with pedal. Cost: 250euro. Used.
    >Behringer BX4210A (450w). Cost: 260euro.
    >Ashdown T15-250s (250w) Cost: 285euro.

    >Hartke HA 3500 and VX 410. Cost: 500euro.
    >Peavey Nitrobass head with TVX4x10 & TVX2x10. Cost: 550euro.
    >I also have the options of mixing and matching stuff. There's head and cabs for sale and there's stuff in my budget too!

    Lastly, just general stuff. I'm completely new to this whole thing. There's two guitarists and a drummer who plays pretty hard. The guitarists are using a 70w amp and a 30w amp. If we're going to be gigging, how long will that last for? I'm looking at this in the long term. I'll probably have to upgrade in about a year/2years if I'm serious about music, which I am. It's seems better to be looking at what I need, than looking for it. I don't know how often gigs come up and stuff. Anyone else in this kind of situation before.

    Also I started off playing guitar. I kinda drifted away from it, but have an interest in going back to it. Now I know I'll be able to play a guitar through a bass amp no problem, but will the sound be as good. I got a recommendation to get a preamp, and it will sound good.

    So I think that's it.
    Thanks for your time.
  2. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    The hartke and peavey heads and 4x10 cabs will cover practice and most gigs you're likely to get. If there is a PA you can di to the amps will cover larger gigs too. If you can find and and afford those 2 just go ahead and get it and forget the combo route
  3. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Quote:"The hartke and peavey heads and 4x10 cabs will cover practice and most gigs you're likely to get. If there is a PA you can di to the amps will cover larger gigs too. If you can find and and afford those 2 just go ahead and get it and forget the combo route"

  4. You can turn a big amp down but you can't turn....

    Sometimes there is a big bass PA and sometimes not. Sometimes no PA at all and you have to bring your own or hire one.

    More cabs is way far more important than more watts after 300W of bass amp, even 100W can work with really good cabs but you'll learn about that as you go along.

    For now, and well into your bass career, you need 300W of solid state amp and a big cabinet to show the guitarists you mean business. They must be pretty good if you guys got a gig aleady with no bass rig?
  5. +2

    The PV/Hartke option will do you for a long time & cover most gigs.
    Nothing wrong with mixing up amp/cab combinations as long as impedance, pwr etc match up ok & it SOUNDS good.
  6. JayBoog


    Jan 19, 2012
    Thanks for the replies. Leaning towards the Peavey at the moment. The 2x10 and 4x10 cabs seems to give a good variety of combinations. Is the price too high though? I'm still shopping around but that seems the best deal. I'm sure I'll get 50euro of for.. travel or something. Prices on ebay seem lower ,but shipping will bring that up.

    Also spoke to the guitarists today. They said to get a combo and that we can get our own PA. That just seems really weird to me. I don't think they've thought about getting amps, they're thinking more along the lines of getting better guitars.
  7. Peavey/Hartke or similar power system. Avoid the combo. Seems those guitar players don't know a squat about bass rigs.
  8. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia

    Also you can get Hartke and Peavey heads and cabs used for nice price :)
  9. I would definitely go with the Peavey, their amps are built like tanks and last forever, and I also prefer them to Hartkes tonally although that's pretty subjective. It's more than enough power for what you need right now, and with that setup you can show up with a 4x10, 2x10, or 6x10 depending on what you need in a given situation. That is by far the best option in my opinion.

    The only advantage to a combo is it's easier to move around and takes up less space in the vehicle. If those aren't issues I wouldn't go that route.
  10. Maybe, maybe not. Hard hitting drummer aside, the 30W guitar amp isn't too crazy powerful that a huge bass rig is necessary.

    If they are intending to get a big PA then a loud bass rig is even counterproductive. Still have to get the drummer onside for that to work.

    Thomman in Germany are doing some killer deals on GK cabs at the moment. A pair of 15's is always a mighty sound.

    I prefer my cabs new or bedroom used as you never know what they got up to on gigs. For a newbie it's hard to go used speaker shopping, if the guitar players are experienced in bass you might be ok.

    Looking at the Peavy rig, your guitar players would be a little afraid of it for sure. You could get to play benevolent dictator of stage volume :D The 2x10 better be 8 ohm and the 4x10 4 ohm, or you won't get much from the 4x10 before the 2x10 is farting out. Many of the Peavey amps do 2 ohm but that's something to check out as well.

    Still I'm curious of these relatively low wattage guitar players who got you a gig already, maybe they are real professional players?
  11. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    Listen, my young brother.

    Forget the combo. Forget the combo (did I say that twice?) Get a 300 to 500 watt amp and either a 212 or 410 cab.

    The skinny string players do not have your best interests in mind. 30 guitar watts and a 12 with overdrive is loud. You will need to kick [email protected]@. Peavey, Hartke, whatever. A Peavey NitroBass (450 watts) and a 410TVX will kick butt on a budget. Also, easy to acquire.
  12. Peavey for sure. They're great bang for the buck, and you can bring a 210 to rehearsals and smaller gigs and the 410 for anything you'll need more volume for. Definitely the most versatile setup out of your options
  13. I would trade the 4x10 for a matching 2x10 for a sweet sounding vertical stack.
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    No combos. Of the things you mentioned I would go with the Peavey. Personally, I am not comfortable with less than 700 watts. And 70 watt and 30 watt guitar amps are not going to stay for long. You guys will do one gig and the guitarists are going to want bigger amps, trust me.

    I only have one guitarist to contend with and he has a 120 watt 1/2 stack. I run 1000 watt power amp and a SansAmp RBI through two 4x12s.
  15. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    One of the guitarists is using a 70 watt amp?

    Forget the combos. Between the choices you listed, I'd get the Peavey head and a used Peavey 2x15 cab, or a couple used 4x10 cabs.
  16. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Depends on the guitarist, and what the bassist likes. The guitarist in one of my bands uses a 150 watt head and a 4x12. My head is 180 watts and I run a 2x15. To me, having a good, loud speaker cab is more important than having a kilowatt amp.
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Absolutely. It also depends on what kind of music you play. I have a 400 watt amp and one of those old Peavey 2x15 cabs and it is perfect for classic rock, blues etc. In my band now we are playing a lot of Rage, Tool, hard rock stuff. I have 2 good loud cabs and a lot of power pushing them.

    It might be helpful if the OP told us what music he is playing.
  18. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    OK. My wife has a 100 watt Marshall Valvestate head and a 70's Fender Dual Showman cab (2-15 JBL D-130's). She can blow me and all the dogs right out of the house with very little effort. My 500 GB watts and 2-112's struggle. Guitar is easier to amplify.
  19. I helped out a couple of bands last weekend. Small bar with big PA and small stage. We had the PA maxed for vocals, all rung out. A little overhead on the drums + kick and snare, 6x10 and some very big Mesa bass amp with a DI + guitar combo's mic'd.

    Band1 had screamer vocalist being drowned out by guitar even though he was compressed to hell and PA up as loud as it would go with just him and kick in it.

    Band2 the guitar stage sound was right down. Night and day difference. People coming up to me to congratulate me on the sound. I asked afterward if the band could hear each other, they said sure, no problem. It's all about guitarists ego.

    Now, same could have been done micing the bass and the sound would have been epic. The club has full PA but I couldn't run any bass in it as it only made things woolly and not louder.

    I gave band1 guitar player a bit of a flea in his ear about being too loud when he came off the stage. By the time he heard band2 I think the dark look on his face was about knowing I was right.
  20. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    When I started playing in my band a year ago my bandmates were telling me the same thing " get a combo". I bought a GK 700RBII and a Hartke 4x10 Hydrive. So much for "get a combo".
  21. 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.

    Jan 22, 2022

Share This Page