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cheap but quality half stack (UK)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stu hamm rules!, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. i am looking to buy a new amp soon, as my 50W combo has little chance of holding out in a gig and struggles through practices.

    i have looked at the laney rbh800 to go with the laney rbc410 (i want 300-400W with a 4 x 10") which will cost £560, but i want to know what other options i have. i'd rather keep the price below £600. i have looked at peavey, but these are too expensive(£760). can you recommend any other amps which i may not have looked at

    also, as far as second hand is concerned, other than looking in music shops, where should i look because ebay seems pretty limited.
  2. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    ashdown abm300 head
  3. I've only had good experience with Laney. I had a DB 400c - a 400w, 4 x 10" combo with SS and valve preamps. A very good sounding amp and well built. But is was too heavy... so I sold it.
    The rbh series are a bit cheaper, have no valve preamp and have different equalizer. The rbc 410 cabinet is not the best of the best, but it's a good cab for the money I reckon (and it's not too heavy!).
    So unless you can make a better second-hand-deal, I would say: go for the Laney rig.

    I don't know the situation in England, but I presume you can find second hand stuff in the second hand pages in newspapers, musicmagazines,...
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I buy my stuff from a variery of sources...

    For private sales try http://www.loot.com goto music then use the seach function on the orange page to find stuff by location price and keyword.

    Martin Petersen at the http://www.thebassgallery.com has second hand stuff from time to time some of it is inexpensive.

    I bought TE V4 head for £300 off loot and a Hartke 4x10 of Martin for £200

    Another option is to phone/go to your local music shop and ask them to look out for stuff. Mine http://www.coda-music.co.uk has a lot of trade in stuff and sometimes they remember to contact me.

    Remember buyer beware with private stuff
  5. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    I've changed amps a few times in the fast 5 or 6 years so I know where you're coming from. I started with a Torque 100watt combo (utter crap).

    My first purchase was an SWR Workingman's 12 combo, which I added their 15" Basic Black cab to. It was a great sounding rig, but was only 120watts. SWR stuff is great, so if you can afford it, then consider it.

    I sold the WM12 combo, kept the cab and bought a Laney DB300 head, basically to get more power. It was a pretty good amp but since I was running it with an 8 ohm cab it wasn't that much louder than the WM12 combo and cab were.

    I had been toying with the idea of a monster cab at that time and eventually got myself a peavey 810TX. With the Laney it made a sound like God clearing his throat! Incredible! I used the SWR cab and the Laney head for practising.

    After the band I was in split up I had no need for anything so big, so I got rid of everything and bought an Ashdown ABM c110 combo. It's my favorite amp so far. Sounds wonderful. I'm playing it into an ancient 2x15" peavey cabinet (with the combo's internal speaker disconnected of course) that I have on loan at the minute

    My only regret is that I never use the valve side of the ABM's pre-amp, and only use the preshape of the EQ, so I could have bought an Ashdown MAG 400 instead and saved a couple of pounds. That would be the amp I'd recommend to you.

    I'm considering going down the pre-amp and power-amp route now, and I'm building 2 extension cabs of my own.

    Hope this is of help.
  6. thanks for all the advice.

    i was thinking of maybe getting a 2 x 10" cabinet in stead of 4 x 10", to cut costs a bit, with the intention of adding a 410 or 115 when i need the extra volume. Do you think a 300W 2 x 10" would compete with a 100W 4 x 12" guitar amp?(valve/tube)
  7. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    In my experience there isn't enough low end off 2x10's to compete as a standalone cab if you're playing at serious volume, unless you're going to spend alot of cash on SWR or Eden gear... although the Peavey 210TX got a really good review in Bass Player a few years ago.

    It would probably do the job until you can afford a 15" (I'd go 1x15" with a 2x10" rather than adding a 4x10). Another thing you should consider is that alot of 2x10 cabs are 4 ohms, so you couldn't add another cab to that unless your amp was capable at running at less than 4 ohms...
  8. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    If he cranks the amp you may struggle, Wattage is a poor indicator of volume.
  9. A single 2 x 10 won't stand a chance competing with a 4 x 12 100w guitar stack! But then again a single 4 x 10 won't do the job either. You'll need 4x10 + 1x15 minimum or two 4x10's. It's all about moving air. 4x12's move a lot of air, plus guitars produce much more 'efficient' frequencies compared to basses... i.e.: the human ear will pick up the mid frequencies of a guitar a lot better than the lower frequencies of a bass.
  10. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Don't agree with Tom on that one... a 'good' 4x10, or 1x15 should be able to compete with a 4x12 guitar stack, but only if it is efficient and you can run it at about 3-400watts or so. But if you're trying to compete with more than one guitar stack then you could have trouble...
  11. I agree with Bigwan... I really meant the same: you need minimum a 'good' 4x10 + 1x15 and enough power to 'compete' with a guitar (half)stack.

    So - in fact - we do agree one that one, Bigwan :)

    But... now I think of it... I 'only' have a 2x10 + 1x15 100w all tube Ampeg rig... and I didn't have much problems 'competing' with our guitarist so far... but then again, he's a reasonable guy. :D
  12. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    When guitarists are reasonable about there volume then bass players have a reason to cheerful!
  13. I am indeed a cheerful bassist, Bigwan! :D
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is not a good idea, as to be able to add two cabinets you will need to get the right ohmage - this means that when only using one - you will only get half the power/volume from your single cab!

    So basically in the situation you are talking about you would ony be getting 150 watts from your 300 watt amp with a single 2 X 10! Not much more than your small combo. :(

    Some amps can vary the ohms but not the sort of cheap ones you are talking about.

    The above is probably a bit of a simplification - but this is the overall effect you will notice with the price range of gear you are looking at.

    I think in the end that - especially with bass amps/cabs - you get what you pay for. Cheap stuff sounds cheap and good tone is expensive - good deals are rare and always a risk.

  15. Gotta agree with Bruce on this one - good tone and plenty of useable volume costs! In my current band, I am using at rehearsals an Ashdown EB-130 with a 15" speaker. With gain at the 3 o'clock position (about 3/4 setting) and volume at about 1 o'clock (just over halfway) I can be heard clearly against the drums and the guitarist with his 100w Valvestate combo on about half!!!

    If I was to compete with a 100w head and a 4 x 12, it's clear to me that 130 watts would be inadequate. So if you only got a head and a cabinet that allowed you 150 watts you might struggle to keep up!

    I guess if you want the maximum bang for your buck so to speak, you'll have to scour the used sections ,that way you might be able to pickup some good used stuff for your budget!
  16. ok, again, thanks for the advice, i have one more question.

    if i got an 8 ohm 4 x 10", could i stick it in parallel with a tiny (cheap) speaker ,on zero volume, to get maximum wattage? also, what happens when you plug a head into a combo in the normal input?

    one more thing, what wattage and speakerage do you think the guitarist will actually need to play small/medium gigs?

  17. Hmmm, not sure about your question! I don't think it would work - as to send different amounts of power to different cabinets you would need a switchable crossover. What this does is send different powers to the cabs based on the frequency of the notes. For example you'd want to send lower notes to a 1 x 15 cab if you had it, this requires more power to reproduce the notes effectively. But I don't think you can do effectively what you suggest.

    I reckon the Marshall Valvestate that my guitarist has 100w and 1 x 12 speaker would be sufficient for small/medium gigs! Thing is if you are going to use a PA at the gig, then as long as your amp has a Line Out or DI out the amp doesn't matter. Your amp would then become your on stage monitor, and the bulk of the bass sound would be handled by the PA. You only need to worry about your amp if there is no PA, or if the PA isn't up to handling the instruments (some PAs would only be worth using for the vocals!)

    Hope this helps!
  18. thanks johnny, thats made me see this from a new angle. what set up do you have?

    does it matter that you might be sending a weaker signal to the PA? can they boost it to even the soud out? what would you recommend as a gigging amp if you are mostly going through PA? why do people all have big stacks if you can get by using the PA?

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