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Cheap head, good cab; good way to start?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dcalde78, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    I need to get a new amp sometime soon and considering that I'm not all that flush with cash, I need something on the lower side of the money scale. I've always heard that cheaping out on a cab is never a good idea when starting out with a head/cab setup, so naturally the idea of getting a cheap, moderately powered head with a good cab came into my head.

    Of course I'm going to do the cab thing properly and I've been thinking of a Gallien Krueger of some description, particularly the MB212MBE 4Ohm (I'm really not up to scratch with my knowledge of resistance and such though, so I would need help understanding this side of it).

    As for the head, I've been shopping around on Thomann.de and they have their own in house brand, Harley Benton. There's also a cheap Behringer there as well. I know it's budget stuff but that's all that would be needed for the time being, until I can save money to get a better head.

    Both of these heads can come in a bundle package with the MB212 with a discount on the total.

    The main question here is: am I making a decent decision on my part by thinking this way? I'm not cheaping out totally on a cab (GK stuff is well priced here, but there are more expensive cabs on the site), but I am on the head, even if it's only temporary.

    Harley Benton BA250H:


    Behringer BXR1800H:


    As a quick reference on the style of music I play, I'm in a hard rock band with similar sounds to AC/DC and Airbourne, but with a slightly higher gain. Both guitarists play 50W Marshall tube heads with 2x12 cabs (I know I'll be running a lower power head harder but it's temporary).
  2. Good plan but Behringer is a bad word. Used gear can always get you more bass for your money.

    If you're going to lash out on a brand new cab, make it an 8 ohm one. Then you can double up on the cabs for a mighty rig that can play any 200 pax barn bar in Scotland you might come across. 300w and 4 ohm worth of 2 cabs is all anyone needs in my opinion.
  3. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    There's no used market where I live which is a massive problem. Living on an island in the North Sea does have its disadvantages.
  4. Have a scout on eBay for used Peavey gear. It's cheap and pops up pretty frequently.

    Built to last and the sound is pretty good (only major downside is that they can be quite weighty).

    Possibly a wee bit of a road trip needed to pick it up if you are on the Isles and can't get it delivered. Though I'm sure there's ways to get them delivered to somewhere northern and a pickup from there.

    Behringer have been getting their act together, though I have no experience with that amp.

    Harley Benton, never used any of the Thomann own brand stuff. However, my dealings with Thomann have never been short of excellent, so I think they'd keep you right if it failed (can't comment on sound or power though).
  5. I know that feeling brother. I have bought three cabs sight unseen via the internet, one of them was a dud and I got my money back. The other two were fine. Half or less the price of new ones.

    If the dealings are similarly slanted towards the buyers as in the US you should be ok with a commercial seller on ebayUK. They would be remiss freighting you a dud when you can claim back the full amount.
  6. Some other brands you could consider are Ashdown and Trace Elliot (heck, even some of the Marshalls). They tend to be pretty fairly priced and often on the used market.

    For £200-£300 (some even less) you could get a pretty good amp on the used market. My main concern is that, getting a cheap amp as an intermediate step is simply going to cost more in the long run.

    And I can also appreciate the pains of trying to get a decent amp, and realise it must be even worse being off the mainland!
  7. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
    A used trace head should be relatively cheap & loud.

    For used theres always that OTHER bass site...

  8. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    No kidding on the Trace heads! I thought they'd be fairly pricey but there's some going for around £100! I really didn't expect that. Would a used head and new cab do the job best then?

    Any particular heads I should look for, any models?
  9. Scotland is an island??? Since when?? I didn't get the memo! :D
  10. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    A mic pre and PA amp might be a good/cheap/loud solution. And if you're handy or friend's with a cabinet maker there are plenty of good designs out there for custom cabs. And it's probably easier to buy some plywood locally and then get new speakers/x-over components etc over the internet.
  11. Part of Great Britain which is an island last time I heard. As to the OP's question as has been suggested a used Peavey will sound good & I have had 3 of Behringers BX3500 & Bx4500 heads in the past, I liked them enough never had them burst into flames or any problem for that matter, I thought they sounded very good in comparison to some other heads that are touted as superior by the TB community. A better cab is more important than an expensive flavor of the month head anyday in my book.
  12. think he was hinting he lived in the shetlands
  13. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    Ding ding ding! Winner!

    Yeah, basically no one sells bass gear here because there's so few bassists. There's some guitar gear going around but that's it. Bass is rare.
  14. Has your rowboat got a leak? What kind of Scotsman are ye?

    The abundance of Trace gear in the UK works well for you.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    better cab and cheaper head makes sense to me; between available heads, just get the one that has the most watts.
  16. pan1k


    Sep 16, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Hartke lh500 is a good inexpensive head. Anything GK will hold up. I bought the 8ohm mbe212 and blew a speaker in 2 days. It was all my fault though. I got an mb800 and ran it too hot. But I loved it while it worked. In he process of replacing it with an identical. Stay clear of Berhinger. More headache than anything. You could easily get by with a combo
  17. I went cheap head and cabs years ago and never looked back.

  18. I've gone with used amps and cabs, almost since day one.

    The only amp I bought new was a Peavey Rage 158 starter combo (for guitar).

    Try and keep an eye on things which have been physically abused, a lot of external wear and tear can mean it's not up to scratch in the functionality department, but not always.

    Not too up to date on the Trace stuff, have played a bunch of different amps over the years, they all tend to sound like Trace :) Of course, you could keep your eyes out for a V4, V6 or V8, but they ain't going to be cheap!

    Hartke is another option, though they aren't quite as abundent in the market as Peavey, Trace, Ashdown and Marshall over here. Plus, IME it tends to be much older ones that float about the used market (which isnt always a bad thing).
  19. dcalde78


    Apr 17, 2012
    I'll definitely be considering buying a used head off of ebay. I'd be more comfortable buying a cab new though, especially when postage comes into the equation. Thomann are brilliant with their delivery times and charges. £10 flat rate on anything, to anywhere, unless it's over a certain amount, then it's free!

    I really think that a GK212MBE is the way to go. I know GK is well respected and their cabs are insanely light compared to others (always a plus!).

    So I guess I'll be looking at used head, new cab. Not the cheapest but then sometimes you have to spend that little bit extra.
  20. punk forever

    punk forever

    Aug 11, 2012

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