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choice of amp for small clubs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by deerfield, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. deerfield


    Mar 25, 2013
    I'm on the market for a good head + cab. I've perused every TB post in this section, but I'm still confused.

    Ideally, I'd go for SVT and 410 and be in heaven for the rest of my bass life. or AD 200. or Superbass. But it would be a complete ruin for me, given I already got bad back and live in apartment at 3rd floor not alone and 100% of my gigs are in small clubs, bars.

    Yesterday I was in one of these club where I'll play at the end of Jan, a prototype of the usual places in my area: a cavern for 2-300 people with good PA and the area for musician on a mezzanine with 20 stairs...we'll look like parrots. I frightened at the perspective of lugging up there a big tube head and 410. And the power would have for sure deafened everyone included myself. As a matter of fact, the bassist in the group (they were playing pop, gospel and funky) was using a small combo, I think no more than 150w with 1x12 or 1x10, admittedly a little too pushed for my taste, as a matter of fact the bassist and the resident soundman even had a fit of rage: the soundman was complaining about too much gain and compression, the bassist said he had to turn everything at max because he wasn't able to hear himself, and the soundman backed by the club owner replied he should have known better and bring a bigger amp as monitor. That's the kind of circus I've to deal with, sadly.

    Returning to my needs, more realistically: smallish SS head, around 500w. Ampeg pf, lm, gk, orange terror, anybody has one . I play classic rock and blues so it's mostly clean and a little dirt when needed could be done with a big muff (I know I'm frugal, I like to keep simple, too many knobs and cables and I'll lost easily focus). Some Santana covers, some Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, some ACDC et so on.

    The choice of the cab confuse me: I need it light and easily transportable. two 210 are way better than one 410, but what about the sound? do you think would be good? Would be better, let's say, to use a pair of 115? I'm lost. Thanks for your help
  2. fabubass


    Jan 13, 2006
    GK makes wonderful combos, under 40 lbs. Check them out
  3. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
    I have been looking into this as well. I have a 410HLF and Mesa prodigy in my studio space. Love the sound but no desire to move it ever.
    I have just purchased the Mark Bass 102P traveler 210 speaker cab (about 30 lbs) and the little mark tube 800 at about 6 lbs. I am working thru getting the sounds I want but believe this would fill a need you are describing pretty darn well.

    Good luck in the search.


  4. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I have that same cabinet- love it!
    I notice it took a while to "break in" but then it started sounding real good, sounded real "boxy" at first.

    I play a TC RH250 through it, sounds great and is enough for lower volume band practices as long as you don't play with gui****s.

    I combine it with an SWR Golight 210 when I play a bigger gig. HAs been plenty of volume so far.
  5. GK MB200. If you feel the need for more power, GK MB 500.

    I have the MB200 and it pairs well with practically any cab.
    I used it 2 nights ago at a garage rehearsal. My bass EQ was maxed out on treble and bass, my MB200 was around 1 o'clock across the EQ section and the gain/volume was at 9 o'clock. Plenty of volume playing with a 5 piece band. I was playing it with my Berg NV610 and I'll probably bring only my Avatar SB112 next time.

    The Ampeg PF500 is also a good option. I have one but seem to prefer my GK MB200. The MB200 feels like your carrying an iPod. It's so light weight.
  6. Rossman59


    Apr 23, 2007
    Evanston, IL.
    +1 on the GK MB200.

    Another option to look at is the JimmyM setup:

    Ampeg PF350 and two SVT 210AV stacked. I have the PF350 and one 210AV. Sounds so good I want another 210AV.

    You can also use the MB200 with the 210AV. Sounds great too.

    Keep us posted on what you end up with.
  7. deerfield


    Mar 25, 2013
    40 lbs is the absolute maximum I could lift without going to emergency room. But I'd like to have at least 4-500w rms... I know I could get the job done with less power 99 times out of 100 but I don't want to be catched that one time short of power... now, if someone would make a combo with this kind of wattage and good cones for under 40 lbs, that would be a really nice thing.

    In my area the standard has become MB, thanks to a store that apparently is one of the biggest resellers for italy and pushes them like crazy. So I could try the entire line, it's a 15min drive.

    The set you posted, DMwphoto, is really good and should fit my needs. I must investigate more about it.

    GK is a little harder to come by here, but I like it. Just like ampeg. I could opt for one of them. After all, for my needs, the choice of the head is relatively simple, and the difference of weight beetween 250-400-500-800w is little.

    I'm more worried by cab choice, obviously a cab for 4-500w has to weight and cost more. I know there are options out there, but the intricacies of volume vs watts vs numbers and dimension of speakers are still beyond me, I'm a NOOB. Would a 112 or 115 sound much different volume-wise than a 210? and would be enough for my needs? that's the kind of questions worry me
  8. +1 GK MB200 so cool for how small and light it is...
  9. deerfield


    Mar 25, 2013
    just for info, actually I'm using a Trace Elliot 300w head and 410 cab, both borrowed (better say rented "relaxately") from a friend. Sound is good, in few occasions I could have liked a little more volume. But the trouble is the cab weight: like said I got back troubles courtesy of some car and bike crashes and there is no way I can handle it. we're getting trough thanks to the singer who is a muscle man and the piano man, sometime also friends from the audience, but I feel bad everytime I have to call them for help to lift the cab.
  10. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I don't understand why you need 300-400 watts for a small club? Seems to me that a good 100W combo would be sufficient.
  11. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Better to have more than less, IMO. Maintaining headroom and not have to crank your amp into distortion. I personally don't like having to turn my master level knob up more than halfway.
    karl_em_all likes this.
  12. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    I have a TC BG250 that sounds like it can fit your bill.

    Super light, loud when you want it, and has great tone.

    You can lug it up steps all day.

    Cheap too. Can get them on clearance for $300.
  13. Can you manage in and out of car and floor to stage Then use a foldable cart for carry? I love my cart...have even pulled it up on some stages w cab
  14. I'll second the TC Electronic BG250! Just played mine again at a local club and couldn't believe the volume, again, from this combo. Had been running a pf500, fender bassman 100, Ampeg 410he, have used Ampeg svt450h and 410hlf too, this thing holds it's own! And so light, like 35 pounds or something? It's an amazing little rig and has been impressing many (I like it better than the rh750, rs212 combination I tried at the same club too).
  15. Icculus

    Icculus Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Brotherly Love
    Gallien-Krueger 500W 2x12 combo weighing in at 37 lbs.


    It's pricey though, and I think the 200W MB115 would suit your needs for 5/8 of the price.

    Then there's this, which is in between. 500W 210 weighing 33 lbs for $700
  16. Bassman1971


    Nov 4, 2013

  17. Bassnoise


    Jul 24, 2013
    I just use an swr ss 1x10 combo
    An active Warwick
    And an always on light overdrive that boosts quite abit

    I've never gotten anything but compliments from sound men and other bands who are usually baffled

    My guitarist uses two 1x12 combos we have no trouble hearing both of us and the drums.... It's interesting we actually get more compliments on our sound than our music lol
  18. deerfield


    Mar 25, 2013
    dropbass, in many venues we play we have to go thru stairs to reach the stage... sometimes is a cavern-basement under pavement level, sometimes a mezzanine or gallery with narrow stairs... this kills me.

    pfox14, in ideal conditions 100w could be enough, but we rarely had them. Many times the acoustic of the venue is bad, the soundman does weird things, the guitar and piano go heavy and I literally don't hear myself. I don't have that level of confidence neither a good ear, I need a solid volume from my cab to know what I'm doing. Also for headroom, 300w I consider bare essential. Like said, I'm sure there are some cabs and EQ tricks that could push enough volume even at 100w, but they're still beyond me. So to be on the safe side, I go with brute power

    re. tc amps: I've never heard them live, only read about good reviews. There is a store that stock a couple of them. How are they? are they digital?
  19. Bassman1971


    Nov 4, 2013

    Go on YouTube look at Uriah Duffys demo. It will give you a good idea
  20. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings