Choosing a New Cab and Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Klaxxi, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Klaxxi


    Mar 6, 2017
    Beaumont, TX
    I'm looking to upgrade from my little rumble 40 combo amp, but on a budget. I've set myself at around 4-500 for the cab and around 300 for the head. Might have a little wiggleroom one way or the other. I've mostly been looking on the guitar center used section since they will actually ship a cab, and I've found a few that have potential.

    First, what I'm looking for in sound is obviously important. I want tight, well defined notes. I like a more aggressive mid heavy sound. I would say my dream cab would be a mesa powerhouse 412 but even used those seem to run over my entire head+cab budget alone so that's a no go. I like Darkglass cabs a lot too but they are also expensive and I haven't found any used. I play a lot in drop D as well as BEAD so that also factors in I suppose. One cab I've found is the Hartke Hydrive 410. Seems to have really positive reviews all over the internet and listening to Youtube demos it sounds really good, albeit nobody seems to be playing the kind of music I do in any of them. Some people do say they can't go very low, don't know how true that is. Aside from the Hydrive I see a few other Hartke cabs around my price range. Also a few old Edens and some from Avatar, which I've never heard of. There's one from Low Down Sound but I've never heard of them either.

    As for heads I'm looking at an Ampeg Portaflex either 500 or 800. They sound good and are available for reasonable prices. I like the midrange frequency selector as well. There are a few GK heads around as well.

    What would you guys recommend I look for? Thoughts on the Hydrive and Ampeg? Thanks guys.
  2. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Used Fender Lead Sleds and Hartke cabs with bent grills
    I'm obviously a Peavey and Mesa Boogie guy. Guitar and bass. But if I have to choose from your list it would be Hartke or GK because both are flexible and very reliable. New Ampeg .... mmmm ... not so much.
  3. Off Topic... Phlipper, you need an avatar. You've been here too long to be without.
    May I offer a suggestion?
    And now, back to our regularly scheduled topic.

    Attached Files:

  4. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Used Fender Lead Sleds and Hartke cabs with bent grills
    An avatar? As Flipper says ...

    "Ahn ah! Ahn ah!"

    So long and thanks for all the fish!
  5. Klaxxi


    Mar 6, 2017
    Beaumont, TX
    What's up with Ampeg?
  6. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Used Fender Lead Sleds and Hartke cabs with bent grills
    Read and heard first hand of too many issues with them and the lower end TC stuff.
  7. Go forth in peace and be careful not to Dent your Ford.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  8. Phlipper


    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Used Fender Lead Sleds and Hartke cabs with bent grills

    I thought at least one person would get that. Lol.
    pie_man_25 and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  9. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    Let me introduce you to Low Down Sound...Hehehehehehe
    seriously though, theres a ton of info on LDS cabs and Avatar cabs on some searching.
    If I was gonna put together a "bang for the buck" rig, I would go used and shoot for some used Hartke 4.5XL cabs, Peavey 410TVX cabs, the GK 412 cab, or an Ampeg 610.
    Also, a Hartke LH1000 is a great head with big bang for low dough.
    Good luck!

    Moosehead1966 likes this.
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Are they back in business?
  11. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    Yes, according to info in the Low Down Sound Club thread
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Awesome! Hated to see him go away.
  13. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Fresno California
    For the budget? GK. Great products and great sound.
  14. ThundarStruck


    Mar 7, 2018
    Agressive mids sound? Def. check out GK stuff. Look on Craigslist, where I regularly see the classic 800RB head for $3-400. Play that through a couple of 15" cabs and and you too can sound like David Wm Sims..
    InhumanResource likes this.
  15. grimjim


    Jan 26, 2014
    Chicago, Illinois
    Endorsing artist;DNA Amplification, GHS strings
    And don't forget your towel.
    guitarflinger and mikewalker like this.
  16. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Is there something about your little Rumble 40 that makes you rule out the bigger Rumbles? With a budget of $700-800 you could get quite a bit new, and even more used.
    Gatlin likes this.
  17. Klaxxi


    Mar 6, 2017
    Beaumont, TX
    There's nothing wrong with it I suppose, it can get boomy and lose some definition at times though. Might just be because the bass I play is pretty high output and it's a fairly small amp.
  18. brianmharrison


    Oct 11, 2007
    I would look at the GK RB series or even the Backline 600 heads as a head with clear mids and a great reliability. The ampeg pf500 and 800’s sometimes have thermal issues so I would be a little wary of buying one used (although GC does do a 90 return policy on used). Also Ampeg isn’t known for a clear articulate sound. Usually they are more warm sounding.

    IMHO, Used Avatar, Eden, SWR and GK neo cabs are well built and can be had a decent prices used. If you are tuning down, I would stay away from sealed cabs and look for shelf ported cabs. You need surface area for keep those lower notes clear so in general, I would look at 4x10, 4x12, 2x12 cabs
    spatchthepunk and Thundar like this.
  19. Klaxxi


    Mar 6, 2017
    Beaumont, TX
    Thanks for the input. There are a few GK RB heads in my price range. One thing I have a question about is if I were to get one of those or even the ampeg they are 4ohm heads, while most of the cabs I'm seeing are 8ohm. I know it's safe, but it'll cause the head to send less signal to the cab because of the higher impedance right? Do you think it would be better to prioritize a 4ohm cab, even if maybe I don't like it as much as a different 8ohm one just so I can get the whole wattage?
  20. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I'd probably look at the opposite way round. Heads tend to cost more than a matching quality cab, or about equal if really pushing it. and 300 for a head won't give you massive choice. I think even something as low price as an MB200 would be pushing past the 300 mark [if my exchange rates are right].
    Ed Byrnes likes this.