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Classic rock: Avatar B210, Aguilar GS112 or Eden D112XLT?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ccyork, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    Howdy all, can you help me choose a speaker cabinet? I'm currently considering:

    Avatar B210
    Aguilar GS112
    Eden D112XLT

    I like these options because of the portability and the good reviews I've read. I can't try before I buy because the nearest music store is 250 miles away. :meh:

    I'm looking for a deep, warm sound with tight focus suitable for playing classic rock, Motown, and blues. I play a 4-string Fender P-Bass, usually with the tone control all the way down, 'cause that's the way I like the sound. :cool:

    I want to be heard in the mix, and the cab will be used on gigs up to 100 people or so, with PA support if necessary. I will choose a head later, so I can match the head to the cabinet.

    I like to buy the right thing the first time instead of going cheap then upgrading later. I'd also love hear other suggestions in the <$400 price range. (A 4x10 is too big for me, and 2x12 probably is too big also.)

    Thanks a bunch!
  2. bassplayer347

    bassplayer347 Guest

    Dec 24, 2003
    My vote would be for the GS112.......tried it, loved it
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Your description of what sound you are after fits the Aguilar perfectly . . .
  4. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    Thanks for the replies. That's 2 votes for Aguilar. Most of my other research has led me in the same direction as well. Any other opinions?

    If anyone has opinions on a good head to go with that would well match the style of music I play, I'd love to hear it as well. I have considered:

    Ashdown MAG 300
    Hartke 3500
    Hartke 4000
    Mesa Walkabout
    Ampeg B2R

    Not sure if I want to mess with the maintenance on tubes, but maybe it's worth it?

    Thanks again for the replies. More opinions welcome! :)
  5. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
  6. Yep. When you talk about the sound you're looking for, you seem to be describing an Aggie, to me, too.

    For amps, I'm assuming you still want to stick with this "vintage vibe" on that, too, so you really need to match that up with either the Ampeg BR2 or Mesa Walkabout (at least from the choices you've specified). The Mesa will be more expensive than the other choices but, boy, it sure does have a luxurious tube tone.
  7. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    Yes, I definitely want a "vintage vibe"! Hopefully not a one trick pony though. I can't imagine havine any use for distortion, just a clean warm sound. I've pretty much settled on an Aguilar GS112 for a cab, and will probably supplement it with a second one sometime down the line.

    AMPEG B2R: I've done quite a bit of reading on this forum and in other places. Elsewhere the B2R gets rave reviews, but on this forum, it seems that everyone complains that it does not have enough power. Well are these comments justified, or were they made by a bunch of kids with the "it's never loud enough" mindset? We're a bunch of old guys (our drummer is the youngest in our band, he's 30, I'm 35, and our guitar player is approaching 50). I want to be heard by our drummer and all, but we don't play large gigs (over 100 people or so) very often. For bigger gigs and if we play outdoors there is always PA support. What I DON'T want to do is run out of CLEAN headroom. :D I'd definitely like to be able to get sufficient volume without the amp's tone going to pieces. Do y'all think thing the B2R can cut it?

    HARTKE 4000: I've read that this has great tone shaping capapbilities, and it got good marks from Bass Player magazine. Would this be a more flexible amp that I could dial in an Ampeg-like tone, and also have access to a greater variety of sounds? Would I get more clean headrooom with the Hartke than the Ampeg?

    Is Gallien-Kruger or SWR worth considering in this price range? Any more opinions out there?

    Thanks for your input eveyone! :bassist:

    P.S. Sorry I'm so full of questions...but here's another one. It seems that most heads fall into the 300 to 400 watt range. Is this because this amount of power is generally acceptable for the majority of applications? Or is a 300 to 400 watt amp more of a "starter" or "rehearsal" type amp? Thanks again!
  8. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    For your sound, I think you should look at a sansamp. It will give you that tube sound. You could get stomp box and put it before your amp. Or get the RBI and a power amp.

  9. AndyMan

    AndyMan Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 17, 2000
    Columbus, Ohio
    While we're on this subject, I've an Eden Wt400, and wanting to try an Eden CXC 112 for jams/practice (240 watts @ 8 ohms), a pair of CXC112s @ 400 watss for giging in a blues band.

    Anyone play these cabs???

  10. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    Interesting that you should mention this, because I currently use a SansAmp GT-2 --> Behringer Ultra-G --> PA when we're playing out. I do like the sound of the SansAmp.

    I'm a little hesitant to mix and match with a power amp, though, because I wonder if a standard power amp will work as well with a bass guitar as will a power amp section designed specifically for bass guitar. What about the Tech 21 Landmark 300?
  11. Both the Ampeg and the Hartke are fine amps that should do just fine for the types of gigs that you are talking about. However, they have very different sounds. The Ampeg is more "old school" whereas the Hartke is more of a "modern" sounding amp. Both have considerable tone shaping abilities, but all the tone knobs just give you variations of the basic sound of the amp. You really need to try both and see which one gives you the sound you're looking for.

    In my opinion, 300-400 watts will generally do for most medium sized gigs, but efficient speakers also have a lot to do with that. (The GS112 is fine in this department.) There are those who will argue that you need more power than that to give you the "clean headroom that you want" but I find this sufficient for all but the very largest gigs.
  12. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX

    You are actually far from the thruth. IMO, the preamp/poweramp setup is highly regarded here at TB. As well it should, a good pre/power set can usually outperform most "traditional" amp setups that one can throw at it. Why? Because you have the control to find the right preamp and the right power amp with the added benifit of having a great deal of extra headroom. The QSC PLX series power amps are highly reagred here. You could have the option of having 1600-3400 watts of power at your disposal. You will never use that much power in you rig! But, having a great deal of headroom does wonders to your tone. You will notice (with the right pre/power setup) increased clarity, fatter bass, and an overall improvement in your tone. I used to use a SWR750. I thought that the 750 would be all I ever needed. It wasnt. I sold the 750 and bought a Demeter HBP-1 preamp and a QSC PLX-1602. I cant even beging to tell you how much my tone improved. It was like someone took a thick heavy wool blanket of my "tone". Stanard power amps do a fantastic job as power amps for bass. However, you cant skimp and buy a cheap power amp. You have to use a good power amp! If you are curious about power amps I would stick with QSC. The PLX series are great. However if you are on a budget, look at the RMX series. Do a search her at TB on QSC and you will find out for yourself. As far as preamps, look at the Alembic F1X, any Demeter, Aguilar, or the Sansamp. I prefer the Demeter. The GS112's are great cabinets. They are extremely portable and sound fantastic!

    PS if you dont go the pre/power route, I would go with the Mesa Walk About. I wouldnt come within ten feet of a Hartke. Ampeg would be my second choice. Tech 21 seems new to bass amplification. With that in mind, my ten foot rule would apply to them as well.
  13. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I think a pair of Ags need more than 400 watts to achieve the 'clean headroom" you talk about. I second the comment about Hartke being crap. And yes, I think the Peg is underpowered too...you did mention you wanted to do this right the first time. I'd recommend something with at least 500 watts at 4 ohms (the load you will have with both cabs). I'm currently using an Ashdown EVO 500 that is a good balance between modern and old school. You can dial in more or less tube saturation as needed. The GK 1001 would be a good lower priced alternative. I don't think the Walkabout has enough power...go for the 600 if you want headroom. Aguilar has a new sold state head for about the same money as the Mesa or the Ashdown...haven't heard it though. Weight is always a factor with me, and all of these heads are under 30 lbs. (42 lb cab + 50lb head = silly). Do some research...there are a LOT of options.
  14. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
    i owned the b2r and used it with a 410(hartke) 115(gk), it got the job done, but if you had it with aggie speakers, it would sound alot better, however, i would have to agree with g4string's pre/amp, i have a f-1x with a eden wt1000, great tone, the best part of a pre/amp is that if you get sick of your sound, you could just swap out the pre and get something new/better/different if need be. but its more costly(rack case, wires on top of the pre/amp) but better in the long run
    ive also heard alot of good things about the mesa, but ive never tried it
  15. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    If I am not mistaken the Mesa Walk About is 600 watts. That would be about as a low as I would go for any live sitiuation, not just powering to 112's. The problem people have when buying a power amp is that they buy crap! There really are not a whole lot of budget/bargain bass preamps being manufactured. People then buy a preamp, paying more than they expected. Then they try to save money by buying a budget/bargain power amp, which have saturated the market (ie. Beheringer, Nady, etc etc). After all is said and done, their new pre/power setup sound s**tier than their original rig. After switching to the pre/power setup, I soon realized that your power section is one of the most important links of acheiving great "tone". I beleive that a lot of power sections in most "traditional" amplifiers are inferior to a those in a stand alone power amp. Think about it, what does QSC do? All their time-money-resources are spent designing and munufacturing power amps. Since I feel that most power amps out class the power sections of most "traditional" amplifiers and that one of the most important links in the "tone" chain is a good power section, qualilty is what it is all about. If you shop smart, you can put together a pre/power set up for under $800.

    Please excuse my rant. I was not aiming this towrds anybody. Just ranting.
  16. gbenner


    May 20, 2001
    ocean, new jersey
    The Mesa walkabout is 300 watts, the mesa m-pulse's are 360w and the largest is 600w. I came close to picking up one, but I got an Eden WT-500 upgraded to an WT-800. It has 400 watts per side at 4 ohms. Its deep, fat, and I play classic rock, so I dial in an old school tone. I had a Carvin R600 that I used a sansamp bass driver with. It was 600 watts. the Eden not only blows away the Carvin/Sansamp, sound wise, but the lower wattage on the Eden sounds louder. Unless your playing VERY large clubs or outdoors, you shouldn't need more then 400 or 500 watts. the pre/power amp are a great way to go, BUT you also have to consider weight and price and portably. I looked into it, but I felt its easier to carry a head than a rack with whatever in it. To each his own. Ask any bass player what to buy and he'll tell you to get what he has. You have to try before you buy. Spend some time, bring your bass and cab, and try a few heads. YMMV :cool:

  17. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    One thing I would strive for, is to get two GS112's. First off it will allow you to run your amp of choice at 4 ohm, and secondly, two sound so much bigger than one! Yeah I know, it sounds like a no brainer, but the tone of these cabinets really seems to shine when two are coupled together with a bunch of power.
  18. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX

    couldnt agree more!
  19. g4string


    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX

    couldnt agree more :D
  20. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    Thanks for the input so far everyone. I know I might seem to be bouncing around here, but I want to consider all possibilities...

    It occurred to me yesterday that Fender makes a bass head, the Bassman 400H. Now honestly I have a Bassman 25 I use to practice at home, and this little amp has a tone that I just love. It just isn't loud enough obviously.

    (1) Does the 400H have basically the same tone as the Bassman 25, just louder and with more shaping options?

    (2) As a point of reference, so I can understand where everyone is coming from, where would you place the tone of the 400H? More vintage or more hi-fi?

    (3) How would you describe the tone (not "good" or "bad", which is very subjective, but just descriptive words about the the tone: "warm", dry", "gritty", "hi-fi", etc.) of the 400H vs. other heads: Ampeg B-2R, GK 700RB-II, or YOUR favorite head?

    On slightly different topic:
    I noticed that there is a lot of discussion about how loud amps are. Many people say the Ampeg B-2R is not very loud, even though rated at 350 watts. Here are some interesting observations I've made. Again keep in mind my interest is in CLEAN headroom:

    A) I've noticed on spec sheets that wattage is given with different THD (total harmonic distortion) numbers by different companies. Example: The Fender Bassman is rated 350 watts/4 ohms/<.02%THD. The GK amps use <1%THD as their point of reference. SWR and Ampeg do not give THD figures. I have seen very few amps with a THD given as low as the Fender. Does this mean that the Fender is likely to have more clean headroom than amps with a greater THD figure, and will this significantly affect the PERCEIVED volume at which I can get clean sound?

    II) I've noticed that Ampeg markets the B-2R as a 350 watt amp, and the B-5R as a 500 watt amp, but when you examine the fine print in the specs, the B-2R is 350 watts/4 ohms, and the B-5R is 500 watts/2 ohms. The B-5R is also rated 350 watts/4 ohms, just like the B-2R. Wouldn't you say it's deceptive to advertise in this way?

    3) Does anyone have THD numbers for the Ampeg B-2R?

    D) Is harmonic distortion (THD) the very thing that colors an amp's sound as "warm", and therefore not necessarily a bad thing?

    Questions, questions, questions. Once again I really appreciate how helpful everyone has been so far. Thanks very much!

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