Clean low end, small/medium gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FlabbaFan, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    J R Knots likes this.
  2. ToneMonkey


    Sep 27, 2003
    Newberg, OR
    I don't personally care for Hartke or Markbass. But I did recently score a new GK Legacy 112 combo b stock for $1,011.

    Gallien-Krueger Legacy 112 1x12" 800-watt Bass Combo Amp

    A bit over your limit but not much. While GK has a rep for overdriven sounds, it does loud and clean fantastically well. The combo punches way above its weight: it's extremely articulate (no mud unless you dial it in that way), and is very light and portable. It's definitely a quality rig that figures to stick with me for quite a while. Also expandable to 800w with an extension cab should I need it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  3. My 2c..

    I believe you will find GC Acoustic
    B-200 (1-15) well within $ and tone

    6- bands semi parametric, Plenty of volume
    XLR- out to PA if needed

    Either in: Combo or head/cab separates

    • Use your ears and wallet $ vs anyone’s opinion , regardless…

    Enjoy your journey into Bass and keep us posted as to your choices !
    BassNugget likes this.
  4. HotelX

    HotelX Supporting Member

    Ampeg b100r might suit. They are only available used and you can find them pretty cheap. You could get 2 or 3 of them for under a grand.
    elberon likes this.
  5. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    GK MB 500 head and GK Neo 1x12.
    Light & loud. I paid $650 used for both.
  6. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    This will not apply to everyone since I am 66 years old. That being said, Cottonelle Wipes, go a long way in allowing me to maintain a clean low end. They’re cheap too.
  7. My half stack of yours, different head though...

    Great for reggae but quite reggae :)
  8. HotelX

    HotelX Supporting Member

    Bidet FTW
  9. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    For clean clear sound it's hard to do any better than DNA or Eden. The DNA gear though is going to probably be out of your price range. The DNS-210 is the 210 cabinet I use for all my indoor venues small to large. Outdoors or at Festivals, I'll roll in my DNS-410. Street price on the cab runs between ~$849 to $949. Used is usually around $600, though I did see one on reverb once for $499. That cab is unusual because it will handle 700-watts rms and has a max SPL of 134db.

    I run mine with my Eden WT500/800 bridged at 800-watts into 8Ω. Indoors I will run the master on my 800-watt amp between 9:00 (small venue) and 10:30 (large venue). So not coming close to that 700-watts max for the cab. Just got a DNA-800 amp that will put out 400-watts into 8Ω and 800-watts into 4Ω. I fully expect that 400-watts is more than enough for even a large venue with that 8Ω cab. The DNA-800 is $799 street price and again seems to hang around $600 used.

    Another option you should look into is the Eden TN (Terra Nova)-series cabs, especially the TN-210. The TN-210 handles 300-watts and has superb sound. currently has them new at ***$369***, whereas elsewhere they are typically $449 to $499. Clean, clear, and punchy sound. Doesn't sound as good as Eden's Top of the Line D210XLT, but it's about $600 cheaper and there's not $600 difference in the sound.

    I'd suggest to go with the the Eden TN501 class D 500-watt into 4Ω amp. Street price on that is typically $649 new but you will see it on sale from time to time for $549 to $599. I actually have the little brother of this fellow which uses the exact same preamp section but is only 226-watts instead of 500-watts.

    First of all it's really light weighing just a touch over 5-lbs. It has a gain control that you turn up until the gain clipping light starts to dance on your loudest and lowest notes. Then it has a bass shelving control (35Hz and below), a low-mid semi-parametric control, a high-mid semi-parametric, and then a treble shelving unit for everything about 2.2KHz. The semi-parametrics, if your not familiar with them allow you to dial in the frequency center you want to boost or cut and the second control does the boosting or cutting. With my passive Jazz, I will dial in a little boost at ~250Hz and run everything else flat.

    It also has an Enhance control that scoops the mids and boosts the bass and treble. That's nice when your practicing on your own at lower volumes or when you're doing a solo, but if you turn it up anywhere near noon while playing with your group, you will disappear in the mix . Most people never dial it about 9 o'clock, or like me leave it off entirely. Another nice feature it has is a bass boost button. I think that's useful because you can boost the bass without scooping the mids out or boosting the treble.

    The master of course applies the power to the signal from the preamp. The master on this though doesn't act like the master on most Eden amps. With Most Eden amps moving the power from all the way off up to about 1:30 or 2 o'clock is where the big difference in sound is heard. After 2 o'clock, turning up the master makes less and less difference in the sound. With the TN series it follows the Marshall type of Master where you probably won't even hear anything until 3 o'clock and you'll spend most of your gigs with the master between noon and 4 o'clock.

    One really nice thing this amp does have is a good auto compressor. I bought my lower powered one specifically to play at a small brew pub where we'd host an open mic about 40 times a year. I run it into a single EX-112 cab for that. On a few occasions our group really got too loud for the room and as I nudged the amp up to keep with the guitars, keys, and drums, my master clip light started flashing....that's a very bad thing. I dropped the bass EQ a bit and it still flashed. If I turned down I wouldn't be heard, but if I let it keep flashing, the protection circuit would cut in and I wouldn't be heard at all. So I engaged the auto compressor and that fixed it. No more flashing clip light and I left it on for the rest of the night.

    With my big Eden amp the auto-compressor is good for slap, but in my opinion that's all. I've used it a couple of times and it's really noticeable when it engages and it really doesn't sound good. So I leave it off on my WT500/800. HOWEVER, once I turned it on with my little TN-226 all it did was stop the clipping light. It smoothly compressed the peaks and I couldn't even hear it engage. Compressing those peaks did the job and finally at the end of a couple of loud songs, everyone turned down to more reasonable levels. So I'm impressed with that auto-compressor.

    So, for $1000 or less, this 500-watt amp Eden TN-501 and the 8Ω TN210 cab would fit your needs nicely to begin with. When you need to play a large club, buy a second 8Ω TN210 to add to your existing one and that will give you a defacto 410 set-up driven with 500-watts, which will handle small to large and some outdoor venues too. That amp will put out 250-watts into a single 8Ω TN210 cab for your small to medium venues and adding the second 8Ω cab will get all 500-watts out of it. And that TN-501 sounds just as good and just as warm as the sound coming out of my hybrid Eden amp, which uses a tube to get the warmth in its sound.

    If you can find the DNA stuff on sale or used in your price range, grab it because it's the next step up beyond the best that Eden makes. If not, that Eden gear I just described is a very nice choice and will give you clean, clear, articulate, and warm sound.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. logdrum

    logdrum A person! Supporting Member

    I bring out my Mesa Diesel 15 and 210 (Pre Subway) for Reggae and any dance or afro beat gigs. Even better with the Mesa Bass 400 but I do not have roadies, so it's the Carvin B1000 nowadays. EA head + Wizzy Cabs or AI combo for everything lese. The AI Corus combo Series III was obtained from reverb for 547 incl shipping and tax. Not a removable head but the thing will drive a 2 ohm load. Get a series 4 or a series III Ten-Two. In fact someone is selling one in the DB classifieds, That one can drive 1000 watts of clean power. and the cab is neutral
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
    james condino and DJ Bebop like this.
  11. BigEarl


    Sep 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    I am also a clean pocket freak. My solution was a Barefaced Super Compact 1x12 cab paired with a Quilter Bass Block 800. Super clean, it is a transparent cab that will simply reproduce what you put into it without colorization. If I want some overdrive in the signal. I just tap my Bearfoot and even with that hair it is still pristine.
    zombywoof5050 and DJ Bebop like this.
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Roughly where are you? That makes all the difference in the world when trying to determine if there are good rigs used available to you.
    james condino likes this.
  13. FlabbaFan


    Dec 8, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    There's decent inventory on the Craigslist, etc around here
  14. HotelX

    HotelX Supporting Member

    yeah I love barefaced cabs but they are not a budget solution like OP wants.

    The super compact will produce a lot of clean bass if you feed it plenty of watts.
  15. HotelX

    HotelX Supporting Member

  16. There are some good cabs right now on Talk Bass Classifieds in your area.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  17. FlabbaFan


    Dec 8, 2004
    OP here following up. Thanks to everyone for all the input!

    I went to a local Sam Ash with my bass and played the Hartke HD500. Dug it! Liked it much better than the Fender Rumble 2x10 that I also tried. The Hartke was punchy and clean even turned up. Loudness increased until about 2 o'clock on the volume knob, staying clean, beyond which point it didn't really get louder but the tone changed. Handled the ultra hot L-1000 pickup in OMG mode well. So instead of $599 + tax I grabbed one used locally (thanks, talkbass classifieds!) and saved a couple hundred.

    Had an outdoor gig this weekend (private party, large backyard, PA only for vocals). Guitar (Fender 1x12 combo), guitar (mesa boogie combo 1x12), bass (I used my 1984 G&L SB-2 JJ fwiw, not the L-1000), keys (1x12 combo), un-mic'd 5-piece drum kit, four vocal mics. Ran volume at 11-12 o'clock and it held up great. Nice mix, everybody heard everybody. Not sure it could get too much louder outdoors, but like I said in my OP this band doesn't play super loud and is tasteful. Played rock and funk covers.

    I'm happy to get such a capable amp for < $500 but I must admit the GK MB212-ii intrigues me. Don't wanna go down too deep in the rabbit hole but at the same time I feel like there's nothing wrong with having more volume on tap just in case. I can't help but wonder if I should grab one at a decent price used if possible. I could try it out, then sell either it or the Hartke depending on my taste. If I kept the GK I'd ultimately have spent a little more, but would still be well below my 1k price ceiling.

    Anybody familiar with both amps wanna chime in?
    BassNugget and butterfingers1 like this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 19, 2021

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