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Combo amp recommendations?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by oddentity, Nov 30, 2000.

  1. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I will soon be in the market for a mid-size, mid-priced combo amp, and I'm looking for user opinions on some of the amps out there.

    My price range is generally in the $600-800 range, but I cannot go any higher than $1000.

    I play in a space rock/electronic band with a guitarist, a drummer, and a guitarist/keyboardist. Depending on the song, I go from your standard rock tones to deep dub basslines. I'm a pocket player, generally don't do solos, so I'm not looking for a flashy amp with complicated EQ. My main axe is a MIM Fender Jazz with Dimarzios (but I plan to upgrade to a high end 5 string soon); right now I'm using a Fender BXR-60 but am looking for something to play small gigs at parties, small bars, coffeeshops, etc.

    I have tried the Ampeg B-100 combos and SWR Workingman-15 (which I really like), so I'm looking for opinions on the rarer stuff that nobody stocks around here -- Genz-Benz, Tubeworks, Nemesis, Warwick.

    Also, does anyone have experience with the SWR Silverado Special? It looks ideal, and is barely within my price range. (I may be able to get a deal on one that will bring it within my price range.) No store in my area has one in stock for me to try out.

    Sorry if this was all too much info for a simple question...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You could probably fetch a used combo like mine, an EBS Taurus 240 (I believe it would suit you just fine), for around $600-$700. Where I live, that is... I can only guess your residence, since YOU HAVEN'T PUT IT IN YOUR PROFILE! ;) :p

    Sorry, I got carried away... I should shut up.
  3. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    If you aren't poisoned on Peavey, you might try the Combo 115 or the Combo 210 TX (same amp, different speaker configs; you can probably figure that out from the names).

    Both pump about 210 watts as configured and about 300 with a 4 ohm extension cabinet.

    Good sound, solidly built, nices features and functions, and plenty of them in the new and used markets.
  4. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Oops! Sorry, Oysterman... :) I must have overlooked that field when I filled out the profile. I'm near Philadelphia, PA. What are the specs on an EBS Taurus? The EBS Drome and Grom are nice looking amps, but I think they're above my spending limit.

    Jcadmus - I used Peaveys for a while in college, but I was never really into them. That being said, I haven't played on a Peavey since college -- 3 or 4 years -- so maybe I'll check out their newer models.

    Thanks folks, keep it coming!

  5. You might consider Carvin products. They
    give a nice bang/buck. I'm personally not
    super impressed with the WorkingMan series.
    Ampeg definitely makes some nice affordable

  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You seem to have missed the "age" field as well... :D
    I don't have the actual specs, since the amp isn't manufactured anymore (the Gorm could be seen as Taurus II, but that wouldn't be fair), but I'll tell you what I know.

    * Preamp with bass and treble boost/cut filters plus semi-parametric mid filter (sweeps between 50-1000 Hz). Bright (5+ kHz) boost filter.
    * 240 W MOSFET Poweramp
    * Built-in octaver and chorus, footswitchable
    * 2x10 speakers + tweeter
    * Crossover at the line out for extension cabinet (you need separate power amp for such a cabinet, or one of EBS' active cabinets)
    * Filter bypass switch (well, wow ;))
    * Phantom Power
    * DI Out.

    Portability... well, it's manageable, but a bit heavy (hey, there's two 10"'s in there!). If you find one (I doubt you will in the US), it's a *great* deal in the sub-$800 market. Very clean sounding, even frequency response, enough power for small to medium-sized gigs, and two good built-in effects (they are not as good as their new pedals, though). I wouldn't want to sell/trade mine if I didn't have to.

    EBS newer combos are a lot better than the Taurus, but expensive to buy new (where you live, I think $1200 for a Drome and around $1800 for a Gorm). Also, the chorus effect is removed on the Gorm, but it has some other nifty features instead.

    But with your money, and since you're not living in Sweden (where you quite easily can find used EBS gear), I'd go with something else...

    [Edited by Oysterman on 11-30-2000 at 05:18 PM]
  7. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Doh! Missed that one too! Well, it's filled in now. :D

    Thanks for the info on EBS. They look fantastic, but I'm sure you're right, they'll be hard to find second-hand in the US.

    CaptainWally - thanks. I get Carvin's catalogs, and I've thought about some of their amps, but the fact that I can't go to a store and try 'em out kind of bothers me. "Hands on" tends to be my approach...
  8. Irish


    Apr 11, 2000
    Carvin RC 210 It's the one for me.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Finding a used EBS Taurus here in the states would be like finding a Surine in Guitar Center. It could happen but...

    I'd look at the Ampegs under $500 (B-100R and BA-115) the Eden Nemesis line (much better value than the CXC line (how do they call CXC's affordable?)), Peavey and as far as used the SWR Super Redhead and Eden Metro are under a grand. You actually have lots of choices in your price range. I'm happy with what I have (B-100R).
  10. spoolie


    Nov 30, 2000
    I'll echo the endorsement for the Ampeg B100R, I've used one for about over a year and it's the best combo I've ever played for under $700. I have recently aquired a Mesa Buster with the 15 and have played it a few gigs. It's perfect except for schlepping it (100 lbs), but it does have casters. That's the only amp I've run into that has got me to give up the Ampeg. They're hard to find but you can get one under $1000 if you don't buy it new. There's one on Ebay right now.
  11. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I can't speak of this from personal experience, but I've only heard great things about Eden's combos - you might be able to pick one up used in your price range.

  12. how about a SWR workingman 15 i have one and its sounds great for every bass i have plugged into it. sounds good for funk, rock, blues, slap, and the thing is tough i threw it onto my shoulder, missed, it went up and over and down 2 flights of stairs, not a problem
  13. Reid


    Aug 25, 2000
    Oakville, Ontario
    you must be a pretty big guy to throw that thing over your shoulder.. i can barely carry it up the stairs
  14. the workingman's 15 IS built like a brick crapper, and isn't as heavy as you might think (more awkward due to it's boxy nature).

    how loud is the rest of the band? i used to really like my WM15 until i played a gig with it 2 days ago. a small gig, not too loud, but i couldn't hear a damn thing! now it's going out the door...

    you need (IMHO just for the netnannies!) more'n 100W to cut it live...and for the size/weight/cost you could piece together a smallish head (eg Bassman 50) with a 1x15"/2x10" that would be not much bigger, not much heavier, but more versatile. in the end, it's far better to have more power and not need it, than running the thing all night at 10 and still not be able to hear it! :)

    maybe me and my fellow idiots just play too loud. well, that's not a bad thing... ;)
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I carry my Peavey TNT 130 that way, and I'm weak and out of shape. It must outweigh the WM15 by at least 30 lbs.
  16. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I think that the Silverado is more of an 'Acoustic' amp...The one's that I have seen in Musician's Friend have been advertised that way anyhow...

    I think that the Workingman's amps are decent sounding, though a little under-powered if you're playing with a loud drummer. I'm with Irish on this one...I've had a Carvin RC210 for two years. Portable, plenty of power, bi-amp ready, and only $750 or so...
  17. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    if you're going to get am Ampeg you might want to check out the B2 series withe either the 1-15 or 4-8's. They are 200 watts w/internal speaker(s) and 350 watts with extension cab. I've seen them used on ebay for as little as $375
  18. marcopolo


    Dec 1, 2000
    I've been looking around for a combo myself. I haven't played through these, but the Nemesis 2-10 or 1-12 looks good as well as the AmpegB100R. But what really has stolen my heart (on paper) is the Gallien-Krueger 700BR210... anyone have experience with this one?
  19. Skip


    Mar 22, 2000
    Bronxville, NY

    Just wondering, did you like the Ampeg B100R or the SWR WM15 better?

    I've played both recently and liked the Ampeg better (tone and price). I also played on a Super Redhead, and if you can get one used I would recomend it (It sells for around $1400 new).

    I also played the fender bassman combos in this price range (the 60 and 100 I think), but though them third behind the Ampeg and SWR.

    Also check out the G-K RB400 combos.

    Good Luck, listen to everything. Remember YMMV. :)

  20. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I think you may be wrong about the Silverado, although I haven't read the description in MF. I thought the California Blonde series were the acoustic amps, and apparently the head in the Silverado is the same as the Bass 350 head (or so I have read).

    As for the Workingmans, you're right -- it seems underpowered, although my drummer isn't especially loud. It would be a great rehearsal amp but I'm looking for somethin with a little more room to grow.

    I actually liked the SWR's tone better, although the Ampeg was not far behind. Personal preference, I guess. :) I played a redhead too, which was great, so I'm definitely keeping an eye on the used market.

    Thanks again to everyone who has been responding! Keep 'em coming!


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