commence guitarist conversion in 3...2...1...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HelpImaRock, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Hi all.

    I've been lurking here for about two weeks after auditioning for the bass spot in a power pop cover band. The good news is that I got the gig. The BETTER news is that I now get to buy my first "real" bass amp. Living here in NYC is great in that regard. You can own a bass, learn some songs, and audition through the rehearsal space's killer bass stack without having to actually own the gear required!

    As a converted rock guitarist, I freely admit to playing with a pick. I feel like I have more control with it right now. I'll start converting to fingerstyle as I get more comfortable with our set.

    My bass is a '98 MIM Precision w/ SD pickup, Badass II, and LaBella flatwounds. I tend to ride the volume and tone controls, much like I do on guitar. Our set consists of covers by The Jam, Buzzcocks, T. Rex, Sloan, Elvis Costello, The Hold Steady, Iggy, and others. It's the perfect environment for a converting guitarist to get his start. Our NYC members will recognize the Aguilar preamp, Lab Gruppen power amp, and Epifani 410 stacks at Ultrasound as the rehearsal amps I'm playing through. For dirt, I'm using a Mojo Hand Mule, though my Colossus will make an appearance at some point.

    I'm looking for a lightweight head and single cab solution that I can play local gigs with. I have about $1000 to spend, though I can probably piece together a rig from Craigslist for about $600. I figure a 500 watt class D head and a single neo 210 will be more than enough to play any gig we get.

    My problem is actually finding some of this stuff to check out. I've been going around to local stores playing equipment to find out what I really want. But I'm finding a lot of 410s and 1000 watt amps, and very few portable solutions. There's some Markbass heads on CL but not many neo 210 cabs. I'd like to try the GK MB500 but haven't found one yet. Same goes for many of the Bergantino, Epifani, and Schroeder cabs in the TB classifieds.

    So I'd like to ask your thoughts on the following amps and cabs I'm considering. I'm also happy to look at alternatives that fit into my budget, and of course the portability requirements our beloved subway system demands.

    Amps: Aguilar TH500, GK MB500, Markbass LMII

    Cabs: Avatar Neo 210, SWR Goliath JR III (though it's kinda heavy), Epifani UL-210, Schroeder 1212R

    Your thoughts are GREATLY appreciated.


  2. What kind of amps are your guitar players using? Pa support on all gigs? Transportation limitations?

    IMHO a single 210 isnt enough for a gig. I would look at something more capable.
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Tone hammer and any nice neo equipped 2x10 or 2x12(berg, Epifani, etc)
  4. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Agreed. I'd suggest a vertical 212.
  5. Guitarist is playing through a Fender Vibrolux.

    Clubs provide the PA. My experience playing in original bands is that most bassists use a DI anyway and the cab is mostly an onstage monitor.

    The NYC subway system is it's own transportation hurdle. The great thing is that I live around the corner from the nearest station. But that also means I don't own a car. Every once in a while, I get a taxi on a late night.
  6. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    Mesa Buster Bass 200(w) 115 combo... clean, loud, tubey, and capable of a huge variety of voicings just between bass/mid/treble with a switchable graphic EQ too. They come with wheels and a luggage handle. Used cost is $450 - $800 for the combos. Sometimes you can find them paired with an extension cab too.
  7. For clubs with a full PA you can do very well by monitoring with a 2x10 and leaving the PA to do the work. This is particularly the case in the 200 to 300 sized places.

    Take away the PA and then you need some firepower but never more than drums or vocals need. I gather a 2x10 is SOP in NYC small club scene.
  8. I'd like to think so, but I see an awful lot of 410 cabs for sale on Craigslist and in stores. It makes me wonder if people buy for their actual application or because they look cool. i'm guessing the latter.
  9. The TB world at least is becoming aware of the square format's shortcomings. Venues are getting less and less tolerant of conversation killing volume.
  10. There's a part of me that wants to do the TH500 -> Epifani 210 as kind of an "Ultrasound mini rig".
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    That Epi cab is inherently rather mid-scooped. I haven't played a TH but from what I have read, that combination may not be very punchy/well-defined in the mids. It will also cost well over 1K.
  12. Conversely, I've read that the Schroeder 1212R has a mid hump and people don't like that either. So I'm unfortunately searching for a subjective solution.

    As for the budget, I'm definitely buying used.
  13. grey area

    grey area

    Sep 2, 2009
    almeria spain
    i would suggest the GK MB 500 or 800 (the fusion preamp option is also there for these two amps) as for a cab i would say a 2x10 is ok if the bands not too loud but i think your gonna need a bit more. maybe a 2x12 or 2x15 with wheels. i dont know how you would get on at the subway with this setup but the GKs are fine and powerfull and will fit in your gig bag pocket and weigh next to nothing. good luck on your quest.
  14. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
  15. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    You might want to check out the Genz Benz line. I play through the Genz Benz Streamliner 600 and NeoX 212t cab. Awesome tone very light and very loud.
  16. I was looking at a shuttle 6.0/210 combo, but I'm not sure.
  17. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    +1 on the Streamliner. I've paired my 900 with more cabs than I can count (various brands, various driver sizes), and have always been able to get close enough to "my tone" to happily get through the gig.

    I regularly rock that head with a single 2x10, and with FOH support, it's plenty to get the job done in most scenarios (naturally, this doesn't include "I have to compete with two Marshall stacks" scenarios).
  18. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    original post said around 1K.....fEarless and GB rig bought new will be way over that, although I agree a fEarless 112 and a powerful micro head would be the cats meow for portability, volume and tone.
  19. GK Growl

    GK Growl Inactive

    Dec 31, 2011
    Not really the main question you asked but I couldn't help notice the slight bit of defense in your tone about pick playing. Please whatever you do, play the bass the way you are comfortable. You may find that the pick is your tone and your style after all.

    And about the main question, I didn't play a whole lot of amps before I purchased my GK MB500 and MB410MBE cab but for the money, the sound and portability they give me is amazing. I always have people commenting about the amount of sound coming out of such a small rig. The flip side of this is that some of the less forward thinking musicians out there want to have a particular look, especially in the rock genre.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I too consider that a single 2x10 is insufficient to play a reasonably loud gig with. A pair, especially in a vertical stack, are very versatile. It's what I use. That said you have the constraints of the subway to cope with. As already suggested, a 2x12 with neo drivers might fit the bill.

    There are so many "micro" amps out nowadays that the choice has to be up to you. That's a hunt that no one here can help with. You must also adjust everything that you know about amplification. Guitar and bass are similar instruments but their requirements for amplification differ considerably. I use Carvin for my power amps and they have reduced the weight of my load considerably. I believe in mounting my amps in SKB rack cases for protection. As long as I can lift the case with two fingers I'm a happy guy! :) Perhaps a rack bag could work for you.

    You'll need a very good quality trolley or cart to be able to cope with stairs and escalators. Possibly some here can recommend one that works for them.

    Please keep us informed of your progress and what you end up with. Congratulations on leaving the dark side and coming into the light. :D