compact bass head vs. "standard" bass head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jakub, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Hello Bassplayers ! I'm going to change my bass gear (recently I have Ampeg SVT 4PRO+Ampeg 410 HLF and Ampeg Ba115 combo for small gigs and rehearsals.) I need stuff that will be still pro gear but lighter, more portable and with functions that are really necessary (without imo useless ultra-lo, ultra-hi, bright switches and 100 inputs in.) I consider some portable about 500w head and 2 cabinets: small 1x12 or 2x10 for small gigs/rehearsals/practice and 4x10 for big venues. Do small modern compact bass heads have the same professional quality of sound, construction etc. as standard heads or they're just a fancy schmancy toys for rehearsals/practice ? maby I should leave my standard heavy rig ? I need pro solid, warm, fat tone which will be sit in the mix and in the band. I play many genres of music (maby without heavy metal) but I like sound of modern r&b/funk/soul/hip-hop bass players (fat, bassy, solid sound). Cheers and thanks for your experienced opinions !

  2. LOL There are literally thousands and thousands of posts and hundreds of threads on the magnificent amps being produced out there of every size, design and tonality.

    The simple answer to your question is that IMO and IME we are in the golden era of bass amplification. Heavy, small, large, light, whatever... massively good stuff out there these days.

    Edit: Ok, to be a bit more helpful :), while I'm not a huge fan of the Ampeg lightweight amp products (lots of reliability issues there) their PF800 seems to get good reviews, and would be the best 'foot in the water' (since I assume you dig your Ampeg rig) to A/B two amps coming from the same sort of voicing concept. You can order on from Musician's Friend, and you have 30 days to see if it lives up to your expectations.
  3. I don't mind that it will be Ampeg or not. I just want to get sound as I previous said. :) Sound as ex. Nathan East, Adam Clayton, John Deacon. But thanks ! I check the PF800 ;)
  4. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    Gk makes great amps of various sizes and tones. They are the most versatile heads of the ones I've tried. The mb200 is amongst the smallest I've ever seen
  5. If one 4x10 is enough, you should look for vertical 2x10 to stack up.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I have had a few of the micro heads (Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0, Ampeg PF-350, Gallien Krueger MB800). They were all fine. I like the GK MB800 the best, but a used Shuttle 9.2 (now discontinued) would probably dethrone it, if I could find one for the right price.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Check here. ;)

    You won't go wrong with this stuff. I agree with a post above, get two 2-10 cabinets and stack them vertically for the bigger gigs, or use just one for smaller gigs or rehearsal (maybe even a 1-10 or 1-12 for rehearsal/smaller gigs, depending on how loud your band(s) play).
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    PF800 rules for a micro. I've got one. SVT 7 Pro is a little better sounding, but the PF800 is smaller, doesn't need to be racked, and sounds almost as good, and some may actually prefer it. But I've played the 7 Pro and 4 Pro side by side, and there's a difference. Same tonal family, but the 4 Pro is tighter, whereas the 7 Pro and PF's remind me more of a tube amp being ever so slightly pushed to the earliest point of tube sag.

    I find it that way with pretty much every micro maker who has a traditional SS head. The engineers on here tell us that there's no difference if they're designed to sound the same, but my question to them is where are they? I've never heard a micro that sounds like a trad SS amp or a tube amp. Has aspects of both, but isn't quite the same as either. Even in PA world, the vast majority of soundmen I know have switched to lighter power amps beacuse a 70 lb rack is easier to move than a 700 lb rack and it does sound excellent as do my bass micro amps, but even they say they can tell a difference. So with all due respect to engineers who are doing great work in this field, I'm starting to think it's the 70's all over again when we were told that SS amps could sound identical to tube amps, but they never did and still don't. I get some people pissed off when I say that, but all I can tell you is what I see and hear.
  9. All amps sound different. There has never been one amp that has sounded the same as another. Not sure why you don't understand this. There is no other tube amp that sounds exactly like an SVT. There is no other solid state amp that sounds like a GK MB800, etc., etc., etc.

    I also don't understand your comment about 'ss amps in the 70's trying to sound like tube amps'. Many of us where THRILLED that the solid state amps sounded NOTHING like the old tube amps.

    As you say, all I can tell you is what I see and hear :)

    To the OP, use your ears, not your eyes. EVERY amp you try will sound different from ever other amp. In 99% of cases, this will not be a 'better or worse' thing in general, but rather 'I like this one better than that one'.

    Also, your comment about sound professionals feeling the older amps sound better than the current amps is SO different from the dozens that I have talked to. You keep posting this over and over again, and it just doesn't hold up.

    So, again, ask yourself 'why doesn't every tube amp sound pretty much the same' :) They don't. There is an equal amount of variance across every class of amps. Every one sounds different from every other one (regardless of knob turning), due to hundreds of design decisions, mostly in the preamp stage. That all being said, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with loving your SVT. All personal choice, and there is nothing out there that doesn't sound like 'the best amp ever' to someone. Very few players (at least at the professional level) would play something that they didn't love.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Bering deeply entrenched in the touring pro audio world as I am (and have been for 30+ years) I have never heard anybody say they prefer the sound of the old amps. The improvements in the new amps beat the old amps of the 70's and 80's by leaps and bounds in every single way. Those good 'ol days were not that good at all, I've been there and have the t-shirt to prove it!
    Passinwind likes this.
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    + a trillion.

  12. Hi Ken, I agree with what you're saying - However, JimmyM is correct about many SS amp designers back in the 70s trying to make SS sound like tubes - even ham radio operators were complaining about it (beginning SS sounded like thin transistor radios) and many magazines ads stated their SS amps simulated tube warmth (bottom), compression and etc. Anyway, have a great week and thank you.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  13. Hi and welcome to TB. FWIW: there are tons of old related post/threads on this subject (Tube vs. SS) - for example, here's another new one anyway, I wish you the best with whichever way (tube or SS) you decided to go.
  14. Guygrooves

    Guygrooves Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Clearwater Florida
    In response to the OP.. I am REALLY loving my MarkBass components- I have the LMIII and LMT800 ..GREAT heads and they are different in subtle ways. The LMT800 is warmer and capable of more power- The LMII is crisper when needed and still 500w with 2 8ohm cabs.. I was running the 104HR 4x10 and now Im running 2-trv 2x10s and will be going vertical next gig- HUGE tones warm and articulate..OH and INCREDIBLY LIGHT AND PORTABLE.. ;-)
  15. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    I can't exactly recommend any specific amps for you, as I have no idea what the market where you live is like, and what brands you have available. I will say that the newer small and light amps have just as many "pros" and "cons" as any other type of amp. For example, the obvious big plus is the weight and portability, and a minus being that some have shown reliability problems. We do still have to pay a bit more for them, but can take them with us anywhere fairly easily. I'd say any of the micros suggested so far are examples of bigger brands you probably have access to, so you aren't hurting anything by giving a money-back-guarantee a shot.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yeah, glad you said that, because I've never played any other tube amps besides the SVT in my life and I have no clue what I'm talking about.

    Or at least that's the impression I think you have. Trust me, I've played plenty of other tube amps by other manufacturers, and I have two non-Ampeg tube amps in my possession. Not a single one of them ever sounded like any SS amp I've ever played.

    Well then you just contradicted your first paragraph, didn't you? ;)

    If they told me something different, I would have said so.
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    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.

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