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Dazed and Confused and Needing Your Opinion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikarre, Jun 29, 2004.


  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Arrghh!! I am at the apex of frustration. I think the internet and forums like this are good because of the amount of information that can be shared. On the other hard, when you are trying to make a decision on gear you can go out of your mind with all the contradictory opinions. Anyway....

    For the last month I've been trying to decide on a gig amp/rig for a band that will be taking shape in August. So, I still have a month left to figure things out. I have been reading, researching, going to to music stores and trying gear, and still I seem no closer to deciding on anything. I'm still not sure I understand the best concept of what I should be looking for. I have the following "ideas" though:

    1) Ampeg B-100R combo. I used to own one, I know it is a great amp and will give me exactly the sound I want. It is comparatively small and light and the least expensive of my options. The downside is that I don't think it would be sufficient withough PA support. The guitarist plays through a Marshall Valvestate 100w half stack. I have a passive DI box, I guess I could go through PA, but it seems like a roundabout solution and kinda a pain in the butt. :spit:

    2) Hartke 5500 head with VX410a angled cab or XL410. Used to own a 3500 so I know I'll like the 5500, plus it's so cool in it's little wooden cabinet. It would look great with the angled cab. Pretty cool, like a mini guitar stack. Now, I tried the XL series cabs and I am a on the fence about them. They sounded a little hi fi, but I wasn't using my usual Jazz bass, so I didn't have an accurate idea. I have not tried the VX series, but on paper it seems more what I would like. The downside to this rig is that everyone says Hartke cabs suck in a bad bad way. This is very disheartening. I don't want to buy a cab that is going to explode or burn the house down. :eek:

    3) Hartke 5500 head with Avatar B212 cab. A lot of good info on here about Avatar...and a lot saying they aren't effient and/or don't handle low frequencies well. I don't know how low I will need to tune. Though I prefer my 4, I do have a 5 string, so I would hate to buy a cab that farts out with low notes. Again, confusing info on the internet.

    As for Ampeg, it really seems like to get something decent with the power I need (aside from the B-100R) I would have to go way out of my price range. I'm trying to keep it under $1000. Same with Ashdown, SWR, etc...even Peavey. And unless I find an absolutely perfect deal, I am pretty opposed to going used.

    So that's where I stand. If you have read this far, I thank you and commend you for your humanitarianism. As I said, I have a month to go, but I think it's time to start forming these ideas in my head into some kind of coherant plan. I feel like I will be recounting this experience to a therapist someday. :bawl: I look forward to any advice.
     
  2. vacman

    vacman

    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Try to find some used Ampeg gear, SVT 3 head with a 4-10 should do it. If $1000 is the budget I would also check out GK if you feel more comfortable with new gear. IMHO the 800 RB is a great head and can be had for about $600 new. It is not the mud slinging beast that an Ampeg is but offers a great clean sound if that is your thing....I still cant get over the Orange I played the other day....Sounded like the hammer of the gods and that was with my P-bass.....
     
  3. josh_m

    josh_m

    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    The problem I see is price, the 5500 is a nice head (though I wish it were rack mountable [rumor has it it will be soon]) but will run you a little over $500 new, this doesnt leave much spending money for a good cab. My experience with Hartke cabs is that you have to be looking for that sound, the VX are a little better than the XL but I just personally find them lacking. If you don't need 500w why not go with another 3500, cut $100 off the price. You could probably manage an Ampeg SVT 410 and the 3500 for around $1000.
     
  4. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    The Hartke XLs definately have a hi-fi sound to them IMO. The Hartke the 3500 is good head. I think the VX cabs would sound warmer for sure but I haven't played through them before. You said some of the other brands are too expensive. I know you can get an AshdownMAG 300 head($300), 410T($300) and a 115T($250) for $850 through Music123.com and they have free shipping. Shop around and I think you will find alot more names that you can get a nice rig for a decent price.
     
  5. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Have you looked at the GK heads? The 700RB-II(480 watts) is about $500 and the 1001RB-II(700 watts)is $630 from www.riksmusic.com. Great amps, much easier to carry around at 18 lbs, and better quality IMO than Hartke or Ampeg.
     
  6. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Thanks for the input everyone. To answer a few questions:

    The reason I am considering the 5500 over the 3500 is because with the 3500 I would have to go and get a rack also (not brave enough to carry it around unprotected). The 5500 already comes in a nice little head setup, and when I was looking at it the other day it just seemed perfect, with everything nice and accessible in the back. Anyway, the cost of the 3500 plus a 2U rack is close enough to the price of the 5500 that I'd rather spend a few extra bucks for another 150 watts I may or may not need. I may need to rethink this philisophy, I dunno. I do dig the 3500 though and got by very nicely with one in a metal band many moons ago (pushing 240 watts with an 8 ohm cab).

    I did look into the Ashdown MAG stuff, and still have them in the back of my mind. Looks like decent stuff for a good price. I was specifically thinking of the 1x15 combo with a 115 ext cabinet. The thing is, even pushing 4 ohm they are still only 300 watts. At 8 ohm I think they would be pretty wimpy...maybe 150-175 watts. Probably not enough by itself.

    Thanks again for the advice. My search goes on.

    Any opinions on the Ampeg BA115HP? 220 Ampeg watts...I wonder if that would be enough power.
     
  7. josh_m

    josh_m

    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I don't know your price limit but for about $1000 you can get a BA500, which is 350w into 2x10" with a 1" attenuated horn, the extension jack drops it to 500w@2ohm. It is a bit more money than the BA115HP but also I think more of what you are looking for.

    As far as 3500 vs. 5500, the reason I bought the 3500 was because it was rack mountable, I too wouldnt want to bring it around unprotected but I'd be worried about the knobs on the 5500. More power is always better than not enough, so I think your wanting to spend that extra money is a good idea. I know someone who bought the 5500 and made a face cover for it to protect the knobs and sliders.
     
  8. Yossarian

    Yossarian

    Jun 24, 2004
    Virginia
    For $870 plus whatever shipping would be from musicians friend, you could get a Peavey Max 700 and Peavey 115 BVX. I don't know if a 15 alone would get you the sound you want, but the amp is 475 watts at 4 ohms (and the cab is 400 watts), and the amp can go up to 700 watts at 2 ohms, so you could add another cab sometime in the future.
     
  9. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Interesting idea. I did a once over of Peavey's stuff a few weeks back, but I really didn't look too much into it. I just spent about an hour doing some research on this Max 700 and I really think I will check it out. There is a lot I like about it. There are mixed reviews about it around the internet, but I will judge for myself.

    I've always been a fan of Peavey stuff. I have a Microbass for practice, a Bandit II guitar amp, and I used to play 5150s when I was a guitarist in a band. The main thing is that I know Peavey amps are tough enough that you could use them to hammer a railroad spike and very reliable. Also, one of the coolest local shops is a Peavey dealer. They have always helped me and never let me down, plus they have great prices. It would give me a lot of peace of mind to buy from them.

    Thanks man. Anyone have any opinions of this amp? I've already read a lot about it on this forum, but I could read more. ;)
     
  10. The Hartke 5500,Avatar 212 sounds like a good rig for a five string player.I have a couple CB112s that sound very good together.The 10" Avatars may fart out some with B string but the 12's don't.I play 5 strings only and never have a problem with the B string when using my 112s.I think a 3500 would work OK too but with low end the more power the better.
     
  11. Yossarian

    Yossarian

    Jun 24, 2004
    Virginia
    The only worry that comes to mind about the peavey for me is the weight. It's all heavy. If my memory serves me correctly, about 52 pounds on the Max 700 (that's as much as my GK 210! Ow!) and 90 pounds or so on the 115 BVX. I don't really know how much other amps weigh, but compared the 800RB and B-2R I had, that's heavy.
     
  12. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Yeah, I noticed that when I read up on it and it was a bit of a turn off. The biggest thing that has me against the Peavey is the parametric EQ. I hate those. I prefer a graphic, or at least a 5 band rotary.

    My thoughts right now are of putting together a mini stack...the Hartke 3500 plus two Avatar SB compact cabs rather than the full size cabs.

    Has anyone run a Hartke 3500 at 4 ohm on a regular basis? I'm afraid it might heat up like a pizza oven and cook itself, even though it's rated to run at that impedence.
     
  13. josh_m

    josh_m

    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I run mine at 4ohms and it's been great to me, I also bought it used from a bass player who ran it 4ohms at many many gigs.