Downsizing. Help me pick a combo.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Boy_Narf, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Boy_Narf


    Dec 19, 2013
    Hello Everyone,

    We recently moved into a larger house and I'm absolutely disgusted with all of the gear I've accumulated. I'm now on a mission to downsize and simplify all of my gear (drums are done, still convincing myself I don't need a 612 guitar stack heh). Currently I have an SB500H running into a TC1510, as well as an SB115. I love the sound of the stack but it's pointless. It sits in the music room and maybe gets played once a month, so it's up for sale. The combo on the other hand is what I use for everything due to the portability (even the guitar player uses it on an A/B/Y to thicken up his tone when I'm drumming). I love the tone of the "stack", but I do not love the tone of the combo. It's very compressed/warm/vintage sounding. Volume is lacking as well as set to max master + gain we can easily talk over it (I'm wondering if it's broken haha). I tend to back off the bass and low mid, and boost the high mid and highs for situations where I need to cut more as there is barely any headroom. My pedal board is pretty basic:

    GLXD16 --> ISP Decimate --> Bass BB Preamp.

    I play a Godin A4 Ultra fretless, 95% of the time, and an old Washburn Taurus when we need some frets.

    I would prefer an amp that has a nice clear clean tone as I love the sound of the BB, and don't want too much grit from the amp. Simple controls preferable. The less the better. I had a CMD121P way back in the day but the tweeter ruined it for me. Tons of crackling even on a clean sound. I'm looking at the CMD JB Players School but there aren't any nearby to try out. I would like to keep it around $1000 CAD and as portable as possible. We ALWAYS have PA support live, so I'm really just looking for something that doesn't turn to mud as soon as I turn it up, has a bit more high end presence, and can cut it in a low/med rehearsal setting.

    *not interested in the Ampeg 210 combo, old bass player had one and I never got a long with it.

    Alternatively, if you think a speaker swap would help the SB115, then I'm open to that as well.

    zon6c-f likes this.
  2. Cracker7

    Cracker7 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2016
    Lakeland FL
    My first thought would be something from the GK lineup. Couple of good choices. Good luck
    iagtrplyr, RattleSnack and ashtray like this.
  3. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    The best sounding small rig I owned so far was a Bergantino AE112 and an Aguilar TH500.

    So, the TH350 would sound very good with one of the newer Berg 112's. Top quality sound in a small package.
    ashtray likes this.
  4. Are you looking for new or open to used options?

    Does it need to be a combo or can it be a head and cabinet?

    For something lightweight/portable but also killer sounding, MY personal choice would be something like an Aguilar TH500 (or a Genz Benz Shuttle - different animal but they both sound good in a small affordable used package) through a decent 210 or 112 cab. I like Aguilar cabs but also a bunch of others.

    Now if you don’t mind a little weight, my favorite amp is the old Aguilar AG500. Pair that up with a cab of your choice and you’ll be all set.

    Or if you just want a budget combo, a Fender Rumble seems to be the status quo for decent and affordability.
  5. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    GK MB series combos are great amps and not too expensive. Good clean tone but can get dirt of you need it. I rarely use an amp on stage anymore but when I do it's a MB115. It's fairly compact, has a horn if you need more top end, 200 watts and only 37 lbs.
    Since you're in Canada, look into Traynor/Yorkville. I still have one of their Block 80 amps from the mid '80s and it rocks.
    RattleSnack and Cracker7 like this.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Look for a combo with an effects loop(send/return) and run your preamp into the return. This way you can bypass the amp's tone controls so they don't mess with your tone.
  7. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    Under $1000 CAD and as portable as possible? That has Fender Rumble 500 written all over it. Lightest and the cheapest 500 watt combo out there, since you said you didn’t like the cheaper Ampeg 210. Check out the Rumble 500 first.
  8. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I love my GK MB115. I read somewhere GK is preparing new line of combo models.
    Cracker7 likes this.
  9. I own first gen GC Acoustic combo
    Relatively light and quite powerful
    6 bands semi parametric ( find a tone you like; set it and forget it) and handles low B quite well
    Not expensive and newer versions should be even more satisfying
    Keep us posted
  10. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    You might want to try a Traynor SB112. It has same power rating as the SB115 (200W) but may sound louder due to different tuning and efficiency. I think it sounds better than the SB115. You can rent one from Long & McQuade and see what you think.
  11. GK MB 115...

    I love mine. It's 200 watt and if you need to transport it, it's not heavy...I don't know what its exact weight is, but not heavy.

    I leave the gain, boost and master knobs at 9 o'clock position, it's loud enough for me standing about 2 meter away from the amp.
  12. Boy_Narf


    Dec 19, 2013
    Hey thanks guys.

    The mb200 is what I was looking at way back when they announced the new models. I ended up with the SB115 because is was under half price on Kijiji. I'll check out the mb line again.

    I will also check out the fender 210 next time I'm in store.

    Yes I want to stick with a combo. Just trying to simplify and organize my gear. Tossing a combo in the back of my car is a slight bit easier than a stack.

    I'm very interested in the Mark Bass CMP151P Jeff Beck. Super simple controls and no tweeter! The tweeter in the 121 ruined it for me. Will have to see if the L&M that carries MB near me can bring one in.
  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    I recommend the Fender Rumble line. If you want want a straight-ahead light but powerful amp with great tone, get a 500. If you want blue tooth and a lot of great modeling and effects, you should get a Stage 800.
    But fine amps and within your budget. Check out the Fender Rumble Club in the Amps & Cabs Forum. There are a lot of happy owners there. Also check the Wiki pages for Fender Rumble.
    Linnin likes this.
  14. Djadja

    Djadja Supporting Member

    Check out the Genzler 350 combo. The Genzler bass array speaker are killer with a fretless bass. The array just work with the vocal quality of its mids. They also punch way above their weight class and lots of folk use them as their primary gigging rig. Add a second cab and they're even more amazing. The DI is also killer.

    If you prefer a more traditional speaker design, they also market a "combo" with the same head and a vertical 112 with tweeter rather than the bass array. Genzler 350 112T combo.

    When I bought my 350 combo, I was looking for a practice and small gig rig to supplement my larger Genzler rig. Knowing what I know now, if I was looking for a new primary rig, the 350 combo would be a serious consideration along with the Magellan 800 & BA12-3. As it is, I own both and couldn't tell you which I prefer. Either would meet my needs.