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Downsizing rig...Combos?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Deepwoods, Dec 21, 2003.


  1. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    I am looking for a combo amp capable of stand-alone med. size blues/country type gigs and as backline monitor in my cover band. Currently I lug around a carvin 1000 watt power amp, Sansamp RBI pre, avatar 2x10 w/ horn and a 1x15 cab. I also got PA duties and want to break it down as much as possible w/o giving up too much. I am considering:

    1. ampeg ba115hp combo
    2. ampeg ba210 combo
    3. Yorkville xm200 combo w/ 1x15+ horn

    Does anyone use any of these rigs and do they cut it?
     
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    I also downsized my rig one year ago. I chose the Ampeg B-100R and I have no regrets at all. This amp is powerful and has a full, deep tone.

    Only two things I wish it had :

    - Side handles for easier carrying,
    - D.I. output

    But that's a great amp anyway.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  3. Armchair Thief

    Armchair Thief Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I was thinking of downsizing to an Ampeg combo as well. Right now I'm using a Hartke setup, and I'm finding my tastes have changed a bit since I got this rig many years ago.
     
  4. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I've downsized 2-3 times. I always have to return to a larger rig. My advise would be to keep your large rig and purchase a combo as an additional amp. I currently have a preamp/power amp rig, a SWR SM-400S, one SWR Goliath JR III, one SWR Goliath III, and a GK150S combo. I can pretty much play any size rig with a combination of those pieces. I got tired of hauling around heavy equipment years ago but sometimes you've just got to have the headroom to get the job done. A 2-10 cab can sound really good but some gigs just require more.
     
  5. Mattski

    Mattski

    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Just buy a small head. Get a used GK 400RB or 800RB ($150 - $350) on ebay and use your Avatar 210 (or 115). Small, light, plenty of oomph.

    Matt
     
  6. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    I second Mattski's recommendation. Combo amps aren't always smaller or easier to move than a head/cab setup. My Carvin RC210 combo weights 70 pounds. You already have a good small cab (2x10), so why waste money getting another, extra cab?

    I don't know what kind of money you're looking to spend, but an Eden WT300 or 400 is light, small, has good power, and sounds good.
     
  7. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    Interesting shortlist. I had mine narrowed down to those three and ended up buying a Nemesis NC210P. Made by Eden. Light weight. Enough power. Lots of features. And get this. It had a nicer growl that my SABDDI, which I subsequently sold. Any time I used a PA, I just ran a mic cable from the DI on the amp.

    Good luck with the search and have a Merry Christmas.

    bmc
     
  8. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I agree with the guys who say to get a smaller head. The Ampeg combos sound nice but they are heavy and cumbersome. Both of the ones you listed are 80 or more pounds. They don't have a DI, so you'll have to bring your own or use a mic when you want to go through the PA. It's not that big of a problem, but I like having my EQ setting on my amp go to the board. As a guy who also runs sound, I like to have the EQ on the mixer flat, and do my tweaking via my amp or preamp. Using a generic DI, may require you to set your tone twice.

    For the sake of simplicity, I suggest an amp with a built in DI. For the sake of flexibility, and cost I would get a smaller head. That way you can still use your existing cabs, and reduce size and weight at the same time. Here's two amps that I like that fit easily in padded backpack and weigh in under 20lbs. Oh, and these guys have a built in DI.

    Eden WT400 - Nice tube sound, nice warmth and ballsy tone.
    Euphonic Audio Iamp 350 - Nice crystal clean sound that cuts. Excellent DI on this guy.
    If you have any questions about these, let me know. I have both of them, and I love em.
     
  9. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    What about the new portabass heads from ampeg? Those are small, and the cabs are light. 50lbs for a 2x10 with amp. I haven't heard them...
     
  10. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Here's my personal take. Let me begin by saying that I never owned the portabass stuff but I have played them on one gig, for about an hour at the store, and heard em from another bassist that I watched.

    When I first saw the 2x10 combo at an outdoor festival, I was intrigued. I talked to the bassist after my set and before his, and he really dug his setup. He told me to pick it up, and I was amazed at light it felt. I really dug the built in handle and casters. I stuck around for a listen, but since it was an outdoor gig with PA support I don't think I got the best evaluation. So I went to Washington Music Center to check it out for myself. I'm a sucker for lightweight rigs. I played a Warwick Corvette through it and was disappointed. It didn't have the low punch that I expected from a 2x10. It was lightweight, but so was the sound. The sound was adequate, but it had no meat. I played an EBS 2x10 afterwards, and this cab blew the PB210 away. No comparison, the EBS had a much better tone. It made the Ampeg sound like a guitar amp. In comparison, the Ampeg was brittle and cheap.

    Later I did a fill in gig, where they provided the amp. It was the PB112 combo. Once again, it lacked balls. I don't think it was the Neodymium speaker, I think it has to do with the cabinet itself. My old SWR Workingman's 12 had more balls than the PB112 for a lot less $$.

    That's my experience with the combos, never played through the heads.
     
  11. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Well that is more experience than I had with it. I was curious, just as you were.
    I have heard great things about the Mesa Walkabout. Maybe it will fit the bill a little better.
    Wes
     
  12. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Sorry, but the BA210 and BA115HP do have DI outputs. About the Yorkville, I don't know.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  13. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    My bad, I was thinking of a different model. Thanks for the correction.
     
  14. I have a sneaking suspicion that their extra weight (compared to other similar amps) is what makes them sound so good. I have a B100R, and at 65lbs, is on the heavy side for a 100 watt 1x15 combo. Sounds great though.

    Mike
     
  15. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    The confusion came probably from the fact I wrote about the B-100R, which has no D.I. output.

    Cheers,
    JL
     
  16. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    Thanks for all of the great responses. I actually have an Ampeg B-100r but have found that is just falls short as a stand alone. I have been playing around with running the 1/4" line out to the PA (Mackie powered 6 channel mixer w/ 2 JBL 1x15"w/ horns) with great results. The 1/4" out is not noisy and the added volume and fullness fits the bill nicely. The gig is a 3-piece so a good "blanket" of low end is key. Problem solved!
     
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I had the same experience. When I bought my BAM combo, I had to wait a week until the store got it in.

    They loaned me a Portabass 210 combo, and said 'You might even like this one more! Try it out!'

    Man, it was weak sounding and anemic. Especially below E. I played a gig at a local club that the (stolen)Metro had never needed PA support for, and was buried. I had to go through the board. And I couldn't hear myself on stage.

    When the BAM came in, I was glad to give them the PB210 back. They asked me for my opinion as a gigging pro(I have bought a lot of things at that store and they know I play out a lot). I gave them a big thumbs down and told them that it wasn't loud enough for gigging with loud guitars, and that it wouldn't work at all for a five or six.

    Played the same club two weeks later with my BAM, and it was plenty loud. And of course went down to B with no problems.
     
  18. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I think the series was designed as more of a jazz amp, where volume isn't really a big issue. I've never played through one, but that's the impression I get. :)
     
  19. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Not from the Ampeg ads in BP magazine. They show a guy going from a Jazz gig to a club gig in the same night. It's not just the volume that's the issue, it's the quality of tone.

    I second what Embellisher said. With a 5, the thing farts. The frequency range as quoted by Ampeg (40Hz-20KHz) is wrong. There are other 2x10s out there that are rated at 50-60Hz that have more bass.
     
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    My experience exactly.

    FWIW, it would probably work very well as a jazz amp, with a 4 string upright or electric bass, or a piccolo or tenor bass. But it doesn't do well with notes below E, and like jive1 said, I have played through other 2x10s that don't claim to go to 40hz, yet handle extreme lows much better than this one.