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Downsizing weight without losing tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jar546, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    I have a nice little Hartke 2x10 combo that is 250watts that I use for practice but it lacks on the lower end with the 5 string when it needs to be turned up.

    For playing out I have an Eden 410 and an all tube Mesa Boogie 400+ in a 6 bay rack with a dbx compressor.

    Problem is that my back is shot and hauling the bigger setup is becoming difficult for me.

    I am coming to terms with the fact that I won't be able to reproduce that wonderful tube tone if I get rid of the Mesa Boogie.

    Looking for opinions on a lightweight setup that can handle the SR5 and have the headroom that I currently enjoy. I play mostly rock, both classic and some newer stuff.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions.
  2. What Eden 410 do you have? And, do you push that 400 into lot's of grind and distortion, or do you run it reasonably clean?

    If you have a 410XLT and like it 'tube fat but still relatively clean and not 'buzz saw grindy', you do have some options IMO.

    A great combination of a lot of volume, some tube warm, punch and relatively lightweight is the relatively new Mesa M6 Carbine (2 rack spaces, 600 BIG watts, and around 25 pounds) and the Bergantino AE410, which is around 60 pounds, only 16" deep, and while surely not sounding identical, has some of that Eden 410XLT mid grind and punch.

    That's a really nice 'rock' sort of rig that, while not featherweight, will seem like nothing compared to what you are schlepping now. I'd probably dump the compressor also, which would allow you to get down to a nice lightweight 2 space rack like the SKB standard.

    The M6 will be punchier and quicker and brighter sounding than the 400, but you can crank the input gain a bit and soften the top end, and it just SLAMS IMO!

    Another option if you want it a bit more 'fat and tubey' and don't need quite the volume is a Mesa Walkabout head and two 112's (either the very nice Mesa 112's or the Aguilar DB112's). Again, these 112's aren't neo featherweights, but put out a very nice mid punchy rock tone in a relatively small package. The Walkabout does a very good job of emulating an all tube amp run just before break-up (i.e., warm, lot's of character, a bit of 'give' in the feel and a big low end).

    IMO and IME!
  3. slagbass

    slagbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    I don't have experience with the rig I am suggesting, but just tossing out ideas..... get rid of the Hartke 210 and Eden 410 and replace them with 2 Eden 210s. The tone of two 210s will be slightly different than one 410, but my philosophy has always been that it is easier to schlep 68lbs twice than 98lbs once. Also gives you more flexibility in terms of how many cabinets you need to bring for a given situation.

    For the Mesa - maybe a rolling rack with telescoping handle would make it a bit less painful?

    Another tool that old guys like me find indispensible is a folding hand cart. They are available in most big hardware stores. Best piece of gear I ever bought.
  4. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    Yeah, it is the Eden D410xlt which is a fantastic cab.

    The Mesa Boogie 400+ requires a 4 bay just for the head.
  5. First, consider hauling more boxes with fewer speakers installed. A pair of 2x10 is an easier load than a 4x10.

    Next, if you are up to DIY, you can roll your own using lighter weight material and proper bracing.

    For example, the D410-XLT is a very heavy cab because of the port construction, and use of 5/8" plywood.
    This is a 98 pound cabinet as it comes from Eden, and this gets ugly at 2am load-out.

    If you build the proper bracing, you can get away with 3/8" baltic birch which is a 40% weight savings.
    Constructed as a pair of 2x10, you can stack these vertically for optimal array configuration.
    Lifting each of two 30 pound cabs is easier than lifting a single 98 pounder.

    Last, if you have a two-channel power amp, you can use each 2x10 on a separate amp channel for a +6dB loudness gain over a 4x10.
  6. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    suggest: use your knees to lift, never your back.

    between me and another crewe member, we can lift racks of amplifiers that combine to weigh roughly the same as us both. bend the knees, keep the back straight, and the load steadily in between your legs, a little forward. put on foot slightly infront to stop you toppling.

    it's basic health and safety in any office, i don't see why people don't take it elsewhere...
  7. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    Too late for proper lifting. 25 years of bustin my hump has taken its toll and I just need something light.
  8. A lot of people on here, myself included are loving the new Carvin BX 500 head. I have it in the 2x10 combo and love the tone I'm getting. It weighs less than 50 lbs. You can also get it in a 1x15 combo or just the head which is 500 watts and weighs about 5.5 lbs.
  9. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    I am wondering if I can add a 115 to my 210 Hartke Hydrive Combo. Maybe that will fix part of the problem
  10. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Don't assume that a 15 will get you more bottom. It's all dependent on cab design, not the size of the driver.
  11. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    Yeah, I think it is time to look at 2 sets of 210's with a lightweight head or a singl 210 with a 115 which may work better with the SR5
  12. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Portland Oregon
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd do two 210's or two 115's myself. Mixing driver sizes to do the same work has never worked out for me.
  14. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    I am surprised no one has even mentioned MarkBass yet.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Some consider going to Markbass losing tone. I don't but they're definitely an acquired taste. They're probably a little more middy and a little less low-endy than other comparable cabs, but they fit in a mix most excellently. I would definitely put them on the short list, but they're very much a "try before you buy" thing.
  16. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I think the problem most folks have with Markbass cabs is that they listen to them in the store and don't care for the sound. They DO sound good in the mix though.

    I seem to be one of the few people around here who prefer the rear ported 104HR the the front ported 104HF. The HR is all about mids rather like the Eden D410 or the SWR Goliath Is and IIs. Both of those are also rear ported and get a lot of respect on TB.
  17. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I've owned and toured with 'SVT's, so I was really apprehensive about
    any amp standing up to the benchmark of tone.

    I never once heard any SS amp even come close, but also
    could not handle 85 lbs. any longer.

    After much research, I went for the 100% hand wired Reeves Custom 225
    weighing about 61 lbs.

    The reviews here and on other bass publications all point towards
    an amp that stands up to and exceeds the best of the best.
  18. jar546


    Dec 14, 2006
    Went to NYC and apartment sitted for a couple of days in Manhattan. Stopped in at Rudy's Music on 48th St right at "music row" and looked at a great SR5H with the maple fretboard that I wanted, beautiful.

    Anyway, they had a few setups since NYC is the one place you really need lightweight equipment for loading into cabs, etc.

    Setup #1 was an Eden WTX-260 driving a Bergantino 112 neo. Absolutely great tone and loudness. I was impressed for a single 12" cab.

    Setup #2 blew me away. It was a German made AER Amp One combo that was a single 12" neo speaker. This by far was the most amazing setup I ever heard coming from a very small package. Unreal, even with the 5 string and the variation in tone was unbelievable. I had to check to make sure he wasn't running to another speaker cab somewhere. He said this combo is literally flying off the shelf in the city, next to that is Bergantino cab setup.

    I have to downsize due to my bad back and have a lot to think about now.

    Has anyone tried one of these Amp One combos?
  19. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    If you like the tone you have now, try a Mesa Walkabout head, and an epi 410UL.
    It'll be dang close, and both pieces will be substantively lighter.

    As Ken noted, the Mesa M6 is a really nice head as well. Much more clean power than the walkabout, and it stays clean, pretty much no matter what. The Walkabout can be pretty clean with input lower, and master higher, or, run from added harmonic content to mild overdrive with input higher and master lower.
    If you push the 400+ into big harmonic content, and or some/lots of grit and grind, the walkabout might suit you better, though it won't be quite as loud. Close tho.
  20. js1


    Oct 1, 2006
    Fair enough... but, I'm also in the market for a lighter Eden sound.

    Problem "to the gig" is not weight, it's size. My 15" cab is too big for the car, and I can't always get the van. 2x10" fits, though.

    The weight problem is at the home end, humping them to and from the vehicle. Also, bass cabs aren't considered decorator friendly around our house. I keep them in the hallway where they are grudgingly tolerated, which keeps the stairs down to about 5. Lighter cabs would make it to the basement.


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