Fender rumble 500c, 200c or Mesa Subway WD-800?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    This is going to far out question because these amps are quite different from each other especially in terms of price and function, but I wanna put it out there anyway.

    I’m looking to replace my small gig amp, an early 2000’s Peavey Basic 112 with more powerful, tone packed rig. For my medium to large gigs I’ve got an Ampeg V-4B with 212AV cab.

    I’m in a classic rocknroll cover band and I’m looking for something that can do small to medium gigs, have more tone than the Peavey, more power of course but still be able to dial down and sound good. I do like the sound of 15s. I’ve never owned a 210 setup. Just a couple 410s at one point.

    I have played the Rumble 200C and was pretty impressed. I’ve never tried the 500C. I’ve never tried the Mesa’s but have read great things about them. What initially got me looking at the mesa’s was I was looking for a small peg combo or solid state portaflex setup and the folks on here highly recommended the Mesas over the PF solid state amps. $2000 for a Mesa setup over 5-600 for the rumble combos is a hard pill to swallow but is it worth it? How about tone? Between the Mesa WD-800 and the Rumbles which could dig down into classic Peg territory more? Which could get into geezer butler tone in old school sabbath more?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Couldn’t speak as to the Mesa, though it is highly regarded. The designer of that amp is here on TB, and he’d probably be able to answer any questions you might have ( paging @agedhorse ).

    As for the Rumble 500c it’s a very different animal, and not really that close to the Ampeg tone, although it’s possible to get an approximation with a little experimentation. A better option might be the modeling Rumble Stage 800, which has a setting that emulates Ampeg, and much else besides.
    Cardsfan_69 and staurosjohn like this.
  3. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    That’s good to know. The Rumbles are convenient amps. I’ve checked out that Rumble 800 but I’m leery of gettin an amp with digital processing/modeling. I’ve heard the WD-800 can get a wide array of tones. @agedhorse can the WD-800 get dialed in close to an SVT or fliptop?
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    It depends on what you mean by close. I wouldn't say that's it's strongest feature, but there are other players here who have experience with both amps who might better be able to answer your question.

    Forgive me for asking the obvious question though... Why not get an Ampeg amp if you are so married to the Ampeg tone?
    jmac, MAXSPINRUN, punchdrunk and 7 others like this.
  5. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    This was last night's show. WD800 on top of two Audio Kinesis Hathor cabs (C1203T and H1203). 10 piece Steely Dan tribute band - gets loud. The WD800 was giving a glorious tone - the OD light was just lighting up when playing so there was a nice bit of grit and a huge tone. At one point I saw my 12s moving a bit more than I wanted so I moved the variable HPF up a bit just to make sure. Sound guy loved it - he took a DI feed and mic'd it.

    Point being the WD800 is a do-it-all amp - light enough to be used for practice or small gigs (I do farmers markets with the single H1203 - 25 lb cab), enough power to play large shows, and more tone shaping that pretty much anything out there. But easy to use tone shaping - I like to be able to see how the amp it set up at a glance based on the knob position.

    Seems that could replace your V4 unless the Ampeg thing is really your thing. The small Rumbles are a totally different beast, and not in the same class as the Mesa. Really depends on what problems you're trying to solve.

    Coot, lomo, Haroldo and 2 others like this.
  6. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    To put it in other terms can that amp dial in some dirty tone? They don’t have it at my local music store so I’m stuck with YouTube and this site to find out more about it. I love old school Ampegs but I’m looking for something more compact with superb build quality and the ability to pull back volume and still have good tone. I have not read good things about the solid state portaflex’s, breaking down on gigs, over heating and shutting off.
  7. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Wow thanks for the good info. That’s a good point about possibly replacing my peg. It would be nice to lighten up even further.
  8. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Mesa, and not even close.

    Have a D800 and love it. Small, large venue. Doesnt matter. Sounds great.

    Had a rumble. Sold it. Hated it.
  9. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    I have the Fender 200c and the WD800. If we take it as a given that the 500c is similar in quality, features, and available tonal variations to the 200, then I believe that the Mesa is on an entirely different level of both quality and versatility.

    The Fender is a very nice amp for the money, but not even close to being in the same class.
    Hubris, mexicant and lomo like this.
  10. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    I love my 200c! And I owned and gigged an Ampeg SVT 300 with 9/10 cab for a little over 2 years back in 78/80. How can you lose? You already like the amp (200c). A lot less outlay and you can always sell and buy more expensive if you still feel you need it. ;)
  11. iagtrplyr

    iagtrplyr Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    I’d audition the Ampeg PF-800 before you toss the Portaflex series out. It bay not be in the Mesa league, but I liked it better than the higher-powered Fenders. That is, before I bought the Stage 800. I can get a decent ‘Peg tone with it (Fender does a pretty good Ampeg tone with its models).

    I’d say if you can afford the D800 go for it or, if not, look used. But if you want to buy a lot of product for the price and get teriffic values, look again at Ampeg.

    Good hunting!
  12. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Superb build quality with Mesa..
  13. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I'd venture to say, almost anything out there- from a TC combo- to a Rumble would be an upgrade from the Peavey 112. I have a Rumble 200-1-15 combo. I recently bought it new, after auditioning it, on a number of occasions. (I have threads on combo comparisons at GC here on TB) I get to play through one at a local jam night, and I always like it.
    Without re-hashing too much, The 200- 1-15, sounds better to my ears... than the 500- 2-10, even though you can feel the power difference up close. Live , I have played both in clubs. The 500 combo seems to fart out pretty easily. The 200 gets a nice big round room filling sound in a band, with a little 'squeeze,' but it's a very musical sound. How you set the 'gain' control really matters. Mesa gear, is obviously in a higher category. I've never played a Subway, but I do own a Powerhouse 1-12. Nice cabinet. It should be, for what it cost. I've played several All tube Mesa 400's and hated all of them. I use my Rumble 200 with an Epifani T-112 UL underneath it- and it sounds really killer.
    I have all kinds of gear. I owned a really cool looking and pricey Ampeg PF 500/ 210 combo. I wanted to like it. Seemed like it had very solid build quality. It was a failed purchase. I had several vintage B-15's, before they were vintage. Had a 1969 SVT 6550 head. Flatback and towel bar cabs, a BT-15C, a V4B, a B-410, a B-248, A BSE 410 HLF, and some I'm probably forgetting. The PF 500 was nothing but trouble, after installing two new motherboards, and finally getting it to work without cutting out, I took it to a gig, and decided it was A. too heavy, B. sealed cabs aren't my thing, and C. the 2-10 cab was so poor in low frequency response, it made me wonder if any of the engineers at Ampeg actually played a bass through them before putting them out there for sale.
    There are of course, many criteria for buying bass gear. At my advancing age and with a health issue- 100 pound cabs are in my past. Big cabinets are virtually unusable in most venues- unless they are the house backline. Price is a consideration. New- or used? There's really good deals on used gear, if you know what you're looking for.
    I just heard a new Class 'D' amp GK is making- the Legacy. I heard the 1200 head, with an SWR 4-10 cab, in a medium sized room, and I haven't felt 'chest pounding' bass energy like that in a long time. I want one. It never ends.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  14. None of this discussion is easing my GAS for a WD-800, no siree Bob.
  15. Pulverizor


    Jun 14, 2018
    New Zealand
    Any thing a 75W Peavey can do the 200C will do better and it probably weighs less too. (Edit: ten pounds lighter!)
    And this is how you get Ampeg tone from it:
    Fender Rumble Club
    Thanks @jdshimkoski
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Me neither Hahahahah. I might just have to get the WD-800 and keep my peg as well.
  17. Kevin Teed

    Kevin Teed Guest

    Mar 8, 2013
    I just picked up a used D-800+ from a TB'er here last week and to say I'm impressed is a drastic understatement! This coming from a long-time Ampeg guy. Over the years I've used an original V4B, B2R, B2R-E, SVT IV Pro, SVT-3 Pro and my B-15R. This head makes my 2X10 HE's or 4X10 HE sing like they've never sung. I'll never get rid of my EV 15B loaded B15R for the livingroom, but I'd take this head over the Ampegs any day for gigs.
    My suggestion is to watch the used listings and piece it together as you can. I'm going to start watching for Subway cabinets and start un-loading my Ampeg stuff.
    mexicant, Xansky and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Although it's not my thing, there are a couple of classic R&R bands in my area where the bass players are using the Fender 500 combo and I'm always impressed with the tone they have out front. With you're coming from the Fender combo would be my suggestion. You can always buy from someplace that has a generous return policy if you don't like it.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I have a Rumble rig(500 head and 210 cabs) and a Mesa D800....IMO they are not really in the same class, so head to head comparisons may not be fair. However, IMO it depends on your budget and really what your looking for. The Rumble line has a really nice classic Fender tone and is a great "lower budget" choice. I switched to Mesa because i was looking to move into a higher end product tier, I bought the D800 unheard and was not disappointed, its better across the spectrum of attributes. So if your budget is limited and your looking for a solid working mans "model T" type of option, the Rumbles should fit the bill. If your budget allows and you want the best...USA engineered and built....thats Mesa.
    One Way, Coot, mexicant and 2 others like this.
  20. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Right on. I’ve heard what the Rumbles can do and it is impressive for the price. Definitely easier to get it in the near future. However i don’t know much about the Mesas other than the quality is top notch. What I also don’t much about since I can’t try the out around here, is how the Mesas sound . What kinda tones they can get.
    The Selling points for me are:
    - quality and portability
    - good sound from loud gigs down to low level practice
    - the ability to churn out some thick gritty bass reminiscent of pegs but also the ability to clean up if wanted.

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