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First new amp in ..... forever .... need some advice, please.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BK bassist, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    Greetings all,

    It's been YEARS since I bought a new bass rig ..... most of my bass playing over the last 10 years has been friendly jamming at rehearsal spots where they had a bass rig already in the room. At home all my playing / practicing is done through a small Hartke combo rig since I live in an apartment in NYC.

    As of late I've started playing with multiple bands who have plans to gig steadily .... and now I find myself needing a rig that will be loud enough to be heard and not break up when I turn the volume up.

    I could really use some advice from this community on buying a new amp rig .... I'll admit, I know jack shizz about the amp technology thats come out over the last 10 years ....

    As of right now, all I know is I'd like to be able to get some really deep tomes and enough headroom to NEVER have to worry about turning up and then having the speaker break up as a result.

    I've recently played through Aguilar heads (Tone hammer 500) and Aguilar cabs and Mark Bass heads and cabs too and I really liked them ..... I also like Hartke gear too.

    My budget is around $1,500 - $2,000 .... I'd be cool with a head and a separate cab OR a combo unit .... I just want to buy something that I wont have to replace in a year or two.

    Can I get some advice on what you all play through and absolutely LOVE?

  2. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm leaning towards the Hartke LH1000 head and the Hartke Hydrive 410 cabinet ..... any feedback from those in the know would be appreciated.
  3. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    Mesa heads hit pretty hard and are built to last. The challenge is choosing a cab configuration that meets your specific requirements.
    I have heard good things tonewise about the Bugera Veyron series of heads, but can't vouch for their build quality or durability.
    Always been a Traynor fan personally; their gear is solid and roadworthy and the Small Block series of heads are of excellent quality.
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    You can get a nice rig with that budget. I'm a fan of GK so I'd go with an MB500 and 2 Neo112's.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Mesa D800 and a pair of Subway 112 or 115 cabinets..or one of each. You'll be set for life.
    abarson, Joebone, lermgalieu and 10 others like this.
  6. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    My personal recommendation, if you really want to see how far bass technology has advanced in the last ten years - and with the generous budget of yours: find time to drive into Eastern PA (Bucks) to schedule an appointment with Scabbey Road and demo a Fearless cab.

    Pair that with the head of your choosing. I like GK, so I pair my Fearless F115 with a 1001RB-ii (would also be in your budget along with a Fearless), though there are plenty of other good options - the Mesa d800 seems to be the current hot-amp of Talkbass at the moment.

    IMO those cabs are the closest that you can come to lifer cabs just because they're so flexible and over-engineered.

    Good luck with your search!

    Edit - unrelated image removed! Reflex to "ctrl-v" to insert quotes is apparently strong with this one!
  7. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Dude you're in Brooklyn! Go visit Larry Hartke. He'll tell ya and sell ya what you need.
  8. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hartke is out of Brooklyn? .... good to know! Thanks
  9. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I'm a big fan of TC Electronic, GK, Genz Benz and Ashdown. But I have played Hartke also and find their amps usable. If you are set on Hartke then go check them out.
  10. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ? Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky

    I just went from a 500 watt class D head to two Ampeg PF-50T 50 watt heads.

    Plenty of watts for stage volume and features Galore. Check them out. Oh, and they have tubes :D


    I'm running one 112 with each if I need both or one on top of both 112's.

    I plan to buy two more 112's. If running both heads on top of two 112's each doesn't give me enough stage volume, I'll find myself in the wrong band ;)
    BK bassist likes this.
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I really like my markbass single 12 combo. There is a matching single 12 cab you can get. It is so light but has tons of juice. Its a very clean sounding amp which I've heard some people describe as sterile but I really like it. I've got two growly Warwicks and a G&L and they all sound great through it.
  12. BK bassist

    BK bassist "Apollo's Ghost" Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    What's the feelings about the Fender Bassman combo? I believe they have an 800 watt rig....

    I love (almost) all things Fender .... I have a strat that I play through a Princeton Reverb and the clean tone is CRAZY beautiful.... I don't know much about their bass amps though
  13. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Nose around on this site and you'll find more than one story of Hartke amps failing and dying a quick, puzzling death for no reason, especially their newer models.

    Mesa and Aguilar? Not so much.

    Jussayin'... jussayin'...
    BK bassist likes this.
  14. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    GK all day
    petrus61, DWBass and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  15. KillerEddie


    Aug 10, 2016
    If you're in Brooklyn then I'd point out Genzler Amplification (Jeffs new company after Genz Benz) is also operating out of Brooklyn now . I love my MG800 and BA12-3. Great amp with a ton of options. It's an evolution from the Shuttle 9.0
  16. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Mesa D800. You owe it to yourself to try one out.
  17. I think the Bassman series is head only/cab only. They do have a class D head in 500 and 800 watt flavors.
    Of course there are some Bassman tube heads around also. Top out at 300 watts, I think.
    Perhaps you are thinking about the Fender Rumble?
    They have a line of combos or head only/cab only options. These top out at 500 watts in combo or head only configs.
    J-Bassomatic and BK bassist like this.
  18. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    Ampeg SVT 7 Pro with a 4x10 HLF. 1000 WATTS into a very deep 410 cabinet.
  19. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Just go play everything you can get your hands on until you start forming an opinion on some or all of it. Since you're in NYC that shouldn't be hard. GC on 14th/Union Square, Sam Ash (with Larry Hartke) on 34th near MSG, and like 10 zillion other stores (and a few manufacturers that might have showrooms). That's a pretty good sized budget, but don't spend it just because you have it. You can get a great and flexible rig used these days for $600 or so (ie a GK 700RB and an SWR Goliath 4x10, etc...).

    Personally, if you plan to play rock shows at bars and clubs, I would go with an amp that's 300-500+ watts (probably at 8ohms, meaning more at 4ohms), and a 4x10 or at least 2 12s or 15s (or 2 2x10s). My "main" rig is a Genz Benz GBE 750 (probably overkill) which is very versatile 2 channel amp (I think 400w at 8 ohms or something like that) and an SWR Goliath 4x10 (one of the best all around cabs ever made really, but damn near free these days because they don't fit in the bottom of your shoe and weigh 6 ounces). Although I also just got a Genz Benz 410T XB, which I might be liking even more than the SWR (haven't had a chance to A/B them yet). The GK RB series heads are also great, the 700RB is probably plenty (the 1001 is just more watts and probably more than most people need).
  20. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    In my experience, try to listen and spend some time playing what you intend to buy. Oh - one more thing: don't get too hung up on power output specs. As many have discussed here, there can be audible and perceptible differences in sound and power from amps rated the same.

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