First "real" amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by No Coast Rider, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Hey guys. I currently have a Ampeg BA-112 50 watt practice amp that I play with at home. I use a Lakland 44-02 and a Single coil P Bass that I built. I've been taking lessons for 8 months now and feel ready to start getting out there and playing with other people. But I think I'm going to need to upgrade my amp before I start playing with live drums and other louder instruments if I want to be heard.

    I think one of these combo amps with removable heads may be the right thing for me, like the Mesa Walkabout Scout, or the Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2-12T 600W 1x12 Bass Combo. I like that it comes ready to play, so I can get right to playing with other people, and even small gigs, and later on I can just buy a bigger cabinet and continue using the head with that for larger gigs.

    My questions are, what other options are out there that have this removable head style and what are your opinions/experiences with these combos?

    As far as what sound I like, I would like something that can give me a nice fat reggae sound, but also can cut through well for rock/punk. I guess the easiest way to explain it, is that I would like a Sting from his Police days kind of sound. Thanks.
  2. What is your budget?
  3. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    My question would be (as I'm not personally familiar with either choice): will you have the ability to plug in an external speaker? You'll probably need/want one at some point. A single 12 can only do so much. This probably means you'll want an 8 ohm internal speaker (same for the extension speaker). Depends on what the amp can handle (minimum ohms: likely 4, which means either one 4 ohm or two 8 ohm cabs). Personally, I'd go with 2 smaller matching cabs (like 12's) that can be combined (or not, as needed), as opposed to one small and one big that can't. Subjective, but that's the way I'd go. Lot's of options in the price range of your 2 choices.
  4. Both options I posted are combos where it is a separate head and cabinet, so the head can be detatched from the cabinet and used with a completely different cabinet. That's what I mean by it will give me something to use now for rehearsing/small gigs, and then I can still use the head later on with a larger cabinet for larger gigs. I was just wondering what other manufacturers make something like that other than the two I mentioned and what people's thoughts on them are.

    As for price, probably sub $1500. I can pick up overtime and save for one pretty quickly, and I can do 12 month no interest if I want as well.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Since you're already using a BA112 (great little small amp that you should hang onto BTW), you might want to check into a Portaflex rig.
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I think either one of those would be a great choice.

    I would, however, be prepared to get the 2nd 12 asap. I hear some people can gig with 112, but I prefer two 112s.


    I have a shuttle 6 head and 2 epifani 112 cabs, Gig them regularly. My band always has PA support, back when I had a 410, or used a 115, or 2 112s, I always have PA support. (don't know if it's needed, but I will say, that a band that is mixed properly , with everything coming thru the mains, sounds much better than having to pick a spot in audience where all instrument levels sound proper. But then again, that's a topic for another thread.)

    AND ... I just noticed, you're almost right down the street from me. I'm at work In South Windsor as we speak.
    (I'd invite you to my gig next week in manchester [so you can hear the Genz and 2 112s in action], But I hate to have other musicians in the crowd to hear me suck) ;)
  7. rapturebass


    Dec 6, 2008
    i would definitely check out a Mesa M6 Carbine combo. runs for 1500 i believe and it's stupid loud and great sounding
  8. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    Don't you wish you had a buck for each time you've needed to ask this question? You'd be on the fast track to retirement, indeed :D .
  9. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    If you must have a combo with detachable amp, so be it. But how is the ability to use this amp later on with a larger box for a larger gig any different whatsoever than a separate amp & cab from the jump?

    For $1500, you can get just about anything you want, especially if you buy used. Almost no limit.
  10. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    My thoughts exactly.

    I've used a preamp/power amp setup for a few years and I've really enjoyed it. Easy to play either a smaller or larger stage rig because I have a pair of 2x10 cabs (might switch into a pair of nice 1x12's). I like the amp & cab direction, but having a pre/pwr amp setup can also be quite affordable. I get gorgeous sound from my pre and also have enough horsepower to push any cab setup I can imagine actually having for my gigs.

    I might love a good all-in-one head, but the tone and flexibility that I get with my preamp has been wonderful for me... AND I can run it through my GB 12" practice combo when I want that sound it gives me. Just a consideration given your budget.

    You can score a monster of a rig for well under $1,500 if you stick with it and shop til you drop. The classifieds here have an ocean of deals to consider, but there are also the close-to-home bargains that you can test drive (usually) before buying them.
  11. I went by GC today to see what they had, unfortunately they sold the Mesa Walkabout Scout they had on clearance for a while, but they had one of these Portaflex rigs. I ended up playing a P Bass off the wall on a 500W Portaflex head through a 2x10 Portaflex cabinet. The sound was spot on, was just like my little BA-112 only MUCH louder. The controls were easy for me to use as well since there's not a million knobs and switches that I have no idea what to do with. I can get that whole setup for $800 which is a lot cheaper (I.E. Less overtime) than anything else I'm looking at. Might go with that when I have the funds.

    Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head

    How giggable would you say this setup is? One of the reviews I read on the cabinet says he uses it as a practice setup and he doesn't know how well it would keep up with a drummer, while others say they gig with it all the time. I have a hard time believing 500 watts and a 2x10 is a "practice setup." At that rate I'll be needing an 8x12 and 1000 watts just to play bar!
  12. I actually live in Manchester. I would like to come watch if you don't mind. So long as it's on a Fri/Sat/Sun night as I work nights every other day of the week. Shoot me a PM about when/where. If it's Main Pub, my girlfriend and I live down the street and go there pretty often, especially to listen to open mic on Wednesday nights when I have weekdays off.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    If you were in Metallica, I'd say look elsewhere, but it'll get pretty darn loud if need be. And if not enough for you, you can always add a second cab down the road. But I've gigged a PF350 into a PF115hlf many times and it got pretty loud, not puke-inducing loud but certainly enough to handle all but the most metal situations you'd be coming across.
  14. So I scored a Portaflex 500 on Ebay today for $250, should be here at some point next week. I'll pick up a few extra shifts to get a matching cabinet to go with it soon. I think the one I tested at GC was the 2x10 and I really liked the sound, but they did not have the 1x15 to test. I think I'll eventually get both so I can have a full sound and use the full 500 watts at 4 ohms, but which d =o you think I should buy first to have a good sound for reggae and ska, and some motown as well? I feel like the 1x15 may be the better option but I'm just guessing.
  15. dvdtlsn


    Apr 6, 2009
    Single 15 never quite did it for me so I ended up always dragging 2 1-15 cabs out. I know the drawbacks, but 4-10 cab got me to 1 cab without getting out-gunned by the drums and guitar.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Shhhh! Don't let iualum hear you say that.

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