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First Time Searching/Buying a Rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ninthwondernj, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Whats some advice you guys can give for searching/buying a rig for the first time?? What brands to look for or steer clear from? What size i should go for......i wont be playing large gigs more like fire halls and things like that
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Kind of hard to tell without more details about your playing and your tonal preferences... but I'd suggest some basics.

    -Take your time to check out as many options as you can.

    -You can always save a bit more for something a little nicer. There's no such thing as a free ride.

    -Play, play play...anything you can get your hands on. Try friend's rigs, listen to other guys playing live, go to shops and plug into as many as you can.

    -Once you've narrowed it down, do a search here...look for questions about tone, volume, and dependability.

    -Don't count something out just because you hear people slagging it. There are lots of good amps that aren't in 'vogue' right now.

    -Play all those heads with different cabs try to see which combinations work well together.

    -Look at both front and back pannels, make sure you're going to be comfortable with the controls and that it has the connections and options you may need later on.

    -Go to the manufacturer's websites...most post PDF files of the amp's manuals and you can real ALL the details before buying.

    -Check out used gear. You'll get much more for the same cash.

    -Don't be pressured by the store or sales people, they've got their own sales agenda.

    -As Monty Python taught us with gourds and beards, you've got to haggle.
    -Trust your ears above all else.
  3. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    Well first off, what music do you play?

    How much money are you willing to spend?

    Do you have a way to transport your gear?

    There are ALOT and I mean ALOT of brands out there, swr,ampeg,eden,ashdown,kustom,peavey,epifani,bergantino. The list goes on and on.

    For a budget rig go check out www.avatarspeakers.com

    With less than 1000$ you can get a head and a cab from Dave at avatarspeakers.

    He makes great quality cabs for next to nothing. The price may stump you, but the construction, customer service and everything else is great.

    For more boutique style amps, check out Accugroove, Epifani, Bergantino, and Thunderfunk.

    Those brands are alot more $$ than the avatar stuff, but each and everyone of em has high quality pro level gear.

    www.schroedercabinets.com <<<< Jorg Schroeder who is the owner makes great cabs price arn't to bad, everyone who has played one of his cabs loves it.

    Hopefully I gave ya some help to steer you in the right way.

    If ya need anything else just ask!

  4. Here's some helpful sites for you (looking for gear, that is). I'll try to put the best ones on top.






    For reviews, go to bgra.net , here, or harmony-central.com
    Here's some cheap bass cabs



    I hope that helps!
  5. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    An Avatar cab with either the Ashdown MAG 300h or Hartke HA3500 that Dave sells with them seems to be a popular first rig around here. I can vouch that against what some TBers will tell you, Hartke is not all crap, in the price range you will find no amp more tonally diverse and flexible than the HA series. Ashdown are good too, less controls than the Hartke but also a good amp.
  6. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In

    +1 for the hartke.

    I played a HA3500 through on of hartke's 410xl cabs.

    It filled the store I was playing at really well I thought, but I dont really like aluminum speakers, they just sounded to....clingy? I guess you could say, but the HA3500 had enough power for a medium sized show I think.

    The ashdown mag300 is another good head, no experiance with it though, but I do like that it is fairly simple controls and ease of use.
  7. So what would be the price range you guys would suggest to stick to...something cheap but not too cheap? Are those suggestions above expensive?
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    You tell us your price range, music playing style and how big of a room/venue you are going to play with this rig and we will steer you in the right direction...
  9. Between $500 and $700

    Rock mostly...some jazz/bebop

    mostly VFW's, Fire halls, churches..etc...

    hook me up with some wisdom people
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'd aim for a basic yet flexible 'all around' rig. Probably a 4x10 cab or a 2x12 cab, and I'd think in the 300w range for a head.

    The two favorite 'bargain' (not cheap or crappy) cabinet choices that fit in that range are indeed the Avatar and Dr. Bass cabs...both availible online. You won't find either in stores. My personal preference would be to avoid some of the other lower end stuff like the paper-cone Hartke cabs or the Behringer cabs.

    For a head I'd look at the Hartke 3500 or the Ashdown Mag 300. They're both around 300w, and would do you well for decent sound without breaking the bank. You might be able to find something in your range used too like a GK or SWR. I'm not really fond of their tone myself, but plenty of people do like them.
  11. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In

    I'd go with an avatar 410 as stated above by burningskies.

    I would also go with either the ashdown or the hartke head he mentioned.

    Both are avalible directly form avatarspeakers.com

    The reason I choose the 4x10 is Dave has 3 different models to choose from, and all 3 of them are great, I would personally go with the kappa pro model it can handle 2000watts although it is a little heavey, nothing 4 casters can't fix, and some friends.

    Plus from my experiance I like 10's more than 12's.

    You also get more speaker coverage with the 4 10'' speakers rather than the 2 12'' speakers.

  12. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Yes, but the 2x12 will be "deeper". I've seen plenty of guys grab a 4x10, and pretty soon they're looking to add a 15 for the *low* lows.

    Don't miss what Burning Skies said a few posts up about used gear.... two of my finds over the past couple of years have been an Ampeg SVT-3Pro head in VG+ condition for $350, and a Traynor 6x10 in fair condition (but functionally fine) for $100.

    $450 total, and it'll blow the walls out of any VFW hall or church.... :D
  13. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In

    He could always get a 212 then get a 410 if he got em both in 8ohms.

    Thats probably what I'd do, but it depends on what brand I got.

    Bag End is really well known for their 1x15 cabs as being really fast and punchy (for a 115 anyways)

    Aguliar has a purdy good 1x12 I know not to long ago there was a thread all about aguliar 1x12 rigs.

    But those are just a couple of the top name brands in my book to check into.

    You can snag up a bag end 1x15 for 300 or so new (but thats with out the coax)

    You can also find the aguliar 1x12 for 300 or so used.

    Best of luck!

  14. Are Hiwatt Amps/Cabs/Heads expensive??

    Even so are they good? Because I like the way they sound
  15. Definitely haven't heard very much about Hiwatt.

    I'd say that you can't go wrong with an Avatar 2x12 (lots of volume and bass) with either a Kustom Groovebass head, a Gallien Krueger head (riksmusic.com has the best prices for GK), or an Ashdown 300 mag. That gives you a broad range in budget/power. With a 2x12, 300 watts would be more than enough... unless you're in a super, obnoxiously loud band.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA

  17. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Hiwatt are an old Brittish amp maker. They are now owned by a small chain of music shops in Britain named The Music Ground. Since you're in America I think you'd find finding a tech if anything went wrong an absolute pain, not sure if they're even available in America anymore. I know their big guitar stacks were rated highly for vintage tone, no idea about the bass though. I'm sitll saying Avatar + Hartke HA3500 or Ashdown MAG 300h though.
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I've never seen a Hiwatt bass amp...I've seen a few of the guitar amps, and I can say, their well outside of the price range you're talking about.
  19. I'm thinking about the Avatar 212/Ashdown MAG300 deal too. However, I can't find out specifically (or even approximately) what the MAG300 does at 8 Ohms. I'm probably only getting 1 cab for now, and I'll add another eventually. What kind of wattage does the Ashdown kick out at 8 Ohms?
  20. xb100


    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    Probably 200 watts or so.