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First upgrade, in need of assistance.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wendigo, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. wendigo


    Mar 28, 2012
    First, let me kiss a little bottom and thank everyone for the absurdly positive environment of these forums, which allows me to ask what may inadvertently be stupid questions.

    That said, I am finally in a position where I find the need to move up from my tiny Fender 15W to something which can be heard with other people. Up until recently I hadn't really played with others, so volume wasn't an issue, and I'm not really very advanced, so features weren't too much of an issue.

    I have been playing in a storage shed (8x10) with friends, and with the kit going in there, I can't be heard at all.

    So I'm looking for a step up, I need to be heard. I've had several suggestions for a Fender BXR, which I've been able to locate several of, and for reasonable prices, but have yet committed to buying one.

    My question is to the experts in the proverbial room, is there something that is of similar quality (or if I've been mislead, something of decent quality) that I should be looking into right now? I'm not able to spend a whole lot at the moment, and if someone were able to provide any advice on the matter I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Ideally you'd want 300-500w amp head and at least one 8 ohm 15" or 2x10" speaker cabinet. You'd have the option of getting a second cab down the road as you progress.

    I realize, however, that ideal is not where all of us live at the moment. So.

    Maybe you want to look into a combo amp with a single 15" or a pair of 10" speakers in it.

    What's your budget?
  3. Tripp528


    Dec 31, 2012
    Yes your budget is very important. With only 15 watts, almost anything you buy will be an upgrade, but how much can you spend? I think the ibanez promothean is a pretty good buy, the main reason being its 300 watts and only 300 dollars. Also I love it because it's only 40 pounds for the 15" (more like 20 or 30 for the 10"). For 300 watts, that's pretty hard to find. If you start playing gigs, however, you probably will want something bigger
  4. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    I posted a few weeks ago, asking for some advice on my first amp purchase. scottfeldstein influenced my purchase with some great advice based on my needs. He recommended that I not purchase a combo (which was where I was leaning) because I wanted to have the ability to expand instead of upgrade my whole rig in the potential near future. I can see this possibly applying to you. I purchased a nice cab and went cheap on my amp. Sounds great and I can easily upgrade either my amp or add another cab fairly reasonably if I need to. I would recommend the same for you. Get used, save money and have options for your future needs without breaking the bank. You get an amp to play with right away and an opportunity to upgrade by just adding a cab down the road for more volume or improve your tone with a head upgrade later.
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Wow, I did something good! Glad it worked out for you, man. :)
  6. scottz0369


    Mar 1, 2005
    Oahu, Hawaii
    I'd say to get the best quality / highest output combo you can afford. I picked up a used SWR Silverado special (2x12, 350w/450w with an extention cab, XLR out in case I'm lucky enough to get space on the board) when I started playing in a 300 seat church, and it's been more than adequate. Space-wise, thats a pretty good sized bar. I haven't outgrown it yet. I may add a SWR Triad in the future as the church I'm in now is a bigger space, but that might be the GAS talking.
    If things progress, move up to a seperate head / cab setup for more versatility, but again, get the best you can afford. The amp isn't a place to skimp.
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy used from the TB classifieds; lots of great people there.
  7. RS66LB


    Dec 29, 2012
  8. Never use two bass cabs set apart on a backline gig. You'll completely wreck the house experience. Two 2x10 are to be set up vertically to produce clear bass.
  9. RS66LB


    Dec 29, 2012
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  11. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    This is where you'll need to be sooner or later so it's definitely worth thinking in these terms now.

    A really good-value 500W head is the Hartke LH500. Don't be put off by the limited EQ options on the front, it's a great-sounding head and goes very loud.

    In terms of cabs there aren't really any good AND cheap options. The speaker cab is where you want to get the best quality you can afford.
  13. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Agree with Scott.
    Minimum is 300 watts into a 210 or 115.
    Good is 500 watts into 410 or 212.
    Inexpensive 15" combo is the cheapest way to get "barely OK", but is almost always a dead end.
  14. wendigo


    Mar 28, 2012
    Thank you all for the timely responses, I am looking at spending around 200-300 dollars on this.

    I had assumed I would likely be still in the combo amp range and position in my advancement myself.
  15. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Shop used on CL or other alternative. You can find older amps for a song as people are upgrading to the newest/lightest gear. IMHO being heard is more important than having light gear.
  16. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    It makes sense to get a good cab and a lesser head. Later when you get a great head you can keep the first one as a backup. Trust me on this one, most of us have had to rely on a backup head more than once.

    The speakers don't know whether you're at a gig or rehearsal. The issue with separating them is that sound waves travel out from each cab like ripples in a pond, and if you've ever seen that you know there are spots where the high part of one wave hits the low part of the other wave and results in 0 wave. For speakers this means that some frequencies will be quiet or inaudible in certain spots in the room. For rehearsal you may not care, and in an 8x10 space I expect there's enough reflection off the walls to fill in any dead spots.

    I used to play a club that had subwoofers on each side of the stage. You could walk in front of the stage and literally hear the bass drop out, then come back, then drop out, etc.
  17. RS66LB


    Dec 29, 2012
  18. If those are the same cabs that the audience is relying on for bass, the audience is out of luck.