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Gear upgrade: Bass, or go for the amp?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JoeRules00, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. I know how when you start, you should upgrade your amp first, and then bass, because a bad bass through a good amp is better than a good bass through a bad amp.

    But where do you go when you've got decent equipment?

    I've got a Crate BX100 and a hotrodded MIM Jazz bass, and about $1300 that I'd like to spend on bass gear. I'd like to focus on either bass or amp so as to have really taken care of either one for awhile.

    I've been looking at getting hooked up with some Eden gear (210 or 410 cab, WT400), but I'm a bit worried about spending so much. Calm my fears, guys.
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    You put in turd, you get turd.
    If you put gold into a turd machine, it will still be a pile of crap in the end.

    But you say you have good equipment. So what I am that is still true, but to a much lesser extent.

    To get an idea of what needs to be better, play different basses through your current amp. Then go play your current bass through a different amp. Compare what is better.

    Same bass through better amp?
    Better bass through same amp?

    if the better amp is better than the better bass (or vice versa) you know what you need to upgrade.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Are you playing out? If so, is your amp loud enough? If it is not, upgrade your amp first. If you're not playing out, that is more than enough amp for now. In that case, I would upgrade in the bass department. But whatever you do, look at used stuff. Much more bang for the buck.
  4. Embellisher, I know well of buying used. I've saved a lot by doing it. As far as amp volume, it works, but as most people who have played on Crates know, the sounds leaves a lot to be desired. That's why I'm thinking amp over bass, but when spending this much money, I'm worried I'm going to make a mistake.
  5. I think ultimately the bass is the most important piece of gear. It's the thing you touch, connect with, feel, etc. But an MIM Jazz, especially hot-rodded, is certainly a respectable instrument. Really, it depends on your priorities.

    I'd suggest taking your bass around to where you can try it on a bunch of different amplifiers to see if you feel an amp upgrade is in order. Alternatively, if you like the sound of another bass through your amp, then change your bass.

    Were it myself in your case, I would most certainly be upgrading my amp - I really like Jazz basses, MIM's included, but I don't like Crate combos, or most 15" speakers in general, but that's me...

  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Avatar 4x10- $299
    Hartke 3500 Head- ~$350

    That leaves you $650 for a bass. :D
  7. Get a Better Amp.

    A 100 Watt Crate combo is all well and good, but a head and a nice cab setup will make a world of difference.
  8. IMO your current bass is better than your current amp, so I would tend to emphasize your amp. But as SuperDuck and others have pointed out, with some smart shopping you might be able to upgrade both. In the amp department, I would prefer a Carvin R600 or 1000 (new or used) to a Hartke, but either would be a step up from your Crate. You could think about GK or even Peavey too. In the bass department, think about going used or checking out one of those import MTDs.

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