Going to be buying a combo soon.. need advice!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Seph, Feb 6, 2001.

  1. Seph

    Seph Guest

    Feb 6, 2001
    Lompoc, CA
    Hi everyone. I'm a fairly new player with a limited budget, but I've gotten a couple breaks lately and I now find myself in a position to pick up a combo. I've got about $350 to spend, give or take, as I'm working with $410 of credit and will need to deal with tax, possible shipping, etc. I'd like to go as powerful as possible within that price range, but not if that means sacrificing sound quality for a little bit more wattage. <br><br>As for the type of sound I'm looking for, I'm primarily into metal, and would be looking for a sort of cleaned-up Cliff Burton sound (I love his tone but I don't think I'm gonna be able to bring myself to play that hard for extended periods of time, so I'm not too worried about getting the "fuzz" end of his sound).. big fat bottom end, but hopefully with good highs and mids when necessary, as I'm interested in playing all manner of music. (Metal's just my favorite :)) I want to try and avoid limiting myself to a specific type of sound, as I doubt it'll be anytime soon before I'm able to add anything other than a pedal or two. <br><br>To make the problem even worse, I live in a very small town, with only one music store that's EXTREMELY shady (or, in other words, they think somebody will pay over list price for Samick gear).. and I don't have a car, so it's kind of difficult doing much in-person shopping. I should be able to do some, but probably limited to about half a dozen shops or so that I'll be able to reach.<br><br>I've been looking at Hartke and SWR stuff on the web, they both seem to be relatively affordable for decent quality stuff from what I've read, but I fear the Hartke might be a little too bright for what I'm looking for, and don't know much of anything about the sound of an SWR? I'm wondering if maybe someone could point me in the direction of any other companies I should be looking into, and really any advice whatsoever on amp buying in general. How much wattage will I need to play with maybe 2 guitars? Not for shows, just messing around, and probably without a drummer.. most of the time I'll just be using it for practice, but would hope I can get something that'll do a halfway decent job of cutting through a guitar or two. Also, what kind of speakers should I be looking into? I've read 10's are all highs and mids, and 15's can get pretty muddy.. does that mean 12's are a compromise? What about stores, anywhere in particular on the 'net that stands out as a good place to shop? ( Preferably used?? :)) Anyway. I think you guys get the gist of what I'm getting at... Thanks in advance for any help, this is such an awesome forum. I've learned a number of things here without ever really posting.. let's see where I can get now that I have!

    [Edited by Seph on 02-06-2001 at 03:31 AM]
  2. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    MusicianFriend.com is selling a Workingman's 10 Bass Combo for 399$. That might do the trick , but for a pratice amp.
    If you need a combo amp for rehearsing or gig you'll probably have to spend much more (x2 ?).
    You should try Peavey stuff. They make cheap but powerfull combos (like the TNT 115 or something like that).
    I don't like their sound, but, hey,that's just me ;)

    Or try the carvin stuff at http://www.carvin.com/cgi-bin/get.e...ID='BA'+OR+Altcategory='BA')+AND+(CID2='BA')).
    They have a 160W combo for 399$
  3. I would suggest you look for a used 1x15 Peavey of some sort. Try to find one that's pushing at least 100-150 watts into the internal speaker. A lot of them have extention speaker outs so you can add a second cabinet later. While a lot of seasoned players frown on Peavey, they are extremely dependable and can be had for considerably less cash than some other brands. You may want to look for a TNT 115, or a Combo 115 or Combo 300 for a little more power. Pretty much every bass player I know started out with a Peavey. Good gear at a good price.

    A Hartke is probably not going to be too bright. The brightness can be eq'd out, and you should be able to get a nice low sound. I'd tend to stay away from the SWR if you think you're going to be playing a lot of heavy music.

    If you really want something new and not used, the Carvin PB100-15 that is on the page that NJXT provided the link to should suit your needs and budget ($299 plus shipping). It's pushing 100 watts into the internal 8 ohm speaker, and you should be able to connect another 8 ohm cabinet for probably 150 watts at 4 ohms.

    Type in "bass combo" on ebay and see what you find. The classifieds here are a good resource, as are the ones at http://www.harmonycentral.com and http://bassgear.com. Good luck.
  4. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Ditto on the Peavey stuff if you're on a budget. But, no one has mentioned the ubiquitous Ampeg BA-115! It has loads of low-end and plenty of mids. You could probably find a new one for $350 if you look hard (I got mine for $360, but other's have gotten it for less). Check out http://www.ampeg.com for more info. They just updated their website with REAL product information! good luck.
  5. Take a look at Carvins web site. [Carvin.com] You can get prices specs and also download the owners manual for most of the amps they sell. No car? No problem. They will bring it to your doorstep usually within a week. I would also agree that whatever combo you choose try to get one with an external speaker jack so you can expand when you get ready to. Good luck!!
  6. Seph

    Seph Guest

    Feb 6, 2001
    Lompoc, CA
    Thanks for all the help thus far, guys. I've been looking around some on the web and taking a look at my finances, and I think that I can go up to about $420 or so if I'm going to be buying from anywhere but American Music Supply (they have a 3 payment plan thing where they bill your card three equal amounts over three months), in which case I'd be able to spend about $500. I've been taking a look at the Carvin PB200-15, and both the Hartke 1415 and B120. I've also seen some good looking deals in the classified ads I was directed to, but I think I may be better off buying from a store due to the fact I'll have to use a credit card, and I'm a little worried about getting shafted buying stuff through a third party. Any recommendations or advice on the brands and models I mentioned? Could someone explain what the sound/clarity/etc difference between 1x15 and 2x12 would be? Also, I'm very interested in the Carvin, as it's 160 watts 1x15 for only $399 new, but that almost seems like too good of a deal... I've heard Carvins may have quality issues long-term? Again, thanks for the help.. I'm really getting stoked on the bass again, and I need to make sure I make an educated decision instead of an impulse one :) Oh, and I almost forgot, what spec do I need to be looking for to make sure the amps I'm interested in will be expandable? Is that a line-out or... ? I'm still a little unclear.

    [Edited by Seph on 02-06-2001 at 05:54 PM]
  7. Seph

    Seph Guest

    Feb 6, 2001
    Lompoc, CA
    I know somebody knows, I don't want this to get buried, help?
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I don't play metal so I'm not sure which amp will give you what you need. Given that, Ampeg combos are much, much less money than the comparable SWR combo. Hartkes are fine but they wouldn't make it to the top of my list, with SWR and Ampeg involved. I'd look at Peavey, too. Much better value.

    All of these have their own sound, if you love the SWR sound, it's the way to go. The same is true for the rest, including Hartke.
  9. halfnote


    Feb 1, 2001
    If you are looking to add a speaker cab later you need a combo with an "extension speaker jack" this is not the same thing as a line out. I have never played Carvin stuff, but Carvin gear is highly recommended by a lot of players here. The bottom line is that everyone likes something different. However, I have 1x15 160 Crate that I rehearsed with and played live with for a year..I still have it, it is a workhorse believe it or not. I say if that Carvin sounds good to you go for it and let us know what you think about it after you have had a chance to rock out with it.

  10. Dude you have the right idea with http://www.americanmusical.com, they have that 3 payment thing and it helps....I am a firm believer in 1x15.....I had 2x10 until yesterday when I sold my old stack...( I wish I read your post yesterday, I sold my Fender BXR 200, and a 2x10 Cab for under $300, only because I didn't have anymore room in my apt )But back to your ?, If you can afford the SWR Workingman's 15 go for it, but check out the Gallien-Krueger 400RB/115 if you are going into that range, I like the G-K better, also a better resale value....If you can not afford to go that high than the SWR Workingman 12 will do the trick...I had a friend in a band that played keyboards out of one of these....At times his stage volume would be louder than the PA...And Clarity "CRYSTAL" I would advise anyone to buy this amp and not be afraid of the results.....The low end is really good also not quite as deep as a 15 but I like it better than a single 10, it also has an output if you want to add a sep cab, these little buggers can really push the juice, and they are priced right.......
  11. I_Dream_Of_Bass


    Feb 8, 2001
    I use a SWR Workingman 12 and that seems to work fine for me right now. I play with 1 or 2 guitarists and a drummer and it seems to be loud enough for everyone. However I don't play metal (I play a lot of punk mainly now) so I'm not sure why Matthew West didn't recommend it. I'm curious about it too and am going to have to dust off some older albums and check it out. As far as price goes, I walked into Guitar Center and told the sales guys that I only had $500 too spend on it...including tax. It took a little bit of convincing, but he ultimately gave it too me for that much. The amp also has several output jacks on the back.

    Check it out:
  12. Because I think that SWR amps tend to sound very thin when used outside of a slap and thump context. I realize that others may feel differently.
  13. Seph I found a couple places that have some good used equipment.....www.thebasspalace.com

    The Bass Palace is local to me and they always have good stuff in the shop, they might not have as much listed because of the high turnover rate...... I was at Magdon today and I saw some used combos, but you might have to call and find out, I know there is a 800 number on there home page. The staff at Magdon is really great, they have no problems helping you with ?'s.
  14. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    I just found a used Ampeg B2 combo for $350 and it came with a well fitted Tuki cover included.This one has a tweeter in it although none of the new ones I've seen in stores do.It's 200w into the tweeter and one 15,but the big deal here is that it goes up to 350w when you add a 2nd cab.For comparison,the SWR WM 15 only goes fron 160w to 200w with a 2nd cab.If this sounds interesting to you,look around 'cause there's bound to be a similar deal out there.
  15. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    I have discovered why I've been having a hard time finding another B2 with a tweeter:the amp I was talking about wasn't a B2! Closer examination in better light revealed that the box is loaded with 4 8" speakers,which makes this amp a B248,a discontinued model.I still think it's a good deal,though,and will probably get it.It has the same amp in it as the B2,200 into 8 and 350 into 4.
  16. Seph

    Seph Guest

    Feb 6, 2001
    Lompoc, CA
    I picked up my bass from the shop today (finally).. while I was there, I had the chance to check out a Workingman 15. All I can say is that I am thoroughly unimpressed.. is this how loud everything in that price range is? I was under the impression that I'd actually be able to "feel" some of the bass in the 100-150 watt range.. is that inaccurate? The impression I came away with was that it wouldn't even be worth my money to buy something on that level, as I was looking at 100-140 watts, this was 160, and it sounded absolutely puny. Oh, and indeed, it did sound a LOT beefier slapped, though unfortunately I know ZERO slap lines so that didn't last very long.<br><br>I guess it's really kind of a moot point anyway, as after having my bass in the shop for 2 months and spending $120 getting it fixed up and etc, I find that it STILL rattles like crazy, and I can't play finger or pick or do anything but slap without a horrible amount of noise. Anyone wanna buy an Ibanez SR-800? I'm about ready to call this whole thing quits.
  17. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Don't be discouraged by your experience with the WM-15! I felt the same way when I tried one compared to my BA-115. I had it turned up fairly loudly, but the lows just weren't really present. The Ampeg had tons of lows and volume. The WM15 has more power, but you need to try both to really compare volume and range.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The Ampeg BA-115 and the Peavey TNT 115 both sound a lot louder to my ears than the SWR Workingman's 15.

    Just my $.02