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Going to buy a head...advice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by OakenZero, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. Okay, I'm seriously thinking of buying a new head. The problem is, I haven't really had the pleasure of testing many out (lack of places around my area) and haven't been around long enough to know what's good :)

    I'm looking to spend at most $600-$800. The tone I'm after I can best describe as warm and kinda twangy...along the lines of Dirk from Incubus or Flea.

    Also, my primary bass is a Warwick Corvette Standard, but I also play a Fender jazz fretless a good deal.

    That's about all the information I can think to include. Any opinions on starting points?
  2. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    a large part of the twang part is gonna come from having a cab that has a tweeter in it. What do you have now?

    As for the warm part, thats rough, as one persons warm is another person's muddy. Flea uses Gallien Krueger 2001rb. Dirk I *think* uses aguilar, but I could be totally wrong.

    I think, on that kind of budget, your best bet would be used. You could probably get an SWR sm400s for that. While its not the warmest head out there (by a looooong shot) it does have a good deal of power and an extremely versatile preamp section. It can also help bring out that twang if your cab doesnt have a tweet, since it has an eq control for 5khz and above (where most tweeters are crossed over at)
  3. jmanyea


    Mar 20, 2002
    St. Louis
    If I were you I would go for a component system. You can get a 1000 watt power amp from carvin DCM1000 for less than $400. From there you can get the preamp of your choice. If you aren't totally into the preamp or just want to change your sound, try something else. This is more flexible and you will have more power than most any integrated bass head. I have this setup with the Sansamp RBI preamp and it rules. And it even saved my rear on a gig when we forgot our amp for the monitors, we just used half of my poweramp to run them and I still had plenty of power for my bass rig.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Be more discreet than Hugh Grant.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    But seriously folks....I know this isn't what you want to hear, but the only way to do this thing right is to get out there and try some things out before you buy. Think about it: you're going to have to live with the tone you get out of the amp for a few years (I assume), so why take a chance?
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile


    Thanks Chris, I feel much better now :)

    Head: I think the Incubus dude uses Eden.

    I just bought into an Ashdown... only a combo (Mag-Mon 12-200), but that is my choice. If I need more I just go thru the PA and pray the sound guy is on the ball.

    Like Chris says, you need to try them and find the one that is your voice.
  7. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    Thats very very true Mr. Fitzgerald. But some of us lesser privilaged bassist don't have the time to just go to four or five music stores and spend a half hour or so (each) testing out heads or anything else for that matter. Thats why we come to you more knowledgeable and experinced bass players for advice and tips such as starting points. It just saves time and headaches. I know it did for me:D
  8. Thanks for the replies...and about Hugh Grant, I expected some sort of response like that from this crowd. I am, after all, the person that sings a COMPLETELY different song when Jerome Bettis sings "The wheels on the bus go round and round" for the Madden 2003 commercia (Jerome got accused of forcing a woman to perform oral...you can imagine how those lyrics can be changed.)

    Anyway, I was just looking for some starting points like Fretless said. State College is a pretty small town, the shops around here don't carry a lot of bass equipment as it is. I'll have to try to make my way down to Guitar Center in Pittsburgh when I head home next...even though I generally have a negative experience at GC, what with all the people trying to come in and do nothing but show off with no intentions of buying anything....
  9. BassMann2112


    Jun 21, 2002
    I would try your Bass & cab's through whatever you decide to go with befor buying a new head. I would also recomend an all tube head. A bit out of your budget... If you can get your hands on a Trace Elliot AH600SMX or any of the all tube "V" series, They are cheaper due to Trace Elliot going out of buisness and all. Service is handled by Gibson USA.
    I just upgraded to a V4 head over my AH300SMX. The all tube head is really warm with crisp highs.
    Ashdown seems to by the new tonal kid on the block. Replacing the Trace Elliot scene.
    Good Luck:cool:
  10. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Now that was just uncalled for!

    But probably the damn funniest thing I've heard in a long time!
  11. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Take a look at Carvin's R1000 - parametric and graphic EQ, 1000W RMS, and well within your budget, even new.
  12. grooveguru


    Sep 14, 2000
    Central PA
    Hey check out ACM Underground on Calder Way in State. They are an Eden and SWR dealer if I'm not mistaken? And yes Dirk from Incubus uses Eden gear. Tell Andy at ACM that Tim from Altoona says Hi! Also try Beaver or Gard at Bass Central. www.basscentral.com or for used Eden gear there's always Ebay. I just scored a WT800 there. Drop me a line as my band plays at the Last Cowboy from time to time.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    There couldn't be many more choices available right now. I would certainly check out Ampeg. The tone is still some of the best on the market, but the reliability may not be #1. I swore off Peavey back in the late 80's but I played through a new BAM (head only thru a Peavey TVX 4X10") the other day. It's a swiss army knife of amp & cab tones sort of like the POD. I was impressed in the music store, but I don't know how thos tones would transfer to the stage / live sound. Might be great for recording. If you can live with used stuff, I've never found anything yet, tubes or not, that sounds as good as my old Acoustic 370. They're getting rare, and their not very electrically quiet, but tone beyond belief. I wish I knew how to mod a new amp to sound anywhere like that! Make sure you choose with your ears, and not totally your pocketbook.

  14. Bassman: I definitely plan on taking my bass...I also plan on getting new cabs, so I'll match stuff after I decide on a head :)

    Also, thanks for the link, but BassReview.com seems down at the moment....that's a promising URL name in any case!

    Will definitely check out ACM Underground groove. I didn't know of it before...only music places I know of are Alley Cat and Rainbow. I turn 21 on Saturday, so I'll be able to check out more bar bands now. (A PSU win over Michigan would be one of the best birthday gifts ever)

    Remus: I wish I had the choice of just going with my ears. I'm just your regular poor college student...As of right now, I really need to get something that sounds reasonably good for playing shows with my band up here. After that, if we start making money (ha), I'd definitely take everything I earn and invest it in new equipment.

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