Good cabinet amp/head for Metal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Force, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Force


    Aug 18, 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    Ok, I know very little about amps/heads, but I'm planning on getting a cabinet/head soon because hopefully my band is going to start doing gigs sometime. I've been looking into Mesa amps lately aswell. We play Metal and some of the bands I like are Motorhead, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Venom, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator etc. If we do start doing gigs soon, we're probably going to be playing small venues and stuff. So I would like a cabinet/head that's suitable for small venues and playing Metal.

    Also, I would like something in the $1500 to $2000 (AUS) price range (head included).

    Thanks guys.
  2. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    Im using a Ampeg SVT-II it works quite well but im switching to Ashdown soon so i have no clue. Mesa stuff is really nice especially the BB750.

    As for cabs im using an Ampeg 410, it gets the job done but im thinking about getting a 610 since i cant fit a 810 in my car and the 610 is not too small but not too big.

    however you will probably want a 410 or a 212.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Look around at what's available to you. Set some priorirties, like how much power do you want, ( prolly 300-500 watts), what type speaker cabs, ,(prolly 2x12, or 4x10), then start shopping. Actually play the amps to see what they sound like, that's KEY. Keep looking 'till you find one that fits the bill and the pocketbook.
  4. Force


    Aug 18, 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    Yeah that's a good idea. I'm planning to try some out at my local music shop soon. I like the look of the Ampeg 410, Ampeg SVT. Also, do I want to aim for a cabinet with lots of low end or what? Remember, I know very little about amps. :p

    Thanks guys.
  5. MESA
  6. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia

    I am always amazed how people think gear is genre specific. I'm even more amazed as to why it's always metal fans asking what is good for metal. :meh: Don't worry I'm not dissing metalheads, I am one. Having that said I use Ampeg. Works nicely. :)

    I find when playing music that is complex and fast, low end just completely ruins the clarity of the notes. When playing metal I boost my mids and roll off a little bit of treble, bass is usually flat. Though it really depends on what you are playing. When I'm playing slow and heavy stuff I like a fair bit off bass mixed in with my mids. I wouldn't worry too much about what the cab sounds like flat, you'll be doing lots of EQing to find a sound you like anyway :)
  7. scuz

    scuz You can't be angry ALL the time!

    Mar 24, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    That's a brutal list of bands you have there, Force :D

    Look around on-line for a list of what your favorite bass players use, that's usually a good start. For what you're looking to sound like, provided that list of bands is any indication, I'd say that Ampeg is a very good choice. But, if you have the money for it, Mesa/Boogie is a very VERY good choice.
  8. MoD_Scotty


    Jul 22, 2007
    Thrapston, UK
    I would just not get anything less than 500watts (solid state), or 225watts (all-tube).

    For cabinets...a 4x10, 6x10, or 8x10 would be what I'd recommend. I personally use a 4x10 AND a 2x12.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Mesa used would be the way to go.
  10. neuromancer


    Apr 28, 2005
    CT, USA
    I think the reason you see this asked so often is because the needs of the bass player in a metal setting tend to be quite different, as opposed to Reggae, Jazz, and other styles where the guitar is less prominent, and there's far less double-bass drumming. ;)

    And then you follow your statement with some really good EQing advice. I believe this is why people ask. I really do feel that there's a "need" (for lack of a better term) to approach bass a little differently for metal, at least for some useful results. Yes, I see/hear lots of people getting by with any old approach - yet that doesn't mean it helps the band sound better, or even the bassist in question. ;)
  11. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm not denying the fact that metal is a very different setting than jazz/blues/reggae or whatever. I am saying it is silly how musicians think that certain instruments CAN'T do that type of setting. I've seen metal bassists using anything from ESP, to EBMM, to Fender, hell, I've even seen a metal bassist using a Fodera! You guys can go ahead and limit your options by thinking only certain basses/cabs/amps can do metal, it's your money after all. But I like being able to look at any instrument and see possibilities.
  12. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I'm not a metal guy ,but I've subbed a few times in metal/hard rock acts.A tube Ampeg SVT with a 8 by ten will do you fine.A couple of things about SVT's though.Do NOT sit the head on top of the cabinet with out some foam or something to keep the vibrations from going into the head.It will eventually rattle the tubes silly & give you service problems later.I filled in once for a metal act & used the band's bass rig.It was an old Peavey MAX head with a Peavey 4 by 10 & a Peavey 2 by 10 cabinet.It sounded killer! The MAX head is a huge power amp(probably a CS800) with a bass preamp that has an extensive EQ section.It's also big & heavy &it's enclosed in a flight case.These heads turn up cheap in the states& don't seem to be sought after so you might find one your way.I 'm not sure of the power but I think(& It sure sounded like!)they were running about 400 watts per each 4 ohm cabinet.It more than kept with the two guitarists 100 watt Marshall stacks! Motorhead rules!
  13. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    This is a great approach to tone for metal. Complex and fast really needs to be clean; too much low end will just muddy up the mix. When you get into doom/sludge stuff that's slow and heavy, that's where you can put in a healthy amount of bass.

    I do think, however, that what a cab sounds like with your amp of choice set flat is important, as that will give you the best impression of the natural voicing of the cabinet. This is mainly when shopping for a new cab though.
  14. xCOFFMANx


    Jun 10, 2008
    I play in a hardcore band and I am using a SVT-2 PRO head and SVT 810e cab. Tube amps are better for metal/hardcore. Also the 810e works great being sealed you can get tight punchy bass!
  15. Force


    Aug 18, 2005
    Canberra, Australia
    Wow, you guys are being a great help!

    Hmmm, I don't think I want lots of low end then, because pretty much all the stuff my band plays is fast and I don't particularly want muffled notes :p. The sound I want is like a 'growly' Thrash Metal sound, but not to the extent it's muffled or anything. What's the difference between Solid State and Tube? Which one should I get? Also, do you guys think nothing less than 500 watts?
  16. MoD_Scotty


    Jul 22, 2007
    Thrapston, UK
    Tube: usually heavier, more expensive, fragile tubes, but theoretically better tone
    Solid state: usually lighter, cheaper, more reliable.

    I prefer solid state, mostly because I've found them to be extremely reliable. As far as wattage, a tube head that puts out 200-300watts will definitely be enough. Solid state needs more wattage to seem as loud, so I'd say 500+ for solid state.

    I've been running a Peavey Firebass head, which is 700watts (solid state). It's been absolutely indestructible, and more than enough power to cut through two all-tube guitar halfstacks.
  17. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Don't forget there are hybrid amps (that is a mix of solid state and tube). My SVT-3PRO is hybrid and I love it. :) Wouldn't go full tube though, WAY too heavy for my liking. :meh:
  18. Force


    Aug 18, 2005
    Canberra, Australia