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good choice for spare / rehearsal head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lexington125, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    I should be picking up an Aguilar DB112nt for a very good price (I'm going to hold off on the exact price until we can make the deal on Sunday) I'm hoping to use this as the cabinet I leave at a rehearsal space, so i don't have to hump gear to rehearse. But i'm going to need a head that stays w/ this cab. In the old days, I used to grab a used Bassman head for very little money but the days of crazy cheap Fender heads are gone: 50 watt Bassman heads are now hard to find under $500 and the higher power models and Showman heads are usually $700 or more. (same w/ similar Ampeg models). So what is today's equivalent of the $100 silver face Bassman head that used to be everywhere. Have the D class heads made 40lb solid state amps the new low price option? What are the great deals in dependable 50 to 125 watt heads today? (minimum, more power is OK)

    Are there any good quality, decent sounding, reliable SS heads that are just totally out of fashion and available for silly prices, as the Fender (ampeg, even Sunn) heads were 20 years ago? I don't expect to ever see those prices on tube heads again, but I can't imagine that workhorse 80s or 90s era amps are in much demand these days - where are the great deals today? (for a rehearsal space head)
  2. An older GK400RB is a good reliable workhorse and easily found in the $150 - $200 price range. I've been very happy with mine!
  3. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    Hartke HA3500
    Tube/Solid State Pre, Flexible EQ, Onboard Compression
    Not tiny or a light-weight
    Used: $200 - $250

    Markbass LMII
    Solid State, 4 Band + Filters, 500 watts @ 4ohms
    Small and light
    Used: $300 - $350

    Both solidly built and reliable
  4. +1 on the GK400RB
  5. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    The solid state Fender Bassman heads from the late 90's are another solid value that you'll run across from time to time in the $200-$250 range. I was using a Bassman 400 over a Bassman 115 for a couple of years until I upgraded. It was a good solid workhorse.

  6. middy


    Mar 14, 2007
    The old Peavey, Kustom, Acoustic, etc. solid state amps from the 70s are generally cheap and great sounding.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  7. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Peavey Mark series bass heads can be found cheap and have a pretty good tone. Lots of tone shaping on the higher models too. They are pretty heavey though but they will last forever. That's an understatement.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  8. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    I got my hartke ha3500 off of craigs list for $100 and its in pretty much mint condition
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  9. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Personally, I would spend a little extra and get a head that can double as a practice space head and a backup head for gigs.

    At which point, I would be looking really hard at the new Peavey MiniMega 1000.

    1000 watts
    Light and small Class D form factor
    Semi-parametric Lo and Hi mids in the EQ
    street price of $499
    Built in compressor and a bunch of other really handy features

    If I didn't already have a nice Class D for practice and a gig backup, I'd be pre-ordering one of these MiniMegas.
  10. My "spare" was a GK 700RB-II recently from a TB member, but it was really just GAS.
  11. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
  12. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Guitar Center's used gear site has an Acoustic 140 from the 70's for $149.
  13. Today, my spare & rehearsal amp is the 5 pound 500W Carvin BX500 for $329; Fits in a gig bag. Their BX250 is even smaller.

    But my BX1500 never faulters.
  14. itchyfingers


    Sep 17, 2013
    Another vote for a class D head that fits in your gigbag - the TC Electronics BH250. Shouldn't be hard to find even a new one under $250.
  15. lastnotleast


    Nov 12, 2012
    My backup/practive amp is a GK BL600 which I picked up for $150.00 and the tone is like buttuh.
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    How about a GK MB200? Grab one from RMC Audio. That's what I use as my backup. It's tiny and very lightweight. It sits in my gig bag at all times...
  17. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    That deal for the BX500 is crazy good.

  18. reno88

    reno88 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    i scored a carvin bx500 new ($329) about 2 months ago to use as a backup for my acoustic 370. i occasionally use it as my #1 for rehearsals (have brought it but never used it on a gig). light, easy to use, and great tones. highly recommended.
  19. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Any solid amp you can find cheap. Go for a good one since the difference between buying a used good amp and a cheap one makes the cheap ones not a viable option.