good small amp to use as on stage monitor for DB?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by lomojim, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. lomojim

    lomojim Guest

    Apr 15, 2012
    hi all

    I am looking for a portable bass amp to use as an on stage monitor with my acoustic upright bass.

    Does anyone have an recommendations?

    I use a realist pickup which usually goes straight into the PA. I currently use my old bass guitar amp (a laney linebacker) for onstage sound only - but its a pain in the neck lugging it round

    So I am looking for something easily portable, not too expensive with decent sound rather but does not have to be killer quality

    the band has guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle & accordian - so no drums to compete with

    any tips would be much appreciated!


    (as a bonus, I'd quite like to get something I could also use to take out busking with other acoustic instruments - i.e. that could be battery powered - that could give the bass a small boost in mostly acoustic set up. But this is secondary to the need for an on stage monitor)
  2. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    GK mb112
  3. lomojim

    lomojim Guest

    Apr 15, 2012
    thanks for the tip - that GK looks nice - I'll check it out, although its pushing my price range a bit & perhaps more power than I need anyway (I've also been recommended the Phil Jones cub amps and they look great but WAY outside my price range!)

    Has anyone had experience of the cheaper end ones - like the Roland mini Cube bass amp (looks a bit gimmicky with all the effects?)

    Or the even cheaper amps from Behringer, Hartke etc

    I'll get out this weekend and try a few out but good to hear of any positive/negative experiences

    thanks again

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Roland will not likely do the job(although the larger version with the 12" would be fine). I don't know when they are shipping, but the new Gallien Krueger MB110 would be perfect. The MB112 is a great sounding amp, and I would highly recommend one.
  5. What is your price range?
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Lomo Jim,
    Most modern amps have 200 watts minimum these days. The Carvin MB 10 and the GK MB 112 are about the same price.

    Roland did once make a Cube 60 Bass Amp that was just fine. You might be able to pick one up used, but it's not got a lot of volume and you would have to be in very close proximity to the amp. I don't think you could even pickup a used GK MBE or MBS for less than $300.00.

    My personal opinion is that buying one of those amps is throwing good money after bad. It could be that it's not the right time for you to get a new amp.

  7. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter

    Dec 31, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Artist, RS Berkeley, La Bella Strings, Phil Jones Bass Amplification, Remic, Jerry Harvey Audio
    You could try a Hartke Kickback. I really like those. Hartke also makes a couple of combo amps with their HyDrive cones, which are part aluminum and part paper.
    The GK is a great option as well. Between that and the Hartke Kickback, that's what most of the jazz guys here in NY use.
    I would not go with Behringer. Their stuff breaks almost instantly and really doesn't sound good.
  8. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you really want portable spend an extra few bucks. You could match a GK MB200 head or GB Shuttle head with numerous light weight cabs or just get one of the combos. This should put you well under 20 lbs. These set-ups disappear on stage and make great monitors when you need to go FOH for loud shows.
  9. lomojim

    lomojim Guest

    Apr 15, 2012
    thanks for the info

    in reply to how much is my budget - I was trying to spend under £200 (maybe equivalent to $300)

    this seems to be just under the threshold at which you get a decent amp!

    I tried a few today, comparing a GK MBS 150W to a few cheaper models of various makes and there was quite a lot of difference. The MBS was great but priced at £500 for a second hand model.

    However the experience did put me off the cheaper option a bit (getting a small but loud enough amp to hear what I am playing even if the sound qulity is not good) . My old bass guitar amp does this job OK already, it's just cumbersome, so I would be paying for a light - but worse - amp. Seems a bit pointless.

    I'll have a look around slightly higher price brackets. The MK MB110 (recommended above) looks interesting, so maybe I'll wait until that comes out over here.

    The cheaper option - a small, not-great-sounding but very portable amp - might just do a basic job of beiing able to hear what I am playing but the sound was not great and really I would be paying for having

    thanks for the comments

  10. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    What about the Mackie SRM150? There's a thread on those somewhere here on TB.
  11. lomojim

    lomojim Guest

    Apr 15, 2012
    thanks Phil - I'll look up that other thread - have you tried the Mackie with double bass?
  12. rake


    May 4, 2004
  13. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for the link, rake.
  14. Shadaddy73

    Shadaddy73 Guest

    Mar 27, 2012
    I'm playing with a stringband with a very similar lineup to the one you describe, and I had a similar problem with needing a small amp as a monitor on stage, some may call me crazy here but after trying a few different combos I loved the Genz Benz Shen Jr. Keeps all the acoustic character and plenty loud enough to compete with the banjo. Also found it good for a practice amp for electric bass, if you get a chance try one you maybe surprised, and I got it for $200 on Craigslist.
  15. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I think the little GB Shuttle combos would work well for your situation. The 8" or 10" small and compact.