Grunge + rock rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Devon Bustard, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. alright I’ve been playing bass for a couple of years now, and I am at the level where I feel like I could play professionally in any genre (except jazz but I am mainly a jazz bassist). I am looking to buy a new rig to compliment the grunge style rock band I have joined. We play Tool, Alice in Chains, STP, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Everlast, Tragically Hip. I want a rig that can play all of those bands well. I would like suggestions from everyone but also perhaps opinion on the rig I am looking at.

    Mesa Boogie Subway WD800
    MB 115 MB 210
    Rickenbacker 4003
    Fender performer p bass
    Fender classic 50’s p bass

    I think for basses I will be ok but the amp I am still thinking about. I want an amp that can give me Justin Chancellor highs but also can get close to Ampeg vibes.
  2. some songs I would specifically like to be able to get close tone on:

    Rooster - AIC
    Would - AIC
    Sober - Tool
    46 & 2 - Tool
    Alive - Pearl Jam
    Comedown - Bush
    Cult of Personality - Living color
    Love buzz - nirvana
    Be yourself - audioslave
    The distance - cake
    Rabidrasbora and Toolmybass like this.
  3. Lobster11 and Stumbo like this.
  4. There's a big difference in tone between Nirvana and Tool basslines. I'd just try to get a general vibe right. If anything, I'd get an eq pedal or different preamp pedal to get a little closer.

    Those basses, cab and Mesa should make for a killer rig though!
  5. El Apestoso

    El Apestoso

    Oct 31, 2016
    El Cajon, CA
    The type of amp and cab isn't quite so important as making sure you've got enough dirt and grime on it. Especially the speakers and any tubes, be sure to rub it in real good too!
  6. So how about a pedal like a proco rat, and then a pre amp like a sansamp
  7. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    For Tool tone, I use an MXR M80 D.I.+

    It’s not my favorite pre, but people always compliment my tone when I use it.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think you are right on track with the amp. I own a Walkabout (predecessor to the WD800). That para mids section will let you dial in just about any sound you like. It does the old school vibe very well. I might only add a mild dirt pedal to get you a little closer to overdrive for a tiny more grit. Then you should be good to go.
  9. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    I’ve never used MB, but aren’t those cabs known for being on the hi-if side of things?

    I’d be looking at an Ampeg or Mesa cab. Something with more of a baked in sound that’s voiced for dirt.
  10. I guess I should’ve wrote it out, the cabs are a Mesa boogie 115 and a Mesa boogie 210, both the subway ultra light models.
  11. Just listened to a demo of it, sounds great! Have you tried any other pre amps though? I spend many hours researching gear before I buy and I like to have a lot of options
  12. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Yes. I have this one, a few by Tech 21, a Tone Hammer, and have used the Ampeg SCR DI and some others I can't recall at the moment. Nothing boutique or whatever. I usually buy gear and try it for myself. The hours spent researching gear are better served as hours practicing.
  13. Right then. Off to the fx forum with you!

    The TB classifieds are the best way to flip through a bunch of pedals cheaply.
  14. Hey Devon, nice choice in gear and songs. You are def on the right track to your goal. My old cover band did 8 of those 10 tunes you listed. Funny and weird at the same time, i just found this picture last night from June 2003. I am using a Mesa 115 and 210, with a MPulse head. Had NO problem doing that stuff with the gear. For some variety and to quickly change your "tone/sound" in between songs, i would suggest a tube pedal preamp with 2 channels. So now you would immediately have 3 tones you can switch from. (off--chan 1--chan 2)
    Here is a great example, with a very in depth demo. There are lots of other good preamps too.

    Here is the pic i found yesterday.....where the FUZZ did i get that shirt?..lmao
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  15. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I know and dig those bass sounds. An older 400/400+ cranked to where the power tubes overdrive would be perfect.

    Most those guys were pick players. If you play FS I'd add a Sansamp or other pedal for a brighter tone option.
  16. I play pick or fingerstyle depending on the tone I want. I come from a jazz background so pick was weird at first but now I am very comfortable with it.
  17. Thanks everyone for the tips!
  18. ????
    At least half of the songs he listed are played with fingers by the artist. Some of the advise that people give, without actually knowing the subject. lol :thumbsup::roflmao::thumbsup:
    chaosMK likes this.
  19. My first thought for a 4 string rock rig is an old mesa tube head and Diesel 2X15. I've no experience with the current amps and I'd imagine the cabs will handle 5 string better than the old Diesels did. I'd guess you'd be fine with that setup, Mesa stuff is still quality. People here aren't so big on the 2X10 + 115 like folks were in the old days.

    The guy I bought my 400+ from used a Sansamp BDDI when he wanted to cut the groggy character of the 400+. The BDDI has a more sterile, "scooped" sound and between the 2 he could get a lot of very different tones. I did that for a while myself, currently in the ballpark with a D180 and a Behringer BDI 21.

    Weight was not an issue for me.

    If you can swing it, get a fretless for "Alive."
    chaosMK likes this.
  20. Why has the 210 115 combo gone out of style?