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Help a guy pick a rig???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ChrisB2, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Hey everyone,

    I've been out of the TB scene for a couple years, (back now with a new username), but still playing bass at a mid-sized church through my little Fender Rumble 100 every Sunday...

    I'm thinking very seriously about getting my first rig and need a little help. I would like to get a rig that has plenty of tone possibilities, plenty of quality and reliability, and plenty (for my situation, that is) of power and headroom. My ideal, primary tone would be a deep thump, with a little growl. If possible I would like the rig to be able to go from unsupported smallish sanctuary (main use), to outdoors, to larger halls, stand-alone and through PAs, with the same head (or separate pre- and power amps, if necessary) and multiple cabs to use in various configs. I would also like to be able to independently control two cabs with one head, if that's even possible (say a dirty signal to a 115 and clean to a 210?). It also needs to be "fun" to play with-- some of the heads look like the controls are very basic, even on some higher-end units. I would like to have a lot of control over the sound.

    This would be way overkill 95% of the time, as the Rumble really does do the job most of the time, but I'm hoping there is a rig that can do this realistically without costing a fortune.

    As for the bass, I play fingerstyle on an Epiphone Embassy IV that I got as a package deal, with d'Addario nickel wounds. (Always wanted to try TI Jazz Flats on this bass, any thoughts?) It's a pretty good passive bass, and I want to stick with it for now even though I will upgrade the bass at some point too.

    My gig is with a contemporary Christian band of electric guitars, drums, keyboard and 4-5 vocalists. We can get fairly loud but I don't usually have trouble except outside. And I want a rig that can go to larger venues (plus not look Mickey Mouse :) )

    From my bygone days of researching this, I'm leaning strongly toward Avatar cabs, but I understand they need alot of wattage to sound right...? If this is true, will they sound right in the smaller hall at lower volumes? What other cabs should I consider?

    As for heads, I'm considering an Ampeg V4BH, or possibly the Traynor YBA200. I think these are lowered powered all-tube heads? Are the 200 tube-watts enough for Avatar cabs? Or am I better off with a hybrid? (hybrid is tube pre- with SS power... right?) I "think" I want tubes at least in the preamp?...??

    PLEASE help me with OHMS! Much as I've tried, I can't believe how stupid I am when it comes to this issue! I would like a nice loud group of equipment that works well together but I feel like a woman shopping cars when it comes to ohms. :help:

    I'm not a big fan of Hartke, Peavay, Crate, Carvin, or Behringer (sorry for any offense at this grouping :ninja: ). I guess I'm a little of a brand snob, but then I don't want to overspend for no reason. I get Carvin's catalog and their gear seems like a good value. I almost bought a Behringer BX4500 a couple years ago, it's probably fine for a budget amp. I just want good, loud, solid equipment that will last without too many problems. Made in USA is a plus too...

    So, how about it? If you were me, buying a rig like this, what would you buy?

    Thanks for your time and sharing your thougths. -Chris
  2. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    You wanted to run a clean signal to one cab and dirty to another? Sounds similiar to my setup. Currently I have an SWR SM-400 head that is running in bi-amped mode. I have the high end running into a Sansamp RBI which then feeds an Ampeg 410svt and the low end stays clean and just runs its signal from the SWR preamp into the SWR low end crossover to an Ampeg 115SVT. I get plenty of tone and volume from this combo so far and it all fits inside of a smaller rack.
  3. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I love all-tube heads, but if you want control and versatility I'd steer clear of them. Avatar cabs are fine and well-priced. Depends on your budget. Traynor hybrid heads are among the best deals out there IMO.
  4. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    If you want to biamp, you need two amps or a stereo amp. No real way around it. This leaves tube amps pretty much out of the picture unless you buy two.

    SWR and Ampeg make nice hybrid stereo bass amps. And GK makes nice biampable SS heads with a built-in crossover. You could also buy a tube preamp and a PA power amp and do it that way.

    But you have the clean/dirty thing backwards. You want the high end to get the dirt, not the low.
  5. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Thanks for the replies.

    The clean/dirty issue is just an option I was wondering about. It's not a requirement.

    Mainly I seek a louder, more professional sound and look over the rumble combo. I just thought having two cabinets would give me the volume flexibility that I need, but I'm not sure how to select the components to safely use one cab or two within the whole ohm issue...

    As for cabs, I'm leaning toward an Avatar 212 and a 210 or maybe 410 but need advice on making sure the amp will match (wattage/efficiency??)

    Budget is whatever, I would like to stay under $1000.

    I'm watching used for sale on TB and ebay, but it's pretty complicated...

    Thanks for your insights. -Chris
  6. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    OK so I get an opportunity on a used Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp into a Crest CC2800 power amp...

    The power amp is probably way more power than I need, rated at 595watts/channel @ 8 ohms, 965watts/channel @ 4 ohms, or 2800watts @ 4 ohms bridged.

    Anyway I was thinking of getting this and say an Avatar 212 and maybe a 410 (rated @1000 watts).

    Seems like this would serve all of my goals. Only concern now is would it sound good turned down low in smaller settings?

    Any thoughts on this possible rig?

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