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Help! Completely overwhelmed with information.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chief2112, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Chief2112


    Aug 31, 2011
    Greenville, SC
    I know there are tons of these threads on here and I can assure you that I've been using the search option and getting tons of opinions and info on any amp, cab or combo I've been looking at.

    I've only been playing bass for about 5 months or so. The only amp I have is a little Rumble that's been fine for learning and practicing on.

    I'm now at a point where I can play some songs and so I'm looking to upgrade my amp with some tax money. :)

    I just have no clue. A friend of mine plays in a band and he's offered to set up some jam sessions with me along with his bandmates and some other musicians. In my mind I want to have a rig that will work in this type of setting and will also serve as a good practice amp. I'll be jamming in a small movie theater, garages and homes to start with.

    Initially I was looking at some of the GK combo amps. The MB115 and MB210 specifically. I'm also entertaining the idea of buying some used gear and going with an amp/cab setup. The GK Backline 600 has caught my attention for an amp.

    I guess I'm just looking for more suggestions. I have no reason for mentioning only GK other than it seems to get a lot of mention around TalkBass. A combo seemed like an obvious choice for me but I don't know. I know some combos allow you to add a cab in the future.

    The type of music I play is rock and I have an Ibanez GSR200FM with chrome flats. My budget is $600 or less.

    I apologize for another one of "those" threads but I'm just completely overwhelmed and clueless. Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Buy used. If you get a combo amp, be sure it can add an ext cab. Better to go with head/cab, 300-500 watts, and a good 4x10, or 2x12 as a minimum. What else? Also, best to find this amp in person, and try before you buy.
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Dead on. Check out craigslist and find a bass head and 410 for sale. Go with a friend to the person's house and try it out. You can find these setups for $600 or less pretty regularly.

    I think it would be helpful if you posted what you saw on craigslist on here so we can tell you "yes or no".

    A couple of simple guidelines: if you want more volume or more low end, more speakers are necessary. Follow the RMS wattage number, and keep in mind that commercial bass cabs are TYPICALLY not going to pump out low end like a PA system can (with dedicated subwoofers).

    Lastly, if you have a bass combo setup and you are struggling to be heard in band practice or on stage, reduce the low end content, increase the volume, and see what happens. Otherwise, upgrade to a amp head/cabinet setup.

    The only way to understand the information you are reading is to take the plunge and buy something.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I'd recommend just the opposite - I don't recommend used unless you know what you're doing.
    Playing 5 months you better take somebody along the does know what they're doing if you buy used.
    Even buying new you better take someone along. Like your bass teacher.
    New amps can be great values and come with warranties. Usually you can trade them in for a month or so. If you want to go lightweight mini you will probably have to go new as there's not much of a used market. People are hanging onto them.
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    True. Also the advice to take a knowledgeable friend is good, too.

    The problem with combo amps is that they are usually not big enough for your loudest playing scenario. Or, even if they are now, they won't be at some point in the future. And just when you realize this, you'll also realize that you have no way to expand it. You'll have to sell it and buy a separate head/cab type rig. You'll take your combo amp to the pawn shop and get $50 for it. With that $50 you'll go to a different pawn shop--in a worse part of town--and try to make a deal for a real bass rig. You'll end up playing through someone's old home stereo from the 1970s. Other bass players will snicker at you from the audience at your first gig. You'll shake your fist at the sky and shout "Why, Lord? Why did I not listen to those wise and good people who told me to buy a separate head and cab??" But there will be no answer. It's too late. You'll quit music and get a job at H&R Block where you slave away doing the impressive tax returns of successful musicians and figure out ways for them to write off their trips to Bermuda and whether "hot tub companions" can be counted as dependents.

    You were warned.
  6. Chief2112


    Aug 31, 2011
    Greenville, SC
    Possibly the best reply EVER! LOL Thanks for the advice!
  7. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    Most used rigs on CL aren't there because they don't work or are in danger of failing the minute you walk out the door. They are usually there do to upgrading or the economy. Compared to a Rumble, you would probably find a good deal on an older Peavey, GK, or Trace head and a decent GK, Sonic (regional speaker maker from WI), Peavey, or similar known brand name 4x10 cabinet. I do recomend you stay away from Berhinger gear for the most part. Peavey lasts forever, so feel free to start ther.
  8. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Can't go wrong with any amp you suggested, I've owned the BL600, great head on a budget!
  9. Chief2112


    Aug 31, 2011
    Greenville, SC
    Any cab suggestions if I were to go with the Backline 600? The GK MB200 has caught my eye too but I'm not sure I'll like the limited sound shaping options. I may not be an experienced bass player but I'm quite the audiophile so I like having a bit of control. :cool:
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Any used 4 or 8 ohm cab will do, I guess, if it's in good shape. Avoid Behringer, maybe, or off-brand names. (I would, anyway.)

    If you get a 2x10 or 2x12 cab, might want to make sure it's 8 ohms so you can add a second one to it. Just one probably won't be enough for all scenarios.

    Don't get a 4 ohm cab unless it's at least a 4x10 cab. And even then, you could probably still go 8 no problem.

    I think the MB200 is not enough watts. Just my opinion. I have a similar head, the MB500. More watts and a couple more knobs. Sounds great, though.
  11. Chief2112


    Aug 31, 2011
    Greenville, SC
    GK Backline 600 w/ GK 410MBX?
  12. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I've got a 410MBX myself. It gets the job done. Got it used for $199 a few months back.
  13. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Personally, I'd go with a separate head and a 115, with the option of adding another one. That's what I'm doing now. For me, it's the lightest-weight idea, and it still kicks good with just one cab.
  14. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    That's legit, too. I'm still jealous of Tunaman's GK Neo 115 stack.
  15. kapaauguy


    Dec 12, 2010
    Kawela, Molokai
    i'd say try to find a GK 400RB and 115 cab used. you really can't go wrong with this setup. combos are great if you have a more powerful setup and want something specifically for coffee house type venues but as your only rig they are limited.
    i have my 400RB from the early 90's and it's still going strong.

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