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Help me build a rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pdusen, Jan 25, 2006.


  1. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    I'm slowly putting together my first major bass rig. My band is sort of a punk-style band, but we have heavy progressive, industrial, and folk rock influences, so a genre is hard to really name at this point. I'm playing with a loud drummer and two guitarists.

    My tone is fairly Geddy-esque, him being my biggest bass influence at this time: Heavy emphasis on mid and low mids, with strong bottom and and snarly, mildy distorted treble. I use a lot of fingernail in my playing.

    For my pre-amp section, I will use (and already have) a Bass Podxt Live. I don't want to discuss this point, I already have the item and am more than happy with it.

    For my power amp section I'm shooting for a QSC RMX 850: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Live/Sound/Power/Amps?sku=481563
    It's got all of the power I'll need at what seems to be a pretty good price point. But if anyone can recommend a better power amp, preferably cheaper, I'm open to suggestions.

    The main question is cabs. I'm pretty much set on a 4x10+1x15 setup, both at 8 ohms. However, choosing between different brands and trying to keep to my extremely low budget is proving very difficult, and I'd like to know what some of you would recommend. Remember that I'm trying to keep the total cab handling somewhere in the neighborhood of the 800 watts that the QSC will put out.

    Thanks for whatever help you can give me.
     
  2. Within price point, and power handling, I'd possibly recommend Ampeg classic series.
     
  3. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio

    That worked for Geddy back when he used to use cabs.
     
  4. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    OK, so here is advice/opinion for hte main points above.

    The loud drummer thing and playing PUNK tell me you need efficient cabs (or lotsawatsa). Low mids/mids? i would look at one of the SCHROEDER or EDEN cabs that are being sold now in teh post-NAMM selloff. Guys willbe unloading perfectly good/great stuff since they saw the new gear coming out (new edens, new schro lites, etc). PLus, the trend is small and light, so you can capitolize on teh other trend of selling off (relatively) full sized 410/115's. I am generalizing quite a bit, but i think its legit.

    Geddy lee and sansamp seem to go hand in hand, though if yo ulike your tone now with the POD, i guess thats cool too. the fingernail thing probably helps you a LOT in this.

    Buy used, cause there is great used stuff out there and yo ucan save like 30% instantly. Way more easily.

    As for the poweramp, i am fairly ignorant of the new models etc. I was a crown guy.

    good luck.
     
  5. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    I have to give a definitive nay to Ampeg. First of all, even the cheap Ampegs are a bit above my budget for cabs, or at least as far as I've seen. Second, I don't like the sound. We played a show a few months back with an Ampeg SVT Classic and 8x10 for a provided backline. They wouldn't let me run direct for this particular show, so I turned the EQ on the amp to flat and plugged the pod into that. Soundboard recordings of the show were provided.

    I have never sounded so incredibly muddy and undefined anywhere, ever. All the treble and much mids were sucked out of my sound and bass was given a big, round boost.

    Part of this may have been the fault of the soundguy, but I have no reason not to suspect the ampeg to be at least part of the problem. Thank you guys for your suggestions, but I will not get involved with Ampeg with my money.

    Crockettnj, you suggested Schroeder or Eden, but my understanding is that they are also up in the higher price lines. Am I mistaken?
     
  6. Here's what I do and mebbie it'll give you some ideas. I'm one of the few Rickenbacker players who actually uses the Ric-O-sound. I run the neck pickup through a Bass Pod XT Live for a nice fat bottom end (don'tcha just love that sub-dub setting)then the BPL goes into one side of my CA9 and then to an Eden 215XLT. To get that lethal midrange and trebble I run the bridge pickup into a Digitech RP21D, through the other side of the power amp and into an Eden D210T. I have a tone dialed in that's kind of a blend of Rush, Yes and Dream Theater. It sounds just awsome and it's even more impressive when I manage to play the right notes. :D
     
  7. the reason why you sounded so muddy is you plugged your pod into the ampeg...big nono on an amp that amazing (and one that isnt exactly hifi) it will pretty much give a muddy tone no matter what you do. my experiance is the pod sounds great in the bedroom, and great in the studio, but when you play live, its exremely hard to find a sound that will work, and you need to make that sound work with the cabs that you are using as well where just using headphones (or playing softly) wont really show you a quality sound when it comes to gig time.

    just my two cents
     
  8. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    I appreciate the help, but you are dead wrong. I've played gigs with both the pod going direct, which sounded amazing, and the pod going through a borrowed amp and cab, which also sounded amazing. I happen to have it set up perfectly for live playing. The problem was entirely with the Ampeg equipment: When I set an amp flat, I want it to be flat. Not muddy.

    So with all due respect, I will continue using the pod and will not use Ampeg if I can help it.
     
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    If your budget is below ampeg, you're going to have an extremely difficult time finding reliable, good sounding gear.
     
  10. didier

    didier

    Aug 4, 2005
    NC
    I think you should also consider what it's like to move around a 410 and 115 before you decide that's the way to go. It will look awesome, no doubt, and could be good to battle through those guitars, but when you try to travel anywhere with it, especially anywhere that you can have pa support, you might think twice about two cabs that size. Or that might not be an issue at all.... if not you're on the right track with what others have suggested

    And alot depends on your budget, too. Do you have a ballpark? I am just thinking that a spending more money on one nice loud (effecient) cab can get what you need vs splitting the money between a 410 AND 115. Or maybe a 115 and 210?

    But I also think you are looking for those size cabs at a pretty good time, in terms of the price you'll pay.
     
  11. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    I wouldn't mind a 2x10 cabinet in place of the 4x10. The problem is I'm honestly having difficulty finding cabs that will go together to match the rating of the QSC.
     
  12. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    You can normally run at least twice the watts into a cab than it is rated for, unless you normally run on "10" I played a gig last weekend with a bridged Stewart World 2.1 running into an EA VL210. The amp puts out 1350 watts at 8ohms bridged and the cab is an 8 ohm cab rated for 500 watts. I didn't worry at all about the "health" of the cab with that setup.

    You may also run into a problem running the Pod into a QSC, depending on what the output gain on the Pod is. Some preamps (and I don't know if the Pod is one of them), don't provide enough signal to properly drive the poweramp.
    An input gain tweak is sometimes necessary on the poweramp.
     
  13. My 215XLT and 210T are 400 and 250 watts respectively and my CA9 has enough power to lauch them into low Earth orbit. The trick to keeping a 2x10 alive in the face of such overwhelming horsepower is to roll off all the bass and just feed it mids and highs ...and watch for smoke. :bassist:
     
  14. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I would scrap the idea of both a 4x10 and a 1x15, and just pool the money together to get a high quality 4x10 or 2x12. An Eden or SWR 4x10 should be sufficient for most situations. Anything requiring more backline should have PA support anyways.

    P.s. And I too find Ampegs to be typically "muddy".
     
  15. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    if you are looking to "build a rig" and arent looking to get one NOW ASAP IMMEDIATELY, and if ampeg is out of your price range, then i think that

    1) yes, the schro and eden are WAY out of your price range. even used i suppose

    2) you should think very serioulsy about waiting. go play more gear as much as possible. lok at how much you learned abouyt the ampeg from using it... thats invaluable for YOU. though others clearly have different results, its what YOU like that matters.

    therefore, imo keep trying stuff, regardless of price. stop buying drinks and or food out at bars/restaurants for a couple or 6 weeks. go loight on the gas peddle when you drive. you'll save enough to make the difference. if not, work a few extra shifts etc. sell some crap on ebay.

    you want lotsa sound, good cut in a mix, no mud, good mids/highs, and bang for your buck. honestly, you are describing the edens & schro's...

    Believe me, i am NOT a spendthrift. i still have the $5 bill aunt gert gave me for my 1st communion. I went MANY years, and at one point almsot a decade of playing/gigging without buying new gear. I am not encouraging you to go blow more money for nothing. it's jst that you seem to know WHAT you want to hear, and you want to "build" a rig, so imo do it right.

    my 3 cents.

    (no, wsait.. give me back the extra cent... i am saving up for Quads AMP420!)
     
  16. didier

    didier

    Aug 4, 2005
    NC
    that qsc is 800w bridged at 4 ohms. I don't know alot about that one, but it is probably not going to like being pushed full out at that load. And it is often a good idea, and your overall sound will benefit from it, to have a little extra power/headroon in the amp, so you don't have to have cabs that are rated 800w total.

    I have never tried out Avatar cabs, but alot of people like them, they're not very expensive, and you can find them used, so that might be one option.

    There is a 212 in the clasifieds right now. I don't know how efficient, but it is rated for alot of power and is a good price.

    But I wouldn't write off ampeg, either, from that bad experience. If the price won't work, that's one thing, but they make some great stuff. I suspect your main problem was the head, anyway, and not the cab. The heads (it was an svt, right?) are not made to be "flat," even with what seems like a flat eq setting. They are made to sound good, to sound Ampeg SVT good, and trying to run the pod into it was sort of like pouring maple syrup on top of strawberry ice cream, it might work but it could be just a little too much.

    just some other ideas.... and an attempt to keep peace between you and the Ampeg people. They have been around a long time and they die hard. And they are strong, especially the ones that lug around those tube amps and 810s :)
     
  17. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    Thanks, I didn't mean any disrespect toward the Ampeg people. It's just from my experience, I've determined that Ampeg products aren't for me.

    I am also seriously considering Avatar cabs, so any suggestions you can give are appreciated.
     
  18. +1

    I don't know if it's a stretch on the budget, but maybe the Aguilar S series cabs? ($the cheaper ones$)
     
  19. joegeezer

    joegeezer

    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    Carvin power amps are GREAT!!
     
  20. SlavaF

    SlavaF

    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    if you have a super tight budget, you might wanna look at Avatar (if you havent already)... that would probably be the cheapest way to get 2 cabs of decent quality. I'm not exactly sure about what kinda tone they get, but Guitar World's bass mag reviewed the 410 and 212 Neo cabs in the latest issue, and they described the 212 as "leaner in the low end, more upper mid punch and bite and projects more into room with a more authoritative presence".

    and it handles 600 watts for only $319 :hyper:

    never tried one but it sounds like a good bet :)