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Help me decide on an amp and cab, Tube, Solid State

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by blockinlay, Mar 30, 2009.


  1. blockinlay

    blockinlay

    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I've got GAS.
    I use an old Peavey Mark III for bass, and two 1x15's.
    I'm looking for a top of the line bass specific amp and cab set up, and I've been reading many threads trying to figure out what to get.
    I want enough power to be able to play an outside fair without pa.
    I look online at what some of the players are using, and I see players still using multiple 100 watt Marshall stacks, SVT's, and a whole world of solid state amps and cab variations pushing up to 750 watts.
    I've got the Marshall stack, and it can get as loud as anything I've ever heard. Should I just use that?
    It sounds great, really vintage. I worry about wrecking the expensive to replace G12H speakers, though this is the same set up guys used in the 60's and 70's.
    If I buy another amp, I'd rather go lighter than heavier.
    I've been researching the Edens and Thunderfunks in the 550 range, and realize their differences, but I see people trading up now for 750's.
    I've passed on a few of what seemed to be like good deals, because I just can't decide.
     
  2. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Why would you play an outside gig with out running a line to the P.A.?
     
  3. blockinlay

    blockinlay

    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    Don't know, I guess I would use the pa if I could.
    I don't have allot of experience in the matter.
    I've read on tb that having the power of a stand alone amp is a good thing if needed, so I want that.
    Have any advice?
     
  4. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    If you like the tone your current equipment gives you and amp does not have a good DI out built in, then just buy a decent direct box to run a line to the PA for outside gigs. If you really want a new bass rig, first determine your budget then go play everything in your price range you can get your hands on with YOUR bass. Trust your ears and get what sounds good to you.
    Hope this helps, smogg
     
  5. blockinlay

    blockinlay

    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I love the tone of the 100watt Marshall through the handwired cab, but haven't tried it loud, or in a band setting with a bass.
    It's a guitar amp. People have said to sell it, but I'm not selling.
    My amp tech said I should try it, but gave me concern for beating up the speakers.
    Haven't played the bass long enough, so I have no experience with bass gear.
    I'm researching and making due with this old Peavey head I got with a bass purchase, and EV bins I built 20 years ago.
    It works fine, but I have GAS for a major upgrade.
    I thought maybe $1000 or less for a used head to start, and see how it works through my cabs.
    Maybe a little less for a medium sized cab.
    I also thought about swapping one 1x15 baffle for one with two tens.
    Maybe this Sat I'll have a chance to gig the Marshall and see what it's like.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Guys in the 60's who used Marshall guitar cabs for bass were constantly blowing speakers. Not recommended for high volume usage.

    Your Mark III/215 rig should be fine if you like the sound. And if you have an inadequate PA for running bass through, chances are not hearing vocals will prevent you from turning up too loud, so I really don't see it being much of an issue in the rare event you play a fair gig without adequate PA. Most fairs (unless they're cheapass dirtbag country fairs) will rent a PA for their stage, though, and you can just plug into that.

    Having said that, an all-tube SVT rig is pretty sweet, bro ;)
     
  7. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Don't use the guitar cab, at all, You'll ruin the speakers quickly. I don't have any suggestions for a bass head, there's alot of them to choose from, and it's a personal choice, but as to BASS CABS, I'd suggest either a 215, 810, or a more modular set-up like a pair of single 12's, or combination of 10's and 15's. Alot of choices there too, but for me, I like a good 215. You just gotta stop using the guitar cab. The guitar amp is ok, you won't hurt it, but it probably doesn't sound great either. A bass amp will sound better, imo. ANY bass amp. Good luck.
     
  8. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Buy yourself modules/components of a decent FOH/PA systems.
    Get a sub, and Mid range cab.
    They top gear is all using Neodymium and lightweight amplifiers. And it can reproduce any base tone you send to it.

    Try modelling to send "tone" to it. It's used on many recordings these days.

    You can use a PA/FOH for anything, not just bass.
     
  9. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    if the mark iii is only 150w into 4 ohms, then probably a 500w into 4ohm head is enough for you. in this range I like eden wt550 (fav, 20 Lbs, and can run down to 2ohms), thunderfunk 550 (backup and 17 LBS!), or maybe an aguilar sc500 (15 lbs)

    The 'funk and aggie have a more tight modern tone, but does that very well, the eden will give you a looser round tone with very heavy sound when eqing the lows if thats what you like.

    you might be able to snag a deal on the thunderfunk since everyone seems to be trading up to the 750 model. 550 is a good head, DON'T WORRY.

    listen to stuff before you buy though....

    Cabs?

    love aguilars if you like a vintage growlly sound GS series if you like a darker tone, DB series, I've heard, has more mids.

    for outside stick with at least two large cabs. like 2 115s or maybe a 410 and a 115.

    good luck!
     
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    We used those cabinets because we didn't have anything else! I have never blown a speaker but in those days it was a common event even with the low power levels! That's one of the reasons big bands back then used many stacks of cabinets to handle the load.

    Today there is so much choice for bass that you would be foolish to wreck a perfectly good GUITAR cabinet by playing a bass through it.

    You could use the Marshall head but you would need pretty efficient cabinets to gig with it. You would be better off buying a proper bas amp or a pre/power amp setup. It'll last much longer. Have a look at carvin.com. Their gear is well made and reliable.

    Paul
     
  11. Top of the line...Mmmmm. This varies by what type of sound you prefer and what style you play.
    Amp / Rack Rig: Find out what the bass players you like (based on tone) are playing through and work from there.
    Cabs: Neo cabs are the least cumbersome cabs and are available in budget formats (AVATAR cabs) up to high end cabs (EPIFANI nad BERGANTINO) just to mention a few I am most familiar with.
    I hope this helps; I've been at this a while and I have been complimented on my sound many times, but like many of those on TB, I'm still searching for "THE" tone and I probably always will be!