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Help wanted: smallish combo recommendations?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Ariel, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. Ariel


    Apr 20, 2006
    Alright, I've tried to piece together some sort of sense from all I've researched on here, but I'm still lost and overwhelmed, so I'll just ask.

    I'm looking for a solid combo amp that will have a good sound with my upright. I play in a country/old time/blues-ish band and also back up a female singer/songwriter.
    I'm also not a large person, and I live on the third floor, and I gig often and will be touring soon, so I'm looking for something that's under 40lbs.
    Most gigs without a PA would be in small coffeeshops, otherwise in larger rooms, I can plug into the PA (is it true that I can't plug into a PA with an Ampeg BA115?). A guy at Pignose almost had me sold on the Hog 30, but then I came on here and read that the sound of those sucks. 30 watts also sounds too weak... I've never owned my own amp (always played acoustic or borrowed), so this is a new thing for me. Seems like every time I find something that looks OK, there's one or two little flaws that kill all hope... Little help?
  2. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I just traded in my Eden CXC110 to Low Down Sound (www.lowdownsound.com).
    I used it with my BSX Allegro EUB and electric bass guitar.
    It's 330watts into a co-ax 10" speaker.
    Very nice sounding combo, about 30lbs maybe (?). And loud if you need it.
    Used it in the same settings as you described and it was perfect. It has a clean DI out as well.
    Check out Eden's web site for all the details.
    When I posted it up, quite a few upright players contacted me about it, so it is a known combo around these parts somewhat.

    Low Down still has it (I just traded it in a few weeks ago). Give them a call.
  3. speedster


    Aug 19, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    The Gallien Krueger MB150 series or older MB200 amps are excellent for the type of venues your speaking of and they are small compact and weigh in at about 22lbs.....

    Size wise they are 8"X14"X14" so they are easy to carry around and you can order a tote bag that goes over your shoulder from GK for around 80bucks.

    Good sound with uprights, they match well with piezo pickups and they have direct out xlr and post out 1/4" on the 150s and xlr balanced post out and pre out on the E model and the older MB200's...

    Lots of eq features, contour control and low cut features with ground lift built in etc...

    They have a 100watt output at 8ohms and 150 at 4 ohms I believe...

    Sure like mine, only trouble in 8yrs has been recently when it cut out on me at a gig, took it to shop and they had to clean the input jacks and she is as good as new again....

    Cost me 20bucks
  4. speedster


    Aug 19, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    There is a GK MB150S listed in the classifieds on this website.... complete details of amp etc are included in the ad.

    At 450 bucks its a good deal....
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
  6. Ariel


    Apr 20, 2006
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think the Eden might be a little on the pricey side for me, but I'll check out the GK.
  7. Ariel


    Apr 20, 2006
    I meant to say Ampeg BA112. In case anyone was wondering...
  8. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    While I love that amp, it's not that light in general (I'm not challenging you, Mike: you may very well have gotten an exceptionally light one; I'm talking more generally ...). Eden lists it at 39 pounds in their catalog, but when I inquired on the Eden forum, people who owned them generally thought they were closer to 50 pounds than 40. I had the same experience when I bought a DC112XLT combo. Eden lists that at 49 pounds, but it weighs 62 - 63 on several different scales. That was also recently confirmed on the Eden forum, by an Eden employee who weighed one off the assembly line. I do love Eden tone, for slab at least (for me personally, not as much for DB), but their listed weights are sometimes accurate, sometimes badly off. I wouldn't buy one without lifting it yourself: that's the mistake I made with the DC112XLT, which I have since sold.

    Okay, enough with that ...

    I like GK and Polytone combos for upright. I have an old Polytone Teeny Brute that I recently had re-capacitored and the speaker replaced, and it is amazing with both DB and slab, for small venues.

    An iAmp200 combo from EA might fit the bill too. It might be over the 40 pounds you want ... EA's website lists both the iAmp200 and iAmp500 combo at 44 pounds ... they can't weigh the same, 'cause the 500 head is about 5 pounds heavier. Anyway, cab weights can vary, too, based on wood density and that coating that EA uses.

    Or you could do what I'm currently doing and velcro an Acoustic Image head to a Wizzy cabinet. I have the Clarus SL, so I have about a 33 pound rig putting 250 watts into a Wizzy ... very nice.

    Low Down Sound also can build a cabinet with a head space to match an Acoustic Image head, so you can basically 'build a combo' yourself. They have a pic of one on their site, last time I looked.

    Finally, there's the SWR Baby Baby Blue, and the old Workingman's 10. Personally, I really liked my old Workingman's 10, and wish I still had it.

    Good luck!!

  9. Ariel


    Apr 20, 2006
    I bought the MB150s! Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions, and Liam especially for the very detailed reply!
  10. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Informational thread. I've been looking for something as well, but more in the $300 or less range like a little Ashdown, or even maybe the new Fender Bassman tilt-back combo with the 10".

    I'm broke, hence my price range. Any suggestions?

  11. snowdan


    Feb 27, 2006
    SWR WM 10. nice tone, even better when the preamp is bypassed. ..

    and quite loud for a single 10". you may be able to find one around 300.
  12. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    The Musicians Friend Clearance page lists the WM 10 blems at $212 and new ones for $249 (shipped I think)

    I just did a gig with a student's WM 10 and it sounded fine. A little "boxy" sounding -- but I din't use my preamp because I was tight on time for set up & tear down.

    I might buy one of these...but I was kind of waiting to see if I could get a better 12 with my SWR 350 head...looking for a bit more oomph and fidelity...

    Nevertheless...the WM 10 is a decent, affordable option...
  13. I'm not sure what they sell for in the US, but the sweetest budget combo I've played was the Nemesis Silver Series 2x8 - very accurate sound (not boxy or boomy) and surprisingly loud for its size.
  14. +1
    I can swear on my old GK MB150E, Underwood pu plus old Fishman Acoustic preamp (BP100?). GK is very portable, 24 lbs weight,easy to move togather with my upright bass (one trip to car !), plugged into PA works fine.
    /My former amp was Acoustic Image Contra, which I lately hated for its bulky shape and downfiring woofer/.
  15. I agree with the GK MB150 love. I used a 200MB for over 10 years and recently "upgraded" to the MB150.

    I followed other suggestions and bypass the preamp with a Raven Labs PMBII and it makes a HUGE difference. Also allows me to switch between DB and EBG without having to re-EQ.

    I've looked off and on for a 2 channel combo to do this, but keep going back to this rig...

  16. snowdan


    Feb 27, 2006
    the GK is very much the final word in terms of smallish combo design. it won't get much lighter, and the best thing is the low depth which eases carrying in one hand. the markbass seems to be significantly deeper, like the WM10. the WM 10 isn't tooo heavy either, but a drag in one hand.

    the end of the story: there are quite a few small, good sounding combos (be it a nemesis 2x8, a WM10, bassman 25 or whatever...)but so far only one that is a real joy carrying around.

    practically a must for the bass player w/o a car.

    but still, the markbass looks like a good choice for the player who wants a back-friendly WM10-size combo with more output.
  17. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Acoustic contra [and swr 12 is what i use and i use it on larger gigs too where i can go into the house system.
  18. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Let me add to this digression by saying I had been thinking this too. I just now got the scales out and weighed my CXC-110. 54 lbs!

    I knew for a fact that it weighed more than 39 lbs. But it's a little tank- built solidly, and well worth lugging around.. what sound!
  19. The Acousitc Image Line is GREAT!... I've had very good success with my AI Contra. For your needs the Coda would be super because it has a second channel that you could run vocals through on the smaller coffee shop type gigs you mentioned. They are a little pricey, however I've used mine for probably 12 hours a week for about 3 years and have had NO problems.
    Best Wishes,

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