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Help with first gigging amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PitchShifter, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. PitchShifter


    Dec 21, 2007
    Hey there,
    So far I've just been using a Zoom B2 to make bedroom recordings with a friend. Now we are moving out to play our songs in small club/pub environments and I need help choosing an appropriate amp.

    The Zoom amp "model" I've favoured is their take on the Fender Bassman 100. I've looked at the new Fender combo 100 but I've heard bad things about their reliability.

    Is there another amp out there, in the same pricerange, that could get me into a similar sounding dynamic? I'm really looking for a good first gigging amp.
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Traynor makes some very good gigging amps that are reliable, made in North America (Canada eh) and fairly priced. lots of working pros using them.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Whenever cost is a large part of the equasion, some sacrifice will be necessary. Loud gigging volume PLUS good tone cost alot more money. If tone is a prime objective, you lose out on volume, and vice versa. The "model" you liked, Bassman 100, is more likely a 100 watt all tube Fender amp from the 70's, not the newer Bassman combos, so right there is a problem. Your best bet is to take all your money out amp shopping, and test the waters, with YOUR bass in hand. See what you can find in person, that best suits you, and good luck. Have fun while your at it.
  4. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Three rules to buyng your first gigging amp:

    a) It must be rugged: you won't have enough money for a fancy pants backup and you probably don't have three other bass players on call to provide one for you in a pinch if stuff happens. You're a new gigging bass player, remember ?

    b) It must be loud enough to play small clubs/bars (aka dives) without PA support. This means that most of the time, you need a head + a cab. This is usually the best setup for most people that need stage volume but also volume in the room. Most combos don't cut it, except for monitoring purpose only, unless you then add a speaker ext. Better off buying a separate head and cab then, heh ?

    c) Buy used if possible. Amps depreciate, a lot, some brands moreso than others. You're better off buying an old Peavey head + cab than buying some new Behringer crap that will blow a speaker during your third rehearsal. Buying used also insures that you respect both rules a) and b): many amp manufacturers who are not in the spotlight anymore (Carvin and Peavey) do have reputations as being reliable and loud for the money.

    They won't have the greatest tone, but this is your first amp. You're better off buying a piece of equipement wich sounds decent to good but that can get loud, then an amp wich will not get loud enough for your needs and will thus clip, fart and lose headroom.

    GK 700RBII (I always recommend the old GK400rb but everybody seems to think it's underpowered)
    Carbin bx series
    Peavey Mark/Firebass, etc.

    As for cabs, Avatar makes a great product, I like Peavey BW loaded cabs a lot.
  5. PitchShifter


    Dec 21, 2007
    Some nice tips there.

    Any love for the Gallien-Krueger Backline 600 Bass Head?
  6. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Firstly, I agree with Rickenboogie and BillyRay. Back in the day I had a GK400rb, it never let me down, I wished I hadn't parted with it, that was late 70's early 80's though so I can't speak for their newer backline series.

    My 2 cents worth says you should at least check out the new Acoustic Amplification stuff with your own ears at your local GC. I did and I'm happily not looking back. I'd be surprised if you are not surprised after you have heard them in person. A whole lotta tonal bang for your buck. They have both a 200W Combo as well as a 200W head (B200H) along with either a B410 or B115 cab (or both if you get a little "way inspired" as I was). That’s 200W RMS (Old School Watts). Many may not even bother to try out a 200W Bass amp, but this one…you should. It was a total 70’s tonal flashback moment for me when I tried the Acoustic out compared another “famous” Amp of that era boasting 20 more Watts...peg. :D Just IMHO but always trust your own ears as many tastes in amp selection may differ as well as different playing styles, playing venues, etc. They come new with a 3 year warranty from GC. As for durability, yes, they are a new line so the jury is still out on that aspect. My thought was no matter where I am, if one was to sh#! the bed, at no fault of my own, I'd just waddle down to the nearest GC (which are like the Starbucks of music stores these days, of course with my proof of purchase copy that I'd keep in my gig bag) and have them swap me out with a new one. When you hear it ( makes sure to play around with the EQ for awhile, great stuff) and what it can do (a.k.a. LOUD) and then compare the prices, I think you'll give it serious consideration.

    Best of Luck,

    Play On! :bassist:

  7. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    The BL600 is basically the new 400RBIII, but made in China with an overdrive channel. I personally don't care much for from a reliability standpoint: I played one a few times (it was a friend's) and it crapped out. Not on a gig mind you, but it still crapped out. You might have more luck with it.

    I also like the tone of the old GK400RB better (the 80's one). There's something about this small amp that makes everything warm, fat and musical. It also responds very wel to the nuances of my playing. I bought this particular amp on TB in the classifieds.
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Agreed. I'd also add that when you get an extra few bucks add a sans amp bass driver pedal (or something similar... maybe even your zoom pedal) and run it thru the effects loop. This will greatly increase the quality of your tone without having to spend a huge amount of money.
  9. Bassmore

    Bassmore Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Yeah, what BASSIST said, although I have not experienced it first hand I've read that many are loving the new Sansamp VT pedal in combination with the new Acoustic B200H or B200 Combo. Could be worth a listen as well. I'll have to give it a try in the near future.

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