High end combos/small rigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by backsandbreaks, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. backsandbreaks


    Jan 26, 2013
    I'm interested in hearing opinions regarding high end small (ie 2x10 or so) combos and rigs. Specifically Orange vs Eden vs Trace Elliott vs Phil Jones Bass. I know this is very subjective. Looking for sound versatility. Mainly for no compromise practice use. Thanks in advance for the input!
  2. PhatRon

    PhatRon I blow bass

    Feb 29, 2012
    Lake Stevens, Wa.
    Mesa Walkabout/scout--awesome goodiness.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Not a 2-10 but this afternoon I got together with folks for a possible band and brought just my bass and Markbass Minimark combo amp. That would have sufficed for this get together (vocals through small PA, electric guitar into Princeton Chorus, drums and myself). At first i used the MM by itself then I tried it along with an SWR Goliath III. Holy cow, I did not have to turn the amp up much to be louder than I needed! :eek: Pretty amazing what these really small combo amps can do.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 Mesa Walkabout Scout 12. Then, when you need more volume, use the amp with a bigger cab.
  5. The only one of the manufacturers that you listed that builds a combo that would even be on my radar is Phil Jones. That said IMHO there is no place for a combo amp in my life.

    If you have the budget a fEARless F110 or F112 and a Orange TB500 would be a KILLER small rig.
  6. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004

    I have a Phil Jones Suitcase & 4B extension cab. Sweet little rig. But not so light, by today's standards anyway. Still, really nice.

    The cab suggestions are stellar. I'd add the fEARless 115 to the list along with the fEARful 112 & 115. If you have the space to transport a 115 (& I guess you do since you mentioned 210s), that's the way I'd personally go.

    Sure the Orange amp would be great. An Eden WT550 would be an excellent choice, too, as would many top notch class D amps (like an Aguilar TH500 or TH350, Genz Benz Streamliner 900 or 600, GB Shuttle 9.0 or 9.1, Gallien Krueger MB800 or MB500, GK Fusion 500 or Fusion 800, & T.C. Electronic RH450 or RH750, among others).

    Lots of excellent amps. Hard to go far wrong. The cab is going to really make the difference. The ones mentioned, along with super boxes from great outfits like AudioKinesis, Baer, & Barefaced, are head & shoulders above mass marketed commercial offerings. Lastly, Don Oatman @ www.LowDownSound.com will build you what you want with your choice of driver & other components, too. He does top-notch work (& you also have the choice of cosmetics, if that matters at all to you).

    Good luck with whatever you choose :bassist: .
  7. One of the reasons I suggest the orange TB500 for a 15/6 or a F115 (or the other single 301xLF based cabs) is that it puts out an honest 500 watts at either 4 or 8 Ohms. So with a 15/6 or F115 you can push that cab to a crazy level of output with out having to spring for the "bigger brother" just to get the power output at 8 Ohms.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    GK MB800 and Bergantino AE210.
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I agree you're far better off with a head and small cab. For versatility, reliability and service a Genz Benz Shuttle Max is pretty much unbeatable and weighs 10 lbs. Pair it with a top quality 112 (Berg, fEarless, Audiokinesis) and done.

    The Orange TB heads are great but not versatile and their smaller cabs.....meh.
    Phil Jones will do clean, clean or clean, at a high price and weight/volume ratio.
  10. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    I suppose that's correct. It's a tremendous version of clean, though. Henry Ford once said you could get his cars in any color you wanted, too, as long as it was black. And black's one of the two or three best colors for his product :D .
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I owned a few PB products (the 4x5 combo and ext cab) and found the sound accurate and clean and the construction, fit and finish excellent. But IMHO it was way overpriced and weighed significantly more than I could have had with other brands. I'll take a top quality 112 and a GK MB500 over a PB combo in a heartbeat. Just my .02

    IMO, "versatile" for bass means the ability to go from clean to gritty, punchy to pillowy, etc. There's no grind in a PB combo at all.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    An MB500 and a CN212 would dominate.
  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
  14. Agree on the weight issue with PJB. If I didn't mind moving around a tiny 50# cab I might as well look at some older and larger 50# Peavey cabs for a lot less $$$.
  15. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    I ran a Little Mark III through a Warwick WCA 210 pro for about 3 years. The amp is like 5lbs and sounds pretty sweet. Played a ton of shows in all kinds of venues with that rig. I switched to an Orange TB500 (11lbs) which sounds better (for what I go for at least) and gives 500w to an 8ohm cab. Gives a lot of punch in a small package. The Orange SP212 cab is even smaller and is a 600w cab rather than my Warwick WCA pro 400w cab. Tried and really liked the Eden Traveller 550 too. Little Mark III was the cheapest, lightest, and tone wise can go toe to toe with pretty much any class D out there. Try a few out in your price range and let your ears do the buying.
  16. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    If you are really talking high end, check out the AER Amp 3. Two 8" speakers, 200 (loud) watts, super fidelity in a package under 30 pounds. A truly great amp IMHO.
  17. JI99

    JI99 Guest

    Jan 24, 2007
    Probably not considered "high end" anymore, but you can't go wrong with the GK MB150 S or E combos and 112MBX extension cab made for it.

    They've been around for 30 years or more, high-quality, great sound and eq options for both magnetic and piezo pickups. The "E"nhanced model has a couple parametrics and chorus that the "S"tandard model does not. The sealed 12" cab is truly a unique wonderful sound, mid-present as you would imagine, but plenty of low-end, for low to reasonable volume gigs. With the added 112MBX extension cab it gets surprisingly loud, without losing that wonderful tone.
  18. backsandbreaks


    Jan 26, 2013
    So, bas(s)ed on the much appreciated input, I ordered a Genz Benz Shuttle Max 9.2 and a fEARless f210. I let you know how it turns out. Wasn't cheap!
  19. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Great choices!!!


    I like my GK MB800 with one UL1 Epifani 210 cabinet. A GB Shuttle 6.0 or even a little Ampeg PF350 work very well with that Epifani cabinet. Those heads are actually all quite different—but all sound great. BTW, you should hear them with a fEARful 15/6/1! Now THAT is a combo. ;)

    But yeah—I really don't like "fused" combos—no flexibility, heavy, big, chunky, squat...hmmm? ;)
  20. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    You could pair a Walkabout head with a box of crackers and still end up with nothing but "Win"!