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High Quality Sound with a small profile

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Baltimore_Bass, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. I'm looking an amp and cabinet or combo that will provide great bass tone, high quality sound, but has a small profile for those coffee house gigs. Any suggestions from the professionals out there gigging regularly and that are all about the sound quality?

    I've been using Ampeg 3Pros and SVT 4 heads with 810, 610 and 410 cabinets. I also keep thinking about how nice the Ampeg SVT Classic head would be to gig with, but honestly not sure I have the muscle and don't like asking for my bandmates to help lift and move my equipment at gigs. I just joined a band that does a lot of coffee shops and small venues. Everyone has scaled back equipment with small amps. I'm feeling the shame of bringing a big 410hlf cabinet (my smallest rig) on these gigs, but I really don't want to go cheap and sound bad. After all it's all about the sound!! All the 15" speaker cabinets seem to be too low end and mid range only cutting out the highes. The 12" cabintes of course are all highes and mids and cuts the lows (not good for the bassman). That pushes me to a combo of a 15" and 2x12 cabinet which is bigger than my 410 cabinet. Seems to be no way around physics. Anyone have a great sounding, but small rig/combination to suggest? Cost is not the driver in my selection, I have a few bucks to spend.
  2. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Montreal, QC
    Barefaced One10 and a GK MB200. Less than 20 lbs total, and sounds amazing. Perfect for smaller venues, but I've done higher volume, non-coffee house gigs with it and it keeps up. You'd probably have to buy the cab new, but the MB200 is fairly easy to find used.

  3. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    As has been stated many times before, there are three factors to consider when purchasing an amp: loudness, price and size. I assume that for coffee house gigs, you are not looking to get very loud. You've already stated that you want high quality and small. You have not mentioned price. Do you have a budget in mind?

    I think that you should consider one of several high quality 1x12 cabs and a micro head. I have a Fearless F112 that I think is a very good cab. I am sure others will make recommendations on equally high quality cabs. As for micro heads, there are many good amps out there. It really depends on the sound and features you are looking for. I think you are much better off buying a separate cab and head. That way you can pick the components that best suit you.
  4. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    This simply isn't true, diameter of the speakers don't determine highs/lows/etc, audition cabs of the size you want without regard to speaker diameter.
    iagtrplyr, Westsailor, MVE and 5 others like this.
  5. Stu_Bass


    Nov 24, 2006
    Cabs: Audio Kinesis, Barefaced, Fearless, MAS. Amps: Bergantino, Quilter. YMMV
    lo-freq, noahw1, MrLenny1 and 4 others like this.
  6. TrentB

    TrentB Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Yorba Linda, Ca
    Audiokinesis Hathor 1203 with any of the new micro heads will do exactly what you are looking for.
  7. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Since you have been using Ampeg I'd just get a PF210 . You could keep your big cab for big gigs and the 210 for small and use your SVT 3 pro to run each . The PF 210 is wide enough your head won't look out of place on it . Just an idea .
  8. Not a Genzler Amplification Bass Array 12-3. With one you can do any coffee shop or medium sized room, with two stacked you can play anywhere and you will never use your 4x10 again. BASS ARRAY12-3 | BA12-3

    Of course for the amp the Genzler Magellan 800. The volume knob does not send most of the power when you you barely move it making it easy to adjust it just right for a coffee shop, but if you keep going it will go to the fillings in my teeth have come loose. Especially with those 12's mentioned above.
    MAGELLAN 800 | MG-800
    MichaelOz, noahw1 and scuzzy like this.
  9. alembic76407


    Apr 29, 2004
    you should check out Phil Jones Bass
    Lo-E, lug, Operation Ivy and 6 others like this.
  10. The Audiokinesis Hathor 1203 and Barefaced One10 both offer great bass tone in a very compact package. They are also capable of filling much larger spaces with high volume bass. The GK MB200 would provide plenty of power for a typical coffee house. The Ampeg PF50T would also do quite well. I was playing in an acoustic group for a while and they were rather sensitive to my too imposing amp stack. I ended up using a Fender Rumble 40 with upgraded driver (S2010) and complementary cab tuning. It produced great bass tone on a chair (rich bass with good note definition, and detailed non-aggressive mids), against the wall, and had plenty of headroom. My favorite coffee house rig was essentially Duke's Coffee House 110 driven by an Ashdown CTM-30. Same tone as the Fender, but with greater harmonic richness, and bass richness extending into the upper bass, yet with good articulation.
    Al Kraft, noahw1 and DukeLeJeune like this.
  11. GK MB115 should do the job. I get a nice clean sound from mine. Depends on your eq, technique, strings and type of bass you are playing. :D
  12. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Baltimore Bass: you have been given incorrect information! Don't pay attention to speaker diameter. Get a Bergantino REF112 cab, feed it 300 to 400 watts, and spend the rest of your life smiling! :)
    DWBass and DukeLeJeune like this.
  13. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    65CE5786-D956-4404-B5FD-4DE152C15A27. Get a nice used Ampeg B100R combo. Great tone, and you can’t beat it’s cool factor.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  14. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Imo there are quite a few 112 cabs out there that are not "all highs and mids". First and foremost would be Greenboy's 112 cabs, which do a decent job on the first overtone of a low F#, and for whom a low-B is a walk in the park.

    Imo dispersion is an overlooked factor in getting good sound in a relatively small room. In a coffeehouse setting, you'll probably have listeners sitting well off-axis, and everyone in the room will be hearing a lot of reflections (an outdoor gig being the polar opposite as far as reflections go). Most unamplified acoustic instruments have much wider dispersion than typical bass cabs, especially in the top end. For instance an unamplified acoustic guitar not only sounds really good, it has pretty much the same tone from anywhere in the room, both of which are imo related to the fact that it inherently "gets the reverberant field right". So in my opinion, you might want to look at small cabs that use a midrange and/or tweeter to not only extend the top end but also improve the dispersion.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    pachoate, Foz, Al Kraft and 5 others like this.
  15. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    interp likes this.
  16. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    EA Wizzy cab with GK MB500 head..
    matthewbrown likes this.
  17. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    On a budget? Use what I use: A Carvin microbass head and an Eden 1X12 cab. Sounds great, less filling!
    Lvjoebass and mikewalker like this.
  18. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    93EDC0B2-C3B5-419E-AA5B-3FBB7B1F397C. Can’t go wrong with Mesa Subway series.
    five7 likes this.
  19. Aguilar tonehammer with an SL112 cabinet
  20. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    I agree with those who suggested the Ampeg B100R. Especially since you're an Ampeg guy. Used one currently on the GC site too.

    There's a small-ish room I gig regularly that has one as backline. It's easy to dial in, great sound, has no problem filling the room even when full of dancers carousing.

    No need for the big-ticket reinventing-the-wheel stuff.
    svtbass, SJan3 and Helix like this.

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