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I don't know how to ask this...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Aug 6, 2005.


  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    ...because I know that I'm not the first with a similar question, but searching and reading the stickies haven't solved my inquiry in a satisfactory way. I'll try to do my best to explain what's going on with me regarding this bass amps stuff.

    My current amp is a Crate BXH220 head with an old Peavey 2x15 cab. Not bad, but definitely not a great setup. I know there are lots of GREAT bass amps, but amp GAS has never hit me (and this one of the forums I visit the least, BTW) because:

    1- It is very common nowadays here that bass is also running through the PA system and most of hired PAs include a bass amp, sometimes a really good one. The best in my town right now is a Trace Elliot combo (can't remember the model) plus a 15" cab. Another guy has a SWR Working Man series which also sounds great to me.

    2- I'm not the kind of person who likes to be transporting heavy stuff all the time and I know that if I own a great bass amp (which most likely will be a BIG one), it will be under the hands of roadies, and the so-called "roadies" here aren't careful with instruments. Worse of all, they never assume the cost of a damage because most of the times they're really poor guys.

    3- Most of the times, and because of the bass running through the PA system, an amp is mostly intended as a personal and band mates' monitor. Problem is that I can try to do my best to EQ my amp the way I like, but it will be ruined when heard through the PA because these guys don't know how to EQ a bass, specially because they're always afraid that the bass is going to blow their speakers. This is the reason because they never let the bass to sound through the monitor system and that's a really annoying thing, specially because of my band mates asking for more volume (the whole 14-piece band MINUS the bass is sounding through the monitors and these sound guys pretend the bass to be heard over that "wall of sound").

    But despite of all of the above, I'd really love to have a good bass amp and cab. Problem is, there are so many options (and so many opinions) about what to get, and I think of something that isn't in the real high end area, but decent enough to bring a smile to my band mates' faces (and mine, of course). Maybe it's similar to what happened with my basses. I was happy with my Carvin (and still think it's a great bass), but the Bongo outperforms it (not only the Carvin, but so many instruments), and it's not a multi-thousand dollars instrument. The Crate can handle most of my gigs decently, but nothing to do with a GK 800RB I used last night, for instance. I've played almost any kind of gigs, from clubs to small stadiums. I'd like you to analyze the reasons why I don't think of upgrading my amp, let me know your opinions and what would you do and some recommendations on amps according to my situation, if possible. Thank you in advance! :)
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    It seems like these days there are lots of good, powerful and fairly portable amplifiers and cabs around...I think with the options available, you should be able to find something that works.

    I can understand not wanting to have to load heavy gear, but you're lucky you can find cheap manpower to do the dirty work...and since you'll have others moving stuff for you, you're the perfect candidate for good road cases and shock-mount rack cases...they're heavy...but you won't do the lifting and your gear will be protected.

    The other thing I'd suggest is that a modular rig would be great. Fer instance, I've been using 2 small boxes instead of one big box for a cab. Then when you're loading gear for a small show, you can handle a small but loud cab youself....and since it's you moving it, you can leave the roadcase for the cab at home. For bigger shows, you can have several cabs and have them in cases for your clumsy muscle power.

    I don't necessarily subscribe to the 'your amp is only a monitor' school of thought. As a working musician, most of our shows have full PAs with monitors, but I know how loud our stage volume is, and I KNOW that some of my own amp sound IS reaching the crowd. Sometimes for the even smaller gigs or private parties, I don't even go through the PA, so its all my amp for my sound. Besides, I find good tone to be inspiring, and I play better and with more confidence when I have a sound I really like.
     
  3. I guess the first couple questions that come to my mind is what kind of band do you play in and how much do you want to spend?
     
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    ... but do you French kiss on the first date?
     
  5. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    My gigs are mostly with a tropical music band (2 trumpets, trombone, two saxes, three percussionists, four singers, piano and bass), but I also have a classic rock band (guitar, drums, bass, keyboards and one singer), which is the music I really love to play, but not so many chances for that here. Also play with a jazz big band (electric and upright). About budget: Well, that's not an investment I'm planning to do right now (I must save money first), but I think I could spend around US$2000 including S&H to Colombia (If I can't get good stuff here).

    Totally agree! The PA problem doesn't inhibit me from setting the amp the way I like. It's just a really disappointing thing. I remember that some years ago we played Ricky Martin's "Living La Vida Loca", which had an aggresive guitar melody in the low register played with a pick and I did it on bass (also with a pick, although I suck with that thing). Problem was: Most sound men here think that bass is just bass, so it should only sound through the subwoofers, resulting only as an unintelligible "boom boom" outside. So when that pick part came, I always said to one of the singers "put your mic in front of my amp". It sounded OK that way, but the sound men were never happy with that.
     
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    :D :D
     
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Booze me up and I'll do near anything on a first date.
     
  8. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Even Munji?
     
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Does he have girl parts?
     
  10. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Oh no, shes all man.