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I need a new amp. Too many choices.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SteveL54, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. SteveL54


    Oct 4, 2010
    Well, I'm in the market again for a new amp. I've sold off some of my old unused equipment, and I'm ready to buy. I play mainly bars to medium clubs. Anywhere from 100 - 500 people. 4 pc band playing covers, and a few originals. My main bass is a Fender Precision, and backups are a Squier VM Jazz, along with an Epi violin bass. My practice and small room amp is Ampeg BA 115 HP. My main rig is an an Ampeg CL 410 HLF. (which I refuse to give up) and a Peavey Mark 8. The Peavey belongs to the band, and after years of abuse, it's time to retire it. My budget is $750 maximum. I'm leaning towards a GK 700RBII. I've read a lot of good things about them here, and it seems as though it pairs up well with the Ampeg cab. I've also been looking at the Carvin amps. Lots of power for relatively small $$, but I've never owned one of these lightweight amps. So give me some suggestions. I'm open to just about anything. Although I would like tube, clearly it's not in the budget. I also only play out only 1 - 2 times a month, so I cannot justify spending big $$ on a rig.
  2. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Markbass Little Mark III? 300w @ 8 ohms, $600. Solid state, but sounds really good. If you need more power, there's a Little Mark 800 with 500w @ 8 ohms.
  3. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    You should tell us what sort of music you play and what sort of tone you're after. Tone-wise I see Carvin and GK as polar opposites.

    I'm a huge fan of Carvin but they do have one dud on the market. A little reading and you'll know which one it is.
  4. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I've been using the TC Electronic Classic for about 9 months and have zero complaints.
  5. SteveL54


    Oct 4, 2010
    Mostly covers. Aerosmith, Neil Young, ZZ Top, Nugent. Usual stuff.
    I like a nice deep tone. I really don't do slapping.
    More straight ahead rock.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
  7. Mousekillaz


    Nov 25, 2009
    Anacortes Wa.
    I like my SWR Working Pro's 12 tone very much, but it MUST be run through the FOH on a gig or its lost. I'd do the 2X10 on a redo. They make head only 400/700w versions. Or maybe one of the SM-500/900/1500's, if you prefer a tube front end. I see them used often.
    So far I've had 0 issues with mine and it get used. Paid like 350.00 for it on "the" auction site
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Just go amp shopping, and buy whatever you like. You cannot choose an amp based on what people on the internet say, the same as buying a pair of shoes. Go try some on, see what fits.
  9. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    Ampeg micro vr with 2 of the ampeg mini 2x10 cabs. Te head is 200 watts and will power the two easily. Each piece costs 300 bucks, so if you didnt want to spend the extra go with any old 4x10, the head will crank, and it sounds best when it, although it might be best suited to 1-200 people.
  10. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Ok, in that case I think either would be a good fit. If I were in the market for another all-in-one amp, the 700RBII would be at or near the top of my list. The BX1500 would be on the list, too. Note: GK has a two-year warranty, while Carvin's is half that.

    Flat tone knob settings on the Carvin give flat response. Flat tone knob settings on GK kit yield anything but. The difference is HUGE. See fdeck's curves and "true flat" settings in (I think) the MB200 thread. Not a problem in real-world use, just falls under the category of managing expectations.
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    If you are married to the Ampeg cab, I'm guessing it's because you like the thick / old school tone. I'd suggest looking at a GB Streawliner 600. That's in your price range, is nice & light, and has some very cool features.
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    IME, the 700rb-II will definitely do what the OP asks, and then some - it's deep for days, yet clear and warm - and can dial up the grit easily, if desired - at reasonable gigging volumes... tons of power, and works really, really well with an SVT-410HLF...

    Hard to go wrong there, OP...

    - georgestrings
  13. GOV


    Jun 1, 2011
    Hickory, NC
    Yup, my vote goes to the GK as well.
  14. enricogaletta


    May 21, 2011
    You can chech the new smaller amps series from swr. Pretty nice and noo too bad expensive.
    Cheers. Enrico
  15. SteveL54


    Oct 4, 2010
    Lots of great suggestions here. Looks like I have to spend some time at GC trying out all these amps. A friend has a Carvin that I'm going to try tonight, and the rest I'll try in the store. Thanks to all you TB'ers for these great ideas. I'll let you know which ones float to the top.
  16. SteveL54


    Oct 4, 2010
    Well, I went with the GK 700RBII. Tried nearly everything at GC, and Sam Ashe. GK came out on top. MF matched the GC price and an additional 10% - $545 - no tax or shipping, and the Fathers Day deal got me a $100 credit which I was able to apply to the purchase. So the final was $445. I think it was a good deal. It was delivered this morning. I have rehearsal tonight, and it's killing me to be here in work.
  17. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    Don't forget the lightweight PA amp + pre route. Great way to get large power at a small price, run more cabs if needed, and experiment with different types of pre's for cheap.
  18. Look into the Ampeg PF-500. 500 watts at 4 ohms, decent onboard compressor, lightweight, awesome price ($399). There is a PF500 thread with a lot of positive opinions.

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