I want your advice! Small flat response combo/Poweramp+cab for my tube preamp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by valaka, Dec 31, 2021.

  1. Hey,
    I bought an Olympic tube preamp and I want to use it as my default pre. In most gigs I would go ampless using Olympic’s DI out. However, sometimes (practice sessions with a quieter band, home practice when no one’s in the room) I need some speaker. Currently I am using Ampeg 210 v2, but it is too big, too heavy (22 kg) and too powerful (~290 W) so I want to sell it and use the money to buy something more convenient. I am leaning towards Ampeg 110 v2, which is cheap (second-hand) and has 1/4" aux in with seperate potentiometer, so I could plug Olympic’s line out into that and avoid Ampeg preamp’s tone coloration. Do you have some better advice for me?
    • Power: >= 40 W
    • Weight: < 15 kg
    • Inputs (if it doesn’t have flat response or any coloration): fx return (ideally) or 1/4" aux
    I believe that many of you, fellow bass players, are in the same situation. How do you deal with it?
  2. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    NEBADON2000 and basmansam like this.
  3. Thanks, but thats a bit pricey :D I would rather keep it under 350 $ / 300 €, I should have stated that in the first post.
  4. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    I looked in several websites (Sweetwater, Thomann…) but it doesn't seem to be a specific product category yet. Maybe you should search in the PA category (example "Alto PS 315", I've seen a bassist talking about it here on Talkbass…).

    But I'm sure it should become a category of its own in a near future, because as you say, many of us are using preamps now (digital preamp like the HX Stomp or tube preamps like the Olympic). So this market segment should develop IMO.

    Anyway, it's an interesting question, I will follow the thread to know, I'm also interested…
    Ju Va likes this.
  5. Nebadon2000

    Nebadon2000 Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Moyock, North Carolina
    Ashdown Studio 10 has 1/4" line input 60 watts; E240.00
  6. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    Interesting. I'm a fan and long time user of PHL drivers for some of my domestic designs, and rumours are they've gone under. I intended to wait another week or so before emailing (they're awful at replying) to see whether it may need a redesign. I hope not, they have some excellent drivers.

    I talked about using a Mackie Thump 15A briefly a while back as a FRFR type cab and liking it. The plan was to use a small pre and maybe a multiFX to make a whole system. In a few weeks I'm visiting a friend who does a lot of business with one of the JBL dealers and may look to one of their designs instead as he will get better pricing than I. If I do, I'll get a pair and stands so I can multiuse them. Few places really have the need for a large rig off stage any more and something of the form factor and capability of a Mackie type speaker increasingly makes sense to me.
    I'll still have the large high power rigs as I already own them, if ever they're needed again.
    gtirard likes this.
  7. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    Just a side note: many bass preamps don't sound spectacular through FRFR powered cabs without cab sim. If OP likes his/her preamp with Ampeg combo it will not sound the same through FRFR system.
    agedhorse and gtirard like this.
  8. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    Very interesting. The only thing is that PA systems look ugly IMO compared to bass rigs.
  9. gtirard


    Feb 22, 2020
    Paris, France
    The latest version of the Shift Line Olympic have a cab sim option
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  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    I ended up buying one of the tiny Quilter heads for this purpose. They take pedals very well! :)

    Mine is an older version, but I see that the new-and-improved micro-Quilters even have a FRFR switch now!
    ahadl2500 and gtirard like this.
  11. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    The audience won't notice or care one jot.
    FWIW. I think a fridge 6 or 8 x10 design is both ugly and oversized. Same with many other bass rigs.
  12. Really? Why is that?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  13. Indeed. Unfortunately I have MkII, that comes without cabsim (bought it for half the price of MkIIIS). I dunno how it will sound like through PA. Maybe I'll have to get omnicabsim or whatever.
  14. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    This is IMO of course but I have noticed that often bass cabs boost and cut desired frequensies where FRFR cabs just sound lame, misses punch and is alone terrible with distortion or overdrive.
    Ju Va and gtirard like this.
  15. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
  16. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices

    It weighs 25 lbs, is loud enough to play with others, looks great, and sounds great.
    Lovep likes this.
  17. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I love the science experiment that happens but amassing pedals, effects etc. then needing a cab sim to sound like a cab seems like......
    Playing bass through some of these plastic cabinets is also.....

    I own four powered plastic cabs. Great for voice and guitar with the right mixer/pre/DI. My vibist plays his through my Summit TD-100 and as many of these powered cabs as we need. Generally one. The vibes sound real. The Summit is the trick because through mixers the sterility creeps in. Sometimes for color a Joe Meek will make vocals just amazing through these cabs.

    Okay. Plug in a bass and it's a no. I mean I was a young teen player in the mid '60s and things have improved in bass amp performance. Now all aren't great. That depends on their design goals. You still have to use your ears. When the salesman or the brochure says it sounds good what does that mean? It sounds like this cab simulating a bass cab? Wait. Why not a bass cab that can go from pristine hifi to raunch from one measure to the next? Or more reasonably do your work at a semi acoustic coffee house setting and a loud forceful set at a loft later that night.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  18. Scott Freeman

    Scott Freeman Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2018
    Alexandria, VA
    Tech21 power engine is designed for your application (or any preamp). Good sounds, with minimal tone shaping.
    Ju Va, BlackVincent52 and gtirard like this.
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    A good powered PA cab will do. When they target the guitar/amp/keyboard players they call them FRFR - same thing but may have different input jacks to make it easier to use with 1/4" pedal boards.

    They sit on the floor in front of you like stage monitors. You hear yourself well. The same signal that gets sent to the cab, w/wo cab sims also gets sent to FOH. Audience hears you well too.

    Next step is IEM's. If you typically go FOH then IEM is a good standard way to go.
    bassically_eli likes this.
  20. I was in similar situations when I was using the Avalon u5 DI. My solution was to run it into a crown xls power amp and then to some cabs. The class d crown amps are super cost effective and very light. I had the 1500 and it was 1550w at 4 ohms bridged and less than 10 lbs. More than enough power for any gig. What cabs really don’t matter that much. I was using ampeg classic cabs at the time. Because you’ll be running the pre to the PA the cabs are really just there for monitoring purposes. Guitarist I play with does a similar thing. He uses a fractal axe fx and runs a “smaller” class d crown amp into a avatar 212 with vintage 30s. I think his is the 500w but he runs the amp in stereo and only uses one side so it’s not super overkill. For bass with those class d crown amps because it’s not much more money to bump up to a high wattage I recommend at least a 1000w class d amp.
    Jesuguru likes this.