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If you could go back and buy your setup again...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Yonni, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Talkbass is full of threads of “should I buy amp A or amp B”, “pedals or multi effects” etc. I’m going through exactly the same as a relative newbie. So I thought I’d start a thread for folk to share their wisdom:

    If you could go back and not make the same purchase (or selling) mistakes again, with all the knowledge you have now, what would you go out and buy? I’m not asking about basses, let’s assume we’ve all got our dream bass. I’m also not talking about dream setups that cost the earth. But what amp/effects combo is just enough and good enough to get the job done for you? What essentials would you recommend to someone looking to join a band on a medium budget? Brand, combo or separate, speaker sizes, effects, etc.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
    Eric DK, Wisebass and Stumbo like this.
  2. Yorick


    Nov 10, 2006
    SVT into 8x10
    joeypee, Aqualung60, ThisBass and 4 others like this.
  3. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Why? What did you have to go through to come to this conclusion?
  4. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    What's your max budget?
    Genre of music?
    Type of bass?
    pellomoco14 likes this.
  5. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
  6. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    I would still have the same mid 70s P I started on played through the Peavey Combo 300 I bought in college and would have contributed all the other money I spent on gear to an IRA.
  7. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Well budget is flexible. Right now I have around $600 but I can get 0% finance from Andertons so that could go up.
    Genre isn’t clear. I have broad musical tastes and Im not in a band yet. Hoping to play pop/soul but also happy to play blues/rock. This is my point really, it’s tempting to get something for a certain sound but then I’d probably want to explore something else, and then something else again. Experience in other areas (photography and as a racing cyclist) has taught me that I can waste a lot of money on kit I really don’t need. I ultimately get to a point where I’m happy with what I have but it can be an expensive pricess getting there. So I’m hoping to benefit from the collective wisdom. My thoughts are something big enough for a rock band to practice with a drummer etc. That I could also use for pub gigs/venues without PA.
    Transport a hatchback with a decent sized boot (trunk) once I put the seats down. Probably gonna trade it in for an SUV next year though.
    I’d use the amp for home practice so headphones would be good, but if I got a multi effect box I could use the phone out on that.
    Pedals would be mainly for playing around at home (chorus, compressor, looper, octave).
    Basses - Läkland skyline 44-01 active Bartolini soap bars. Keeping an eye out for a Fender P passive in the near future.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  8. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    8x10 seems to be a standard that gets mentioned a lot. What’s the benefit over a modern 210?

    For me and my back I’m looking more at the smaller modern cabs and combos. I don’t think I’d survive wrestling an 8x10 for long.
    BazzaBass, Inara and saabfender like this.
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I would go directly to the kind of setup I eventually settled on: a pair of matching (8-ohm) 2x10 cabinets -- stacked vertically -- and a lightweight 500ish-watt head. If I didn't have the budget to get all this at once I would start with a single 2x10 + head with the plan of adding the matching cabinet later when I had the dough. I actually have two such setups now, which stay at different people's homes for use with two different bands, and I find this setup to be ideal.
  10. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    I notice that James Eager from eBass guitar has this setup. I think his is Markbass. Seems to be a lot of love for the Trace Elliot Elf + 210 out there as well.
  11. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Try out as much different gear as you can and figure out what brand gets you closest to the sounds in your head. Buy used if possible. Save up for what you want the first time instead of constantly "upgrading". If you go with a SS head (many great ones out there) as your first amp, start saving up for a tube head down the road because your gonna wanna scratch that itch eventually. I could have saved myself several hundred $ in buying/flipping losses if I'd have just saved up for what I wanted from the get go instead of settling for good enough for now.

    These days my 2 go to rigs are a GK MB500 paired with 2 GK Neo 212s and a Peavey VB-2 paired with the matching 810. I mix and match amp/cab combinations depending on the gig, have 2 sounds I love, and haven't had amp gas for quite some time. These solutions work for me, but others may have varying results.
    dBChad and Yonni like this.
  12. Yorick


    Nov 10, 2006
    Having owned various rigs, this is the one i'd go back to
    Aqualung60 and Yonni like this.
  13. Kind of a budget blower drool but, just going hog wild I’d go with the Mesa Engineering D800+ head and three Mesa Subway 1x15 cabs. This is rock solid gear with the flexibility of playing a coffee house to a “blow the doors off” gig.
    I’m old enough that a bass amp still has to look and sound huge, but also old enough that I want something modular for easier moving. I also like having plenty of headroom in the amp and the speakers.
    I’d keep two cabs at the practice space, one at home, and just take the head between places.
    I like 15’s which in today’s world is kind of silly, but that’s what does it for me.

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled program, -Powerball Losers-
  14. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    This kind of "vertical-stack" setup is pretty popular around these parts. Here's a thread devoted to it:

    I am a 210 vertical stack believer!!

    I've avoided recommending particular brands/models because there are so many good options available and we all have different tastes. (Also because the particular heads and cabs I have were ones that I just happened to come across good deals on -- not necessarily what I think are "best.")

    BTW, to clarify something in my previous post: I think it is important that the pair of cabinets match each other (same brand, same model) -- but not at all important that the cabs are the same brand as the head. There's no need to limit yourself in that way. My own current setups happen to be (1) a MarkBass LMII with a pair of Avatar 2x10s, and (2) a G-K MB500 with a pair of SWR Goliath Jr. IIIs (and I'm still experimenting with which head I like better with which pair of cabs).
    Yonni likes this.
  15. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    So no one ended up with a combo? What about pedals? Not needed? Boxes or board?
  16. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    I’ve certainly enjoyed the journey searching for my ampless/iem setup. I’ve tried many many pedals and finally ended up where I started. Bass>Radial J48>board. Simple, compact and all I need. If I change basses just a simple gain adjustment on the board as needed.
    Hambone70 likes this.
  17. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    if i was straight up looking for an easy, portable gigging amp to catch it all, it would be my GK MB212II. it's a beast. sounds great, huge volume, very light and portable.

    funny enough, it is the only amp I'm not currently using in my collection, as I am leaving amps at their place and not needing to schlep gear around. other folks are using my amps and I won't cry if they damage my crate head. but if they damaged my GK, i would shed a few.
  18. Pedals are crutches. I need a wheelchair. :smug:

    My combo would be a Fender Neo 6x10 cab, and a Bassman 500 head held together with ratcheting cargo straps. :laugh:
    Novarocker likes this.
  19. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    Happy with my amp (Rumble 500), but I'd prefer have a pair of 210s than my current 410.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Based on what and how I play, and after long, careful consideration, a Mesa D800 and an Audiokinesis Hathor 1505 for more reasons than I feel like getting into.

    Suffice to say it’d work for me.

    But for now my SWR SM-400 and Goliath Junior 2x10 works just fine. My only regret is I didn’t keep the second Goliath Jr. 2x10 cab I got when I first bought it.
    dBChad likes this.

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