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I'm back...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sundogue, Jan 27, 2004.


  1. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, after 7 months off after a rather unflattering boot from a band, I've come back to playing.

    I've played rock/blues music most all of my life and now I am in a band that plays swing/rockabilly/jazz and blues.

    Two days after I traded off my beloved BAM210 for a beautiful 12 string guitar (which I love...and don't get started about me playing guitar...I've done that my whole life too!)...I get a call from this amazing guitar player who is kind of a cross between Stevie Ray Vaughn and Brian Setzer and he wants me to join his band!

    So I jumped (jived and wailed) at the chance. But now I have a dillema...I need an amp head. I don't have the BAM210 anymore, but I do have my bass (Cirrus 5 string) and a Peavey 410TVX cab.

    Anyone have any idea what head works well with that kind of music and my other equipment? I'm kind of leaning towards a rather flat sounding head...something that gives a straight-forward, no frills punch. I use LaBella black nylon tapewounds on my bass and I get a great sound out of the guitar player's SWR bass combo amp (He's got tons of band equipment as he also plays bass, drums and keyboard as well).

    Anyone play this type of music and what would be your recommendations? I've got 3 months before our first gig to find the right head. I'd like to keep the price around $300-$500.

    Ah, it's nice to be playing again!
     
  2. Might I suggest the Peavey Firebass 700 Head. It seems to fit your specifications quite nicely. Should be about that price used.

    700W@2Ohms 475W@2Ohms 275W@8Ohms

    Especially with that Peavey cab you have.
     
  3. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    I would think the GK 1001rb would be right up your alley.
     
  4. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, I was thinking about the Peavey Firebass..or perhaps the MAX series (if I can find one).

    I used to use a MAX preamp and a CS-800X power amp. Nice sound...but I'm opting for something lighter weight.

    Are there any other good "flat" sounding, lightweight amps? My Cirrus sounds great direct through a board and with the type of music I'm now playing I don't need alot of gadgets...just a nice clean straightforward head.

    EDIT - I owned a GK a long time ago (20 years?) and I did like it. I'm not sure what they sound like now though.
     
  5. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
  6. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Sundogue...if you had an 800RB...every modern GK head is supposed to have that sound in it. The 1001RB is (IMO) a great step ahead of the 800RB...the contour is variable, the "string bass" switch, voiced for 4 string or 5 string basses really adds nice depth. Plus it has more power, but it's deployed differently, the Hi Freq power amp (when biamping) is dedicated to tweeters only...
     
  7. Can't go wrong with a Peavey Max Pre-Amp and a decent power amp. Tube and SS combinable channels (foot-switchable), plenty of EQ, effects loop, and it's bi-ampable with built in adjustable cross-over. I got my new for $325. I know that doesn't leave much for a power amp though so you might want to consider going used.

    I mated mine to a Peavey DPC 1400X (1400 watts and only 15 lbs!). This amp is out'a your price range though, sorry. You could check into the PV series amps from Peavey or the QSC RMX line. Both are pretty affordable and can be snagged for a decent price used on E-Bay. Hope this helps you out a little!
     
  8. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I've had the MAX preamp...but I really don't want a rack setup again...just an amp head.

    I'm just looking for a fairly inexpensive head without all the bells and whistles. Somewhere between 250 and 400 watts.

    I'm almost tempted to just get a power amp as my Cirrus's active electronics really sound great with no other EQing or tonal control.

    My bass sounds great run through a mixer and setup flat.

    But ideally I would prefer an amp head that would have some type of EQ, even a parametric would be good as some rooms require a little tweaking.

    Any other suggestions? What does anyone think of SWR heads?
     
  9. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I thought SWR sounded pretty good, but the super-scooped wasn't what I was looking for. It was like it had a big hole carved out of its tone.
     
  10. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I've found some amps that are in the running at the moment...

    Hartke 3500
    Carvin R600
    Peavey MAX 700
    Gallien-Krueger 700RBII

    If anyone has any comments (good and bad) on the above amps, please let me know the pros and cons of them.

    Thanks,
     
  11. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    SWR's do not scoop the mids in my opinion, based on about 5 years of use now. A lot of people crank the Aural Enhancer which above midway starts cutting out the mids resulting in a hollow tone. SWR heads, when set flat, are pretty much flat. Compared to a head which has heavy handed voicing they will sound... different. When I use my EB Stingray, I set the head flat with the Aural enhancer at about 9 o'clock and control the tone from the onboard EQ. No lack of mids at all.

    You may want to look at a used SM400 or 400s. Can be had for around $350-$450, and they are pretty rugged machines. The only issue with getting just a poweramp is that the bass's output on its own may not be sufficient to drive the amp effectively.
     
  12. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I have thought about the power amp thing...my Cirrus's onboard active pre-amp does pretty good with just a power amp...but I'm in the market for an amp head. I was just thinking out loud.

    I've also added the SWR Workingman's 4004 to the list.

    Somewhere around $500 is tops for me right now and I'm not into used amps unless I can try them out at a local reputable music store (there are three in my area).

    That's why my list is at...

    Hartke 3500
    Carvin R600
    Peavey MAX 700
    Gallien-Krueger 700RBII
    SWR Workingman's 4004

    All fall into the wattage and price range for me...new.

    If anyone has experience with any of these amps I'd like to hear them. I've owned a Carvin R600 and it was a fine amp...but developed some electrical problems and I got rid of it (not sure if it was a problem with that line of amps or just that one). I've also owned a Peavey MAX pre-amp and I loved it, thus the Peavey MAX 700 being on the list.

    At the moment my preference is the Hartke 3500. I like the wide ranging EQ, to suit my needs in any given room. But I'm not stuck on that one.

    Keep the comments coming...and thanks to those who have responded.
     
  13. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I owned the R600 also. Never had a problem with it. It sounded good. Ultimately, I went with the Ampeg sound, but I had no complaints with my old RC210 and would buy it again in a heartbeat.
     
  14. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I liked the sound of the RC210 alot. I took the head out and used it with other cabs and it was great.

    However, at loud volumes it would cut out...but not so loud that the amp should have shut itself down. I had it repaired and then the problem came back, so I got rid of it.

    Nice to know they are not all problematic. I may go that route yet...trying to still weigh my options.

    Any opinions on the Hartke 3500? I've read a few reviews where that seems to be a hit or miss amp as well...seems you get a good one and it's great, but you get a lemon and it's...well...not so great.