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In the market for a new rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BaileyMan, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I'm looking for modular, portable, versatile (as far as tone goes), preferably tube pre. I'm thinking ~500-800 watts at 4 Ohms, with two 8 Ohm cabs. I'm thinking 2x10 and 1x15 cab.

    As for tone I'm really focused on two things these days. The James Jamerson tone that so many like and a growly fretless. Maybe both tones are a little more focused on punchy mids with solid, yet subtle lows (if that makes any sense).

    I've always liked SWR gear, and have really been liking the tone I've been getting out of my Workingman's 10 combo (but need more volume now).

    I've also always loved Mesa Boogie gear (but never owned any). I played through the m-pulse 600 watt amp with a 6x10 cab and it sounded awesome! But the 6x10 is too much for me. I'm borrowing a Walkabout Scout, the 12" version and haven't been digging it all that much. (Maybe I'd like some 10s and a 15 better with that 300W head?)

    I'm intrigued by the Ampeg Portaflex series, particularly the PF800 with a 2x10 and 1x15 cab. I liked the PF500 through a couple of 10s, but am concerned about reliability.

    I've never played through an Ashdown head, but they've always seemed cool to me.

    I hear great things about the Mark Bass gear, but haven't played enough to form a good opinion. I played through a 12" combo and wasn't impressed. Sounded thin to me.

    I wasn't wild about the Orange Bass Terror 500 and was bummed. I really wanted to like it. Too big, too warm, again not punchy enough.

    I'd like to try out more of these combinations of amps and cabs but I'm not finding the complete rigs that I want to try at the stores in my area (and there's a good selection of them nearby).

    Any helpful thoughts? Am I on the right track focusing on a 2x10 and 1x15 cab? Feedback about heads? I've read lots and lots of threads on amps and cabinets. Everyone has their favorites and their most disliked. I wanna be sure I end up with the right thing for me...
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The PF800 has gotten maybe one report of failure on here since it came out last year and they've sold a lot of them. I got one last week and it's a cannon. Sounds like the PF500 but hits harder IMHO because it has more headroom. If you do the PF cabs, though, I personally would do the PF210he's. I used to have a couple 115he's and they were really good too, but I like the tighter low end response of the 210 cab. The PF800 and two 210he's would work very well for fretless tones as well as Jamerson-y sounds. Crank the gain so it's distorting a little for some serious Jamerson tone. Just watch your volume because you can blow those cabs with a PF800 if you're not careful. Either way you go, I'd get two of the same cab instead of one of each because I believe they sound better not mixed, and the physics of potential phasing issues with mismatched cabs backs up what I hear.
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Go play all the cabs you cab get your hands on. Fine one that sounds good to you. Then get two of them. Matching cabs > mixed cabs.
  4. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    I had an ashdown abm 500 and wouldn't recommend It if you found the orange too big and warm. I returned my ashdown for that very reason. It stands as my least favorite amp to date because it sounded so good alone but was pretty useless with a band.
  5. Deepwoods

    Deepwoods Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    St. Louis
    Eden? There is a WT-405 in the classifieds right now at a great price.
  6. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I'll check out the Eden's. I know folks like them a lot too and the one's I've heard have sounded great! Mos Def gonna get out and play as many as I can. Thanks for the tips on matched cabs. As far as the pf800, I was a little concerned about the speaker's handling the power and possibly blowing them. I don't see myself ever playing that loud, but it would be nice not to have to worry about it. I'm still keeping it high on my list.