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Inexpensive lightwt amp for DB?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by anniefidl, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. anniefidl


    Oct 15, 2002
    Novato, CA
    Hi All -

    I just got an older Epiphone DB with very light action, Tomastik soloist string setup, and a Realist p/u. I need an inexpensive bass amp that will do the job for small-med indoor gigs and that could be mike'd through the PA for outdoor gigs. I've tried a small Gallien Krueger recently that sounded pretty good. Also the Contra is interesting. My problem is not wanting to spend lotsa bucks. Anyone have one for sale? What about some of those "cheapy" bass amp combos offered on-line (like Behringer, Crate, Rogue, etc.) I play vintage & western swing primarily. Thanks for any feedback (pun intended).
  2. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    i have been using a g-k mb150s for six years in lots of different contexts (mostly jazz and pop) and have been very happy with it. it's not perfect, but i like the portability and versatility. i think they're worth the money (prolly about $700 mailorder). i don't have experience with less expensive bass amps like the ones you mentioned, but i have a feeling that bang for the buck, or the likelihood you'll be happy with it for several years, goes down fast with price.

    sean p
  3. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'm iffy about the reliability of some of those cheap amps. However... G&KL makes a lower-end series that seem to be a good value. The 10" model can be had for under $350.

    Or do what a lot of us have done and find a used G&K MB 200. Going price is around $300.
  4. I paid $400 for my Clarus and you could probably score a used 1x10 or 1x12 cab of some sort for well under $150.
  5. anniefidl


    Oct 15, 2002
    Novato, CA
    Wow, 3 responses in less than 1/2 hour! You guys must just be online all the time (or I hit it at the right time). Thanks so much for all the great info.

  6. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    I'm considering selling my Acoustic Image Contra, after getting the Schertler Pub speaker, which works better with my Schertler Dyn-B.

    Contact me at montebutts@hotmail.com if you might be interested.

  7. I've been happy with my SWR Workingman's Ten. They can be found pretty cheap used.
  8. Annie, dont confuse small with cheap. A cheap small amp is a practice amp, and will not cut it for gigs. Small but powerful amps are expensive, but necessary. You may have to bite the bullet on this. In my 14 year DB giging experience, 100watts is a minimum, even if you're going to mic up. It's not so much about volume, but more about tone. With amplifiers, power=tone, no question. An underpowered amp may get the volume you require, but the tone will be nasty. An overpowered amp will give you a sweet tone.
    My picks (not in any order);
    GallienKreuger MB150
    Acoustic Image Contra
    SWR Workingmans 12
    Eden Timetraveller

    These may be all more than you want to pay, but anything less will frustrate and disappoint you, IMHO.
  9. anniefidl


    Oct 15, 2002
    Novato, CA
    Dear Marty -

    Thanks for that great info. This is BASSically the consensus opinion I have been getting. I actually just bought a Contra from Monte B and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. We'll see how it works with my laminated bass & Realist pickup. I have been reading some threads about that pickup/amp combination that have me wondering now... maybe a different pickup will loom in my near future. We'll see.

    Don't fall off.

  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    hey annie,
    I use a GK 150E, a Realist, and a plywood bass. It's a solid rig that has done me well in all kinds of venues for years. If the gig is outdoors, the "line out" hooks up easy with the PA. You can also bring an extension speaker and place it on the other side of the drummer.
    It may seem like a lot of money to spend right now, but the poor man, or woman, pays twice. It's also a great to use as a monitor, and it's lightweight.
  11. Annie, I'm sure your Bass, the Realist, and the Contra will sound real good. The Realist you may want to replace down the track a bit, but because every bass is quite different, you may or may not need to. This is the thing with DB, someone else may have the same bass, pickup and amp, and it may sound quite different, not only because of playing styles, but basses are all individual, even two identical models can have different characteristics.
  12. Check out a Fender Bassman 25. Good sound, weighs in at 33 pounds, and I picked mine up for $142 on Ebay ($177 delivered).

    It has a single 10" speaker, which is a good size for upright basses, and it has a speaker-out jack. If you want more volume than you get from the internal speaker, it will drive a 4x10 cabinet.

    The internal speaker will probably be loud enough for Western Swing.

    If you're in a really large room, there's a Line-Out jack, so you can run it into the PA head for extra horsepower, while still lugging in a small, 33-pound cabinet that fits into the trunk of any car.

    The Acoustic Image has more power and weighs less, I think it's 5 pounds, but when you start talking about speaker cabinets to run it into.... well those are what weigh the most in any system.
  13. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    try a swr working man, aomething like that, not too expensive.

    Hey Monte, how do you like that schertler pa thing?
  14. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Loving it so far, especially with the Dyn-B through the Schertler pre-amp. I'm considering adding the 10" woofer for louder gigs.

    For more detail, read the thread "Great Sound in a small box" that I posted in this area last week.


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