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Invest in a "High Quality Head" or a "Low Quality Rig"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mz91, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    because i just graduated my dad is going to buy me a graduation present..and naturally i am going to invest in new Bass stuff. I wanted to get a new Head/Cab setup..And like all bassists new to this i am frustrated at how much choices their are..I have no idea where to start and i am moving to Switzerland so i cant order as easily as those of you in america...What am i To Do? I just cant make up my mind...Any suggestions are welcome..Anything, which head cabs you recommend..if i should buy a head cab setup or a rig...i dunno...feel free to put in your 2 cents:(
  2. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Depending on your budget, I would first consider getting the best quality 4x10 cab you can. You will always appreciate having a good cab, and you will likely never feel the need to upgrade. After that I would invest in a good power amp to match it. Again, this is something you are likely to keep for a long time. You can get a lot of quality and power for little money these days. If you can buy them together that is even better. That way you can match the power amp to the cab. Finally I would consider a good pre-amp. This is where most of the tone comes from and is the item you are most likely to replace should your tastes change. If you can't afford the pre-amp, there are many inexpensive alternatives, such as an active direct box like the Sans Amp Bass DI.
  3. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Isnt a Sansamp a preamp?? So Once i get a Cab and a Poweramp all i would need was a preamp and a signal processor..or is a signal processor included in the sansamp? Sorry i am confused...In terms of Poweramps what companies make good reliable ones..:( :( :(
  4. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Forgot about the budget...I am looking to spend around $2000...but i would be happy if it came cheaper...I dont know wether a rig is worth the extra invesment.
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, you can get a lot of great stuff for under $2K. In fact, you'll be virtually unlimited!;)

    One thing I'd recommend is that if you can afford to spend it, then buy a good rig...don't hold back. A rig that doesn't bring out the tones you're looking for or have the power that you're looking for will ultimately leave you unhappy, wanting more, and spending more.

    That said, I highly recommend looking at the EBS HD350 and either the EBS line of cabinets or Bergantino. This combination will leave you drooling for playing time;)
  6. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    "If you're gonna go, go all out" thats the best motto to have for bass players :). Don't settle for less than what you want... that leaves you spending more money and leaving you unsatisfied.

    My first cabinet (like many others here on tb) cost a bit more than other cabs, but IMO its well worth it. Its not the most expensive cab around or anything but it sure is nice.

    For 2K.. you can get just about anything you want.
  7. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i guess let me be the old fart and say don't spend 2 grand just because you have it. find what you want. i mean you can get an SWR head and any aggie cabinet you want and still be WAY south of 2 grand. if you get a bunch of expensive stuff i can tell you, you will be spending alot of time at college wondering why you did.
  8. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I agree. SWR head and Aggie cabinets. That is my setup and it sounds great. However I do have a higher end head (the SM500).
  9. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i am runnin a sm400s and a peavey tvx 410 and couldn't be any more satisfied. except i need a damn handtruck ... that cab is crazy heavy. whole rig @850
  10. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    remeber your going to college, dont get anything too big. Im going to college next year also, actually studying bass, and i am in the process of getting a new 2x10 to take away with me. Sure i could of got a big ampeg 8x10 if i wanted to, but where the heck am i gonna put it. Be reasonable, most colleges wont even let you play amps in the dorms. Im gonna have my 2x10 to play shows, and ill keep my 4x10 in music storage there, but ill use my jstation and recording stuff for my dorm room mostly. If i were you id thing about getting a bass pod or sumthing and a power amp, and maybe one of those new ampeg cabs that are ligher, and i heard kick ace. Good luck with it.
  11. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    $2K (assuming you do some shopping):

    4x10 cab: Aguilar $750.00
    QSC PLX 1602: $600
    Pre: $600.00
    rackcase and wires: $100

    Personally I would look for a good used pre-amp. These tend to be racked and not usually abused. You might find a cab in good shape, although these tend to get more abuse.

    You can get great prices from Lord Valve on QSC power amps. By new, used tend to be close to the price of new and you don't get the 5 year warrantee.

    Personally I really prefer the sound of tube amps. If you go that way, look at a Mesa Boogie 400+, vintage SVT, or Aguilar DB 359. You will likely have to buy used to stay within the budget.

    For pre's there are ton of options. I use Kern and highly recommend it. Demeter, SWR IOD, Alembic F-1X, Ampeg SVP are all really good too, it's just a matter of what sound you like.
  12. I was in several bands in college and can give you some advice. First, everyone else will have crummy equipment, so don't get anything too huge or you'll just drown them all out. Second, people steal stuff in college, so don't get anything too expensive or someone will walk off with it out of your dorm room when you're taking a shower. Third, dorm rooms are tiny so you don't want anything huge or you won't have anywhere to keep it.

    My advice is to buy a decent used 1x15 or 2x10 combo, of whatever brand sounds good to you. Use the money you save to buy liquor and drugs and concert tickets for you and your friends. You'll have a lot more fun.
  13. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Thanks to my generous dad i am going to be living in an appartment...first year....i am going to switzerland so college is different there....so space is not an issue..
  14. Kevinlane

    Kevinlane Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Missouri, near Branson
    Whatever you do . . .
    DON"T SKIMP ON POWER!!!!!!!!!!!
    If anything, overbuy when it comes to wattage.
    The tone is a taste preference, but don't buy less watts, you will, in the longrun, be glad.
  15. boobinga


    Feb 9, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Maybe take a peek at the Avatar cabs. Good value for money spent.
  16. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Ask your Dad if he wants to adopt me! :D ;) Congratulations on your graduation. Take a look at as many options as you can. From what I hear, there are a lot of very good products that are made in Europe. Ashdown, EBS, Glockenklang (sp?) and Hughes & Kettner are a few choices that I've heard good things about. They may be better deals than some American made products due to the additional cost that is added to imported goods. Look at the low cost items and the more expensive gear. You just may find that you don't have to spend $2000.00 to get something that makes you smile. That may even translate into you having a little extra to buy some other cool toys! ;)
  17. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    AGREEEEEEE!!!! Good clean power is the foundation of your system. The more available power, the happier you'll be; even if you don't ever, and you probably won't ever, use it all.

    After that, speakers should be the next priority. Get the set up that YOU like. Base it on how you like the sound and also consider potential for gigging portability. I personally like the 210/115 set up I have. I have a 210 that I can use at small gigs on its own, or to stack it with the 115 for the mother load. The 115 adds some serious thump to my bottom end. IMO, 410s are too cumbersome for my use, more than I really need for small rooms, but not quite enough dynamics to use on its own, plus heavier than my 115.

    Whatever you decide, take the utility of your selection into account if possible.

    Pre amps are pretty hard to choose, so get one that you can manipulate to get the most variability on your tone. But figure, it's probably the easiest item to upgrade anyway.

    Just keep in mind...what you get should suit your needs for now, but look at your potential needs too. Also, the vast majority of your singal processing is affected by everything after your bass. You should be more critical of that portion of your sound chain than you were when selecting a bass.
  18. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    When you guys say i should get alot of power you are talking about the poweramp right? and what companies would you recommend...I am still confused on wether to buy a rig or a head...i am clueless on who makes good poweramps...anyways thanks for all the replies....
  19. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    QSC www.qcsaudio.com
    Carvin www.carvin.com

    Probably my selections in that order of preference. You'll have to take the time to search or just search under Power Amp...

    My QSC-RMX2450 is a mutha' f'er.
    Stereo: 8ohms 500watts/side, 4ohms 750watts/side, 2ohms 1200watts/side

    Mono: 8ohm 1500watts, 4ohm 2400watts

    It only cost me $675 (U.S.)

    Don't be intimidated by a rack system. It's not that complicated, but it's so much more flexible and cost effective in the long run.
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That's a lot of Friggin power there Zulu!

    I use a Carvin DCM1000. It's about all you'll ever use. I hope...

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