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Jump on the lightweight head bandwagon?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by whatisacup, Feb 17, 2013.


  1. whatisacup

    whatisacup

    Oct 20, 2012
    So my Ashdown ABM head died on me the other day, I opened it up, and a large chunk of the board is burnt. I had something similar happen years ago with my GK, and the repair wasn't cheap.

    I'm thinking (since I got a nice tax return) of getting a lightweight class-D head. For the power, it seems Class-D heads are a great deal, and it also seems that's where the industry is heading.

    Genz Benz heads come up pretty cheap used, although they don't seem very serviceable, it is easy to find a good deal. The way I see it, even if I get a few years out of a class-D head, newer and better stuff is coming out every year.

    I no longer see a point in carrying around a bulky solid state head, and having it serviced every few years. Tube amps, I get it, but the price of a great head is very good, sometimes cheaper than a major service.

    Should I make the move?:p
     
  2. vernhillbass

    vernhillbass

    May 11, 2012
    Missouri
    I went from a 60lb rack mounted Ampeg rig to a 4lb, 900 watt tube preamp GB Shuttle 9.0. My tone is much better and I lost 56lbs of gear to carry. Best decision I've ever made, gear wise.
     
  3. vernhillbass

    vernhillbass

    May 11, 2012
    Missouri
    Also, Genz Benz has a 3 year warranty and awesome customer service.
     
  4. shoot-r

    shoot-r

    May 26, 2007
    Illinois
    I was among some of the first T.B.er's to take the plunge towards the micros, (a G.K. MB2-500).

    Haven't regretted it for a single second!!!!!
     
  5. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    It's all personal preference. Lightweight rigs are fantastic for those who like them.

    After going through multiple rigs, I found that the only rig that gives me happiness (tone and feel) is one that, unfortunately, weighs alot....an 85 pound all tube Ampeg SVT-II non-pro into a 100 pound Berg NV610.

    I would, of course, much rather schlep a lightweight rig (my back would prefer it), but I just love the tone and feel of the above-mentioned rig too much.

    There are lots of rig choices out there, which is great for us bassists.
     
  6. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Where'd you get that notion from.. even out of warranty they are very serviceable but they are also very reliable to begin with. I have not had any major issues with any of my GB gear and I got all of it used right here on TB .. the one issue I did have was resolved in a matter of days..
     
  7. whatisacup

    whatisacup

    Oct 20, 2012
    Class-D heads you mean?

    I guess I came up with that assumption myself. I looked at the guts of a GB Shuttle and it looked like a computer PCB, with the tiny components. I'm assuming I cant bring a head like that down to the local tech.

    I understand there is no replacing a classic tube head, but the weight and price of one isn't practical IMO.
     
  8. Get the G-K MB800 and be done ;) Class D (and SMPS) has been shaken out pretty well now. BTW not all GB are class D, they also had class A/B with SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply). The weight savings mainly comes from the SMPS (like Peavey's VB3, lightweight for a tube amp).
     
  9. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Oh I can dig it.. I did a gig yesterday with my 900 and one Shroeder Mini 12+L ... My whole rig amp and speaker was under 30 lbs .... Some folks may need more or want more.. but for me my current rig as it is is all I need.. I have two Mini 12s ...

    I would imagine that if a tech was worth his salt he could fix just about anything... I would be curious to see how much GB parts are though.
     
  10. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    Oh I can dig it.. I did a gig yesterday with my 900 and one Shroeder Mini 12+L ... My whole rig amp and speaker was under 30 lbs .... Some folks may need more or want more.. but for me my current rig as it is is all I need.. I have two Mini 12s ...

    I would imagine that if a tech was worth his salt he could fix just about anything... I would be curious to see how much GB parts are though.
     
  11. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Markbass has a good track record for reliability. Check out a Big Bang with all it's features.
     
  12. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Just let go of my DB750 in trade for a 9.2. Also sold my NV610 and kept my HT/EX stack. We play mondo-loud and the 9.2/HT+EX gets the job done with plenty of room to spare. It was fun having the big rig, good for the ego, but bad for the back. No regrets!
     
  13. red_rhino

    red_rhino Gold Supporting Member

    +1. I bought one of these back in September and could not be more pleased. I went from a 65 lb rack system (Eden Navigator / QSC PLX-1602) down to ~4 lbs. and an amp the size of a text book.

    From what I hear, the GK MB800 Fusion (tube pre-amp) should be hitting stores over the next few weeks.

    -Alan
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Love little heads and even have a couple myself, but the one thing I've found about them is that they (of course) don't sound like tube amps and they don't sound like regular heavy SS amps, either. To me, most of them remind me of a tube amp being pushed just a tiny bit too far, albeit without the 3-d aspect of tubes. Some micros are tighter than others, but I've yet to hear one that truly captures that tightness of a lead sled SS or hybrid. But since I dig that thing that micros do, I've given up the lead sled SS and hybrid for the most part and do either tube amps or micros when SVT's are impractical. though sometimes I wish I had a 3 or 4 Pro just because I don't have an amp that gets that lead sled sound save for a couple small practice amps. YMMV. Something you really have to find out for yourself and make your own decision about.
     
  15. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I play an Ampeg V4 + 810 on occasion (belongs to a friend), and very much enjoy the sound. But, the differences in tone between it and my micro rig aren't enough to make me want to haul it around much. I find that my Markbass rig sounds good enough for everything I do. So, Jimmy is right in that each of us has to decide for our ownselves what is best. Each person's situation, needs, and desires are unique.
     
  16. I jumped on the wagon a couple of months ago with a Markbass Big Bang. I carry my Markbass in a backpack with the cables and effects pedals. The bass is over one shoulder, backpack over the other, 1x12 cab in hand and my car keys in the other.
    One single trip to the car and back. Sweet!
     
  17. If you've got a music store close, comparing head to head is a good way to make your decision. I switched to an Orange Tiny Terror, and it's darn close to the sound I got out of my Mesa all-tube. It's really a very personal thing, and some players are only happy with the tube and big cabs rig. I have to admit I haven't missed my 135 lb. 810 cab even once.
     

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