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Keep the combo or go poweramp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wes Whitmore, Oct 20, 2003.


  1. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I play in a 4 piece band covering anything from tonic to fountains of wayne, to Foo fighters. The entire band decided to invest in Shure In-ear monitors, and because of it, I seldom get to use all of my bass equipment that I purchased. Even on stage, the 2x10 by itself is not being pushed anywhere near as hard as during practices (House subs take care of it) I ended up getting the GK RBH1001 2x10 combo, as well as the RBH115 15" cab. I like the combo for the fact that I only have one bag amp to carry around on 99% of my gigs, but it is a little heavy (80lbs) and offers no modularity. The 10s are awesome though. They sound so good. Really a great cab. I have to say that I would like a warmer lower register though. I like it smooth and warm, and the GK is not too far from it. I guess I am still looking for my sound. The Mesa 600 is what I am shooting for, but the money has been spent.
    Since I have the separate 15 cab as well, which is voice matched very similar to the 10s, I have the ability to spawn another setup very easily and separate the cabs at our two practice locations. I already have the Tech21 sansamp pedal, a digitech compressor, and boss tuner pedal.
    I was considering getting the RMX 850 amp and put it in a small/compact case to protect it. It really don't think I need much more power. Any more money and I have to entertain the fact of selling the GK. I would like to keep this thing around because I generally do like it very well, plus the combo is nice for practice at home.
    All of my tuners and effects are on a nice pedal board, so I could get by with a 2 space rack to mount the amp in. I really want this to be compact and an easily moved setup that offers the ability to run different cabs as I aquire them. I have been eying the agular single 12 as well. Any thoughts on any of this, or should I just stick with what I have? As I think and type, I guess I see it as investing $350 and having a completely modular system that is portable, BUT the whole system will be bigger than my single 210combo...Maybe it makes more sense after I get the single 12 cab. That 15 is pretty big, probably one of the reasons I don't use it much anyhow.
    Lastly, I might end up using the 850 to drive our main PA speakers (2 yamaha club 1 15s). This was the whole reason I looked at this amp to begin with, and then the imagination started flying.
    Sorry for the rambling. I guess I really just want opionions of people who have been down this road.
    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i'm a big modular fan myself but in your case do you really need it? (i can't belive i just said that)
    it sounds like you're just gonna end up bringing everything anyway or that your modular rig would end up being substantially bigger than what you use now
     
  3. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I am pretty much agreeing with you. Its amazing what becomes the logical choice once you start listing out your requirements like I did before. Maybe I should just go back with my original idea I had a few months ago and get a small 2 space rack. I was looking at the SKB rack that is shorter, used for effects. My GK head is only 8.5" deep, and weighs 18 lbs, so it would be perfect in that case. Small, light, modular. Shure it leaves a gaping hatchet wound in my combo, but I could just replace it with a carpeted panel. Now I have the modularity I was looking for, I don't need to spend as much, and I don't get rid of a great setup that I already have. I am really looking for a way to get through doorways without busting my fingers in the door jam anymore. Problem solved?
    Thanks again,
    Wes
     
  4. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Hey Wes, I have the same 1001RB 2x10 combo,RBH1x15 cab rig as you do. I was also interested in removing the head from the combo just in case I Brought the 4x10RBH cab. My question is how will you cool the head in that case with the GK fan being on the top?
     
  5. True!
    When I bought my GK700RB head, the salesman who also rent GK's for many gigs in my area, told me that if I would rack the head , I had to get at least a 3U case! It is absolutely necassary to cool the head.
    One day i let a book over the head (what a fool!!!!). The head doesn't like that, it really need to breathe!!!!!
    I just think that your rig is perfect. You could just get another smaller cag instead of the 1*15 if you really want a more compact rig: a 12" would be great!
     
  6. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Its pretty cool that we have the same setup. I would like to talk to you sometime on what you think about yours, and if you tend to use just the combo or the full stack. Sometimes I just want to run the 15, so I unplug the 10s and use a speakon cable to the 15 cab. Tonally it sounds the same, but it gets a little thicker on the bottom end. I never have the tweeter amp on, and the eqs are all flat. Both the master volume and the woofer outs are set to 12 o'clock, but my Sansamp BDDI adds a ton of thick bottom end to it. It probably goes up 6 dB easily. The compressor even adds more. I really like the head, but I haven't been able to get it to sound like I want. Its close, but I think it all comes down to the head's built in EQ section. I think the lowest knob is 60 hz, and I really want some boost around 40 Hz to make it a little thicker. This is all theory, but I have tried all of my basses on it, all with different pickups, and they all have about the same low freq extension. My last test is to run my B-52 ACT-18 PA subwoofer on it and see how it sounds.
    Anyhow, I look at that $1300 combo and think its the greatest thing since sliced bread, or should be. I am just a guy who changes his mind a lot. I like options. I go all out, unfortunately. I like my pedal board (tuner, compressor, BDDI), but now I wish I had it all in a rack. It is too late now I guess.
    If I get a rack for the amp, I really want it to be a single one. I have no need to get more spaces now, since I invested all that money in pedals and a kick ass board from SKB. Plus, the whole idea here is making stuff lighter and easier to carry around. Since I also run PA, I have to carry all of that stuff too. If I had the Aguilar 112, bass, stand, tuner bag, and head case, it will take up less space. Who knows...
    As for the rack case, I plan on getting a brand new 1/8" drill bit and drilling a bunch of holes in the top of that new case. If done right, it will look factory, and the amp should stay cool. My amp doesn't get hot anyhow. I just don't crank it up like everyone else does. Just loud enough to feel it and mic it through the mains. I really don't need all that I have, but I guess I should be happy to have such a nice stack, so I will work with it. Anyhow, let me know what you think.
    Wes
     
  7. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I did some more listening tonight. I powered my 18" pa sub with the RB1001 head by itself and with the 10s. It didn't really sound any different. Just slightly louder/solid on the E string. Much less definition. I really like the 10s better than the 15, or the 18. I would like to sell the 15 and get a nice 12 as well, and also get the dual rack skb to hold the head. It gives me some options.

    I am not worried about the heat. drilling the vent holes will help a ton.

    I guess I should be thankful that I don't have to worry about a super loud guitarist. I just don't see why you would need a super loud stack these days. I guess the in ears help that much. I could probably just use my BDDI and in ears and be fine.

    Later,
    Wes
     
  8. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Having my own PA has its advantages. I don't know why I haven't tried this sooner, but I have a couple of 31 band mono eqs. I wanted to see if I could get the sound out of my 1001 head that I really want to hear. It seems that even with the BDDI and compressor, I still couldn't get the tone that I was looking for. I wanted something that had a slight boom to it. More of an undirectional and sutle rumble. I knew that I couldnt get that using the eq section of any of my pedals or the head. So I turned the compressor and the bddi on like usual, and set the eq to flat. The pa rack is accross the room housing the 31 band eq, so I used some long instrument cables to get to the send and return on my Gk head. I sat in front of the eq, some 15 feet away from the bass stack. I hit the E note, and slowly dialed in more 40Hz-90Hz boost, and I got the sound I was looking for. I ended up scooping some of the mid, but not much. I began to transform my sound to how I really wanted it. If it got too muddy, I would just back that slider back off. It was great. After I was satisfied, I walked over and turned off the compressor, and it didn't really sound much different to me. I turned off the bddi, and it was just a very suttle difference. I could't tell if it was on or not. That doesn't happen everyday. I shure hope that there is more in that bddi than just a couple of EQ circuits! Anyway, i know you can get in trouble with so many bands to adjust, but with some time, I could make this thing sound like just about anything. it could be very mellow, or thunder. I guess it is time to go get my rack, and mount my head, a surge strip, and a single 31 band eq in there. that is making this rack get bigger than I wanted, but it is worth it. I am finally getting the sound I want out of this stack!
    The good thing is that I can fit everything in a smaller case because my amp is very shallow. Maybe I should get a 6 space rack for growth, but that thing is huge!
    Tomorrow I play though the subs again!
    Any thoughts?
    Wes
     
  9. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Fellas,
    I got my 4 space SKB case today. $74 out the door. I went in there not knowing if I wanted a 3 or a 4 space, but they didn't have any 3s, so it was easy. Its still pretty compact. I can put the head in there, as well as an EQ or a preamp. I plan on just putting a high quality surge strip down in the bottom and velcroing it in. I couldn't see wasting the rack space for a "nice" surge strip.
    For now, I will probably just mount the amp in the bottom, and put the EQ in the top shelf. When it gets full, I plan on drilling a bunch of 1/8" holes in a circle pattern above the fan input. It should work out really nicely.
    They did have a 3 space black carpeted rack for $50 there. It would have matched very well with the cabs that I already had, but I would have had to get crafty with cutting out a grill like the one on the top of our combo's. If I am going to go that much into modifying, I will just build the whole thing from scratch. The SKB is ligter as well.