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Light combo, loud enough

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mr M, Mar 28, 2006.


  1. Hi,

    I'm planning to buy a combo. I need your advice.

    First my confessions: I'm too lazy to search all. So excuse me. But as my question is very wide, I made some search but couldn't make a conclusion. Probably it is made thousands of times but thanks in advance for people being nice to answer.

    My second and bigger confession: I know almost nothing about amps.

    My third and biggest confession: playing bass for years, I've never owned an amp :bag: I've always worked at home through my hi-fi (at low volume, it helped me to get what I need) for practice: the studios have amps, for gigs: they always have amps, monitors arranged...

    To narrow the choices, I'd like to have an amp which is:
    1. A combo that I can add speakers later, if I'm happy with the tone that I get and I'd need a complete setup for gigs (I think all amps can handle this but pls see my confession no:2)
    2. Light and portable, smallest possible
    3. Not going farty after 2 hours of playing
    4. Loud enough to work as a stage monitor with two loud electric twangers(aka guitar)
    5. Being able to be clear even at high volumes (even for low B and high C)

    I play mostly rock, pick and fingerstyle. I was planning to go with a Hartke kickback combo 12" or 15" but I haven't heard good things about it. And a studio that we practice, has kickback 15 and it is farting if there is another band just before our practice time (and there is always). My searchs here gave me an idea that Roland 100 Cube will probably fit my situation but I don't need any effect on an amp (OK, don't use it is always an answer for this).
    I'm not thinking of having a head, a power amp or whatever it is called, right now.

    Beside all of this my choices will be very limited to what is sold here in Istanbul (that's the biggest cause for me not to buying an amp so far). But I may find a way to buy from the states or elsewhere.
     
  2. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, I'm sorry to say that your combination of requirements point to a combo that will probably be kinda heavy, 50 Lbs (22.7kg) or more. its would be smart to find a good "luggage cart" or two wheel "dolly". light and loud = expensive and is hard to find, like Euphonic Audio amps (whizzy amp?) or Gallien Krueger Microbass (its light, but may not qualify as loud loud). personally I don't know of a "combo" under 50 Lbs that I feel safe running by itself in a loud band setting. my current rig I feel safe playing fairly loud weighs 104 Lbs, 48kg and cost me $1800 USD!! and its separates. but thats me. :rolleyes:

    If you get a combo try to get 200w or MORE.

    If you plan to play with just one speaker for a while and LOUD, get a combo with a 15" speaker.

    When looking at combos look for the terms "speaker out" or "extension speaker" connections

    If you can buy one check out Yorkville xm200c (15", 200w, speaker out, 60 Lbs, 27.27kg)

    If you could go the "separates" route. my current personal choice would be an EDEN wt550 head (pre+amp=20 LBS, 9 kg) with an AGUILAR GS112 or two (42 LBS, 19kg each) OR SCHROEDER cabinets just came out with "lite" cabinets, they have a 112 called the "mini" 400w at only 21 Lbs 9.5kg!!
     

  3. Thanks a lot. That was the suggestion that I was looking for. More and more I'm reading things on amps etc and try to understand. Yorkville looks like a good choice for me. I've found a Yorkville distributor here in Istanbul but they don't have any bass amp, I should order it. Still hesitating to order an amp without hearing, trying. But OK, first I'll check available bass amps here and compare the prices etc...And those Eden, Schroeder things seem not to be an appropriate way to go for me now.
     
  4. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    The Yorkville seems like a good choice as it's available in your country. I've used the Yorkville XM200 on gigs and it's a good sounding, reliable amp. By itself, using the internal speakers it can play loud and clean and with an extension cab it can get very loud and will definitely beat out the Hartke. It's not the lightest combo around, but for something much lighter with the same power and output you'd need to pay a lot more, and might be harder to find for you.
     
  5. Mikefish07

    Mikefish07

    Apr 6, 2003
    I'm looking for the same combo - lightest and loudess. I'm not sure it really exists yet but I've been looking at the following: Euphonic Audio 500C (44lbs) / Gallien Kruger 700Neo (50lbs) / Line 6 Lowdown 150 (50lbs) / Eden NC115 (42lbs) / SWR WM12 (44lbs). Let me know when you find the perfect combo because I'll be right there buying one too.
     
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Add the Genz Benz NEOX400-112T to your list. Not exactly light at 57 lbs, but easy to move around, very powerful, able to take an extension cabinet and fantastic tone.
     
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I usually recommend the Roland Cube 100 in this situation, but you might need more. Some of the Markbass combos have impressive specs and light weight, and they might be available, so I'd look into those.
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Eden Nemesis combos are very lightweight and are sufficiently loud, and accomodate an external cabinet. If portability and light weight are your strongest needs, look at the Nemesis line. I played in a relatively loud rock and roll band with two guitars with my Nemesis 210 and IMO it meets all your criteria. Adding an external cabinet greatly increases volume, but it's sufficient on its own.
     
  9. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Roland D-Bass combos (neo drivers, class D) - some smart speaker sensing tech that makes them consistently louder than they have any right to be. While sounding great.
     
  10. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    If you do find a cheap, light combo with killer tone and masses of headroom then let us all know...

    More realistically - it's just not going to happen. I've got a Hartke Kickback 10 with is great for practice, smaller rehersals, recording, or DI but realistically it's never going to make it to a "real" gig. A combo makes sense when it's small enough to carry easily - once you pass that limit, just give it up.

    I cannot see any point at all in a combo that you can't carry with easily with one hand. If it's heavier than that then I'd rather make two trips to the car - for a head and a cab. Better for you back, and better for the paintwork on your car and house.

    Plus with seperates I can mix and match my heads and cabs to build a new rig for each different gig - do I need the 2x15 tonight, does this style suit the rack, or the valve head? If something develops a fault it gets swapped out, and if I want to upgrade (looking at adding a 1x15 next) it just gets added to the mix.

    If you can find a combo that does what you need, then great, but combos are LESS portable, and provide less features than seperates of equivalent power. You'll be able to pick up used seperates for less than some "tries to do it all" combo.

    Ian
     
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    There are a number of combos that provide relatively light weight, portability and good tone. Several have been mentioned in this thread. In addition, many modern combos allow for the addition of an extension cabinet, making them suitable for anything up to medium-sized venues. And, since many of these combos weigh about the same as a single cab, they are more portable because they only require one trip to the car.

    Obviously, a seperate cab and head can be more flexible, but many players simply don't need that level of flexibility. As a weekend warrior playing in a single band, I simply don't need a warehouse full of cabinets and heads to fit different gigs for different bands. My combo is capable of keeping up with full volume practices, even without the extension. With the extension, I am pushing 425 watts, which is more than sufficient for my needs.

    Some like combos, some like seperates, some see the benefits in both. No need to muck up this thread with the old, tired combo vs. seperate debate.
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Not to mention those cool new Carvins. they are basically higher-powered component gear in a combo format.
     
  13. supermonkey

    supermonkey

    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I just bought an Eden DC112XLT yesterday. I can't say it was cheap, but I have a feeling it will turn out to be worth it over the next year or so.

    I had been looking at 2x10 combos like the SWR Super Redhead, the Ashdown ABM (MAGs didn't float my boat), the Eden Metro, also played a Hughes and Kettner that I really liked. But in the end, the smaller Eden did for me.

    Tone-wise, there's a ton of options. And it's SUPER clean sounding. Plenty of power, too (close to 400 watts). It weighs almost half of what the 2x10 combos do (only 49lbs), with a significantly smaller form factor. Has a cool little stand doohickey that props it up like a kickback, but lets the amp keep a standard shape. I can add speakers to it (I already have an old 8 ohm Hartke 1x15 I'll use with it, if need be) but it's quite loud on its own. For most of the rehearsals and gigs I'm looking at, this amp will probably suffice by itself. For medium-large stuff, I can stack it on the 1x15 for mucho asso.

    The only thing I don't like is the crappy top handle and no side handles or casters. But it's shallow and low enough that I can carry it in my arms (over reasonable distances) without getting a hernia. I think a handtruck of some kind might be in order.....

    Anyway, throw that into the mix for what it's worth.
     
  14. lame(B)ass

    lame(B)ass

    Jun 18, 2004
    Slovakia
    [​IMG]

    SPEAKER
    1x12"
    TWEETER
    piezo
    BASS REFLEX
    rear
    IMPEDANCE
    8 ohms
    SPEAKER POWER HANDLING
    400W RMS (AES Standard)
    AMP OUTPUT POWER
    450W @ 4 ohm / 280W @ 8 ohm
    PREAMP:
    solid state
    FREQUENCY RESPONSE
    45 Hz to 18 kHz
    CROSSOVER FREQUENCY
    3.5 kHz
    SENSITIVITY
    99 dB SPL
    WEIGHT
    29.3 lbs / 13.3 kg
    HEIGHT
    17 in. / 43.2 cm
    WIDTH
    15.3 in. / 38.3 cm
    DEPTH
    14.1 in. / 47.9 cm

    http://www.markbass.it/products.php?lingua=en&cat=3&vedi=41
     
  15. Antonius

    Antonius

    Nov 26, 2002
    NL
    Not exactly cheap, but very good, can be driven hard.

    http://www.hevos.nl/engels.html

    Combo's -> Midget 10
    36x40x34cm, 19kgs, 400W
    [​IMG]

    Combo's -> Midget 12
    36x40x34cm, 16kgs, 400W
    midgetcombo12.

    I have two Midget cabs. So far I have never actually needed the second one. Tombowlus can chime in on the Hevos cabs and how hard they can be driven (he has just a couple more watts available :ninja: )
     
  16. rashaefer

    rashaefer

    Mar 20, 2006
    Chatham, IL
    go to ebay and find yourself a nice old SWR Basic Black !
     
  17. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    日本/Alyeska
    Big +1 on these amps! I was very surprised how light and powerful they are!
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    'Tis true, 'tis true! I drive my 4 ohm Midget with a Walter Woods Ultra, and that little rig just amazes me! :) :bassist:

    Tom.
     
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Been searching for the same for years, and I'm beginning to believe that what you're looking for doesn't exist. I play through a really old Peavey TNT 130 with a black widow speaker, and nothing I've bought or played through in the past years compares. Here are some things I learned in my search:

    • Volume is relative. What's loud to one person here on Talkbass may not be loud to another.
    • No Hartke combo I ever used was loud enough to keep up with my band without farting.
    • No combo with a 12 was ever loud enough.
    • Mark bass amps look great (I was seriously considering one), but I played through a couple in France and they were getting farty before they were even loud enough to annoy the store owner.
    • Ampeg BA115 was barely loud enough to keep up with my band.
    • SWR 15" combos cut it in a studio where I rehearsed, but they're heavey and expensive.
    • I bought the Carvin with the 15" speaker, think it was 300 watts and returned it immediately cuz it was distorting before it was even half way up with the EQs set flat. In their defense though I recently played through one of their newer stacks and was blown away.
    • Yorkvilles sound odd to me, can't explian exactly how, but they don't sound like other amps. Have a round midrangy sound that someoene might love, but irks me.
    • Nothing is going to push air like a stack with a 15 and 2 or 4 10s.
    • If you buy anything without checking it out first you're taking a gamble.
    • It's really hard to tell what's going to work or not work for you in a store, because everything changes once you take it on a gig.
    • What seems to good to be true in size, weight and manufacturers claime - usually is.
    • The "revolutionary" little amps that ampeg and some other companies put out - sound like their size.
    • The miracle amp that we all want has yet to be invented.
    All that being said, 2 amps that caught my attention that I've yet to try are the new fender combos that they advertised like crazy in BP magazine last year, that I've still yet to see...

    And I actually have a lot of hope for the new Line 6 amps. I really want to check one out. I know their guitar amps do an awesome job. Looking forward to plugging into one of them.
     
  20. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I agree with Joe on almost every point. Light, loud and cheap just cant co-exist. however, light loud and expensive can! The EA wizzy combo is a great one but not cheap. with a wizzy extension cab you will have plenty of volume. great tone too. I am about to run an eden wt405 with two wizzys. its loud, light and modular which really helps. Instead of putting a 60+LB cab in your car put two 33lb ones in instead. Much easier to break up the weight. The wizzys are very efficient 103db spl so that helps them put out lots of volume.
     

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