Lightweight Amp and cabs for clear sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by john keates, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    Hi there guys,

    My old bass state combo just isn't cutting it so I am thinking of setting myself up with some nice amplification that will last me a while.

    The game plan is to buy an amp which can power iether one or two cabs. First I would buy a single cab but would get a second if I decide I need it.

    I would like the cabs to be different so I can get a feel for what I like and so that I can balence the sound of one with the other (one punchy, one hifi)

    I also need the cabs to be small and lightweight as possible.

    I live in England and I would like to check the equipment out first so I need to find a shop or two near the London area.

    I don't want to spend any more than £800.

    I play a wide variety of styles. I am after clarity and range.

    hmmm... that's about it.

    Thanks in advance for any info. I need to choose wisely here as I am a starving artist but music is V. important to me.
  2. Hi

    If you want a shop or two in London there are only two shops to go to.

    1. The Gallery in Camden Town [my favorite] Alex and Martin are really helpful. Martin also makes the Sei bass. Tons of basses, amps and cabs for you to try out
    Web site is

    2. Bass Centre [now called House of guitars] Bruin Street near Liverpool Street Station

    Happy hunting

  3. b-ace!


    Jul 15, 2004
    hi john keates, I am EXACTLY in the same situation you are in except I live in birmingham (UK). I've been doing some research and I've narrowed it down to either a hartke setup or an ashdown setup (both 300w head with a 410 cab) :)
  4. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    Hi there

    matthewfoote : Yeah, I have been to the bass gallery and It is one of my fav places also. They are really helpfull guys. I will have to get myself down there again soon. I will check out the bass centre also.

    b-ace! : I used to live in Coventry down the road. I assume that you have been to musical exchanges. Great place. That is where I bought my main bass (Yamaha TRB). I had issues with some of the survice though ( a little aggressive ).

    I played a little 120W Hartke in a local shop. It gave out impressive volume for the size but it clipped when over half volume. Did the amp that you tried have the same problem? Did they let you whack it on at full blast?
  5. b-ace!


    Jul 15, 2004
    hi john keates, yeah musical exchanges is great! though theres a shop in brum i discovered called PMT their deals are amazing!

    No i havent had the chance to try the hartke stuff at a loud volume. what i gathered from it is that it had one kinda sound and not much else really but then i tried the ashdown stuff and that was really bass-y which isnt something i want. but im gonna give both another try with my own bass.

    actually musical exchanges have some sort of party/exhibition thing going on this saturday so if your about you should check it out :)
  6. john keates

    john keates

    May 20, 2004
    Can't make it down there I'm afraid but it sounds interesting.

    I have been told recently that the SWR Readheads are good. They are dear but you can pick them up second hand for about £700 apparently.

    I would make sure that you try playing that thing pretty loud if I were you. The sound characteristics can change a fair whack. Hartkes seem pretty good though.
  7. Hi fellow UK bass dudes, i have Ampeg gear and i have also Ashdown Mag300 head. I have the SVTCL tube head which is the Pro valve head that most of the rock world tend to use, its bloody heavy, expensive but simple to use growls like hell and is the dogs.However i got the Ashdown Mag300 at about £250.00 ordered from Soundslive in Newcastle via the Internet and it was to be a back up amp or take to practice instead of the Ampeg. Now heres my point, the Ashdown sounds bloody nice for the money, not as nice granted as the Ampeg but it didnt cost £1500.00 !! but the thing that i had to experiment with to my cost was the cabs.Yes Ashdown can sound boomy, so did my Ampeg when played through
    6 x 10 or 4 x 10 cabs, i now use a 15" and a separate 2 x 10" cab stacked, both 8 ohms so i can use one cab on its own with the Ashdown if travelling light.This sounds punchy yet deep and defined. I also borrowed a friends Hartke 3500 and it was good, loads of eq adjustment, rubbish compressor etc and it sounded no better than the all solid state mag 300 except it had something good going for it it was bloody loud for its rating.
    I cant understand why people need 4 x 10 and 1 x 15 cabs, i think 1 x 15 is one of the nicest sounding cabs as a good allrounder, the 2 x 10" has to be the next best, 4 x 10" tend to get a bit mid range, dark sounding on their own and of course very heavy.
    Happy shopping

    Ps i am awaiting delivery in a month or so of the new USA made Schroeder 1210 cab which is receiving great reviews as a small cab that will replace a full rig !! and its nicely priced except for the shipping to the UK.

  8. b-ace!


    Jul 15, 2004
    Hi bassampegman, thanks for all your advice, its been well helpful! :) I've done a ring around and it seems like the ashdown is the way to go for me. I will of course give it a good go in the shop though before I make my final decision. I havent really decided properly on the cab. I only thought of the 4x10" because the guy in the shop said thats the standard setup, but I don't really know much about cabs. I'll give the MAG300 head a go with the 4x10" cab and then the 15" with the 2x10" cabs. how will the sound differ?

    Another question bassampegman, which out of the ashdown MAG300 head and the hartke 3500 head, did you find to have more versatility in terms of defining a sound?

    Thanks again!
  9. The Hartke had more choice of sounds, the Ashdown is a bit one sounding i think i would go for the Hartke if it was me, but only because they are so loud, the Mag300 @ 307 watts into 4 ohms isnt that loud, the Hartke would blow it away in the volume comparison, the other thing is Ashdown also do the EVO range forget the Evo 300 its as weak as hell, the EVO500 is the one but its a bit pricey, where as the Hartke has several models, i.e 2000, 3500, 4000, 5000 , 7000 etc and they differ in spec and output. The 3500 is the one to get, and also has one tube in it ti give it a bit of warmth against solid state, the Ashdown EVO range also has valve in it but again its expensive. Get the Hartke but try out various cabs, the Hartke aluminium coned cabs are nice but a bit bright.I would get the Mag series 1 x 15" and Mag 2 x 10" as they are cheaper and stick the Hartke 3500 on top, or second choice the Mag300 head on top.

  10. how about the Ashdown 4X8 cab?
    it takes 600w, and weighs 30kg.

    I'm interested in trying one (my Trace Elliot 4X10's weight (45kg) and size is a pain)
  11. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Don't forget to look out for a used MAG400 head (red panel). They're discontinued now, but the one I tried was pretty good. A used one might make a good buy, with the benefit of extra power.