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Lightweight, cheap practice rig for NYC public transit

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JDT36, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. JDT36

    JDT36 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    New York City
    Hi all - currently hauling around an Elf and barefaced one10 in a cajon bag, clocking in < 20 lbs. I originally went this route because the tone is fantastic, provides great at-home practice, and it works for a gig. But reality is all rehearsal spaces and most gig sites in NYC (at least the ones we're playing anyway) seem to provide a backline.

    So, considering how to lighten the load for jam sessions in apartments. I've been jonesing for a PJB double four at 9 lbs, but ~$400 is pretty steep for a practice amp.

    Here we go TBers - does there exist a cheap, lightweight, high quality practice amp?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
    chaosMK likes this.
  2. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    You could get something like a fender rumble 15 but you'd be giving up a lot of performance. I have played through the rumble 15 and it's pretty great for what it is. I think it would be fine for acoustic work but you'd probably get burried playing anything moderately loud. I have the double four and it's pretty amazing for it's size. I do acoustic jazz trio gigs with it all the time. From what I read about the barefaced stuff I don't think either of these rigs would come close to what you have now.
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    You do own a cab that's ridiculous in terms of weight, size and sound.

    Then you coupled it with the smallest, lightest bass head ever built.

    And now you're searching for something smaller and lighter?

    That's kinda tough, you know .. .
    roccobass, Bob_Ross, 57pbass and 12 others like this.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Maybe carry the Elf and one10 in a rucksack, and the instrument in one hand—leaving the other hand free to swipe a transit card or hold on to the "strap."

    22lbs is pretty hard to beat, especially for such a great sounding pair. FWIW, a NY friend used a PJB double four and hated it because it was not loud enough except for at home practice.
    Joebone, Dudaronamous and JDT36 like this.
  5. JDT36

    JDT36 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2018
    New York City
    Guilty as charged!

    Thanks for the insight. But man is that 9 lbs tempting... Especially since apartment-based sessions are typically without drums. I am worried about its volume though.

    Is there any gear worthwhile in the battery-operated world?
  6. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Before you pull the trigger on a Phil Jones thing, I urge you to try them out.
    I myself was on a similar quest a while back and ended up with the one10, but I play 5 and 6 string basses and needed something that works well enough with the low B.
    IMO the PJB amps that had 2 speakers, the Briefcase, the Bass Cub and the cheaper one with the 4" speakers
    sounded quite well in terms of what you get for the tiny size, but they were already struggling with faithfully reproducing the low E at, let alone B.
    I tried the Piranha cab with 4 drivers and the bass cub with ext. cab and both are in the ballpark of the one10, but exceed its weight.
    roccobass and JDT36 like this.
  7. Texican


    Aug 9, 2018
    Keep what you have. If it gets stolen, buy a fender rumble 40.
    JDT36 likes this.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Few to none will be cheaper, lighter or higher quality than what you already have.
    ObsessiveArcher, GuitarJay and JDT36 like this.
  9. kkenda11

    kkenda11 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    In my opinion the double four is probably enough for apartment sessions. However, you might take a look at the AI upshot too. 11 lbs, fits in a backpack, sounds great and gets quite loud.
    roccobass likes this.
  10. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    I was going to suggest the trace 110 cab, but that doesn't save you much.
    MAS 1-6 is 13lbs..
    VOX VX50BA is a 50W combo at 9.9lbs, can halve your weight. Bonus is you don't have to carry the elf..
    JDT36 likes this.
  11. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    I have a little Warwick BC10 that I use in NYC for this purpose. I have both GB Shuttles 6.0/12 and a 3.0/10 for when I need more. Not the best high end, but it does sound like a real bass amp, clean, and gets very loud for its size. Fits in a shopping bag. I have done coffee house gigs with it and it was a C-note.
  12. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Shuttle Series | GENZ BENZ STL8T_sm.
    At 11 pounds, if you can find one used. I use it with the Shuttle 3.0 for rehearsal and at home. It could be a decent monitor with FOH support, but you didn't mention needing that.
    Joebone likes this.
  13. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    This made my day, thank you!

    What about that fEARful crazy 8 design?
    Made as light as possible that shoud shave off a few ounces and they are smaller, too.
  14. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    Yup that's what I meant.
    On the other hand we are trying shave weight off from a feather weight set up. Those 1.6 lbs are almost 10% weight saving.
    Did I mention there's no need to carry a speaker cable as well?

    BTW crazy 8 suggestion is spot on.
  15. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Ditto. I have the 3.0 head and both the 1-8 and 1-10 cabinets. That little 1-8 cabinet was my genz-benz entry drug, and I also have a shuttle 9.2 head in a 6.2 saddle and the 6.2 1-12" speaker - I am a shameless fan of the shuttle line, especially at used pricing. The 1-10 combo is 18 pounds, and the 1-8 combo is 14. The 8'' is a doughty little unit that could do apartment jams without trap drums, although I'd be careful with a 5-string for anything more than bedroom use. The 1-10 punches way above its weight; the rear-ported design is super-effective in providing room coverage for its size. It's not a lot lighter than what you already have, but the shuttle concept elegantly makes for a one-piece combo schlep - and if using NYC public transit, the less pieces, the better!

    BTW, I've had the chance to compare the 3.0-10T side by side with the old GK MB150 combo, and a Markbass mini-combo with two 6" speakers. It wasn't even close - the GB took it, on tone, 5-string utility, and room coverage/projection.

    However, is it better than what you already have? The GB 3.0 is more powerful than the elf (175/300, as compared to 130/200), has more flexible EQ options, and I simply love the old solid state GB pre-amp circuit - based on exposure to a shuttle 12.2, I prefer it to the tubed GB circuit in my 9.2. But your barefaced cab is supposed to be some kind of beast.

    Finally, Genzler has continued the shuttle concept with some neat little 1-10 cabinets and a 350-watt head. Heard one briefly in a garage workshop, and it was great - but again, how does it compare with what you already have?
    JDT36 likes this.
  16. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
  17. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Another question that rose up within my head while contemplating this topic:

    I've owned a set of Neumann KH120A studio monitors for some time. Those were pretty tiny for their output.

    The specsheet boasts bass SPL of 104,8dB with a signal of 50-100Hz and a lowend of 52Hz (+-3dB) which is quite impressive and, as I know Neumann, dead accurate.
    One of them weighs in at 14,1lbs.
    I've never tried playing bass through one of them, but I've played back recorded bass on them which is kind of the same.
  18. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Bite the bullet and get the Double 4. You can operate them with a battery if you want to further bite the bullet. :D
  19. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Genz Benz Shuttle.

    Shuttle 3.0 if you can find one.
  20. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    JDT36 likes this.

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