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lightweight portable amps and cabs or combos

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by geepee, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. geepee


    Jun 14, 2007
    BC, Canada
    Hi guys, this is my first post, it looks like a great forum.

    I'm in a newly formed band based in london and a I have so far been using the provided backline at the few gigs we have done so far. Now we're booked in for a venue which has a PA only so I need to start looking at getting some kind of rig.

    The problem is, being in London, none of us have transport and we need to lug our gear with us on trains. I'm kind of worried about this as most cabs and combos i've seen are pretty hefty.

    The venues are pub sized rooms and I guess I could DI into the desk, but won't I need something so I can hear what i'm playing? Are stage monitors enough for this?

    I've been looking at small combo amps but i'm afraid that they won't cut it over the drums. I've also seen a couple of small digital amp heads which are cool, but i'll still need a lightweight cab I can put onto a hand cart and wheel through the streets.

    Any ideas? or should I just hire a car?

    Thanks everyone! :bassist:
  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    living in NYC, i feel your pain. but how much you wanna pay?

    cheapest route is to just plug into the crap at the club, and hope to the good Lord above that the gear doesnt feel like taking a dump on your set. i personally go thru the PA all the time, and most times the monitors do a suitable job. compressors and limiters are a great thing.

    in btwn route is to go w/ a set of avatar neo loaded cabs. dunno if they're available in europe, but us in the US love 'em.

    expensive but oh so feels dang good route is to pickup some epifani gear.
  3. geepee


    Jun 14, 2007
    BC, Canada
    I don't mind paying a bit, but not too much as i'm not super loaded. I was thinking of getting this portable ashdown superfly amp, it's really small and light and it's available cheap.

    I can't find any Avatar cabs on any UK based music stores websites. I did find an Ampeg 2x10 cab in the portabass range, which has a nifty handle and wheels on it. looks cool, but costs a lot here in the UK.
  4. Alan 342

    Alan 342

    Apr 3, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    I recently picked up a markbass cmd 102p. If that's about the size you're looking for, it might work for you. I believe there's also a combo with 3x10 but I don't know it's name. All markbass stuff is pretty portable. Not incredibly cheap though, and availabily might be an issue.


    It's about 44 lbs.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I'd get something with a 15 in it. It will give you the volume you need. With bass gear it kinda goes something like this... the more money you spend the lighter and better sounding the gear gets. The less expensive gear tends to be very heavy.

    For a cheap combo I'd check out the ashdown electric blue 15-180. I regret selling mine. It weighs 48LBS is memory serves. i bought mine brand new from the states for $300. In the future you can add an extension cab for more volume too.
  6. geepee


    Jun 14, 2007
    BC, Canada
    that ashdown electric blue seems pretty great for the money. Much better than anything else i've seen so far. Thanks for the tip. I'll see if i can get a look at one. It weights 41lbs from the specs - even nicer!

    I think i'll get a luggage cart/trolley thing to bunjee it onto if i decide to go for it.
  7. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Beware the small digital Ashdown Superfly-it only puts out 500 watts if you have 2, 4-Ohm cabs. Your best bet is Markbass combo mentioned above, or maybe the Markbass 112 combo with another 12 ext cab
  8. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    well, I would do my usual push on the Mesa Walkabout, but I've come to understand from folks like 62bass that Mesa is tough to get and pretty expensive in Euro-land.

    too bad .. great stuff. Big sound, small package.

    good luck
  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    If all you need is stage monitoring, get a Roland Cube 100. The Ashdowns are a good value, but the Roland is smaller and sounds much better IMO due to greater clarity.
  10. 34 Blues

    34 Blues

    Oct 2, 2005
    Mesa Walk-About-Scout. Carry Amp in 1 hand, bass in the other & cables & accessories in a backpack.
  11. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The other thing to keep in mind is that, especially with 15s the smaller the internal volume, the less low-end you will get. Sure you might be able to get a super small 15 cab but all you'll get is low mids. It wont sound that great. the bigger cabs have more lows. just physics that cant be changed. its all about trade-offs. smaller and lighter is more portable, but bigger and usually heavier (unless you get really expensive stuff) sounds fuller and better.

    the scout is a great cab. probably one of the best small combos out there, but again the price is up there too.
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Just thought of something. there is a guy from the UK selling a Flite 15 Cab in the TB classifieds. Cant get lighter than that. You'll still need an amp head, but that might be worth looking into.
  13. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    If EBS is readily available (I'm guessing it might be, with the European connection), you might check out their Neo cabs. I've heard good things about them (never heard them in person), and they're extremely lightweight.

    Good luck!

  14. lame(B)ass


    Jun 18, 2004
    The Roland Cube 100 option looks good.
    If you are willing to spend more money, looks into Markbass products. Their gear is really ligtweight.:bassist:
  15. trasser


    Dec 13, 2005
    You're in a rush! And thats never good. You mension the Ashdown as "seeming great" - already thats a bad sign (IMO). I'd never buy an amp if I wasn't SURE it was great - if you find out you don't like it, you'll have to get another amp in a few months, and already there you lost som money. Don't rush it. I can't believe why anyone hasn't mentioned a preamp as an option?
    In your specific case, I think that'd be great. There are lots of good preamps out there, and if you get one of those, you don't have to worry about transport and cabs, you can just plug into the PA at the venue and let the preamp shape your tone. Just try some out at a music store (I hear that the EBS micro amp is great) through a PA system, see if you like it. AND you can always use it with the rig you are going to get in the future - I think that would be a good solution to your problem. Correct me if I'm totally off the track
  16. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    There's the Markbass stuff.

    Cheap over here in the UK and certainly light. Ive never even heard it, and theres plenty of mixed reviews. But whats to stop you going in to the bass gallery on Royal College Street and having a listen?

    EDIT - Actually Ive been thinking. If the majority of your gigs have backline and FOH support, and the remainder have full PA support anyway, maybe you are better off with a preamp. You go to the gig, plug the preamp into the backline's 'effects return' and be done with it. DI to the house. Doesnt matter what the house rig is cos itll be heard by the band, audience will get the (hopefully) nice sounding pre to hear.

    You say there are a few places that dont have rigs and obviously that will cause a problem. Maybe if they are few and far between you could borrow someones rig? Maybe buy a cheap peavey combo or something from ebay and scrounge a lift from someone?

    Just a thought, obviously if you play places without backline often you will need an amp, and youve had plenty of good suggestions so far. But just take a second and think. Do you really NEED an amp? Even the lightest of light is heavier than a small DI box.
  17. geepee


    Jun 14, 2007
    BC, Canada
    I've been thinking about this, but i'm running out of time. I'm at work every day until the gig, so there's not much time to look at things. Luckily i'm based in the west end so I can pop over to Denmark street and soundcontrol on oxford street at lunch.

    I think there's a shop on denmark street that stocks markbass, i'll check them out.

    It sure sucks when your band leader organises gigs without asking me first :scowl: . Maybe I should just quit and teach the guy a lesson.
  18. slaerts


    Aug 3, 2006
    I have a friend who does pub gigs here in Aust. all he takes with him now is his bass and a Sansamp bddi and goes to the foh and relies on the foldback. Something like this might be an option for you.

    I guess you still need an amp for band practice though...
  19. Lobaw


    May 14, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    If Gallien Krueger gear is readily available in London, I would recommend you try either a Microbass 150 or one of the Backline amps. I had the MB 150 combo. Most guys use it for URB, but it is very small and portable and has a DI. It only has a 12" in it, but was fairly loud on its own and astonishingly loud when I hooked-up a Bag End single 15" box, which was not much larger (but heavier). It may not be your flavor as far as tone is concerned, but not only did it cut through a mix, I could always hear myself, if I did not get bass in the monitor mix. However, you'll need to consider your stage volume as a factor. I would also strongly suggest that you purchase a collapsible hand truck. It is invaluable for hauling gear!!

    Here's the url for GK:


    Good luck.
  20. Check out both "mini-rigs-of-doom" threads.
  21. Primary

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