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List your favorite Mid Weight Class AB SS head.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Blues Marvel, May 3, 2020.

  1. Blues Marvel

    Blues Marvel Inactive

    Aug 26, 2019
    Going down memory lane and thinking about picking up a few old classic amps. I'm (for what ever reason) getting bored with the tiny nano weight amps of late. Some that come to mind Ampeg SVT3 Pro/Non Pro, GK RB700, and Thunderfunk 500/750. What are some other ideas I haven't though about?

    Not looking for amps over the 35 pound range as weight is still a concern but just getting away from the tiny stuff.
  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Hartke LH1000.
  3. Blues Marvel

    Blues Marvel Inactive

    Aug 26, 2019

    Very cool.
    I actually like the feature set of the LH500 better IMO 500 watts Class AB is plenty and simple is better.
    kbakerde likes this.
  4. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I know you capped this at 35lbs, but if you go a little over (to 42lbs), you can get an Aguilar DB751. I just did and holy smokes, what an amplifier!
  5. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.
    You and I are in the same boat. I have an SVT, a 3 pro, and a pair of D-800's. I went through quite a few class D amps in the last year. But I have been eye-balling the GK RB700's and you saw my post on the Orange 4 strokes. I don't need anything at all... this is pure boredom.

    And a nice US 3 pro appeared on my local CL, a month back, for $200 with rack case. I should have bought it
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
    Blues Marvel likes this.
  6. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I am almost positive the feature sets are identical.
  7. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    All 20ish lbs.
    SWR (SM 400 or 500)
    Ashdown ABM500
    GK 1001RB
    Oatis, Blues Marvel, Al Kraft and 3 others like this.
  9. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    While the GK 700rb II is still a good amp, the Orange 4 Stroke is really impressive. I'm digging the Orange a lot.
    kbakerde, Blues Marvel and Al Kraft like this.
  10. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    EDEN WT400 or WT550
    DJ Bebop, johnpbass, lomo and 4 others like this.
  11. brocco


    Feb 27, 2010
    Fender BXR 200 head through every speaker cab I have used sounds fabulous.
    Blues Marvel and Element Zero like this.
  12. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    QSC PLX 1804 or 3602 + preamp...
  13. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    Over 20 amps later including class D and now I'm back to this. Couldn't be happier.
  14. Flog

    Flog a Viking in Tejas Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2017
    Denton, Tx.
    Kinda miss my Eden WT550. Great amp for sure. has that tube gloss and sheen on the hi end and huge warm bottom end.
  15. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    The Handbox R-400 sounds great in a very slightly old-school way -- nice, harmonically rich sound that sits great with a band. Has a lot of what I liked in the Mesa Walkabout (though the EQ is quite different) with a little more power, less of a baked-in voice (much as I liked the WA, I always felt like I was fighting that a bit), a little less squish, and a more open top-end.

    The Orange 4-Stroke 500 is a surprisingly (at least relative to my expectations of the "Orange sound") clean- and focused-sounding head. A little more open at top and bottom than a Thunderfunk 550B.

    I picked up a GK 400RB recently -- never owned one as a youth, though it and the 800RB figured into a lot of the sounds I liked back then. I haven't had it out but, in my admittedly low-volume playing of it at home, it feels a lot more solid and present than I'd have anticipated just from the wattage ratings. I like the slightly rough sound and lively feel.

    I'm not a huge fan of the EQ, so far, and I'm not crazy about its baked-in voice with my more modern, full-range cabs (MAS 112 and AK Hathor 1203, though I've heard of people using GKs with each of those and digging them), but I've found that, plugged into more old-school-type cabs (a couple of simple 110s with Deltalite II speakers), the voicing actually balances out and works pretty well.

    That amp is a pretty easy carry, even over the shoulder in a bag.

    EDIT: The Handbox is class AB with a transformer-based power supply, but there are three tubes in the preamp -- don't know if this fits what the OP is looking for or not.
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    GK Backline 600. The only reason why I'm not using it today is that "micro" amps happened. What more could you want than Bob Gallien's boost circuit, magical 4 band EQ, and bulletproof power amp?

    The Backline 600 was good honest gear, affordable, and not terribly heavy at all for a conventional amp. I called it "pro gear hiding in an entry level package." It sounded great. It was also the most powerful amp I had ever owned. I don't need all that much power. On my test bench, according to my own criteria, the MB200 head has somewhat less power, but still more than enough for all of my gigging.
  17. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    The 700RB is always a classic.

    My SWR Bass 350 is about 16 pounds and 350w at 4 ohms, which is plenty for most things, especially with a relatively efficient cab setup.

    Going up the scale a bit, my Genz GBE 750 is just inside your stated range at 33 pounds. Great hybrid old school SS head with a 5 band tone stack. Definitely plenty of juice to get loud, 675w at 4 ohms (750 at 2).

    Going just a bit beyond, I think my Trace AH 600-12 is 42 pounds (honestly feels about the same as the Genz). Similarly a hybrid head, but with a pretty different sound, tube overdrive (that can get pretty fuzzy at higher settings, and also has a blend), 12 band graphic instead of the 5 band tone stack, and the ol' Trace dual band compressor.

    To get some of the Trace vibe at a little less weight (more like the Genz), the same series of amps had a 7 band preamp version, and those are like 33 pounds, you just don't get the tube OD, and you lose 5 bands of graphic, and just get a single band compressor, and a basic fx loop instead of the very flexible loop features on the 12 band version.

    So if you want something with some grunt, the Genz or Trace options are definitely great, as are the SWR and GK options.
    Blues Marvel and Al Kraft like this.
  18. bobbybass85


    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The Ashdown ABM 500. Amazing amp! Has that classic “heft” class AB amps have, super flexible eq, great features.
    Blues Marvel and Jacobfred like this.
  19. GK 1001RB I :)
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    On the low wattage (240 per channel, 420 bridged into 4 ohms) by today’s standards. But I really liked SWR’s SM-400 and the rest of their SM series.
    Blues Marvel, Al Kraft and Roxbororob like this.

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