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Looking at amps, mostly lost

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Krunch, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Krunch


    Aug 15, 2007
    This is my first post here so Hello! :wave:. Let me start by saying I'm a guitar player, not a bass player, so I apologize in advance if I make a silly assumptions, blanket generalizations or other ill-informed newbie mistakes. I take my guitar amp experience for granted and I find myself completely at a loss looking at bass gear because I know so little about all the companies.

    I'm setting up a bass rig that is primarily for home recording. I play guitar-centric progressive and tech metal. I'm a gear junkie, having spent more cash than I'd like to think about on my guitar rig, and I believe in going the distance when it comes to gear. So although I'm doing this for recording, I want to build a rig that could work in a live band if it had to.

    What kind of sound do I want? I'm playing metal but I don't really like the tone of most metal bass. I'd like a warm tone with punch and a smooth, round attack. My bass is an Ibanez SR1006 6 string prestige, which is a neck-thru maple wing body with active Bartolinis. For a cabinet I'm set on the Basson B210B (500W 4ohm).

    I'm trying to pick out an amp head but there are a lot of companies out there and I don't know much about them, nor do I know what makes them sound different. So far I've been looking at Ampeg SVTs (3,4,6), The Eden WT550, Ashdown ABM 500 RC EVO II Head, the Markbass LMII (based on the love I see for it on this forum but no tube preamp puts it at the bottom of my list). I don't need an all tube amp, but I want at least a tube preamp, there's nothing like the warmth of a tube preamp. I need something around 500 watts and I'm trying to spend less than $800 new or used.

    So out of those, which do you think would work best for me? Are there other heads I should look at? I know I should just go try to play on all of them, but I'd like to have an idea of where to start at least. Also, could someone clear something up for me on wattage? Are you supposed to shoot for an output wattage similar to the rating on a cabinet or are you supposed to go significantly higher than the rated wattage?
  2. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    play every amp you can (in your price range) with your bass and trust your ears.......
    'ave fun wid it
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If the cab is rated at lower wattage than the amp can produce, you could blow the speakers. Look at Mesa MPulse amps, especially the MPulse 600.
  4. my suggestion is to find a Pre that you like the sound of and pony it up with a Power Amp and cab of choice.

    that way if you decide you don't like your tone all you have to do is swap the pre and you are on your way
  5. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Genz Benz GBE600

    425w @ 4ohms, so its a good match for your 2x10...it will go down to 2 ohms if decide to add another cab down the road, has a SS and Tube pre which can be blended...great tone...GREAT tone...seems suspiciously loud for 425 watts...not available new anymore, but can be had used for under $600. If you want to go new, check out Genz's Neopak amp. Its not as versatile as the GBE line, but its a great little which has a tube pre AFAIK.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Since you're doing recording - and if it's PC (or Mac) based?
    There are several VST plugins available.
    One being Ampeg SVX another being Voxengo Boogex.

    Boogex is free and can load a variety of Eden and Ampeg cabinet impulses. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=357009
  7. Thinkarogadum


    Jun 11, 2006
    NE OH
    I'd look at Mesa Boogie heads, particularly the M Pulse 600 and the Big Block 750. You could also get an Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp (same preamp as the pro series heads) and pair it with any stereo power amp.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
  9. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    If you are simply recording, 500 watts is WAAYYY too much. You have the right idea with the 2x10, though. Basson makes great stuff, but you need to really drive it to get a good sound. Try getting a 1x12; an Ampeg classic 1x12 sounds great, real gutsy and middy! Ashdown makes good grear, as well; the ABM stuff has a good tube-preamp. But 500 watts is too much! I gig in mid-sized clubs and use a 200 watt amp (granted, all tube!). Good luck venturing into the world of bass!
  10. Krunch


    Aug 15, 2007
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    That was my assumption, I thought I read something recently about bass players running nearly double wattage to a cab to push it harder, I thought I'd misread it, but that's why I asked.
    Is it okay to go a little over the rated wattage, like 600W into a 500W cab if you're careful or would I be asking for a blown cab?

    Mesa Roadking into an Orange 4x12. But I'm not going to try it.

    The Mesa M-Pulse 600 looks very good, adding to my list of amps to try out. I'll try the Genz benz as well if I can find one.
  11. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I'm a bass tone junkie and if I had access to an amp like that you couldn't keep me from running a bass through it - especially since your primary focus is recording. I've ran bass through a THD UniValve.

    You don't have to sweat lopsided output figures between amps and cabs as long as you don't clip the amp but if you crank 100 watts of amp into 500 or 50 watts of speaker (especially guitar speakers) you're asking for what you get.

    Unless there's something really different about that amp, you can't phase the amp at any rate, it's just the speakers you have to be mindful of.
  12. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    That kinda sounds like a cool recording/small venue bass amp ya got there:

    Road King™
    Handbuilt in the USA

    Multi-Watt™ Channel Assignable Power Amp with Progressive Linkage™ (patent 5,559,469) featuring 4x6L6 & 2xEL34, which allows you to select either 2x6L6, 2xEL34, 2x6L6+2xEL34, 4x6L6
    or 4x6L6+2xEL34 for Power Ratings of 50, 100 & 120 Watts! / 6x12AX7, 2x5U4

    Fixed Bias for Consistent, Maintenance Free Performance

    4 Fully Independent Channels with 12 Modes (Channel 1 =Clean, Fat or Tweed™, Channel 2 =Clean, Fat or Brit, Channels 3 & 4=Raw, Vintage High Gain or Modern High Gain)

    Each Channel features Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, All-Tube Long Spring Reverb, 5 Position Progressive Linkage Power Tube Select (choices listed above), Channel Assignable Dual Rectification (Diode
    or Tube Tracking-Patent Pending), Speaker Output Select (Speaker Out A, B or A+B), FX Loop 1 and 2 Select (2-Series Loop On/Off Switches per Channel or Footswitch Assignable)

    Output Level Control (over all channels when activated)

    Footswitchable Solo Level
    Control – Patent 6,724,897 (over all channels when activated)

    Bold/Spongy “Variac”

    True “Hard” Bypass Switch that removes FX Loop, Output Level & Solo Level Controls from signal path

    Turner Output with Footswitchable Mute

    Slave Out w/Level Control

    Fan Cooled

    External Switching Jacks for Channels 1, 2, 3, 4, Solo, Reverb, Loop 1, Loop 2 & Tuner Mute

    9 Button Footswitch (Channel 1, Channel 2, Channel 3, Channel 4, Tuner Mute, Reverb, Loop 1, Loop 2 & Solo)

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