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?