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Looking for a simple rack bass amp/head recommendation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cornfarmer, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo

    May 14, 2002
    I know I could just buy any old power amp and use a separate preamp, but I was looking for something more instrument oriented, not necessarily a PA/studio amp. Something that could stand on it's own if I didn't feel like using a preamp.

    I know KMD once made a real basic rack head for bass...those Marshall IBS bass heads seem interesting but I don't know much about them....what else might be out there?


    • Size must be exactly 2 rack spaces tall
    • At least 100w minimum
    • 4 & 8 ohm outputs
    • Basic, minimal controls like an old Sunn or Traynor
    • Front inputs
    • Prefer solid state
    • Cheap! :D

    No Hartkes!
  2. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    hartke lh 500?? 4 ohms 500 watts tube pre, 2 rack spaces, 2 speaker outputs, 3 band eq and a built in compressor...
  3. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    On the hartke. A ha3500 should be plenty and are pretty common and inexpensive ($200-350$). Their 350 watts and honestly easily have the volume of a 500+ watt amp. Try and find an older mosfet version and put a good 12ax7 or 5751 tube in it, the stock sovtek is absolutely horrible. Shoot for a sylvania, EH, GE or other good quality tube.
  4. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo

    May 14, 2002
    I forgot to post that I want to steer clear of Hartke's - I have an old mosfet 3500 they are great amps for sure, but I am looking for something else.
  5. darknes40


    Oct 11, 2011
    I know I'll probably get flamed for this but honestly one of the genz Benz shuttles or shuttlemaxs three wattage options, all with 4 and 8 ohm capability and when racked with optional rack ears they are exactly 2 spaces, also one of the cleanest tones you'll find and nice features like a tuner out, fx loop, balanced line out with post/pre eq option and line/mic level option, an aux in and headphone out with a semi parametric eq
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    What do you think of the old Trace Elliot stuff? Some of it is going pretty cheap on FleaBay. Think it suits your needs, but I'm uncertain of the 2u thing. They may be 3u, hard to tell from photos, and I didn't search for any specs.

    edit: they all have like 7 band eq's with sliders - not minimal controls
  7. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    GK800RB and GK400RB are rack mountable. Closest thing that comes to mind. I've owned both (haven't rack mounted them though) and used them extensively and they are excellent heads. Simple controls and USA made, they can be had used for as little as 180(400rb) to 350(800rb).
  8. kickboxr


    Nov 16, 2011
    TC electronics makes some quality stuff. I'm a die hard Ampeg SVT CL through a SVT410HLF or SVT810 player. But I picked up a TC Electronics Classic 450 RS210 combo and I play that all the time. Loud enough for medium size gigs(probably bigger gigs if I could find a TBer that would sell me another RS210) and I can match the SVT CL tone real close. So close I sometimes forget I'm playing it.
  9. makohund


    Dec 12, 2002
    A Carvin B2000 would fit that position quite nicely. Way, way beyond that 100W minimum, though. As would a BX1500, but that has a lot more knobs than it sounds like you'd prefer.

    Also depends on what one considers cheap.
  10. ThrashMaster


    Jul 7, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I love my SWR sm400s. They are readily available used for 400 bucks.
  11. All cheap, rackable and simple:

    GK Backline 600 *
    Fender Rumble 150
    Ampeg PF 350 *
    Peavey Tour 450
    Peavey Headliner 600W *
    Kustom KB200HR
    Ashdown MiBass 220
    Eden E300 300w
    Behringer Ultrabass BXR1800H
    Carvin BX250*

    * very good in the price and more bang for the buck
  12. RC52


    Apr 10, 2010
    Laurens, SC
    How would you rack a PF350?
  13. Shelf and duct tape? True, probably not a candidate but maybe a
  14. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo

    May 14, 2002
    Some interesting options so far...

    What about Tube Works Mosvalve rack amps? Yeah, sacrilege for even mentioning a guitar amp...I know they made bass versions, but how about the basic 2 channel, 2 knob dealies, like this, but the 250/500 watt version:

  15. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    You would still need a preamp with that I believe. The that's either more knobs or more rack spaces. Also note I gigged with a GK 400 rb with a 4 ohm 115 and did fine with two half stacks. Guy after me used a 3500 with same cab and it was barley heard. Not knocking hartke stuff, just stating what was witnessed.
  16. Holliwood


    Sep 13, 2011

    Size must be exactly 2 rack spaces tall
    At least 100w minimum
    4 & 8 ohm outputs
    Basic, minimal controls like an old Sunn or Traynor
    Front inputs
    Prefer solid state

    Traynor BassMaster 400 fits bill perfectly
  17. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    don't want to be a ass but try my tag sale....
  18. jthurston


    Nov 22, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Your what?
  19. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I had a Yorkville 400B head that fit that description perfectly. I loved that head. 400w, Big gain knob, 10 band graphic eq, volume knob. That was about it. No fans, just a big heat sink on the back. Sounded great and built like a tank. I bought it used for $400 about 12 years ago and sold it probably 5 years ago. Which I had never sold it.
  20. Holliwood


    Sep 13, 2011
    Exact one I have.
    GREAT amp.

    I like it so much I'm looking for another one.

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