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Looking for amp advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Denimhorn, Jan 8, 2003.


  1. Denimhorn

    Denimhorn

    Nov 25, 2002
    well here goes....my first post on here - i will try to keep it short.

    I am in the market for a new bass head. Currently I have a Carvin R600 head along with a Carvin 2x10 cabinet and a Carvin 1x18 cabinet. I have had the amp for about 5 years and it has developed a problem where it it will just suddenly distort my bass signal while i am playing. When I "tap" the unit with my hand it will go back to normal. I know it is something in the head and I am fed up with it - unreliable and just frustrating while jamming. In fact I took it to Carvin (living in San Diego - i hand delivered it) and they couldnt find the problem.

    Having said that i want to buy a new bass head. I triad out an Ampeg SVT-4Pro through my Carvin speakers - brought it home and returned it back to Guitar Center within the 30 day return policy. I dont think im into the Ampeg sound. It was nice...but i think i was kidding myself.

    I play a Music Man sterling 4 string and fretless Carvin 5 string. The sound i am after is not vintage classic rock (this isnt directed at the Ampeg either..i may have dug it more if i have quality cabs with it). I am more looking into a modern, clean punchy sound. I am considering SWR and ANYTHING else ($1500 price range) that would work well with the cabinets i have now - and work well when i get more money to upgrade those too. Any comments on what would be a great, quality head would be much appreciated. My exposure to brands is somewhat limited to what i see at Guitar Center and such..so please enlighten me.

    The kind of music our band plays is really pretty broad - Rock, funk, country elements. I use a Fulltone Bass Drive pedal, Electro-Harmonix Bass Synth pedal and Electro Harmonix Poly-Chorus pedal to further give you an idea of the kinds of things that will be going into the new head.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. The newer SVT Pro stuff doesn't sound anywhere near like the original SVT's. Ampeg has a pro-line 8 X 10 cab that still delivers the goods but I wouldn't drive it with the newer Ampeg heads. I have run one with my SWR SM900 and it was brutal! Tons of clarity and tight punch.
    I use all SWR pro-line series stuff ( amps & cabs ) and it's very reliable and clean. The Workingman's series is OK, but it is cheaper and you only get out what you put in when it comes to buying a rig...good luck.

    --Woody
     
  3. .... sorry, forgot to say that if your only using an 18" cab, you'll never get much clarity without a highend compliment...no matter what amp you try..I'd add at least a 2-10 w/ horn cab to that. If you buy a stereo head ( SWR's SM series are stereo ) you can either bi-amp OR have seperate volume control over each cab in full range to really help round out your sound. ---:cool:
     
  4. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    Well, ya know what, I have a Carvin head (series II R600) and I've had a similar problem with its preamp occasionally.

    Apparently all the component modules in Carvin heads are connected using detachable connectors and when any connection gets dirty or loosened a problem like that can happen. A guy on this forum said that the contacts can be cleaned with electrical contact cleaner found at places like Radio Shack. I haven't tried it yet on my amp but I think you should try it before getting another amp (As long as you're happy with the sound of the Carvin when it works, of course.)
     
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Welcome to TB, the leading cause of bass G.A.S. on the web!!!!...........(now, fill out your profile, please!)

    From what you describe, I think SWR is definitely a consideration, but you should really give Edens a good look/listen first - http://eden-electronics.com/amps.html

    These are serious amps that are, tonally, very flexible. Their "Enhance" control dials in a variety of sounds.
    Eden was an OEM for SWR in SWR's early days.
     
  6. I say Ampeg, check out the new Porta Bass stuff. I heard a single cut Fodera through that stuff and it sounded awesome. Or check out some GK stuff. My buddy had a Carvin 600, after touring the world once or twice it's now in a St. Louis landfill. I watched a Carvin DCM 1000 on a bass rig catch fire one night!! cool!
     
  7. Denimhorn

    Denimhorn

    Nov 25, 2002
    all good advice thanks guys....a couple other things to ask based on what you all have written.

    Primusdude - Great input! Thanks. Where was that post do you recal? I think i take it into the shop to get it fixed...so i have something to play - but i really do want to get something new.

    Rickbass - what herad to recommend from Eden - and I also have read all the stuff on here about them getting bought up - just wondering what that may mean long term...and I need to consider that

    Dirtbass - yeah i really do like the seperate volume control - my carvin R600 has it now and I like that a lot - to control frequency split. So you have a SM900? I have been eyeing that one as well....seems like a great amp. Sounds like you like it huh?
     
  8. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    PDX
    <a href="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=70623">Click here</a> and read the post from chucko58.
     
  9. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If you're thinking SWR and you've got a budget of $1500, you could pick up an SM-900 for about that price - I just bought one recently and am finding the dual EQ channels to be really very cool. I am really digging this amp. It is also a stereo amp and has a crossover for biamping (possibly worth a thought if you're going to use an 18 cab) - so there are lots of possibilities that most amps lack. There are plenty of other great amps at that price level that are worth looking at, too.

    Also, I personally would go with a different speaker setup, especially if your 2x10 cab doesn't have a tweeter. A 4x10 cab w/tweeter and a 1x15 cab, perhaps (I would do two 4x10+tweet cabs, but I value a tight punchy sound over deep lows - your taste in cabs says that you like-a da lowend).

    Have fun - picking out gear is always fun - and welcome to Talkbass!

    [Edit - I should have read reddirt's post more carefully - he's already told you a lot of what I posted - oops]
     
  10. CraigV

    CraigV

    Jan 8, 2002
    Too bad you didn't couple the Ampeg with and Ampeg cabinet. I spent hours in Guitar Center trying different amp/cab combinations. It's my opinion that you can get damned near any type of tone from their product line. I also compared the SVT-4PRO to an SWR SM900 and a Mo'Bass, and the kid working there showed that you could set them up to sound exactly the same...the key was that the PR-410HLF cabinet has a very similar sound to a Goliath III. It was all very interesting and fun, but eventually I had to get down to a decision, and chose the SVT-4PRO and PR-410HLF.

    You might want to condsider trading in the two cabs towards getting a complete rig with the speakers you want. In my case, I traded a 3 year-old SWR Workingman's 15. They gave me $275 for it, and my total for the amp/cab, with tax, was $1,850. Not bad at all, and only a bit higher than your budget. So maybe you could do the same and get the exact rig you want. Remember...GC will deal with you more if you get a amp and cab than just one item.
     
  11. Denimhorn

    Denimhorn

    Nov 25, 2002
    Craig - yeah i still havent counted out the ampegs...i kinda figured that not having the right cabinets would have something to do with it. But i can never find a SVT4-Pro setup in bi-amped mode. And there is always so much noise at GC that who can ever heard what you're playing let alone tone!

    It sounded alright coming out of my carvin cabs....but not good enough to say - "I gotta keep this and pay the dough".

    This brings up a good point...how much would just a new head do without a kick ass cab to go with it? So you have that SVT4-Pro powering just that one PR-410HLF? You could power just that with no worries of too much signal? Man that rig must weigh a ton too!!
     
  12. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    What about a Boogie? The MPulse series are cool, and fit within your budget. I find that they have the balls of the Ampeg without the mud, and the fidelity of Eden/SWR without the tinniness.

    I've used Boogies for 7 years and have always been happy. Their service is the best, too!
     
  13. ferd315

    ferd315

    Sep 20, 2001
    Us, Fl, Tampa
  14. Denimhorn

    Denimhorn

    Nov 25, 2002
    ferd and basstriaxis...how do the Mesa cabs sound? I actually saw a couple heads when i was in the Azusa Guitar Center...but didnt get to try them. I dont even think they have the Mesa Bass heads in the San Diego store.

    Also looks like the max watts they have is 600 in their models....we play pretty loud...do they cut through and remain clean at high levels?
     
  15. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Mesa rates thier amps very conservatively, so they are extremely loud at 600 watts. My small boogie rig is 40 watts, and I am loud enough to play over a heavy handed drummer!

    Their new cabs are great too. You may have to turn down the bass on your amp though...
     
  16. ferd315

    ferd315

    Sep 20, 2001
    Us, Fl, Tampa
    With Tube amps you get True power, true wattage. Ampeg is known for saying 1000 watts when really it has been bench tested at 875. Mesa's have been tested 657, when they say 600. These are models i've dealt with, not all are the same, but you will get true power. If mesa isn't loud enough, or isn't your style try a SWR MO' bass 1000 watts I believe. I haven't tested that yet, but i've heard rave reviews.
     
  17. In regards to tube amps...(an all-tube chassis ) that one can bench at a certain wattage and the next of the same model can bench at another. You will also have to carry a full compliment of replacement tubes with you if you don't want to get caught with your pants down when it decides not to work at the next gig... Many high-end amps these days are using an AX7 as pre-amp tube and I carry two replacements at all times just in case....
    In other regards...many of the amps listed here to consider are good amps. It does depend what style you play, your tonal preference and how loud you expect to play as to which may serve you best. I've mentioned I use SWR exclusively and that's for a reason. It works and is very reliable. I play for a singer/songwriter and his material is mostly a cross of new country/americana rock so that tells you I'm not letting loose a barrage of hard, loud and over the top bass volume. I will tell you this...I've played every amp under the sun in backline situations. I don't play anything anymore unless it's SWR or VINTAGE ampeg. Nothing else holds up for me. Every newer Ampeg I've played I've bagged out. Same with Boogie. And as much as I do like SWR, I will only vouch for the proline series as the workingmans line doesn't get there either. If I'm bagging out the amp/speakers on these rigs playing freakin' country gigs..what does that say?
    Considering I play an average 3-5 shows a week and travel up to 1500 miles doing so..I need something that travels, takes the bumps and abuse..comes off the bus and goes to business. Enough said...you know what I prefer.
    BTW...buy a case for your investment..a HARDSHELL ATA case...not a budget one. You'll be glad you did.