Looking for AMP opinions...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by McHack, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Lets say I'm looking to spend $500 on a combo amp, for basement duty: What make/model earns your money.

    Here's a few that come to mind.

    Fender Bassman 100
    Hartke Kickback 15
    SWR Workingman's 12
    GK Backline 115
    GK Backline 210

    Feel free to throw in yer opinions...
  2. 1-good

  3. i'd suggest the bassman 100 or 200 if you find a good deal
  4. Infested_Leming


    Jun 29, 2003
    I'd go with the SWR or the GK 210. More so the SWR though.
  5. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I wouldn't go combo for that.

    I'd get an old GK 400RB on the bay (<$200) and a new avatar 210. That would be louder and more transportable than what you have listed. It would sound better as well.
  6. The GK Backline 112 is the sweetest sounding of the backline combos. The others sound good, but the stars must've been aligned properly when that one was conceived.
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I like the SWR, but must admit I have never heard the GK. The Fender is ok as well, but if it were me, I'd probably go with the SWR.
  8. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ok,,, editting my list... scratch Hartke products from existance....

    Fender Bassman 100
    SWR Workingman's 12
    SWR Workingman's 15
    GK Backline 115
    GK Backline 210

    I don't want to have amps & cabinets take up that much space in my basement, which is why I'm asking about combo's. I don't want my basement to turn into a studio.

    Being louder isn't my primary concern. Some day it may & I'll deal with that if/when it arises. But, for now,, I'm certain any of these 4 amps is going to be more than sufficient.

    However, I am adding SWR's Workingmans 15, because it has a little expansion capability,, increasing power output w/ an extra cabinet. But, this puts me over the price I wanted to be at. (oh DAMN! :))

    I'm just concerned w/ tone, flexibility, quality, features, etc..
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Suggest you give a listen to the Ampeg B50R & B100R (both are under your price cap and both are kicking amps).
  10. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    RIGHT! How could I have forgotten Ampeg? Ahh, lost grey matter from a mis-spent youth.

    Fender Bassman 100
    SWR Workingman's 12
    SWR Workingman's 15
    GK Backline 115
    GK Backline 210
    Ampeg B100R

    So far, SWR's the popular choice tho'!
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I recommend you A/B the WM12 and the B100R, totally different sounds.

    The WM12 is more modern, Hi-Fi, & clean.
    The B100R is a funky rocking tone monster.
    Choice depends on the tone you're after.
    [Once the chick that won the popularity contest moves in with you, you may find out she's not as much fun to live with as you originally thought.]
  12. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    I have heard great things about the GK - but i have had small ampeg, SWR, and peavey combos. I know own the ashdown electric blue 12 and i think it's great...blows away the others i've had. erik
  13. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Hmmm, interesting...
  14. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    If I had to buy a $500 combo right this minute I'd drive 10min down the road and buy the Workingman 12 WITHOUT THINKING TWICE. it has the best tone in the workingman series and has a speaker out for expandability. I have owned a WM-10 and wished I got the WM-12. Built like TANKS!!!

    not sure on the bassman100, but felt the lower rated ones where inflated on their power claims and farted out TOO soon. I heard the backline110 or 112 and thought they had good tone and seemed lound in the store, but I've heard people complain about defects and durabillity problems, you might do a search on that. they are a couple hundred cheaper than the SWR, but where did they skimp?

    If you can checkout Yorkville combos. VERY underated by what people say. I've only heard the 110/50w combo. Strong volume, little honky, but I assume one with a bigger speaker or 210 would sound better.
  15. 563


    Jul 27, 2003
    Heres a vote against SWR if that helps ;) GK and Ampeg get my vote.

    The 400RB head and cab idea is a great one. And it wouldnt take up anymore space than a combo would. But it would give you a lot more flexability if you needed more out of it later. What ever you decide, I recommend you make sure you dont need to buy another later. I believe the GK combos can run extension cabs. Thats a good thing. Get a higher power amp than you need with an extension out and youve got two amps in one.

    Im currently playing a GK 400RB head through a Bag End 1-15 cab and its smaller than most combos. One more cab and its all the amp id ever need.
  16. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    recently i was looking at this same range of combos for a friend who was lucky enough to get a setup for his birthday. I went to the store with him and after a couple hours in GC we went with the bassman 100. Had a more hi-fi sound which did better justice to his BTB400 with its active electronics.

    i guess what im getting at is that these brands are all very distinct... i would go so far as to say SWR/ampeg is like night/day. im not saying one is better or worse, but they are so different that you can probably narrow down the brand in a few minutes with each.

    as for speaker size, thats also a matter of personal preference... to think about, the bigger speakers will sound bigger, but if they dont have a tweeter, you might have trouble getting a particularly defined sound, or one thats good for slap if youre after that.

    i have also played the ampeg combos, as well as the GK 210, and the WM115. each worked well in the setting i was using it for. your ears will tell you which one belongs in your basement.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    A friend of mine was just looking for an amp of that ilk, and I went to GC with him to have him try a Workingman's 12, one of which I own. He played that, then a Bassman 60, and we ended up agreeing that the Bassman 60 had a warmer, fuller tone. He bought the Bassman. I've been very impressed with the whole new Bassman line, and I think I'd recommend the Bassman 100 out of the choices given.
  18. those are all good choices. But I'd go with the bassman too. Kinda similar to the alembic pre I have tone wise.
  19. You were right to strike Hartke from the list. If you want to buy an amp once and not deal with BS, from what I hear you should stay away from those.
    I've also heard kooky things about the Fender Bassman amps. To my ears, they sound sterile as hell, not a lot of humanity to the tone.
    I believe the stiffest competition here is between SWR and Ampeg, but forget the WM12, especially if you plan to play with a drummer. A criticism of these amps since their release was the "smallness" of the sound...consider the WM 15. Bigger speaker means bigger tone, you can always turn the low end done, and a tweeter means plenty of highs.
    The B100R, which I own, is a killer. Not modern-sounding, and the lack of a tweeter means you can't get those ultra-highs to make the lows sound more open, but it sounds good, seems durable and projects well.
    But ultimately, to hell with the opinions of me and anybody else here--except for our own experiences owning and abusing these products, we're of no help to you because we can't hear the sound in your head. Pack up your bass, get in the car and drive to the music store, then the next, then the next until you find something that works for you.
    Sorry if this reads like gibberish...it's been a hellacious weekend.
  20. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.