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Looking for good combo for small-med sized gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Philthy, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    Hey everyone,

    I'm kinda contemplating picking up a good combo amp for those smaller gigs that I really don't need the "big rig" for. Something that's more travel friendly (weight). I'll need something with decent wattage (would 200-300 watts be enough?) with an XLR out so I can go thru the PA as well. I play hard rock covers. I do use a 5 string so I'll need something that can handle the low B. I also use my Spector Euro basses which tend to have a bit of a hot output (Tonepump preamp). So, something that doesn't distort too easily. I don't boost my Spectors as it is now with my big rig due to clipping. Just a slight boost of the bass and treble and I'm good.

    So, with all that said, my budget is going to be anywhere from like $400 - $650. Obviously, the more bang for the buck, the better. Reliability and durability are concerns as well because of the fact that this will be a "gigging amp" as well as an at home practice amp.

    The ones that intrigued me so far are:
    -Ampeg BA115HP
    -Yorkville XM200C
    -Fender Bassman 250 (1x15)

    Anyone out there have any comments and/or suggestions on something that might be a good fit for what I'm looking for? Any experience with these amps?

    Any help and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!
  2. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    Toward the north end of your $$ range, you should be able to get into either version of the XS400C. I like the 2x10" myself. Way cheap options include the Behringer 1200. I bought one as a bedroom amp. Tone is nothing to write home about, but it is very loud for its size. I actually had David Pastorius (yeah, nephew) playing thru it one night. I went to check out his band, and his SWR died. I happened to have the 1200 in the car. He used that. I think he was less than thrilled with the tone, but it seemed loud enuf, even tho his rig was the 750 head atop a 6x10 cab. The little 120W, single 12" kickback held its own. That said, again the tone isn't great, and I fully expect it to burst into flames every time I turn it on.
  3. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Having used all the ones mentioned, I would bi-pass them all and get a Nemesis. Far better sounding amp with deep bass, clear highs and it breaks up nicely when pushed. Light weght, etc.
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have played two on your list:

    Didn't like the Ampeg. Didn't have that classic ampeg sound and was VERY quiet. I don't think it is well suited for band practice or even small gigs.

    I owned a Fender Bassman 250/115. Plenty of volume, good eq controls. The 15 seemed plenty articulate for my style of playing. It can easily handle a low B. This amp would work well for your requirements. I sold mine to finance my Genz with a tube pre.
  5. I'd add the Carvin BRX212 to your list.
  6. predmachine


    Feb 23, 2006
    Agreed on the Nemesis. I have a 410 and it's great for the medium sized gigs. I paid $800 for it new.
  7. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    Mesa Walkabout Scout without a doubt. I paid $695 for mine used, which I know is a great price, but they can be found. Compact, punchy, with plenty of headroom. Not to mention you can pull the head out and put it on other cabs for a larger venue.
  8. Hyde


    Mar 30, 2006
    CHeck out the Ampeg B200R. IMO, the Rocketbass amps sound way better than the other Ampeg combos.
  9. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    How about the Ashdown Mag C115T? Are there any comments about this one? I couldn't find much out there on this specific combo.

  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I'm looking at the 12" SWR WM combo... Can those take the brunt of a low B string? I've heard the earlier models are pretty rad.
  11. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Roland DB-500 160 watts 1-12 will handle the B without any problem and plenty loud . Also has amp models that were done right solid state,tube and tube drive, plus chorus and compression and a switch that makes the 12 sound like a 15.
  12. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I've had two WorkingMan's 12s (both pre-Fender, still have one). They can take a B alright at lower volumes but the rear-ported cab doesn't put out a lot of deep low end. The 12 works fine for jazz and folk kind of stuff but don't expect it to keep up with a loud drummer on its own. I used my old one with a Carvin 15" extension cab for some pop/rock gigs. It worked well enough (never overheated) but it was not an ideal rock setup. That said, it's a great amp for rehearsals, house parties, and small gigs, especially if you double on upright.

    For the original poster---I didn't like the Ampeg BA combos I've tried...much preferred the B-50 and B-100 Rockets. If the B-200 preserves the magic and bumps up the booty factor, definitely worth a look. The Ashdown MAGs put out good old-school tone, and I've been impressed by all the Fender Bassman combos I've played in the last few years. You might also want to check out the Genz-Benz 400 watt NEO 1x12 combo.
  13. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I've played a Yorkville XS400TC 2x10 combo that's rated at 250 watts @ 8 ohms and 400w@ 4ohms. It's has a 12AX7A tube preamp and is really clear without sacrificing low end. It is also available as a 1x15 combo.
  14. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    Pignose B100V. It's 100 watt of rich tubey goodness pushed through a 15" and it sounds great. I use mine with a 4 piece rock band and at about 1/2 volume it's plenty loud. I mic it with and AKG D112 so it can go through the mains and monitors. The guys in the band really dig it and like it better than my old Bassman 100 w/4x12 cab. I think you can get on new for about $500.
  15. get an ashdown, brilliant for rock, nice sounds, looks cool, lenty of watts, (307) pretty good price, the MAG range is brilliant.
  16. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I own the Ampeg BA115HP and it's a nice sounding little amp but I think it's a bit over riced for what you get. You really should look at other amps if you plan to do medium sized gigs or anything out doors.

    Playing it at a medium sized venues is pushing it. I have used it at small outdoor events and it's working really hard to hang in there with two 65 watt guitar amps and a drummer.

    Indoor stuff in a small venue it's perfect. I use it at church and for practice and it works great for that.

    As for the sound. I think it sounds like an Ampeg. It's a nice warm / fuzzy sounding Ampeg kinda thing. Not "tubey" like an SVT but very much like thier SS stuff. It just doesn't have the volume to hang in there at a medium sized venue.

    I should also let you know that it has been in the shop since December '05. It came out for a week and went right back in. Ampeg warranty is covering it but the authorized warranty centers around here are back logged for months.

    I'm using my Peavey now which never seems to have a problem.
  17. pj-mike


    Nov 22, 2005
    Bridgewater, MA
    Responding to info on the MAG C115 300

    Its got great low end and lower mids, lots of power for its size. About 180 Watts with the one speaker at 8 ohms, 307 if you add an another 8 ohm cab to get to 4 ohms. Its easy to carry great for practices OK for gigs by itself. It lacks the higher frequencies with just the 15". It's not a full range 15" it peaks at 2kHz. I think it will be great if you add a 2-10" cab, for what you're doing. If you shop around you should be able to get the combo, a 2-10" cab and speaker cable for under $650. Especially if you can handle a heavier 2-10" cabinet.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to get. There are a lot of good choices out there.
  18. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Bassman 150 tiltback.

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