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Looking for recommendations for new head and cabinet around $1000 used

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by red_bassist, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Hey all,
    I'm looking for recommendations for a new head and cabinet. I've been playing bass for three years, and have been using a Peavey Microbass 1x8 combo amp. I want to try a separate head and cabinet. My intended use is for jam sessions and practicing. I'm not currently playing with a group.
    Genre: worship music
    Tone: warm, punchy, growly (I play a fretless P bass)
    Budget: around $1000 or less used for both the head and the cabinet.
    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  2. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Only used? For a grand you can score some good new gear.
    westrock, red_bassist and SJan3 like this.
  3. New would be fine, preferably used
    Timmah and jeff7bass like this.
  4. Personally, I'd look for a used 500w GK head (which is cheaper now that Mesa seems to be favored) and a solid 15" cab. Its do-able for $1k. You're also in the best time of year for deals on used gear (because everyone wants cash for their seasonal must-have gear).
  5. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    You can find a GK MB500 head and NEO 112 can used for under a grand. I played through this rig for many years. Definitely warm and punchy, and of course GK is famous for growl...
  7. I like the samples I have heard so far of the GK MB500 head
    Dubious Aa likes this.
  8. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    I would like to say look for a Fender Bassman 500 and either the 410 cab or the 210 combo w/extended 210 cab...
  9. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I picked up a new GK MB 500 head last winter. It was time to grab a lighter Class D for the easy grab 'n go factor and I already had a pair of decent 2x10 cabs. So that gave me a more portable smaller layout for practice, etc. with one cab or a bigger rig when using both.

    I honestly wish I hadn't waited so long to take the GK dive. I was initially worried that I might be going a little light on the power, but this wee beast has been a substantial step up for me over my old conventional head, which was an 800 watt'er. My sound is now more rich and clear, but if I have to play a gig without PA support, I sound bigger than ever. It turns down just fine for more quiet practice at home, too.

    Bottom line - if it was lost or stolen, I'd go look for another one.
    red_bassist and Dubious Aa like this.
  10. I upgraded recently to a GK mb500 for home and a mesa subway d800+ for band jam from my SWR and Carvin amps.
    I still like the SWR gear but both the GK and the Mesa blow it away.
    If i had to choose 1, it would be the mesa, not necessarily for the sound but for the versatility(oh, and sound).
    It’s selectable from 8 ohm to 2ohm loads and that makes cab selection more diverse.
    Personally i like running 2x 15” cabs on the mesa. A 4x10 on the GK. (Mostly because thats what I already had)
    red_bassist likes this.
  11. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    For $1k, you’ve got a lot of options.

    GK stuff is rightly getting a lot of love here, and their amps do excel in the “growl” department. However, they can be a little bit too clean and sterile foe some tastes. Maybe check out the MB Fusion, and one of their Neo cabinets.

    Ampeg stuff is often referred to as “warm,” and can be made to growl a little bit. Their PF series is decent stuff and also readily available. If you’re really only playing four string, their SVT210AV cabinet is one of the best medium-duty cabs out there for my money. It’s warm and present but mellow on top and can deliver a nice midrange growl that I imagine would really make a fretless pop. If you’re looking to add a 5-string to your arsenal, though, I might stay clear, as I don’t find those cabs take well to a low B. They definitely have a “vintage” or rock-oriented voice, which may be what you’re looking for if by worship music you mean CCM-like stuff.

    If you’re looking for a more gospel-flavored sound (modern and hi-fi) then I might look in the direction of Markbass, which is definitely warm and clear but perhaps short on intrinsic growl. Their LM series is ubiquitous for a reason, and their 1x12 cabinets are pretty well thought of. Eden amps might be a slightly growler but more modern option.

    The truth is there are a million great options for bass amplification out there these days. Watts are cheap and good speaker cabs are easy to find, so much of your decision will have to come down to listening (YouTube is good for that, especially these days when music stores aren’t as available) and your personal preference.

    That being said, my suggestion would be a GK MB Fusion (under 500 used if you’re patient) and a pair of Ampeg SVT210AV cabinets (200-250 each used). That’ll give you a modular rig that should sound punchy, full, and reasonably growl for well inside your stated budget. The GK/Ampeg combo is under appreciated, IMO, and with two of those 2x10 cabinets you should have no trouble keeping up with an average-volume band.
  12. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Warm/Punchy/Growly is 100% GK. 700RBii. 1001's are more common I think but have "too much" headroom to get to the growly sound I would think....

    The Bag End S15D's I play mine through complete the package. This is the "old school" version of lightweight -- they cabs weigh 40 Lbs. The amp about 20. That's no big deal; and the sound is perfection.
    lizardking837 and wave rider like this.
  13. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    You have some solid choices for NEW gear within your budget. Right now, Markbass gear is on sale at MF. You can score a good deal now. Genzler makes an excellent Magellan 350 head for $500 and say a Markbass NY121 cabinet for under $500.
    You're there with excellent gear within your budget NEW, with warranty.
    MAXSPINRUN and red_bassist like this.
  14. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    Micro vr stack $700 brand new
    red_bassist likes this.
  15. bearhart74


    Feb 26, 2009
    red_bassist likes this.
  16. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Genz Benz Streamliner 900 , all day. Under $500 easy
    Bergantino 112 goes well (...mine got fired by my fEarful 12/6)
    red_bassist likes this.
  17. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    Why two pieces? For your proposed use, a combo would work fine and there are lots of combos that you could buy new for way less than $1000. Check out any Fender Rumble v3 and pocket the extra bucks.
    SJan3 and red_bassist like this.
  18. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    Hmmm. If it were me I'd get a couple of FRFR powered speakers (like the Headrush) and a quality DI box, like the TC Electronics or Ampeg or new Fender one. Totally modular and powerful. I got the 112 Headrush recently and have used it at a few gigs with a PA support. Is it a Fridge, no? Can I fit my rig in my car and carry everything in one trip? Yes.

    Keeping with that theme of modular and powerful but going more traditional: A couple of 112's and a head would be my next option.

    Or, if you wanted to keep it classic you could get the Ampeg Micro stack with an additional 210.

    But like everyone as said, you've got a ton of options.
    red_bassist likes this.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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