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Looking for suggestions for small rigs (very small)

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Jan 4, 2004.


  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I play with gut strings and nowadays use my amp less and less. I've now decided to get rid of it entirely (AI Coda) and for cases where I do need a small boost I'm going to use something very small. I'm also sick and tired of carrying around the amp even though the Coda is very small and compact. However I'd like to be able to carry all my gear in one trip and with the bass in one hand plus other stuff carrying the AI is not easy whether in the case or not.

    Also, I get plenty of low end acoustically so I'm not really looking to particularly boost that part of the sound when I amplify.

    I'm looking at something called an Opera 110 which a vocalist friend has. It's made by DB Technologies in Italy. It's a bi-amped 10" plus 1" with only 70 + 20 watts but it weighs less than 20 lbs.

    Does anybody have any other suggestions (or comments)? I'm really looking more for a small full-range PA than a bass amp. It needs to be able to handle the lows but doesn't need to be able to blast them out.
     
  2. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Wow. Interesting and it seems that Schertler is the dealer in the US and they bear a resemblance to the Schertler Unico. There must be some connection there.
     
  3. There is. Along with Schertler and Velvet Strings, SR Technology is part of the Schertler Group. Schertler helped SR in developing their speaker line. I think that says a lot about the quality of their products.

    Vincent
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    My small rig is an AI Clarus (5 lbs) mounted on top of a Falk Audio 1x8" mini PA cab (8" driver + horn, which I have disconnected for DB). The total weight is 14 lbs, and the whole thing fits inside a carry-on rolling case with extending handle. It's great for those gigs where you "almost don't need an amp", and unless you really crank it, it sounds as if you aren't using an amp at all and you just have a really loud bass.

    I've also built in a very simple tiltback device for it, and the speaker cab can be stand mounted if you like.
     
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    That sounds interesting. I was wondering whether an 8" or 6" would be enough. I have plenty of low end on my bass acoustically so getting the fundamental (or not) does not really concern me with amplification especially when it's just a small boost I'm looking for. 14 lbs would be nice indeed. Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.
     
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Chris, according to the Falk site, the PA with the 8" speaker alone weighs 16 lbs. Plus 6 or 7 lbs for the Clarus (if I remember correctly) would make it over 20 lbs.
     
  7. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    How about the Galaxy spot, it weights 13lbs, it has a 6" woofer it's self powered, about 130 watts if I am not mistaken and it has two channels, very small some singers use it on a mic stand, my ex-wife has one and I played my bass a few times with it at home, I think that if all you need is a litle "enhancement" the Galaxy Spot is worth giving it a try, Guitar Center carries those amps, you might as well bring your bass down a try it.
     
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Funny you should mention that. A vocalist friend of mine bought one of those to be used simply as a monitor and PA for small venues (which is what they market it for). I mean the unit you're talking about - not the little Hot Spots. Anyway, the sound was pathetic. There was barely any mid-range to it at all let alone any bass and that was just for vocals. She ended up getting the Opera 110 I mentioned. Thanks for the suggestion anyway.
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Just for the hell of it, I weighed the unit in question. I was slightly mistaken - it's the speaker that weighs 14 pounds. The whole unit together weighs 19 (I have the older, smaller version of the Clarus).

    Still, the amp is light enough to lift with one finger, and it fits in a rolling case with a handle. Since I'm already carrying a DB, the amp feels like a helium balloon by comparison. If 19 pounds is too heavy to meet your criteria, I fear for the success of your search.
     
  10. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I believe 19 or 20 lbs is as light as I'm going to get. The Opera is 20 lbs with a 10" speaker which I thought was pretty impressive. Anything else I've seen that's a few lbs lighter has a 6" or 8".
     
  11. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    What is wrong with smaller and heavier, if you put it on a cart? I do this with my Schertler Pub speaker, and it is a snap. I put my gig bag on top, and bungee it and my music stand to it. I wheel my bass with one hand, and the luggage cart with the other. I can go several blocks like this and not even get winded. I only lift it into the car twice (going and leaving), so 50+ lbs 2x a night is not so bad.

    The Schertler 8" pub may be heavy at 44 lbs, but it just sounds so darn good with whatever I put through it. Using it as a monitor, with a mic, with the Dyn B, with the Stat B, it is very hi fi and lots of power for a small box.

    Monte
     
  12. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    There's nothing wrong with it. I just don't think I need much power and even with wheels, stairs are a pain and a lot of places I go to seem have stairs. Obviously there's a tradeoff. I did try my bass through that little Opera PA I mentioned and it was very good and for the price it's unbeatable.
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    A Clarus with a (used) EA VL-108 would seem to fit the bill nicely. Especially if you want a very flat "PA-like" cab. I have used VL series cabs for PA use, and they are fantastic in this regard.

    Tom.
     
  14. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Nice cab but still too much power and too heavy for my need. Ends up at about 33 lbs and just has way more power than I need.
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    How about one of the battery powered Pignose amps? Some folks scoff them, but others love them. Personally, I have not tried one, but it doesn't get much lighter than that!

    Tom.
     
  16. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    <G> I think that may be too much of the other extreme. However I've never tried one. I think they are supposed to have a very distinct voicing though. I'm trying to get PA transparency in a package of 20 lb or lighter that will may not go down to 20 or 40 Hz but would still give me good reproduction for the bass and that would be between 50 - 100 W. The Opera speaker I mentioned seems to be the only one that will fit the bill. The other one that MAY fit the bill is the Ultrasound AG-30, it's usually a guitar amp and has an 8" speaker but it may work and it's supposed to be very transparent.
     
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I am not familiar with the Opera or the Ultrasound, but they sound like exceptional products. Yeah, I doubt a Pignose would qualify as an uncolored, full-range amplification solution! ;) Still, it would be quite the visual image...

    Tom.
     
  18. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes there's the visual aspect of the Pignose too but I didn't want to mention that! <G>

    The Opera is a good find. Check it out at http://www.dbtechnologies.com. They are dirt cheap here in Ottawa. Also check out http://www.ultrasoundamps.com. Those amps are becoming extremely popular with jazz guitarists. The AG-30 is designed primarily as a practice amp because it's so small but it might work. The Opera weighs the same though and has a fair bit more power plus a 10" speaker. I've never seen anything with a 10" speaker that's as small and as light as the Opera 110.
     
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Wow, that Opera is a very unique and useful product! I didn't realize that you can send a wireless signal to multiple units, or have a signal fed to one unit be transmitted wirelessly to other units. It could be great for stage monitoring! How much do they sell for?

    Tom.