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looking to upgrade from an Ampeg B100R

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tightbidness, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Hi Folks,

    My current rig is an Ampeg B100R combo with either a Lakland 55-02 or a Fender P-Bass. The Ampeg sounds wonderful and works well for a plug and play bassist like myself. I've recently started playing medium-sized clubs. At these gigs I run a signal from a SansAmp BDDI to the house sound system and the Ampeg becomes a stage monitor more or less. That's fine when the house system and sound person are good, but when they're not my sound is a mess.

    I played through two GK rigs (400RB and 700RB) at local Guitar Centers and could not find my sound with them. That puzzled me, because I usually like GKs when I hear other people playing through them. I've also auditioned 1x15" and 4x10" Ashdown ABM combos and the sound just didn't do it for me. The best tone I've heard recently was a P-Bass through an SWR 350x with a crummy GK 1x15" cabinet at the GC in Boston. I also loved the tone Beck's bassist, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, got through his SWR combo. However, when I played through an older SWR 350 into SWR cabs at a gig, that rig sounded clicky and metallic.

    My only problem with the B100R is that it's not loud enough. Everything else is there: tone, ease of use, portability, and reliability. So I guess I'm wondering if folks here could suggest some rigs (combo or component) for me to consider. I play in an original rock and roll band and a jazzy pop/hip hop group and strive for a round, mellow tone with no finger noise. Recently I've been digging Sting's tone on Ten Summoner's Tales and Bill Laswell. Any and all advice would be much appreciated.

  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    So get another one and stack them up! It's pretty handy having a spare rig.
  3. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I too love my B-100R. If you like the sound of the Ampeg, check out some Ampeg heads and cabs. I have an Aguilar DB359 going into an Aggie 2-12 and the sound is heaven, but the price for this head new is ridiculous. I found mine used for $1075 in perfect condition so if you're not in a hurry you may be able to find a good deal. There's just so many options out there. The best thing you could do is go to all the local music stores in your area and play until you find "IT". Good luck.
  4. Thanks guys.

    It's funny, because on the drive home this evening I was thinking "why not get another one and have a stereo rig?" Maybe that suggestion was tongue in cheek, but I can't see why not.

    The Aguilar DB 359 is my dream head. I saw John Pattituci play through an Aguilar rig a couple of years ago and his sound (and playing) blew me away. It's something I've never seriously considered due to the cost and an irrational fear of tubes. But now I'm toying with the idea of getting another Ampeg and saving my money.
  5. Just get what I'm getting. BSE hlf cab, SVP pro, QSC power amp.
  6. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i totally understand. the B-100 is a grat sounding combo.

    i think that AMPEG could consider to build a head version of this solid state monster combo. nead with same design and tone, same controls and easy to use. only with a BIGGER power amp.

    could be great i think. i have even the name:

    AMPEG B200-H
    AMPEG B-400-H

    not that bad?
  7. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    I suggest that you have a look at Ashdown amps, especially in the ABM range. they have that Ampeg vintage feeling, and most models are far louder than the B-100R.

    Hope this helps,

  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I love my B100r, i havent really been lookin to upgrade because we only do small gigs at the moment.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    There is no upgrade for the B-100R...

    There is only different:D
  10. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    cant you line our your b100r to a power amp and then come cabs?
  11. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    It is a great sounding amp. It has great punch.

    To get that punch I would definately recommend something along the lines of an SVT3 Pro with 410 HLF. That is a good rig.

    Another one to try would be Ampeg's SVP Preamp with your favorite poweramp and the same cab. That is an awesome sounding rig. :D

    My favorite to date is the Ampeg SVT400T with an Ampeg 1540he cab. That is NOT as punchy as the HLF though... Its much more thumpy. But I dig that.
  12. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    hehe. It is sweet.

    I like toastedweed's idear of using the line out to a power amp... I still would recommend the 410HLF to compliment its punch.

    But then again, I don't remember if the line out is pre EQ or post EQ on that.
  13. I often wonder if it would sound good to use a good mic like a Sennheiser e609, and just mix a bit into the monitors to make up for the lack of power.

    The line out is unaffected by the amps EQ and dosen't capture the sound of the cab IMO.

    Anyone else think this would be a good idea?
  14. Not sure if the line out is before or after the EQ, but I tried to run a line to the board at two gigs and both times the sound person was unhappy with the signal. I mic'ed the cab in one instance (SM57), which seemed to work all right though I know nothing about mic'ing amps, and then bought the SansAmp.

    The SVP-PRO looks interesting. Ampeg has a PDF owner's guide on the Web. Never heard of the SVT400T.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've only used mine through a PA a few times but I've never had a problem doing so. I would agree that a good mic would be a better way to capture the sound.
  16. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    ok then, what about mic to power amp to extra cabs. if your doing that you COULD remove the head from your b100r and convert it to use as a preamp, stack it on the poweramp and the get some cabs... ta-daa l337 sounding "mighty mini rig"
  17. get two and link them.

    gabe from bassnw used that for a rig and loved the results.

    it kinda sounds silly at first, but I bet the results are incredible.

    serious modularity and cost effecitiveness. <$500 upgrade which is the price of a good preamp alone.
  18. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    its still only 200watts tho, for $500 you could get a 500 watt power amp (600watt in total) and a 2x10 / 2x12 avatar / other budget cab and have THE sound, a few more speakers and over 400 more watts to play with
  19. Gabe from Bass NW is the person who turned me on to the amp. I called to inquire about Ashdown combos. At the time I wanted a club amp that could be used with electric bass as well as upright. Gabe raved about the Ampeg and when I played one I was sold. Bass NW had a good deal on B100Rs this spring and summer, not sure if they still do.

    How would one link combos? Line out from the first into the input of the second? I need to test this, but I suspect the line out on my B100 may have some issues. Would an A/B box work?
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    And how much more to get the B-100R's tone?;)* **

    That's the catch. I haven't tried two yet but if they couple like two Bag End, Aguilar, Nahas, EA, etc. cabs, that could be very sweet indeed.

    *BTW it doesn't sound like the typical 100w amp
    **BTW II are 500w amps under $300 now?)

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