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Metal bass amps??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jfreeman96, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. I asked this a while ago, but got kind of a jumbled response and just decided to get another bass and a cheap combo just to be able to hear the bass. But now I'm wondering what kinds of amps would be good for metal. I really don't want to spend more than I have to. And I really don't want just the brand name, I would prefer to know an actual model that would be good. I'm mainly looking at Ampeg and Hartke. I'm wondering about other companies I don't know much about, though, because I saw some really cheap Acoustic amps and some low-priced Markbass amps, and I'm wondering how those would sound. I play in a death metal band, our sound is like Cannibal Corpse right now but we're looking to expand out styles and be a little more like Between the Buried and Me. Also, the lead guitarist is (in usual lead guitarist fashion) obnoxiously loud and my sound is usually drowned out (I borrow a friend's David Eden head and cab for practice and gigs). But there's also a catch- I play in another band, and the music chosen is from all musical styles, like from Paramore to Gym Class Heroes to Carrie Underwood (god, I hate some of the songs so much it's unbelievable) so it would help if the amp wasn't just for metal. Feel free to offer up some names, and thanks those of you who are still reading this!
  2. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Whats your budget, whats your size limitation for transportation?
  3. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    I play through a GK 1001 RB-II pushing an SWR Workingman's Tower 8x10. Prior to it, I had an Ampeg rig for several years. I've found my current setup to be much more versatile, tonewise. Whatever you do, take your time, and don't settle. In other words, no "It's good enough", instead of "This is exactly what I want". Find something used but not abused. You'll get much more bang for your buck. I recommend something with a tweeter and an attenuator. Don't need it, you can turn it off. Better to have and not need, rather than need and not have.

    Might want to take a look at something like these:

    Good luck in your search. Jam on! :bassist:
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ampeg and Hartke both make great stuff. Very different but great. But honestly, the amp doesn't care what type of music you play on it. You should be able to get a convincing tone for the music you're playing out of anything that has enough guns to handle the gig.
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 it's not necessary to use a certain amp for a certain genre. What you want is plenty of wattage, and more importantly, plenty of speakers. If you play loud, consider a pair of matching 4x10's, with 600+ watts pushing them.
  6. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    Personal preferences:

    Marshall VBA series heads and cabs
    Marshall Super Bass amps
    Ampeg SVT (tube heads 8x10 cabs)

    Pretty much any quality amps/cabs will do the job. You need to make sure you have enough power to give you enough volume and desired headroom.

  7. GK and Ampeg are perennial Metal favorites.
    Mesa is also very popular, but not as much as they used to be.
    Out of all my bass playing friends, only me and my buddy Franz are using Mesa tube heads. The balance are either using the Ampeg SVT(tube) or a GK 700RB or 1001RB.
    It can be kind of bewildering with all the amps that are out there. But honestly I can't recall band I have seen in the last few years running anything but those brands.
  8. Addni


    May 16, 2009
    Akureyri, Iceland
    I can actually get a pretty metal tone out of my Ampeg PF500 head and SVT410HE cabinet, Pretty deep but with lots of punch and click.
  9. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    LOL...I would listen to Clammy!!!....Have you seen his pics!! Now that's METAL!
  10. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I've used all the following for metal:

    Kustom Groove Bass 1200
    Fender Bassman 300 Pro
    Peavey AlphaBass
    GK 1001RB-II
    Genz Benz 610T XB2
    Ampeg 810E
    Bag End D10BXD + Q10BXD
    PF115HE x2

    My favorite combinations were the GK + 810, SVT-II + GB 610, and SVT-CL + Bag Ends.
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    It might depend how much of "your sound" you intend to get straight from your rig and how much from your pedal board. If by "metal" you mean you'll be doing a lot of distortion, you're probably going to use a pedal anyway. (I would.) In that case choosing your amp will be about other things: how heavy it is, how many watts it pushes, how much it costs, how reliable it is, whether it has EQ knobs you like, whether it has a direct out on the back, etc. Get whatever makes you happy on those parameters and then get a Darkglass pedal or something.

    If you want just a bit of fuzzy tubey breakup (Black Sabbath, The Who, etc.), you might want an amp that can deliver that without the use of effects. In that case start shopping for something with tubes and make sure to crank them up when evaluating them.
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Don't forget that your tone when playing by yourself is not representative of your sound with a band. Something that sounds good solo like a heavily scooped sound may not with work with a band. The reverse can also true. Some of my favorite in the mix settings aren't particularly pleasing to the ear when played solo.
  13. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    I got a GK 1001rb recently and that thing is very in your face tone wise. If I were doing loud death metal I think it would be brutal through the right cabs. My other amp is an Ampeg PF500 and it's a great little amp, and through good cabs could do the job but the GK seems to me it would be more suited to metal. Could be the watts making some difference but the voicing of the GK screams at me to play metal when I'm using it. The PF is warmer, the GK has what I've seen people refer to as "GK grind" and I'd say that's pretty accurate. GK 700rb would be the same thing, little less headroom and can likely be had for close to 300.00.

    Budget considering I'm guessing any amp can work, grab a cheap, powerful amp, 300-500 watts and use two cabs. Your average single 4x10 probably doesn't cut it for loud metal.
  14. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    Totally agree, if I bring my amp home from practice and plug in with the same settings I used with the band it sounds horrible.
  15. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    This phrase says it all. I highly suggest getting two cabs. 2 410's - 8ohms each. One cabinet for the other band, two cabs for the Death Metal band. Getting an 810 is not a bad idea, but make sure that you can use half of it at shows with the other band.

    Search craigslist.org in your area, find some stuff in your budget, let us know what you find. We can help evaulate it for you. Stop by Guitar Center and other music shops and start playing some gear. BRING YOUR BASS! Find out if the gear does well with your bass's tone. For under $2000, you can easily find something that will fit both bands.

    Also, there is a lot of good advice already posted - read it twice!
  16. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    What you want for modern metal generally is a strong low mids bump. That and bright mids. In the styles mentioned, you'd be cutting through super loud high gain guitars and an insane drummer generally. A dark sounding cab or cab without tons of low mids won't help you cut through.

    For me nothing beats Mesa cabs. They are aggressive, well-defined in the mids, and loud... just what you need for metal, especially if you play fingerstyle.

    You can probably find an Ampeg 8x10 fridge for relatively inexpensive used. You see them on stage all of the time. Ampeg cabs typically have the low mids bump that is desireable for rock/metal but can be a dash dark on the higher frequencies (if you are a pick player they are perfect) but even that can be dialed in.

    Go used if possible... you can get a primo cab for the price of low-end new.
  17. RNV


    Apr 13, 2010
    Loxahatchee, Fl
    fEARful (I endorse them, not visa versa)
    I suggest getting either 2 X 410 or 2 X 212 cabs at 8 Ohms each and a good loud head to push them. Ampeg, Mesa, GK, Genz, Carvin, or pretty much anything else will give you your tone you are looking for. Just take your time EQing it and be happy. I play metal and have gone through many backlines. With enough time, you can make anything sound good.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That only goes for the 810e's made between 2000 and 2006. All the rest, while they don't have tweeters, have plenty of high end for those of us who don't want tweeters.
  19. I'm not a tweeter guy ( I always yank them out or disable them on cabs I own).
    But the 810E has always sounded a bit shy in the mid/hi-mid area.
    It works well for most styles of music though, just not me personally (and the last time I bought one was 1992).
  20. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    I used a carvin b1500 + 8x10s in maaaany bands. death metal to sludge, speed metal, to thrash. just need the power and the speakers.