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Mid-Sized Amp Advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MickyZ, Jul 26, 2012.


  1. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Hi. New to the forum, been lurking here for a couple weeks, reading and doing research. I need some experienced advice on mid-sized amps to consider for some upcoming gigs.

    Here's the deal: I currently have an Eden WT800 paired with a Bergantino HT322. I also have a very old Carvin PB200 (actually around 160w) which is starting to make some significant noise due to aging components.

    In 4-6 weeks I need to play some classic rock gigs in small-to-midsized clubs (up to about 150 people). In the larger clubs I will have house PA support, but in the smaller ones it's doubtful. I'll be using a Rick 4003 and/or MusicMan Stingray 4.

    I like the sound of the Eden, but at age 57 I don't find it's worth it to cart that 90+ lb. Bergie around except for outdoor gigs. So I'm looking for an amp to use for the gigs I described. Power, weight and price are the variables - I think I need more than 200 watts (depending on how it's delivered), would prefer something light (less than 70 lbs), and probably costing not more than $500.

    I've considered the TC Electronic BG500, which seems about ideal except for the weight and breakaway buttons. I've looked into the GK MBE series, but am a little put off by reports that the cabs are possibly built too light (no bracing, etc.). I've looked at the Carvin MB and BR combos - the MB12 and MB15 seem really nice, but perhaps underpowered(?) and the BR's are a little pricey comparatively. Not familiar with the Genz-Benz and Hartke gear, although I know they have a good reputation. Markbass - probably not, at those prices. Another possibility could be the Fender Rumble 350, but I've never been a fan of Fender bass amps (for bass) - but my experience with that was back in the 70s, so things may have changed.

    I've also considered just getting a smaller, lighter cab and using the Eden. It's two 400w amps in one, or 800w+ in bridged mode. If I just used one side, 400w could be just about perfect, or bridge it and never turn it up past about 3. Again, the MBE cabs might be too lightly constructed. Not sure what else might be worth considering. A lot of the quality cabs cost around the price of the BG500, so at that point I'd just as soon go with the combo. Not too concerned about speaker config - I love the sound of a well-driven 15", but speaker technology has advanced so much that a good 2x10, 4x10 or 2x12 can do the job at the power levels I think I need.

    So, I would appreciate your thoughts on how to direct my research. Am I overthinking this? Combo, cab, or just repair that old Carvin? What would you do?
     
  2. How handy at DIY are you?
     
  3. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    What is your budget? Would you be opposed to having two cabs that could be combined, or do you want one that can handle it all?
     
  4. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Um, not. Oil changes - great. Plumbing - OK. Soldering - I don't usually burn myself, but I'd hate anyone to see the joins. Anything else - really dicey.
     
  5. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Good question. Single cab would be easier, and quicker to load in/out. But I'm open to config. Budget - again, if it gets to the $500 needed to pick up a new BG500, I'd likely do that.
     
  6. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I'd use the head you have, and pair it with a good 2x12. Genz Benz NeoX 212 is an awesome cab, as is the Uber 212. Look for used ones to stay under budget.
     
  7. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    They both look like good cabs, and you're right - I'll have to keep my eye on the used market. 62 lbs each, doesn't sound too bad... I imagine that's what you'd expect for a quality "light" 2x12.
     
  8. lazerbrains

    lazerbrains

    Nov 30, 2010
    I just went through the same thing - got tired of carting my SVT rig around.

    I took my Ric 4003 to several shops around LA. Ended up with the TC BH500 - I run it with a 410 cab (or two depending on the gig). The TC sounds particularly good with the Ric for some reason - and can really nail an "Ampeg like" tone. The built in compressor and tuner are nice to have also.

    Try one out - GCs in my area keep them in stock.
     
  9. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    The NeoX212 is a fine cab. They are a littke pricey. You might find a used one within your budget, but it might take some patience.

    GK has since added more bracing reinforcement to their MBE cabs since they moved assembly back to the States. A guy opened his up here just a couple weeks ago to find added bracing. More never hurts of course, but they're much better than the earlier ones. Still need lining, but that's cheap, easy and quick, doesn't require anymore than a screwdriver, scissors and either a staple gun or can of spray glue....nothing that plugs in.:). Should you decide to go that route, make sure it's a brand new, USA assembled one, the older ones are flimsy.

    The NeoX is a great medium size cab but money is money. Can use your current amp and just turn it down a bit, no need to buy another amp.
     
  10. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Sorry I missed the $500 mark in your original post!

    What you might want to consider is selling your berg and combining that money with what you originally had reserved and getting two good 12 inch cabs of the same kind. One for small gigs, two for big gigs. I bet the two together would be close in volume to your berg 3x10. Or, jf the Eden head has separate volumes for the two channels, you could even get a 1x12 and a 2x12 of the same kind, and combine for 3x12 when you really needed the volume.

    The benefit to doing this would be you would have the same speakers for all of the gigs, just more or less of them. Just a thought!
     
  11. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    This is a good idea.
     
  12. Handy enough to do plumbing soldering etc, handy enough to knock up a cab kitset. BFM or fearful.
     
  13. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks for all the thoughts, guys. If you've got any others, keep 'em coming!
     
  14. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    I like this advice. I've continued to do my research/reading, and am kind of leaning towards buying a Hartke HyDrive 112 - 300w, 30 lbs, $399.99 at MF. I can keep the Berg, and add another HyDrive later, giving me lots of options for future gigs. Great idea!
     
  15. MickyZ

    MickyZ

    Jul 17, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Well, that came to a quick resolution. Found a used mint HyDrive 112 on eBay with free shipping, offered $300 - sold. I think I'm a happy camper.
     

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