Most Schlepp-able Combo ...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jason Hollar, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Most Schlepp-able Combo ... that still kicks butt.

    I’ve been gigging the MarkBass CMD 121 combo for several years but looking for a lighter, comparable option for the dreaded up-the-flight-of-stairs / remote location rig. Going ampless is not an option.

    What are you cats currently using?

    Must be a gig-tested, simple set it & forget it combo with piezo-friendly tones.
  2. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    I used a Markbass Micromark for years as a non-car owning bassist, and still do for the odd gig where I'm not driving but have to bring an amp. They're not the most powerful or highest quality amp in the world, but especially with a preamp did the job incredibly well for the price and weight. I can literally pick it up with one finger, and it fits in a large rucksack so I can carry it while wheeling the bass.

    Now that I have a car I'm using an Aguilar Tonehammer with a separate cab and I am enjoying the additional power and fidelity, but the tiny Markbass was a good solution for hundreds of gigs

    The most schleppable option of all, but only useful in venues big enough to have a PA and decent monitors - I know a couple of bassists who just bring the Aguilar Tonehammer pedal, and send a signal to front of house and get a monitor feed as their 'amp'. That works really well and fits in the bass case...
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  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    It looks impressive, since it has Reverb,:) I’m assuming it’s designed as a guitar amp. Have you gigged/played with one.

  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    I’m sure the Clarus and The Eight are an amazing combination - but it’s not a combo! I am interested in the acoustic image combos - they appear to have gotten pretty sophisticated.

    There will be no P.A. system - this is for remote cocktail set ups away from the main stage or event room.

    I’ve read that the Henriksens are top notch but alas have never encountered one in the wild.

    I did a rehearsal recently with two bassists and the fellow had one of those micro mark amps - I was skeptical at first but it sounded great actually. I assume GC might still keep these in stock and the price seems reasonable.

    Thinking along the lines of a GK MB combo - but investigating other more modern options via the TB think tank!
  5. isolated

    isolated Zenji

    Dec 7, 2004
    The Phil Jones Bass Cub.
    I travel the subways exclusively and this one sounds real good (in my experience) with a Fishman Full Circle and very portable.
    Also comes in three colors!
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  6. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Don't know your definition of "kicks butt," and it's not a combo, but I really like the AI Clarus SL with the Upshot. I've been using it in gigs with two guitars, as well as a bluegrass/swing band. If no one else is going into a PA, I would think it would be fine. Mine gets really loud. And, it is eminently schleppable - total weight in backback with cables is under 15 lbs.
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  7. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    Could I mention the Genz Benz Shuttle. I’ve got the 10” speaker version and it does it all for a DB player. Unfortunately it is now discontinued but good examples come up for sale from time to time. It comes with a great gig bag as well. Not too long ago I had mine up for sale (I soon realised the error of my ways and withdrew) and a guy offered me a lot of money just for the gig bag!
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  8. Michael Drost

    Michael Drost Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Grand Haven, MI
    It seems that talkbass gurus Adam Booker and Chris Fitzgerald really like the Phil Jones Double Four and Cub, respectively. Doesn’t get much more schlepp-able than that!
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  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I wish they still made that amp. The sucessor is the Genzler-Gollihur Acoustic Array it's not cheap but it has all the bells and whistles. Rick Wolf has one and he's
    posted demos of the amp.

    I own a powered MAS 1/8 and the Grace Felix. I'm having a pocket put into my cover to accomidate a preamp. So there's an additional
    connecting cable and a second power cable. That does make for a more complicated setup, but the advantage is that I've got a 700 watt combo, a pristine
    pre-amp, and a very small footprint that weighs 25 lbs.
  10. I had markbass CMD 121, used it with Fishman Pro EQ platinum to manage the feedback. There's Realist pickup on my bass. Trying for even lighter setup, I ended up with TC BH250 head and two little self made boxes - one with 6" and one with 8" speakers. I use 6" more often, as the smaller speaker plays more highs; if I play small club without PA, I use both boxes together.
    What I want to say:
    - head separated from the box is practical. The weight is the same, but you can distribute it any way you like and you don't take so much of the walkway. Very handy in mass traffic.
    - don't be afraid of small speakers. With Markbass, I often had trouble with feedback. Small speakers somehow don't do it. Also they play more highs, which is preferable because then you hear yourself better. In my experience, almost any given room adds the bass rumbling more than desired and it's highs that are missing.
    - I bought TC because somebody around was just selling it cheap. I said to myself I'd save for Aguilar and then I'd sell the TC, but actually TC does exactly what I want it to. There's lot of small D-class heads now, choose anything.
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  11. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    Not capable of competing with a robust drummer in a rock context - but for every other sort of situation (I play bluegrass on a vintage Kay, acoustic original rock with a band that features a cojon instead of traps, swing jazz) this Phil Jones Double Four provides surprisingly bassy tones with just enough volume to kick some ass. It's the size of a shoe box and weigh's very little. It sounds even better with a SANSamp paradriver or bassdriver. I also sometimes use my Felix (by Grace Designs) as a pre - but that blows the portability factor up a bit. Still it's the easiest, best sounding thing I own and I recently bought a Guild Jumbo Junior and this is now my Go-To combination for gigs where portability is essential (like playing on Angel Island in the middle of SF Bay.) Double Four.jpg
  12. No, I have just read favourably about using it for db here. Actually that was the slightly expensiver model, The Bud, but I think the only difference is 2 v 1 channel.
    Henriksen "The Bud"
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  13. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I just ordered my 2nd one of these, my son uses the other one with his electric bass... Light, small, battery operated (13+ hours, 6-AA), relatively inexpensive. Very convenient and lots of adjustments and features. Plenty of power for playing in a small venue with a large number of un-amped acoustic instruments including piano. More than sufficient for small combos. On stage can be used as a pre-amp or even mic'ed if desired.

    Definitely not a huge amp for large venues but plenty for small venues where you can't hear yourself over the mud.

    Roland Cube Bass RX front.jpg Roland Cube Bass RX top .jpg Roland Cube Bass RX back.jpg
    Roland Cube Bass RX
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  14. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Another vote for the AI Clarus SL and Upshot.

    When using a backpack, it's 100% hands free.

    With one Upshot (speaker), you can cover any drummer-less combo. [edit: Or any combo with a considerate jazz drummer.]

    With two Upshots, you can hold your own against Ginger Baker.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  15. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Johnson City, TN
    I’m currently waiting for a good reason to pick up an Upshot myself. You guys have convinced me, but since I don’t have a justifiable need I’ve been on the fence. But watching all the talk.

    This just showed up in my feed:

    Acoustic Image Offers Amp Mounting Bracket for Upshot Cab
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    For super portability and great sound, the MAS 16, with or without power is small, light and really kicks it. I heard it in a medium size room with a quintet of drums, keys, vocalist and guitar and it held its own.
  17. After all these years, I always seem to come back to my 1984 GK 200MB combo.

    I love that lunchbox!
  18. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Jazz & Cocktails Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Mmmm. Lunchboxes.
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