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My current rig isn't cutting it

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dls119, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    So, I currently use a Genz Benz GBE 250 watt 12" combo. The tone of the amp by itself is pretty good, very strong in the mid range and lacking in the low end. Very neat amp, however it is just not what my current band calls for. Volume is not really an issue, but I do need to fill a lot of space sonically and this amp just isn't cutting it. I play with an acoustic guitarist, banjo player, and reasonable drummer and play small and medium size venues, usually with PA support. I generally use the line out on my amp into the pa, and just use the amp itself for stage monitoring.

    So, I'm looking for something strong on the low end, with a full sound. I'm not adverse to either a combo or head/cab set up, however I would prefer light-weight gear and an upper budget of around $700, give or take. I have no problem buying used, however the used market around here sort of sucks. I'm also not really brand-loyal.

    I mostly use a passive jazz bass with few/no effects.

    I've been thinking about trying to pick up a used Ampeg PF500, but I am not sure what sort of cab to match it with or if that amp will help achieve my goals.

    I think I've covered just about everything. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
  2. I've seen the pf-500 get some bad press around here as of late. Can you take your bass to a store and try out different setups?
  3. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Yes, but I haven't been impressed by anything within my price range except the TC Electronic BG250 and the portaflex, however I don't know to what extent those amps will fill the roll I need them to.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'm not quite understanding what the issue is. You mention that the amp has good volume, nice tone, but doesn't fill out the space sonically...then mention that you normally have PA support.

    Are you looking for something that fills out when you don't have PA support? I ask because the PA should be doing all of the heavy lifting.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    How do things sound thru PA / FOH? Are you using the GB's DI and, if so, is the signal pre or post EQ?

    Here's something that may work: Plunk down ~$100 for a used SansAmp BDDI. Now, people complain that they scoop the mids but, in your case, that may not be a bad thing and may actually fill out the sonic space (lows) you've described. It's been my experience that the BDDI will over-ride the host amplifier...the finished product will sound more like a SansAmp than a GB.

    This is a fairly safe purchase here on TB. If you like it...great. If not, you can flip comfortably. I've used one with a couple of 12" combos and have been impressed with results. Certainly cheaper than a new amp and will come in handy for future applications.

  6. dls119


    Jun 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    It really seems to depend, in a recent video (running through FOH) I sound hollow and sit near the other instruments sonically (very mid-y and treble-y) and lack any real lows. However, the show prior to the one I just mentioned, the sound guy ran me entirely through the subs, which was fantastic. I do run through the GB's DI, but I have no idea if its pre or post EQ, I would hope its post, but I can't say for sure. I bought the amp used in a bit of a hurry because I joined this band somewhat unexpectedly and they had shows booked (I didn't expect to get the gig).

    I've heard nothing but good things about the SansAmp. Would you run it your signal path or in the effects loop? Or would you just DI with it into FOH?
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Can't check the manual as Adobe is not working. Check the reverse for the pre / post XLR selection, if any...or check the manual. Sounds as if the FOH support is more than adequate but there must be a balance betweenst the mains and subs. Not sure what you mean by "entirely through the subs"...can you elaborate? A decent soundguy can compensate for just about any sonic shortcomings.

    I would run the BDDI in front of the GB, not in the FX loop. You may DI from the BDDI or Genz Benz. A/B and decide which sounds better.

  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    All good advice so far. I just wonder how much more you are going to get for $700. If you can add a couple of hundred to your budget, I think a lot opens up. Twice 250 rms is 2500 rms.

    The big obvious problem is you need both a head and a cab. I'd try getting a lot of one OR the other rather than doing a compromise on both. You can then upgrade the weak link later, as long as you are still doing better with the new rig than with the old.

    The big trade off with cabinets is going to be that low weight and high performance cost more than heavy and high performance. With heads, you will find loud and light for cheap, ($400-500), but not with 2 ohm capability.

    I'd go for the best possible cabinet first, with a less shizzle head.
  9. How was the sound on the video captured? Camera microphones are variable quality.

    If you go all big guns with your amp you'll probably create more problems than you solve.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    If you like the overall sound of the amp - How about adding an extension speaker? This can more than double your sound level and add more bottom, etc. depending on what you choose.

    For example, I bought a Schroeder 1212L cab with 2 x 12's to use with my MarkBass 12" Combo amp, and the stack of 3 x 12s with 500W behind them is insanely loud and punchy, small and easy to carry, and I can still use the tiny amp by itself.