need a new amp head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jackson0321, Jul 13, 2001.

  1. jackson0321


    Apr 4, 2001
    Houston, TX
    i want to spend around 600, and im thinking about GK, fender, ampeg and hartke, i play maining indie rock kinda stuff, give me some good ideas please. thanks
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    With $600, you should definitely throw the Carvin R600 stereo head ("600" for 600 watts) @ $570 on your list. For another $80, you get their 1000W head.

    IMO, the rep of Carvin amps gets bruised because of the Eminence speakers used in Carvin cabs. But their R series heads have the latest technology, scads of tone shaping tools, a soft knee compressor, a decent crossover, and are built solidly.

    The only knock I have would be that the noise gate is pretty useless in that it slices off your volume momentarily at inappropriate times if you use it.

    Otherwise, your Ampeg selection, maybe a B2R, looks good to me, but it doesn't have anywhere near the juice of the Carvins.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    For $600 I would go for GK 400RB unless you want a tube head in which case I would look for a used Ampeg SVT (new ones are out of your budget).

    Hartke looks good on paper but I have never liked the sound as much as other brands, your mileage my vary.

    Fender, well, I hate to say it but I have yet to play a Fender amp introduced after 1970 that impressed me (OK, I have not played hte latest Bassman 400 yet).
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i've seen used SWR SM400S's go for under that.

    depending on how much juice you need, an SWR bass 350 could be enough for you, they sound great and are LOUD (if you have two 4 ohm cabs the 350 is actually a 475 :eek: )

  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I would echo the Carvin recommendation. I've played a bucketload of rented GK 400Bs over the years, and for my tastes, the Carvin sounds better, and it gives you more power. Don't get me wrong, the GK is a decent amp and gives a good sound, and when I had to play them on the road, I didn't spend any time crying in my beer because I had to play a GK. But I do prefer the Carvin by a substantial margin. Just MHO.
  6. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    what cab's will you be using? Where are you located?
    If the Carvin is an option, I'd definitely recommend it. We have the RL1000 in the studio, and it's very flexible for recording and gigging. We've used it with a wide variety of cab's, and it really proves to be quite versatile.
    Your wattage will vary though, depending on the ohm rating on your cabs. You have to do your research on those Carvin specs, but if it's practical for you, they really are a great deal.
    Only problem is you can't try them out unless you're in CA; you get the mail-order trial period.
    I guess that puts a lot of people off. But they're decent heads.
  7. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    from the choices you listed jackson, i'd say either GK (400 or 700) or the ampeg b2r. can't really go wrong with either. the have different tone qualities though, so try to play thru both. go to guitar center/mars/musician's friend.

    definitely try the carvin if you're willing to pay shipping both ways if you don't like it and send it back. that turned me off...i didn't want to spend 60+ dollars just to hear something i probably wouldn't like as well as my swr. it is a flexible head, though.

    the fender...not that the tone is bad, but i couldn't make the eq do what i wanted. and that's odd because all the tone knobs have sweepable frequencies.

    the hartke 4000 is a good deal if you like the tone. not enuf clarity for me.

    another thing to try is a peavy firebass. i've played thru one in the store...definitely check it out because the price is right and you might find that you like the tone. i think it's ok.

    other than all these...looking used wouldn't be a bad idea. good luck.
  8. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    ampeg svt 350h (or something like that - it's got a tube preamp but solid state power amp) i'd recommend the b2r over it though - i played them back to back last weekend.

    carvin r1000

    nemesis head...can't remember model #...600? oh well they only make one head.

    swr bass 350

    gk 800rb