Need advice on a poffessional bass setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by needaname, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. needaname


    Jul 10, 2005
    Hey there tb people,

    I've played bass for 6 years but in that time have learned virtually nothing about gear. I have a 5 string fender squire bass and a little bad dog practice amp at the moment. Over the past year I've been playing in a covers band playing bars and balls and relying on P.A systems.

    But I am now looking at a band that plays originals material (kind of heavy/progressive rock) with an aim of turning pro and my little bad dog cannot be heard over the drums when we practice.

    I need a sound set up of pro standard. I had some advice that a setup of 4 10inch speakers and a 15inch through an 800W amp should be respectable. What do you think?

    brands I've had recomended include Carvin,Warrick, mesa boogie.

    Any advice would be appreiated, thanks
  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Well, it certainly is a great time to be looking to learn about bass gear. Everyone here is going to tell you their personal favorites but I'll say upfront that many, many companies make great products. First and foremost my personal favorites are Bergantino cabs (do a search here, you'll find lots of positive comments) with Ashdown EVOII amps. I also love the Aguiar DB750 amplifier and Glockenklang amps. Millenia Media makes the best preamps in the business. They're not bass specific but bass players love them. It's like hearing your sound in the studio live.

    Ok, that's out of the way. The truth be told that you can get a great sound from most amps and cabs from your closet music shop. Check out Gallien Krueger, Ampeg, Hartke, SWR, Eden.....the list goes on. I've heard recently a GK amp through an Ampeg 410 that sounded great.

    My suggestion for the type of music that you're playing is to start with an amp with around 800 watts and get either a 410 cab or something comparable. This was a great suggestion that you had already mentioned. A couple setups that are known to sound great and be reliable (very important) are an Eden WT800 (the 550 would work also. Very nice little amp) with an Eden 410; a GK1001II with a GK410 or a 212 (the 212 will sound rounder and a bit warmer); GK 800RB with a Hartke 410 (old standard); Ampeg SVT4pro with an Ampeg 410 (I like the 410 classic).....Just a few suggestions. Aguilar makes some really good things. Their S series cabs are cheaper but sound really good from what I've heard. Look at what you want to spend first and foremost. This will determine what companies to look at. If you want a one cab solution for good than a 610 is a great compromise.....I of coarse love the Bergantino 610. With a 410 though to start (look on the back of the cab and make sure it says 8ohms if you want to add another cabinet later), with a 410 you can always add another cab when you need to. A 410 will be very loud on it's own though. Start there and see if you need more later.

    The best advice that anyone can give you though is to get out to as many music shops as you can, with your own personal bass, and try everything you can get your mits on. You really need to hear as much as possible to find out what is best for. Don't be afraid to search the net to be as informed as possible too. Try here: and here: and search around differnt manufacturer sites. Then come back to TB to do a search for comments on different brands. Then come back here and ask as many questions as you need to.

    Have fun! :bassist:
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Used SVT-ii (non pro) is always a good choice. You cant go wrong with Mesa either :bassist: GK might get the job done for you also, and so could a Pre/Power setup. What is your buget looking like?
  4. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Great post Emjazz! I agree with everything you said there, and frankly your Ashdown + Bergatino combo is giving me G.A.S! :help:

    Needaname, I think the original suggestion you got was right on the money, and to give some specifics I'd try out an Ampeg SVT-4Pro (or Eden WT800) with Eden D115XLT and D410XLT cabinets, if that is within your budget. I always reccomend buying used on the classifieds here.
  5. or go for the pre-power solution.
    there are lots of good, used poweramps out there. match it with a sansamp RBI or a used bbe or ebs-1. then find a cab you like.
    a 410 or a 212 might be a good one to start with.
  6. needaname


    Jul 10, 2005
    thanks guys. Um mr voodoo i dont know what any of the terms you used mean :D I am really ignorant about gear for a musician, not my thing really .So if you could if you could explain what those terms mean it'd be great.

    I like the idea of buying say a 410 and then deciding if i need to add more (e.g a 15) later. Is that sensible? and in terms of price I'm not american i live in new zealand and i dont know if any of you are new zealanders so any price i gave wouldn't be to helpful i think. Though in saying that our dollar buy about $0.60 US.

    If i bought 1 cab with the veiw of possibly adding more later how would that effect my choice of amp?
  7. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Yes it would, you have to think through the power ratings and impedances of the "future" system as well as the current one. A real safe way to go is to start with a single 8ohm cabinet and a head with plenty of power to drive it. Then if you want to expand and get louder, you add a second 8ohm cab (which drops to total impedence to 4 ohms) and you have more speaker area AND get more power out of your head.

    OK, I know that was scary.

    Get a good 8 ohm 4x10 and a head that puts out about 500 watts into 8 ohms and you're golden.
  8. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Hi. Not knowing the enzed market very well, I'd suggest you ignore most of the advice you receive here at the moment, not because it's not knowledgable or helpful (it is) but simply because the brands, availability and prices in NZ will be different to what you can get at home as most of the posters here are US based. I'm in Oz and the range of gear we have here is very limited compared to what's available in the States.

    I'd suggest you take your bass to every music store you can find and try everything out, above and below your price range too. Then go to as many gigs as you can and speak to the players there, write down what they use and listen to their sound and what you like / don't like about it. This especially relates to bands with similar music, player formats (3 pc jazz combo, thrash metal or 9 pc with horns?) and types of venues played. there is no point in getting a rig that is too big, heavy and difficult to move about or one that is too small. Do you need to be able to play without PA support or most of the time can you continue to use the PA and just use your rig as a stage monitor?

    At the moment, you're ignorant of what you actually need so the best advice I can give is research as much as you can. Then come back with your impressions and experience and ask some more specific questions with some example component prices near you and gear that you tried/heard and liked or didn't like. That will narrow down the advice to something more specific to your requirements. Otherwise you'll get a lot of very well intentioned posts that just tell you what other people like and that may not help. For example, a previous poster mentioned getting a 4x10, but I would advise against one, if for no other reason than they're cumbersome to move about. Plus I've never heard one I really liked.

    You're already gigging without a rig, so a couple more weeks of good research won't affect much except your future satisfaction, the weight of your wallet and potential hernias. Once you have a better idea of what you want/need, you might even locate something secondhand for less $.