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Need Advice On A Rig (On A Budget)!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BayStateBass, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. First of all, thank you to everyone who answered my questions about adding a cab to my 210 or running direct out to a PA. I have decided that the best option for me is to keep the 210 combo as a practice/small gig amp and buy something larger for "real" gigs.

    The PA is not an option for me right now so I am on my own to come up with something I can use that will be bigger than my MB-210 Carvin combo.

    Our band consists of 4 guitars (3 electric, one acoustic with a PU), drums, and bass. PA is dedicated to vocals (800W). Guitarists are running a mixture of 30-65W guitar amps. I am primarily thinking that a 500W head and 410 cab would be the way to go, it seems the most popular, but open to other suggestions.

    This band primarily focuses on Country Western and Southern Rock. I need to buy something that will push through 4 guitars, and I need something that won't fart out at low frequencies when turned up. Both my basses are passive pickups.

    Plus, I have the "unfortunate" budget. I need to stay in the "hundreds" of dollars versus the "thousands" of dollars.

    I don't need, nor do I want, a lot of features. The simpler, the better, with good speaker quality. Solid state works for me. I'm not very tech-saavy, and honestly all the effects I need and use are contained in my overdrive and chorus pedals. I just need something solid and powerful, as well as reliable. I've been doing some online research and checking out other player's rigs to see what I might like. And I've found there's a whole bunch of guys using 210's or 410's with a 115 (even though that seems to be a big no-no on here?). Actually my favorite local blues guy uses a 210/115 combo with a Markbass head, is sounds really good.

    My first preference is Carvin because I absolutely love my 210, but I'm open to suggestions about what you people might think would be a good setup.

    Thanks so much for the input. I get one shot to do this so I'm trying to get as much information as I can. We have a tentative booking for October and I'll need it by then so I have to move fairly soon on whatever I buy.
  2. 1.) Define "Hundreds" - you can get a lot more gear with $700 versus $200.
    2.) whats available to you used locally? If you have a tight budget shopping used is not the way to go.
    3.) What have you played through so far? What have you liked, what have you not liked?
  3. bombpop14


    Apr 10, 2010
    Irvine, California USA
    Endorsing Artist Ampeg Amps
    My two bits....

    Look for a used GK800 rb (around $300) and a 4x10 Ampeg cab ($450) or something similar.

  4. 1. I can spend upwards of $700-800 if need be. I'd like to stay in the $500-600 range if possible.

    2. I've been checking CL ads all over Mass and the used market around here is primarily practice amps, or smaller (under 200W) combo amps. Occasionally you'll see something huge, like an 810 with 1000W head, which I don't want, need, nor can I afford, and it's being sold to downsize. Local music stores don't have anything used for the most part, either. And the pawn shops are hit or miss.

    3. I have been using my Carvin for a while. It's the first "real" bass amp I've had, having used mostly practice amps for quite a while. This is my first "real band" I've been in that has gone further than the garage (actually, did a couple rinky dink shows with my last band using the 210 and it struggled back then). So I don't have very much experience with amplification beyond my (very) limited experience.

    What I know I like;

    -I like my Carvin. But it struggles a little with low tones when turned up. Overall I love the tone and coupled with my Schecter Diamond-P, I haven't heard anyone else (locally) who has a sound like I do.
    -I have tried some of the Fender Rumble combos and I don't like the sound at all. They seem cheap and distorted.
    -I have tried Ampeg and I do not like the tone. I wanted to, everyone said it was the Holy Grail of bass amps, but it just wasn't for me. Seemed kinda "dead" sounding, I guess. Maybe I didn't have it adjusted well.
    -I have tried an Ashdown combo and I liked that quite a bit, although the one I tried was pretty small.
    -I played through a friend's Eden 410 with some wild amp head and crazy equipment. Way too complicated for me to even understand. I was afraid to touch any of the switches. It was loud and lacked clarity.
    -I tried Acoustic. I did like that one a lot, but again it was a combo. The controls seemed easy to use and uncomplicated.
    -I tried a Markbass combo and it seemed to CRUSH everything else for tone and power. But it's way out of my price range so it might as well be a million dollars.

    The big problem is that music stores are not common around where I live. There is one local store, and they are nice guys, but they don't keep anything in stock that's much over 300W, and they typically only carry combos in the 150W range for the most part. The only chance I would have to play something larger is to hit the Guitar Center about 50 miles away, and that is hit or miss, too, because it's a small store with not much inventory, and they primarily sell Acoustic and Markbass there, and not much of anything else in larger sizes.

    So, to a point, I'm almost buying "blind", which is why I'm hoping you guys can give me some tips.
  5. BTW.....

    Features I really want;

    basic adjustment for low/mid/high
    mute switch (I use two basses typically)
    volume (ha ha)
    direct out
    ease of moving a plus.....
  6. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    BX500-15.3 3-WAY BASS SYSTEM.
  7. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Why not just add the Carvin 210MBE cab (which is designed to mate to your MB210) and you'll be running 250w @ 4ohm 410 stack.

  8. This was my original plan, but everyone I talk to tells me that I'll still be marginal as far as output and that I'm better off to go with something 500W.

    Personally, I just don't know.

    I'd certainly love the additional cab to cure my problems because it would be easy and relatively cheap. But I hate to spend the $$$ and still come up short.
  9. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Get the Carvin BX500 and the BRX 15.3 you can't go wrong....just a thought..
  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    250 watts and a 410 would be marginally adequate, I think. Though it would be a step up from where you are now. better to go with a 300-500 watt head choice, paired with a larger cab, like a 215m, 610, etc. That way, you KNOW you brought enough gun to the fight. Buying a higher wattage head and a 410 would not be much of a jump from just adding another 210 to your current rig.
  11. Check out the Ashdown Mag 600. Gearhounds has a demo on sale for $500.00

    Depending on which "evo" it is it'll have a sub-octave, drive, and compressor. I've got the 300 watt version in a combo and it's been very reliable for 5 years of playing and I've never run into volume issues. It has a DI but no Mute, although the input coupled with the VU makes it pretty easy to just zero out the input, change guitars and put it back where you need it in a hurry
  12. Buy another Carvin MB-210. Stack them vertically and Voila' a 400 watt 4 x 10.
  13. Or, tell them to turn down.
  14. They're not loud for some of the venues we're looking at due to the size/capacity.

    Actually, they're not overly loud.

    Except the lead guitar whose amp seems to be stuck on 11....:bag:
  15. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    I'll raise you the aditional MB210 and add 2 X 210MBE giving the OP a modular 2x250w + 4x210 = a grand total of 500w w/810's

    There, problem solved :D
  16. As cool as that idea is, I think we're breaking his budgetary limits.:D
  17. searchfunction

    searchfunction Guest

    Nov 26, 2010
    How about a powered cabinet/sub?
  18. HertzWhenIPlay


    Jan 15, 2011
    I like things that go BOOM
    definitely look at the older gk 800rb.
    you can find older swr heads but stay away from the working man's line if you can.
    the new gk micro 500 watters are reasonably priced too.

    if you know anything about woodworking, build yourself a nice 4x10 or 2x12 cabinet using quality speakers. or buy used. a 4 ohm cab sounds like it might work well for your needs because you could get the most wattage from your amp head without needing dual 8 ohm cabs.
  19. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Behringer gets negative feedback continuously, mostly from people who have never used the gear but they've "heard" it sucks. I've been using a Behringer Amp Head rated at 450w ($250) and a Behringer 4x10 cab rated at 1200w ($350) for a little over 6 months already and haven't experienced ANY problems with them at all. In fact I actually love the tone I can get from them. I've had people at shows say "THAT was a Behringer you were using?!" this rig even surprised me when I first plugged in. It all depends on how well you take care of your gear in my opinion. If you're interested I can give you more details (specs, model, etc) so you can look into it. Good luck!
  20. Chico16


    Apr 2, 2012
    Yuma, Az
    Also, you should check into websites like americanmusical.com and zzsounds. They offer no interest payment plans so you can buy new gear without heading into a personal bankruptcy ? those are the only websites I order gear from really helps out those of us unfortunate enough to be on a budget :p

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