Need advice on buying a bass amp head and cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JanBethany, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Hi, my name is Jan and I'm new here. I found this site while searching for amp reviews and was wondering if I could get some advice from here.

    I don't have much knowledge and experience when it comes to amp heads and cab since i've only had a practice bass combo amp ever since I started playing. Now I'm considering to upgrade since I'll be playing in a venue that holds around 500 people.

    I only have at most $1000 as my budget to buy both amp head and cab.

    I'm open to your suggestions and opinions about what's the best amp head and cab combination i could buy with this budget considering the venue i'm playing at.

    Your suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. 1K buys a whole lot of used bass rig. Choose wisely.

    Style of music counts for a lot.

    How are your bandmates equipped? 100w tube amps and dual 4x12 for each gui**** is a different prospect to modelling guitar amps or small wattage tubes and single 12 per guitarist.

    Do you expect house PA support in that 500 person venue? What about mere mortal bar gigs? Does the band aspire to own a PA?
  3. Thanks for your reply downunderwonder!

    I haven't really met with the band yet coz i was only invited to play bass for this one concert night. But i do want to invest in an amp that i can use in future Gigs.

    The rhythm guitarist who's doing the main vocals as well told me that he won't be using an amp but instead use a DI box to connect to a 300 watt monitor speaker. He did mention too that there will be a PA system on the venue.

  4. I would look for a good used 8 Ohm 115 cab, then find a second matching one. Find a used amp in the 300-500 watt range. Smaller gig, bring one cab, bigger gig bring both.
  5. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Yes, the used market is a great value.
    Ask around here on TB.
    A quality used head will sell for about
    a dollar per watt. I.E. $400 can buy a good 400 watt head.
    Same goes for a cab. I favor cabs with 2x10 speakers.
  6. M. Owen Santy

    M. Owen Santy Inactive

    Aug 10, 2011
    Springfield, MA
    Michael Tobias Designs Kingston Series & Traynor Amps Artist
    I would look for a used SWR Goliath or Eden 4x10 cab & depending on your taste, a used Traynor YBA200-2 (Tube) Or Yorkville/Traynor Bassmaster (Hybrid) head (comes in 400 & 800w versions).

    Both the SWR & Eden cabs can be found for $300 or less EVERYWHERE and make for a great all purpose cabinet that you don't have to worry about easily overpowering.

    TheYBA200-2 might be a hard find used, but they can be found for around $500-$600 'ish used on Craigslist/Ebay Amazon if you look hard enough. The tone is outstanding, has plenty of gain and has a reasonably intuitive interface that makes it wicked easy to find "Your Tone" with an hour or two. I would be careful to ensure that you find at least a 400w (@ 8 ohm) cab as the 200w rating is very deceiving - extremely loud & will push your speaker cones into distortion way too quickly with lesser wattage rating cabinets.

    The Traynor DynaBass (or Yorkville Bassmaster) heads are cost effective, versatile and are both very easy to get fantastic tone from. These head's are relatively common to find on EBay, Amazon & Guitar center and the products put out by the Traynor/Yorkville Sound folks have fanatical customer support. The vast majority of their products and components are made in Canada as well, and they are exceptionally affordable. With your budget you could easily afford the new Traynor 400w & a used cab well within your budget (

    Toured with Yorkville Amps for years and left for a year or two - was the biggest mistake I ever made. Finally back to their all-tube heads, and will never turn back again.

    Also worth considering: Have been seeing plenty of older (pre-Fender) SWR Redhead 2x10 combos lately. I know that you are thinking of a head/cab solution, but if you see one of these in your travels make sure to play one - fantastic tone machines that are very easy to get around with, have great tone & if i remember correctly have great line-out options (just like the Traynor's) as well
  7. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Scour or the for sale section here. As for best rig, it's all subjective. There are a lot of rigs you can get for a $1000 and kick some major butt with.

    Two cabs are almost ALWAYS a good idea. You can always add more volume. I suggest steering away Behringer and budget series cabs from the majority of companies out there. Go for the higher end models used and get quality at a lower price point. Find stuff off of, post the links here and we can help you from there.
  8. kander


    Feb 3, 2007
    Here's my opinions:
    1. Buy used.
    2. A single, decent 410 cab should be sufficient.
    3. Look at the new micro amps with a tube pre-amp: Markbass, Mesa, Genz-Benz Shuttle/Streamliner. You can probably find a great deal on a used one.
    4. Get an amp that can run at several different ratings: 2, 4, 8 ohms. This will give you some flexibility to add another cab later on.
  9. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    You have not filled in your profile , so it depends on which country you are in?

    MarkBass LMII or III are great amps and can be had used for 4 or 500 dollars

    gallien Krueger RB series heads are great buys 700RB?
  10. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Do yourself a favour and buy something light. Future you will thank the then Past you.

    TC Electronic BH250 would be the head I would get if I were starting or a GK MB500 for maybe a bit more headroom. Back it up with a Neodymium cab from GK or a Genz Focus maybe.

    Portability is king. These days you can get a great sounding rig that's portable as well as powerful.
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Very good advice, I think.
  12. Dont forget, if you're going to run a 2nd 8ohm 115 cab, the head needs to be a 4ohm head.
  13. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Almost every amp head can do 4 or 8 ohms, can't they? Occasionally they can do 2 ohms.
  14. english4bw


    Feb 5, 2011
    Worthing, UK
    Sounds to me as if you're better off investing most of your hard-earned money in a great tube DI box rather than on some big head/cab unit. If you're always going to be playing venues with decent PA systems, then your tone is the important thing, not volume. Unless you're playing outside, or in a venue without good sound where you have to carry the whole room, then you shouldn't need to go very big. I don't even take half of my gear to gigs anymore since investing in a top-line DI box (REDDI). I just bring a small combo 2x8 Traynor DB300T to use as a monitor.

    Unless you WANT to be loud onstage... then sure, go for a head. I second the Traynor YBA series idea above. You can get a YBA200/410 combo for around $1000.00 used.

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