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Need Combo Advice, Please

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JohnnyRoyale, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Hi all, this is my first post.

    I switched to bass full-time about 2 months ago, and the gigs have pretty steady since! I have my own bass (Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass) and I've been renting amps when I need them. However, I realize that I'm going to need my own amp very soon. Now as I said, I play a Jazz Bass, and all of the gigs I've played (and will probably continue to play) have been in the Blues-Rock-Country relm. We mostly play bars with decent PA, but we've also done small-town functions where there's no PA and it all relies on the amp. I would prefer a combo because 10 years of playing guitar has taught me about the merits of simplicity, portability and functionality, which I think are the main selling points of combos. My price range would probably max out at around $1,000, but I would really prefer to spend only $600-$700. (Side note: this amp will be entirely self-funded, that is, every dollar I make playing bass will go to buying an amp.) Lastly, I have a slight bias toward tubes and a 2x10 speaker arrangement, but if anybody has had a fantastic experience with something else, I'd love to hear it. Given all this, can anyone reccomend a good combo for me, please?



    PS) Out of all the ones I've rented, this one is leading the pack for me right now because the rental unit is selling for $691 + tax.

    http://www.traynoramps.com/products.asp?type=7&cat=64&id=418 )
  2. tbof


    Feb 13, 2011
    I would suggest an Ampeg Portaflex PF-350 or PF-500 (either 350W or 500W head) along with a PF210HE 2x10 Portaflex cab. That would be a nice setup that wouldn't blow your budget, classic Ampeg tone perfect for your music style, hookable to a PA, easy to carry around with it's flip top. I own a 350W with a 1x15 cab and it's a really good match to my jazz bass.


  3. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    Look at the Gallien Krueger Combos. Lightweight, high power, small footprint, nice DIs. While I'm partial to 15" speakers, GK does make a 2x10. I wouldn't worry about the whole tube thing with regard to combos.

    Carvin makes nice combo amps as well as head/2x10 speaker packages in your price range. The Carvin stuff is solid and a great deal.

    You can also consider a nice head such as a Markbass Little Mark III and an Avatar 2x10 cabinet. Should still keep you in the budget and gives you the option to use larger cabs with your head down the line should you get semi-famous.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    What's the weight on this thing? I'm sure it sounds great, but I wouldn't exactly call it "portable". At least compared to a lot of other combos out there.
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Ignore the size of the speakers and just go for what sounds good to your ear.

    I'd make the same Ampeg and GK suggestions, as well as Genz, maybe Carvin or Markbass. Traynor makes good stuff too. Make sure the combo's have the abikity to stack a second cab with them for bigger gigs. More and more do now, some still don't. Can probably just use the combo for your indoor, PA supported gigs. Stack the second cab with it for playing outdoors or wherever you don't have help from a PA.

    Tube amps sound great, but bass ones are too big and heavy to come in a combo format. They're also a good bit more expensive. You might be able to get one buying everything used at your budget, but still, maybe not.

    Welcome to the wide, wide world of bass. Lot's of good options out there for us now days.

    If you get one of these little smps micro amps, they'll fit in a gig bag and using separate cabs instead of a combo isn't such a big deal. Doesn't require an extra trip to the car, etc.
  6. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    I had one for a bit. My complaints were: lack of side handles on the cabinet, kind of heavy, unsteady on the small casters over any bumpy ground, cool appearance but fragile grill and tolex covering, and the head is large and heavy for a class D. I'm glad you like it though. It does look cool even though I thought it lacked easy portability compared to others.
  7. My two favorite combos I've had are the GK MB212 and the Mesa Boogie M3 Carbine (which is cool because it's transclass, so it does contain a tube).

    Both fit well into your price range, and I just so happen to be selling both of these combos . . . :bag: . . .
  8. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Seems legit, Lots of people love these rigs... if they're in good nick and not to expensive to post.... ;)
  9. Welcome to Talk Bass. :)

    Unfortunately bass and guitar amps have little in common. Combos designated for bass are often a set of compromises between engineering and marketing.

    A 2x10 is a great little cabinet but a pair is a better option for playing gigs. it's what I use.

    Traynor amps are good value for money. I encourage you to try different amps to find the one that makes you smile and go "Aahhhh!".

    Don't discount the amp/cabinet setup. it allows you to mix and match to find your tone.

    Good luck. :)
  10. Wow, this is all great info, thanks! I'll definitely keep an open mind and an open eye for these different brands I'd sort of discounted. Any additional advice or suggestions are welcome!
  11. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Depending on future goals... with 600 - 1000 bucks you should be able to get a fairly cheap used combo for home practice - and a pretty sweet, loud, and portable gigworthy rig - either head and cab or combo. Actually you could get 2 good 210 cabs and a fairly powerful head for that kind of dosh... or even two decent 212's... :)

    You can't go too wrong using your ears. Enjoy!
  12. You may be surprised at how well GC Acoustic combos sound; B200 and B450.Both are inexpensive pleanty powerful and fairly light. Need more power? DI Out to PA. Both have semi-parametric tone banks with notch[ mid-sweep] filter. At first the tone bank seems intimidating. For easy tone set: Set all parameters to flat, volume and gain to taste. Sweep the notch to fine tune..stupid easy. Try Acoustic. I have owned B200 since 2009..love mine.
  13. Gk mb500 fusion and an 8 ohm gk 212.
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Depends on how strictly you define "combo".

    If you stick with a strict definition, then anything you can't carry by yourself, as a single, self contained unit, ain't a combo.

    OTOH if you've got a micro-head you can carry in one hand and a 2x10 cab you can carry in the other, you've still pretty much got the "one trip" portability of a combo even though it's in two pieces.
  15. tbof


    Feb 13, 2011

    It weighs 50 Lbs, more or less. You can just bring the head to the gig and plug straight into the PA if you're too lazy to haul the cab around. :D

    I also have a Yamaha BB1024x that sounds really great with this setup. A real "classic" rock sound.

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