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Need help choosing head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dragonlord, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Greeting, ppl.
    Well, I'm from Greece and I finally got a job and decided to invest in my first real bass amp. Problem is, in Greece you can't find many models for over 1000 euros. I am most probably going to buy it from the net as it's much cheaper, but choosing a head is not easy when you can't try the models you are interested in!

    A few days ago I went to Athens with my Warwick Corvette 5-str. passive to visit some stores and see what they got. I played an EBS TD650 which was too clean for my taste (although great), a Warwick Profet IV which had a nice growl but for some reason was quite noisy, an Ashdown and a Hughes&K which were not of my liking, a Gallien Krueger 1001RB which was the second best amp I tried, an Ampeg PB250 which was nice and an Ampeg B-5R which I liked the most.

    What makes things even more confusing is that I don't have something very specific in my mind about my sound, this being my first amp and all (you can't search for your "own" sound when you play with a Gorilla or a Matrix). I play mostly metal and I want a punchy, warm, growling sound (main reason I bought a warwick). I like aggressiveness. I'm not looking for vintage sound.

    Portability is also an issue, my band rehearses at another town where I usually go by train. So all-tube heads are definately out of the question. I like the portable series like Ampeg's PB as an idea, but I wouldn't like to sacrifice sound quality for portability. That is I prefer a 15kg head if it's "better" than a 10kg one, but more than 20kg heads are a no-no.

    The cab I intend to buy is most probably a Behringer 410. I don't want to buy sth expensive because I will not be able to bring it to rehearsals, it will only be for home use, where I can't play much loud anyway. I prefer giving the extra money for a better head, which I'll take with me to rehearsals, studio and gigs.

    Anyway, for the last few days I've been reading reviews here and at harmony central about many heads and I've put down a list of the ones that might interest me:

    1) Ampeg PB-800
    2) Ampeg B-5R
    3) Ampeg SVT-5
    4) Eden WT550 Traveller
    5) Mesa/Boogie M-Pulse 600
    6) Trace Elliot AH500
    7) Warwick Tube Path 5.1

    Any help will be appreciated. Nothing can replace playing with an amp yourself, but it's better than nothing...
    If anyone knows any sites with sound samples that would be great. So far I only found "basstesters" or sth which had samples for preamps but no heads.
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the eden is warm. I had a 400 and loved it. very very versitile tone controls as well. the punch and growl should come from your warwick. But as your sig says, it's difficult to talk about such things where we both understand what the other means by a specific tone.

    One more plus for the eden, they make a gig bag for it that makes it extremly portable. It's also smaller than most other heads as it's not the 19" wide for rack mount, but rather 13" or so. it comes with extra long removable rack mount "ears" if you want to rack it. If i was travelling by train i'd pick the eden.
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Anyone else? Garm, JT? Heh, hadn't logged in since 2003 but I strongly remember these two.. Does 22_Acacia_Avenue still post?
    Anyway, back to my problem ppl.
  4. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I'd go for the Eden, Mesa, or Trace.
  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    The other day I heard a portabass 212, its like 38 LBS 400w 4ohm, and It has WHEELS AND HANDLE!! It needs a head and lately I've been really digging Eden WT "tube-hybrids" 300, 400, 550 and 800. the lower the wattage the lighter it is, but you won't regret it!!!! buy one used, I'm getting a WT-300 for $400 USD. you might find the two used for about 600 Euros total.

    good luck!
  6. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I've heard nothing but good about the WT550, but i don't know how much they go for over there.
  7. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    here are some prices i got from german sites:

    eden wt550 1400 euro
    trace elliot ah500 850 euro
    ampeg pb800 1400 euro
    ampeg b5r 1080 euro
    ampeg svt5 pro 1700 euro
    mesa m-pulse 600 2080 euro
    warwick tubepath 5.1 1000 euro
    markbass lmII 620 euro

    Anyway, money is not much of an issue. I prefer giving 400-500 euro more and be happier with my amp
  8. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I like the WT550, Mesa's are nice but what a price difference. I like Ampeg and Eden personally, but I would look at a 6-PRO over a 5-PRO. I just bougt a WT800B that went on back order. :spit: got the cab, but no amp. :scowl:
  9. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I've lately started reading good things about Epifani UL502 too. I listened to their cabs and preamp at basstasters and it seems to sound great, but their is no distribution in greece so i'd have to buy it from germany or some other european country and this means a) won't be able to play it before i buy it and b) practically zero warranty, as it will be a pain in the ass to send it to another country. I also read it's a little hissy... anyway, could someone tell me if they think it matches my description in the first post (warm, punchy, growly), how's the quality and if you think it's worth the risk (instead of an eden, ampeg or markbass)?
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Based on the prices that you listed, to me it's the Eden550 all the way... fabulous sounding head, small, loud light, packed with features. There's some buzz on the site on the MarkBass stuff, but we've not really heard from anyone yet who has significant gigging experience with the new line, so they are still kind of an unknown over here anyway.
  11. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    OK I must be banned from this site because amps keep being added to my list. Lates addition is the Thunderfunk TFB550, which I can buy for a bit less than the Eden WT550. I've already read the TFB descibed as warm and punchy, and also similar to Eden. Maybe someone could give me a brief comparison? Sorry if I'm getting annoying, it's just that I have to buy a head without listening to it first and with so many choices, I really need all the info I can get.
  12. Although i'm a GK guy, Trace would be my second choice. :)

  13. kasbrey


    Aug 23, 2002
    Northampton UK
    I've been gigging with my Little Mark 11 head and 2 2x10 cabs (new range) for about 3 months now. I was previously an Eden user and have been impressed with the similar warmth from the Markbass gear.
    Very true sounding but not sterile. Also very versatile and really beefs up the bottom end yet remaining detailed.

    This is the sound I hoped to achieve with the Eden but didn't quite make it.

    Real quality construction too :)
  14. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I'm also strongly considering MarkBass, given that it is a european product so less taxes. Right now the main competitors are Eden WT550, Thunderfunk TFB550 and some MarkBass (I'll go check models at the greek dealer).