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Need Help Upgrading My Amp!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rock Lobster, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster

    Mar 26, 2013
    Hi guys, this is my first thread, so I apologize in advance if there is a super similar thread already out there, but I have been looking/reading up for quite a while now! Also sorry that it is kind of long!

    So currently I am playing in a garage band with a few of my buddies. We have been playing for a few years now, starting in 8th grade and very lightly at first but now we are starting to pick it up in our junior year of high school. We play anything from hard rock to classic rock to punk and Smash Mouth. My current rig is a Squier VM Jaguar w/ active electronics (I love this bass for the money! Very versatile!) paired up with an Acoustic B100 combo amp. However, after having a few outdoor gigs I soon realized that my amp isn't quite able to hold its own outdoors. We don't have a PA, so my amp still has to do most of the heavy lifting. (My singer is actually looking for a PA right now, however his budget isn't very big so even if he got one my amp would still be doing the heavy lifting. On a side note any suggestions for a cheap PA that sounds OK would be appreciated too!) Once I turn the volume knob up about a quarter of the way up I start to clip and get a horrible distortion, completely throwing any tone out of the window. It is quite a shame since this amp has always held up for me perfectly when practicing in the garage!

    Also, my guitarist is now running a 100W 1x12 SS combo amp that he practically got for free so he could easily blow me out of the water if he wanted. I have spent some time researching amps and have decided that a 4x10 amp is best for me. Not only for volume, but also I have found it annoying how much the B100 lacks in the mid-range and high-ranges.

    Now here comes the dilemma: I have found some amps that I think would be suitable and are in my price range. Basically, I need something that is loud enough to be heard over the 100W guitar amp and can take the stress of being heavy lifter, but also sounds great with deep lows, crisp mids, and punchy highs. It also needs to be versatile for playing different genres of music. Most importantly, it needs to fit in my price range. Right now, as a high school student without a job, my budget is piss poor low and I can't afford to spend any more than $600 TOPS on the whole rig. I would like to spend as little as possible. I plan on pairing one of these cabs up with whatever heads i can find for cheap, or on one of my local CL ads. However, my CL area isn't very good which is also partly why I am making this thread. Suggestions for amp heads would be appreciated too! Preferably one with an XLR output and a built-in compressor/limiter with 4 band EQ!

    1. The fender rumble 410


    OK, I know a lot of guys out there sneer about Fender. However, it fits into my price range and I really haven't heard anything bad about it. Also 500W should be plenty to cover me and give me some extra headroom.

    2. Acoustic B410 MKII

    http://www.acousticamplification.co...catid=3&subcatid=4&modid=13&product=B410 MKII

    Like Fender, people bash on Acoustic for being a GC house brand, yet I have loved my amp for what I do. I'm not a pro and this amp definitely won't be my last so it is really just like a jumping point for right now. This one also boasts a higher RMS wattage than the rumble.

    3. Eden E4x10


    This one is interesting. Lowest wattage of the lot but I have actually heard good things about this brand!

    4. Ashdown MAG 414T Deep


    This amp looks pretty well built, have also heard good things about Ashdown, the only thing is I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere....

    Yes, I know these amps aren't very high-end, of course I would prefer something like a GK neo 410 or Hartke hydrive 410 but i just don't think i have the money for one right now!

    So that's pretty much what I've found. Tell me what you think! Also, if you guys think i am heading totally in the wrong direction PLEEAASE let me know! Maybe I should stick to combo amps for right now??? 500W is too much for right now? Heard of or had any experience with some of the amps listed above? Thank you soooo much in advance guys!
  2. All those listed are ONLY speaker cabs, you would also need an amp head to drive them!
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    There is a used GK 400RB head on GC's used site for $200 as well as a used GK Neo 212-II for $329.

    Buy both of those and be ridiculously happy :)
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    ^ This!

    You have no location listed - this makes it hard to make specific suggestions, other than a speaker cabinet is not an amp...

    This matters because amps and speakers are big, heavy, and expensive to ship. Therefore - there are local deals to be had.

    I'm practically giving away a Hartke 4x10 and had no takers yet.

    A new Hartke LH500 and used 410 or 212 would come in well under your budget. Speaker cabs churn frequently because people are always going bigger or smaller - but they're hard to ship.

    And this -> ! <- ... Once per post, please. You can be excited _after_ you make the deal for your rig...
  5. Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster

    Mar 26, 2013
    Well thanks for the advice so far guys! Sorry it came out like I didn't know about having an amp head... I was just going to slap on what I found in my price range.. nobody has any thoughts about the cabs though? How do they relate to that 100w guitar amp?
  6. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hey Rock, welcome to Talkbass! What used gear is available to you locally? That's where you get the most bang for your buck. Also, make sure you have someone knowledagable look it over so you don't buy someone else's problem.
  7. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    They wouldn't be on my Top-10 list...

    You can run any cab with any amp if you're mindful of the impedance requirements. It's 'safest' to have more power-handling capacity in the cab than your amp produces. If that's not the case, you just have to be careful about how loud you try to get.

    Read through the amp section stickies - there's a ton of good information there.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd try to find a use Eden D-410XLT rather than a new EX.
  9. The cabs don't "relate" to the guitar amp at all. They are only part of the need. A 410, 215 or 212 will get you there but only with a sufficient amp to drive them. From there it is the tone of either and combined.
  10. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you feel you are not getting enough mids and highs from the B100, try cutting the bass. Also, 15's, which I assume are are using here, have more beaming effect that 10's or 12's. This means that you need to have the center of the cone more directed at your ear to hear the higher freqs. The upper range is probably getting out to the audience, but if your cab is on the floor and you are standing near it, the highs are going right by you. Try elevating the amp or tilting it back.
  11. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    for an amp head a peavey nitrobass or firebass will do a lot for $150-$200. the firebass is 2 ohm stable so that helps expand your cab options. there are also several hartke amps usually available in the same price range. not the newest, shiny-est or lightest but when you plug them in they work. that would leave you $300 for a cab and $100 for cables or a hand cart. there are tons of 4 and 8 ohm 2x15 and 4x10 cabs out there.
    start scouring the used stuff at GC, music-go-round and CL. if you can't try it before you buy it make sure there is a return policy.
  12. Rock Lobster

    Rock Lobster

    Mar 26, 2013
    Wow this is all really great advice! So basically, the gist of what you guys are saying for a sprouting bassist is to avoid the crappy low-end gear, and buy something used but higher quality? So in other words, get the general idea of what i want and then scout around town for somebody who needs to get rid of it for cheap? I shouldn't really consider the new stuff at all? Think I'm getting the idea of it, thanks a lot guys!
  13. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I am within 100 miles of at least 3 or 4 Hartke 3500's for sale, all under $200, some significantly ... older $200 Peavey, Hartke, GK, etc are out there .. are they going to be your be all/end all amp .. nope, but they will certainly meet your needs for the time being, and that is the stuff that many are replacing to jump on the lighter is better bandwagon ... find a $200-250 cab, probably 410 would be the most cost effective with folks downsizing and getting smarter and you are in with $$ left in your pocket for the things that are sure to come up ... absolutely I wouldn't even consider looking at anything new, unless its to educate yourself ... no reason you cant put together something very giggable for your situation for $500 or less .. it will be heavy and probably not have all the frills you want perfectly, but we have used all this stuff over the years and made it work ...

    BTW, a completed profile is your best friend when it comes to getting accurate advice ... give us your local Craigslist locations and let us help you hunt ... ;)
  14. Now you're getting the idea. There is a lot of great stuff out there from people wanting the newest, prettiest, lightest, new bells and whistles. Many of those pieces will be greatly missed once the new shine honeymoon is over. But you'll have a great rig :) AND not be broke. :)
  15. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Which input are you using on the amp? You should be able to turn it up to 50% or more without noticeable distortion.

    If I remember correctly from when I used to have one the input on the right has a 15db cut that will let you turn it up a lot louder without distortion.
  16. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
    When I first started playing in a band, I couldn't hear myself well either. I found that (this may not be true in your case) I tended to tune in on the guitar tones easier than I could the bass tones. It wasn't a volume thing. My guitar player heard every missed note I ever hit. He was able to focus on it where I didn't yet know how. The whole time I thought he and the other guitar player were just blowing me out of the water volume wise. It really wasn't the case. That being said, there is certainly nothing wrong with a little added headroom from the amp. Happy hunting.
  17. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    This. Second hand is grand. Were I in the 2nd hand market I'd be off after a GK 800rb, Hartke HA3500, or Trace GP12 SMX. 2nd hand cabs can be a bit trickier, but if you use your ears and nous you should go just fine.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego

    Always buy better gear than you can afford. That way you won't be replacing it quite as soon and you'll save money in the long run. It's the basis of "buy once, cry once."
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Good advice, but you didn't mention the ads here at TB - one of the safest places to buy used gear.