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Need help with first bass amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VBassRookie, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    Hello all, just joined the forum. I've been searching for hours for answers to help me find a good amp for my needs. Seems every thread is either about cheap bedroom amps or else top of the line gigging set ups. (at least that's what is coming up via my search criteria)
    I'm looking for suggestions for an amp that could potentially DI into a PA if necessary and work as a monitor, but also be fine for practice sessions on it's own. I would also like the amp to have the capability to add extension cabs. I don't have any immediate needs for gigging but want to leave that option available. I've been playing guitar for 30 years but just bought my first bass. It is a 2009 Fender Jazz Deluxe V (MIM). I prefer a full, clean tone. Seems all the amps I think would be good are missing either a DI or cab out option.
    I would like a combo, they seem to be more reasonably priced. Seeing as how this is my first amp I would like to keep the cost down within reason. At the same time, I don't want a "beginners" disposable amp. Look forward to some suggestions, thanks.
  2. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    One of my local guitar shops has this listed on their website as a recent trade in:
    Gallien Krueger 400RB-III 2-10 Bass combo $350.
  3. I was in pretty much the same spot as you about 6 months ago when I bought my TC Electronics BG250. It's a great, lightweight and reasonably priced combo that meets all of your criteria except for the extension cab option. You can read more about it in the BG250 club if you're interested... if you want extension cabs I'd suggest just getting a head and cab of some sort to start out with. Check out the BG250 club for more info.

    The Gallien Krueger mb210 is a great option that meets all of your criteria with more watts and the extension cab option. I'd check that one out as well. Used is always your friend if you can find a good deal, as is ebay if you find a seller offering a best offer option you can toss them an offer and see if they take it. Hope that helps.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to the forum! Lots of great info here. Nice first bass!

    Hey what kind of budget are you working with? That would really help us narrow it down for you. Also, are you in the states? If you live in Germany, that would be something we need to know as well.

    But for some reasonable options, here's a stab in the dark until we get more info from you.
    Not only do the run extra cabs, but they make MATCHING ones! (And we all want the rig to look good, right?)
  5. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    I was really checking into the TC BG250 and was ready to pull the trigger. Then my employees at work gave a gift certificate for $100 to a local guitar shop. I don't think they sell TC amps there. I really don't need anything other than a bass amp as far as musical equipment goes, so I would really like to get my bass amp there and save a hundy. Yeah I plan on checking out the store maybe even tomorrow to see what else they have in the used department. You always get more bang for your buck going used. I've been playing guitar for a long time and I am way past pretty looking equipment, I just want it to work and sound good. So used is always an open option for me.
  6. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    Hey Two Fingers, I live in the states. I wasn't in the market for a Bass, but always wanted one for the man cave. When I saw this guitar's price tag I had to get it. I think they had it priced wrong. It is mint and they had a 270 dollar price tag on it. The new Squiers right next to it were 30 bucks more. What I would like to spend and what the wife approves of always seems to vary quite a bit, haha. I was thinking 300-400 dollars. If I found something used for less, even better. Like I mentioned before, I have that gift certificate so it makes sense for me to use that to help with the cost. The guitar shop I have the certificate for is amazing and always seems to have used gear rotating through the stock all the time. May need to just be patient. www.davesguitar.com is the shop. They are world renowned for vintage stuff.
  7. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    What are your thoughts about the speaker size options? If you get a single speaker combo, does a 12 or 10 give you enough bottom end for moderate volumes? I was doing some reading and 15 inch obviously give you more bottom and output in general, but it mentioned you need to have some good distance to the crowd for them to hear a quality sound.
    Also at this point if a 12 works for now, I still have the extension cab option to get a 15 in the mix.
  8. tbird46553

    tbird46553 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    North Central IN
    Ampeg micro vr. I just picked one up to "back up" my V4B, and it sounds tooo similar. Even driving an SVT412HE. Used, less than $200, and maybe a 115?
  9. If your combo amp has two 10" speakers, remember that your best bet for an extension cab (presuming it can accommodate one in the first place, as most can't) is going to be a matching two 10" cab.

    Will those four 10" speakers do ya in your loudest situation? (Or if it has, say, a single 15", same principle applies.)

    If you get a separate head and cab, you don't have this worry. If you need bigger cabs, just get them. If you want smaller ones, get those. Change your mind later, if you want to.

    This is different than guitar world, where almost any combo amp with a pair of 12s can meet the volume needs of almost any stage situation. One doesn't need to worry about extensibility so much in that world. In bass world, having a modular rig that can be small or big is, in my opinion, crucial. Combo amps are generally an impediment to that goal.
  10. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Well I guess since you have the voucher you're restricted to what that particular store has.

    And they don't have much choice hey. In my opinion, from that lot you're best off with the 400RB combo or the GB 3.0-110 combo. Both will probably be all good for your purposes. The GK will offer you a bit more headroom so it's a bit better if you want to take it out rehearsing. It should compete ok with a drumkit and could probably be extended with another 210 nicely. The GB would be an amazing amp for around the house.

    If it were me I'd take a look at getting the GK AND that 2nd hand Eden on offer. That would move a serious amount of air and all 4 drivers would be of decent quality. That would still cost less than the GB, be super loud and you would have the option of taking the combo or the full stack. The only drawback is that the cabs are not matched which many people on here will indicate is a really bad idea. I've never had any issues with mixing brands but a lot of people will put using mixed cabs up there with being friends with Hitler
  11. Ah, I missed that limitation. That does put a different light on things. Yes, I agree.

    Also, I used mixed cabs without any nazis showing up. :) It's just not optimal, especially if the cabs are of drastically differing output capability such as a 115 and a 410.
  12. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    If you hang around TB you'll likely find your preconceptions about speaker size will change. There are many well-known amp / cab designers on this forum who have proven to most of us that driver size matters little when it comes to low end production, and that speaker orientation and cabinet design are the key variables. 2 10's, 1 12 & 1 15" can all deliver the goods in the right-design enclosure, so don't get too hung up on that aspect. More speaker cone area will yield more volume, and most likely 4 ohms is your target for overall resistance, be that 2-8 ohm cabs or 1-4 ohm. Most seem to agree that multiples of the same speaker size is best, though lots of blood has been shed over that debate. Besides all that, in a combo you want to consider weight, power and durability. There are a lot of amps to look at. I've had good luck with a new micro GK head, but haven't tried one inside their combo to date. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  13. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    IPYF, their website is never up to date on used equipment. It goes out the door to fast for them to worry about updating their website. There is probably a pretty nice selection of used gear there.
    I really don't have too much of a preconceived perception on speaker sizes, so I am wide open to listen and learn.
    I guess my main point is I kind of want to skip the "beginners" amp purchase and get something that would serve me well for a longer time. I think the combo thing may not be the best choice, just from reading what I have so far. I'm thinking maybe a nicer head with a POS cabinet if necessary to keep the price down and upgrade in the near future.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    100% untrue. This is based on an old myth that low bass waves can't be heard until they've traveled one wavelength. Put on a pair of headphones or play an amp in a small room and tell me you can't hear the bass waves.

    I've played good combos using all speaker sizes. I've got a little practice combo with an 8", and some bigger combos with a 110, a 210, and a 115, and it's all good. It's all in the way the cab and speakers are designed. I get a pretty good amount of bottom out of all of them and I can hear them all just fine in a small room or a big room ;)
  15. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    Thanks Jimmy, thread is fairly short so far but the information is huge! Appreciate everyone's input.
  16. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Well in that case you should start looking for a head unit with at least 400w of grunt. Unless you need to go up against a couple of Marshall stacks you will never need more power than that for as long as you play. You can get more or less anything under the sun with these parameters.

    The only other thing I'd suggest is that you get something as portable as possible. Coming from someone with a heavy head-unit and cab it's so easy these days to get light gear. I wish I had portable units that didn't weigh a tonne. That would be blissful.
  17. the wako kid

    the wako kid

    May 11, 2011
    you could get an acoustic combo. they have them in 100 and 250 watt versions that will keep up with a couple gui****s and a drummer(I have the 100 and it does just fine). they both have speaker outs,and I think the 250 watt combo has an xlr out too. the best part is that they are relativley inexpensive.
  18. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    With the budget I had I ended up getting a cheap amp head and putting the majority of the money towards a nice (so I think) cab. I picked up a GK Backline 600 head and an Eden XLT 210 cab. I figured I can just trade the head back in when the skills are a little more advanced and add another Eden cab when I need to grow. It's the Minnesota made cab, the guy at the shop said that was when they made them better than today after Eden got bought out.
  19. an Ampeg SVT 450H, GK or Markbass. Most have XLR's out. Keep in mind that most venues have their own DI. You're probably gonna end up buying a VT bass anyway.

    just slap some cheap 2x10s on it and you're good