1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Need LOTS of help choosing an inexpensive combo amp!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rgparker, Jun 25, 2007.


  1. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Hello everyone.

    I'm new to playing bass and am finding it difficult to decide on which combo amp to choose. It has to be loud enough to jam a drummer and a guitarist but probably is unlikely to see any gigging beyond house parties and the like!

    I initially thought something in the 30W range would be ideal (coming from playing guitar) but have since realised that this probably isn't enough! Ideally I want to spend as little as possible but at the same time don't want to end up with something that won't do. My absolute maximum budget is £200, but ideally I'd like to spend less. The amps I have looked at so far are (the ones that seem particularly impressive for the money are in red!):

    • Gallien-Krueger Backline 112 - 100W 1x12 - £199
    • Hartke B600 - 60W 1x12 - £184
    • Laney RB3/RB4/RB5 65/160/120W 1x12 - £138/£194/£192
    • Peavey MAX 115 Combo 60W 1x15 - £149

    But how on earth do I choose from the list?! I'd like to know both which are better, which are best value, which would be more than I need and which are too little... any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. portaflexer

    portaflexer

    Jan 31, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Here's my $.02. If you're playing with a drummer, the absolute minimum you want is around 60W (solid state) and a 12" driver.

    That being said, any of the amps you've listed will fit that bill. I have not used any of the ones you've listed, so I can't speak to them directly, but I have played the GK's in the shop and they sound pretty good. I've never been a fan of Peavey bass combos. My guitarist has one (he doubles as a bass player) and I absolutely hate it... but that's just me. For what its worth... cast my vote for the GK.
     
  3. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Thanks for the info. I've heard good things about the GKs also.

    At the moment I'm most tempted by the Laney £138 because as you say it fits the bill and seems to offer excellent value for money, in terms of power for the money. If I was spending what the GK is worth I'd also be tempted to go for the RB4 for the relatively massive 160W. But I realise that wattage isn't everything of course.

    Any one know much about the Laneys?
     
  4. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Oh and portaflexer... what was it about the Peavy combos that you didn't like?
     
  5. portaflexer

    portaflexer

    Jan 31, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    This amp was very plain and lifeless sounding to me. No definition at all. I can't remember the model, but I remember it had a single 15" driver. I'm not saying that amp is indicitive of all Peavey bass combos... but having to play that thing through one whole practice has forever tainted my opinon of Peavey combos. :meh:
     
  6. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I say, if you arte planning to play with a drummer at any decent volume, none of those amps will stand up to it for any length of time. You'll have the thing maxed out and it won't sound good and the speaker will fail or the amp overheat.

    You've either got to increase your budget or buy used. In Canada Traynor/Yorkville has a 200 watt 2x10 combo that is a great price, sounds very good, stands up to hard use and has an unbeatable warranty. I realize this is probably not an option for you, but there are probably similar deals to be found there. The Backline 600 head coupled with a decent speaker cabinet that can move some air would be a good bet. Used Peavey amps can be found at good prices and they generally stand up to rough use. Not all of them sound bad.

    But you do need more power and better speakers, unless you're just jamming quietly in a small room. Bass takes an enormous amount of power and speakers that can handle it compared to guitar.
     
  7. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Thanks 62bass, that's useful advice.

    So in your opinion 200W is about what I should be aiming for? Do you not think something like the Laney RB4 with 160W would suffice? This is probably going to stretch my budget a bit!
     
  8. Have you looked second hand? I've seen a Line6 Lowdown 175 watts combo go for £120 just last week, hardly used, there are often little used bargains to be found on that well known auction site.;)
     
  9. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes 200 watts or so depending on the amp and speakers chosen. I haven't played any Laney amps so I don't know about that one. I'd try it out first of course before buying. One good way to find out things is to rent for a weekend and see what an amp can do. Not all brands are available for rental of course, but you can get a feel for what's going to work.
     
  10. +1 with 62bass.

    I've played in similar situations to what you're talking about with a Hartke Kickback 12 (120W into a 12" speaker). It definitely sounded good and did okay volume-wise, but I found myself wanting just a little more oomph.


    +1 with Yorks5stringer, too.

    I've only gotten to check out the Lowdown 175 at one of the local Guitar Centers, but I was pretty impressed with how it sounded and it sure seemed to have some steam behind it. I've actually been tempted to pick one up because it's got a nice gutsy fatness to the sound. It's also got some decent amp models and effects built in, which you might dig if you're on a budget. Like Yorks5stringer said, it's at least worth a look if you can find a good deal on one.

    If you haven't checked it out, here's the Lowdown 175 website:
    http://www.line6.com/lowdown/ld175.html

    Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide!

    5sg
     
  11. dave_p

    dave_p

    Dec 20, 2005
    CT
    i used to gig medium sized clubs with a 160 watt swr on a 4ohm genz benz 210. i never had a problem and never had to turn up even to 5. so, a decent 160 watt head through an efficient 2x10 may be feasable. it just has to be decent kit.

    i have a backline 112 for my basement i practice on.. i dont think it would cut through with a loud group. it may be o.k. for a blues quartet. it does sound better and better the farther away you get fom it. up close its a little anemic.
     
  12. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Thank-you to fivestringgecko, 62bass and Yorks5stringer - this is some really great advice.

    The Lowdown 175 has enormous appeal. I certainly can't afford the RRP but there is indeed one for sale on that well known auction site! ;) It looks absolutely awesome. The on-board modelling and effects is a HUGE bonus since the songs we have been covering in our band at the moment range from Ray Charles through Red Hot Chili Peppers to Rage Against the Machine.

    I'm so excited! Thank-you again for all the help! :bassist:
     
  13. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Thank-you also to dave_P, that is also very helpful!
     
  14. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Ampeg B100R. You can pick up one used for around $250 usd and it will smoke any other combo its size volumewize. It goes about twice as loud as my GK MB150. The tone is pretty old school which may not be to everyone's liking, but it packs a punch.

    I don't know how the price will compare where you are.
     
  15. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Unfortunately the LD175 I was interested in sold for £200 which is just a bit to high at the moment. More annoyingly, it appears that the person who sold it bought it on eBay for £120 a week or so earlier. :(

    In any case I'm just going to keep my eyes peeled for the next few weeks. I've got my eye on a used Ashdown Electric Blue 15-150 (150W 1x15) and a Line 6 Low Down LD150 (150W 1x12). I love the features of the Low Down series but I'm not entirely sure if 150W and a 12" which pack the punch I need for jamming. I suspect that it will. Can anyone offer opinions on this or the Ashdown amp?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  16. sk8

    sk8

    May 10, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I think i was watching the same lowdown as you :D

    I'm thinking of getting the LD300 cos there is an offer on of a free FBV Express pedal at the mo.
     
  17. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Yeah I saw that offer, it's available across the whole line other than Studio 110. I'm quite tempted, only down side is the free FBV Express pedal is through a mail-in rebate, although I'm sure Line 6 can be trusted to keep their word!
     
  18. rduffell

    rduffell

    Jun 28, 2007
    horley,surrey
    behringer do some nice combos
     
  19. rgparker

    rgparker

    Jun 25, 2007
    North Wales
    Really?

    I've always avoided Behringer stuff in general as I've heard time and time again that there stuff isn't that great. I might give them another look.

    Thanks for the suggestion.:)
     
  20. rduffell

    rduffell

    Jun 28, 2007
    horley,surrey
    lanys are good for the money i used one at school i would have traded my peavey rig in for it
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 18, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.