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Need Mature, Experianced Advice... or whatever you got.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. I have decided, after almost 20 years of playing bass, to buy a separate head and cabinet. Until now, I have played through combos. The band I am in now is loud and I need to push a few more units of volume out in order to have a better mix in the small bars and clubs that we play.

    I had a Hartke 15" cabinet with a 600 Watt 8 Ohm speaker fall into my lap. So I am starting with that. Like most guys in their mid thirties with jobs and families, I don't have a whole lot of cash to throw at this. I don't have the head yet, but I am looking on Ebay, CraigsList, and the local music shops for new and used amps. I have narrowed this down to three options, all of which have the demonic voice and the voice of reason telling me conflicting things.

    Behringer BX4500H (New) about $260
    -Demonic Voice Says: More Power!! Muhahahahaha! And you own a Behringer now that you are very happy with. Forget what the reviews say.
    -Voice of Reason Says: Behringer has a spotty record.

    Gallien-Kreuger Backline 600 (New) about $300
    -Demonic Voice: This Amp is new, sounds good, and it isn't a Behringer. It would be nice to have an amp that is from a different manufacturer and one that isn't panned by the community.
    -Voice of Reason: You can get more wattage and features with the Behringer.

    Ampeg B1RE 300 Watts (Used, missing a few EQ sliders and the limiter doesn't work, "as is" sale) at $300
    -Demonic Voice: ITS AN AMPEG!!! You'll sound like Geddy Lee.
    -Voice O' Reason: You'll never, ever, sound like Geddy. This amp has one foot in the grave. The others are new and have warren tees.

    Ladies and Gentleman... your kind thoughts and advice?
  2. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Option 2 is the safest bet. A (relative) quality piece, with a warrant. Option 3 appeals to the DIY handyman kind of guy, but if it needs to be dependable (more time with kids than fixing amp), it's iffy unless you have an electronics background and can afford to let it sit a week while replacement parts arrive at whatever incovenient time it decides to stop working.
  3. (From the "... or whatever you got dept.")

    That last Voice O' Reason needs to drop the condescending attitude toward your bass playing abilities... though it's second point should be well considered.

    And tell Warren to keep his nasty used tees to himself.

  4. Mature Advice:
    1; Fergit the Behringer!
    2; Ditto the Ampeg with problems.
    3; G-K is the best bet, but for a couple of hundred more you can have a new 700RB II which is pro line gear....or find a used one in the $300-$400 range.
  5. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If you are referring to THIS last voice o' reason, I didn't say anything about his bass playing abilities. Read the post again.
  6. bassrocker521


    Jan 14, 2008
    ^^^I would say skip the backline and look for the 700RB, all the backlines I've played through have been a bit shoddy and the 700 is a great step up
  7. Looks like "Warren" could learn to spell check before he posts. Thanks for the input, I will check back here over the next few days... If anyone has played through that Behringer head, I would love to hear from you. The GK 700 is a nice amp, but probably more than I can afford now. The plan is, if I need more amp in a few years (5 or 10) then I would buy a "big brand" with tubes.
  8. Sorry Alaska Bass - no I wasn't referring to your post. You snuck that in before I could finish mine. I was referring to the op's third choice concerning the Ampeg. :bag:

    (Note to self - must type faster...)
  9. Gnosticbass


    Dec 24, 2006
    I would keep checking ebay and your local music shop for some decent used gear. If you don't mind being patient you can get some really good deals. I myself bought my current amp an Ampeg B2R off of ebay and it wasn't even a year old and I paid slightly more the half then the kid I bought it from (still had 4 years on the warrenty). Good luck with your search.

  10. xlows


    Oct 21, 2006

    Just make sure you get the right size.
  11. Hey I thought I would offer my 2 cents.

    If you could squeeze it money wise I would highly recommend the new wave of small but powerful heads out there.

    1 being the LMII best bang for the buck amp and I think GC has zero financing right now even if you put all your cash and finance the rest.

    2 Some here are raving about the GB Shuttle 6.0 with a tube pre-amp front. or If to much the 3.0 should be enuff to move air through the cab you have.

    Max cost on the heads is no more than 600 for the larger LMII and I think the GB 6.0 is a little less than that. The GB 3.0 is even less cash.

    Any of these amps will be keeper quality heads that will withstand the rigors of gigging.

    IMO its better to pay a little more now and have something that will last you years.

    I hope this helps
  12. That would be a cool color for tolex on an amp. If I found the covering I would spray paint "WARREN" on the grill :D

    There is a local band here whose bass player pulled the covering from his Fender Combo and recovered the cab with pink fuzzy stuff. .. It looks awesome.
  13. bassaficionado6

    bassaficionado6 Something about gumption

    Jan 7, 2008
    Napa, CA
    Geddy Lee played an Ampeg?
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    AFAIK Behringer doesn't have the "RMS" qualifier after their power rating, so it's not clear that their amp is more powerful than the GK. Also, the GK is 1/2 of the weight.
  15. RMS Qualifier? Ok, I'm going to have to do some research... I took a peek at your site- Looks like I will start there. Thanks!
  16. One of the bands I play with, the guitar player has a Berhinger that I play through for rehearsals. While I appreciate not having to drag my amp up stairs every week I would never lay down my hard earned cash for one. I don't know what kinda watts they are but they are definitely not RMS. Weak to say the least. And If you play a bass with hot pickups like my G&L you will have a hard time getting up to any respectable volume without clipping. Just not respectable amp. If I had to just guess I would put it in the 100 watts, if your lucky, on a good day, range. And that is being kind.

    So many amps out there really do your research. I have a Ashdown mag 300 that has been going strong for three years no problems I know others have not had my luck, but mine sings.

    If your list is all you really have to choose from, I would go with the GK.

    Good luck,
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    By way of a brief explanation... Unfortunately, "RMS" is technically a misnomer, but it has acquired the following definition: It is the average power that the amp can deliver to a purely resistive load when the output signal is a fairly clean sinewave.

    When the same amp is delivering a sinewave to the load, at the instant that the signal reaches its maximum, it is for an instant delivering an amount of output power that is roughly twice the average power. This is referred to as the "Peak" output power.

    Hence a rule of thumb: The "Peak" rating is twice the "RMS" rating. Also, "RMS" carries a bit of history related to establishment of the "Amplifier Rule" by the Federal Trade Commission (and similar international rules) which might discourage amp makers from being too generous with an "RMS" rating. For these reasons, "RMS" is the more conservative rating method.

    Even more conservative than "RMS" is when an amp maker uses "EIA" or "FTC" for their ratings (QSC power amps AFAIK), because it means they are adhering to well defined regulatory standards.

    Note that I am deliberately avoiding precise language here, and for better or worse, bass amp power is an area where one often has to make some educated guesses in order to compare the ratings from one brand to another.
  18. fdeck,
    Thanks for the info. Your site is rich in content... with all that information it is like trying to drink from a fire hose. I appreciate your explanation.

    Here is a follow up question for you (and anyone else who wants to respond as well):

    What do you do in the store while shopping for the amp? I am interested in the power, but I feel like a real jerk jacking up the master and shaking the room. I twist the knobs and play a few licks but I have no real purpose other than to see how it sounds. Do you suggest any "tests" that I can do in the store? A method to "kick the tires"?

  19. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    I've got two cents...

    Any extra power that the Behringer claims won't make it any louder than the GK. GK makes a great brand of bass products. And the extra features? They're likely to sound too bad to even use.

    The GK uses many of the same parts as their Artist line, Which is used by guys like Flea, but made overseas. It's hard to argue with this amp at 300 watts, it puts up a fight with any amp in its class.

    The B1RE, regrettably, is one of Ampeg's worst amplifiers. Ampeg amps, IME, need a certain amount of wattage to get "there." And the B1RE doesn't quite have that. It's lacking. Not a bad amp by any means, but not worthy of the Ampeg name.
  20. Venturas


    Feb 12, 2008
    Hi guys,
    Ventras here, So you are looking for a head that is relatively inexpensive? I am sorry to have to disagree with a lot of you but I went looking in december for a new bass rig and wound up with the Behringer BX 4500 H with a BB210 cabinet. Now I don't play large venues any more so this thing is actually overkill for what I do. One thing I have found out is that you don't use the Ultrabass, shape control or the deep and bright switches. The horn in the cabinet honks when any of these are used with lots of volume. Also note that in regards to volume verses power. If you are running an 8 ohm load, you are only getting 225 watts instead of the 450 as stated. To get the 450, use a 4 ohm load. If he really wants a Kick B&*T amp, match that cab with a Hartke 3500 Head. I have used the 3500 with a 1-15 cab with a 4-10 on top in a concert and that amp ROCKS!!! Of course most of the GK stuff is great. But if he's on a budget. Let him look at the Behringer BX 4500H. They also make a BVT 4500H and a BVT 5500 H. These are transistor amps at 450 and 550 watts respectively. They have a 9 band EQ and a Virtual Tube circuit which should mimic the ampeg tube amps. They are even styled like the older Ampeg SVTs. They are about $100 more than the BX 4500H but if they do what they say they do, I may be tradin in for one of those myself.

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