alright...so i thought that i've just been really impulsive about gear lately (especially amps), but last night i realized i'm just not happy with the tone i've got. this is going to be long, so please bear with me...i've been thinking about it all last night and today. to start off...i play mostly rock, with a pick (mostly). i use an mia jazz (natural/maple), svp pro, qsc rmx 850(bridged into 4 ohms), and a peavey 8x10. so here's the deal. i've been having a real hard time lately, getting the tone that i want from my current setup. before the svp/qsc, i had a hartke 3500, that i had for years and only ever gave me 1 problem. while in the studio i used a peavey firebass 700, but that's it. (http://www.mp3.com/greyam--click on "breathe on your own time for an example) so, back to the hartke, which i toured with and everything, and i was satisfied with the tone, but then i wanted something more powerful, and with better tone. so...on the to the svp/qsc. so i got a used svp and a qsc rmx 850. i love the tone at low volumes, but at high volumes, it gets real dirty (way too dirty), and i can't get the sound i want. the tubes are stock and it is about 4 and a half years old. i do realize if i keep it that i need to retube it. so when i set it up, i usually end up turning the bass knob way up (around 2 or 3 o'clock, sometimes more). then on the eq, i push the lows and the low mids. so, i think i'm sucking up too much power with lows, that's why it's distorting so much. but that's the only way to get close to the sound i like, but then it distorts. (on a side note, at practice the other day, i used my amp through an avatar 4x10, and couldn't get the low end i was after). i'm not after a HUGE, rediculous, bottom end, but something very sufficient. so...last week i'm at this show. the only pa was for vocals. the bass players in two bands shared a bass rig. it was a fender bassman 400 (ss), through an ampeg 610hlf. then one of the other bands used a mesa 400 through an ampeg 8x10. the fender setup completely blew away the other setup. now i'm sure this had to do with the way they eq'ed everything. then last night at another show where the only pa was for vocals, the one bass player had an ampeg svt 3 pro through an ampeg 8x10, and the other had a mesa 400, through a mesa 2x10/1x15. the ampeg setup was nothing. you could hardly hear it, let alone feel it. and that was from all over the room. now...the mesa setup on the other hand totally crushed. it was amazing. so now i'm thinking that maybe an all ten's setup isn't for me, and that maybe using a 1x15 with a 2x10 or 2x12 would help. that way i would get more natural low end, and not have to use so much on my preamp. but the question is, will i lose alot of power, going with a different cabinet setup like this? also...how many (round-about) ss watts do i need to compare to 200 tube watts? i was always under the impression that you MUST have an 8x10 if you play rock. then last night this guy plays a 2x10/1x15 and it totally killed! so...should i give up the 8x10 for a different cabinet setup? i can afford to do it, but i can't afford both, it's gotta be one or the other. now...to the preamp problem. the svp is the first piece of ampeg gear i've owned. i was going to get an svt 3 pro at one point, but i couldn't afford it at the time. then i realized that i wasn't crazy about the sound of it (at least not in the short time i had with it in the store). i have a sansamp bddi (which i like, but haven't really used because it's a pedal, and i don't like having to worry about pedals), and i was thinking that if i a/b that with my svp (i know the bddi can't drive the power amp to it's fullest power, but just for some comparison) and i like the bddi better, that i might be better off just getting an rbi, then later on upgrading the power amp. so if i do all this, i'd end up with either a 2x10 or 2x12 with a 1x15, qsc power amp, and either an svp pro or rbi. as opposed to an svp, qsc, and peavey 8x10. for those of you that read all of this (thank you, i know it was long and probably pretty boring), what do you think would be the best route? like i said, i don't think i'm as impulsive as i thought, just having a hard time figuring out how to get the sound i want out of the right gear. i look forward to your suggestions! thanks alot! i just want a good, clear, cutting, strong, thick bass tone that i can do everything from play solid underneath, and then play real "notey" lines and some chord-ish stuff.