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New Amp Advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MattGreer, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. MattGreer


    Jan 27, 2013
    Denver, CO
    I'm looking for a new amp. I've had a GK Backline 210 for, oh, about four years now. It's my first amp which I bought along with my Stingray5, based on hearing someone else play through it and it sounded good.

    I went to GC tonight to order a Bongo 6 and pick up a small practice amp for home (because that 210 is so darn heavy I leave it at the church). I'm sort of stuck because I played on a Markbass Mini CMD 151P tonight and absolutely loved it. It just sounded so incredible. $1100 is a lot for a practice amp, so I'm thinking that I'd use it at church and keep the GK at home. But being so light, I probably could just carry it back and forth no problem.

    So I guess the real question I'm wanting to ask is, what would be a good substitute for the Markbass? It needs to be able to put out enough volume for a room that seats about 200 people (it's a church with poor acoustics and I'm not patched into the PA); the GK is quite capable in that regard. Most important is the quality of sound. It doesn't have to be a combo amp either.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If I may pimp mah brand, Ampeg PF500 with one of the PF210 or 115 cabs is very sweet and light. Usually goes for $800 for both but sometimes you can get better deals. A PF350 might even do it for you in that situation and save you a hundy off the PF500, but the PF500 does have some extra features like a pre/post DI and a more deluxe EQ. And since you're getting a 6, you'd probably dig the extra low end on the PF cabs. Two of them are sealed but they go a good bit lower than most sealed cabs.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    What did you like about the MarkBass? Is the weight the biggest plus or the tone? I highly recommend their heads but their cabinets are not for everyone, they have a distinct low mid bump that cannot be ignored. Have you checked your used market? MarkBass stuff is fairly affordable used. I do not know combos that well, so I honestly do not know who else makes neo combos aside from MarkBass, but any neo combo would be a fairly comparable weight.

    Seeing as you have a B string, I won't be recommending any Ampeg cabs to you. I personally find Ampeg cabinets do not do well in the lower registers in the definition department. I would suggest you check out Hartke gear, very affordable and great tone from most of their offerings, I do not think they have any neo combos. Carvin might have something but I have never used their amps aside from my power amp.
  4. MattGreer


    Jan 27, 2013
    Denver, CO
    Absolutely positively the tone. The light weight was just a bonus. Hard to explain, as I am not a great player, but the sound was full and round but yet maintained the sound of the string without sounding harsh or thin. It was darn near a religious experience for me. :D

    That particular GC didn't have much in the Hartke area but I'll see if another store has something I can demo.

    edit: I did play on this unit, didn't like the sound at all. Had a bit of hiss/noise to it.
  5. Love my Markbass...but if moneys an issue, maybe Peavey or Hartke.
  6. huckleberry1


    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    Gotta put GK out their, I have a 115 II combo & a MBP 410 powered cab. Use the 35 lb. neodimium magneted combo for practice & ad the 55 lb. 410 for stage...
  7. I secind the Portaflex recommendation, but suggest the PF-115LF, not the 115he or 210he. To my ear the 115LF is the best cab ampeg makes.
  8. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If you really like the sound from Markbass, I recommend getting a LMII or III from the classifieds here (occasionally a good price on G.C. used site) and looking at other cabs. My opinion is you can find a "better" cab for the price range (GK or used Genz can be had for little $$, with patience...), but if you dig the MB cab they are usually pretty cheap on the GC used site.
  9. MattGreer


    Jan 27, 2013
    Denver, CO
    OK, so I'm an idiot. I didn't take a picture or write down what I was playing on. It wasn't a 151P. It was the CMD 151P Jeff Berlin model. I went ahead and bought it today, should arrive on the 11th. I figure if I want more top end someday I can get a Standard 104HR or 102P.

    Or should I just go straight-up Travler 151P with a Little Mark Tube? Would that sound as good as the Jeff Berlin model? And then add on a couple 10's someday, if needed?

    So confused... :confused:

    Does that look like a decent setup for a small venue? I guess the style would be smooth low bass with some occasional rock and funk-type sound. We play about a 50/50 mix of hymns and contemporary Christian music (with a little rock edge to it). If I really knew how to pop and slap I could get away with it, quietly. :) I hope to get there someday.

    Your continued advice is appreciated. Thank you to all who replied!

  10. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Good choice, the JB combo is a nice little amp.

    I would recommend adding another 15" to your 15". It is optimal to not mix driver sizes. A 410 will not have more top end than a 115 and vice versa.

    I couldn't tell you if that rig will hold the venue but it should be close at the least unless your drummer is offensively loud or the acoustics are terrible. 200 bodies will absorb a lot of bass.
  12. MattGreer


    Jan 27, 2013
    Denver, CO
    A more basic question, perhaps there's a link out there somewhere. Sonically speaking, what is the difference in *tone* from a smaller vs. larger driver? Obviously you're going to get more low end, and perhaps less high end? I assume less high-end means less definition but playing through the JB did not seem to exhibit that. Why do people choose 4 10's and no 12's, or 15's?
  13. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I would seriously consider jumping on that Genz Benz (link I posted) for that price. The new ones I've seen are at least 250 dollars more.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Speaker size does not equate to tone
    15's don't have more low end and 10's don't have more high end.
    There are a lot of variables at play that determine the tone of a cabinet.

    With all things being equal, a cab with a single 15" speaker is going to be louder than a cab with a single 10" speaker. More surface area usually equals louder. That doesn't mean that ALL 1X15's are going to be louder, that's why I said all things being equal. Bassists should select a cabinet that works for them (I.E. puts out enough volume, enjoys the tone, is the right overall size for what they need, etc) without caring about driver size.

    I like my 2X12 cab because it's small, light, loud, and sounds fantastic. If I could get something that was smaller & lighter with all of those qualities I would.

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