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New Band, Time for New Amp? Help me Decide!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThirstyMonkey, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    So here's my situation, I had been playing in a classic rock cover band (quit over a year ago). We did our own sound and lights and played everything from dive bars to chain sports bars. For those gigs I mostly used a Line 6 LowDown 300. I'm not a gear snob and given the type of music we were playing and the venues, it served my needs.

    Recently I joined the backing band of a local singer/songwriter. He plays dedicated music venues that have built in sound systems and sound guys. In fact, I'll be playing my first gig with him in a few weeks opening for a group that was big in the 80s and still tours regularly. I think its time to get a new amp.

    Because of the venues we'll be playing, I don't need my amp to be anything other than my monitor. We'll have plenty of PA support. I also want to take advantage of being able to get to a venue and quickly and easily unload my gear. I'm thinking a 2x10 combo amp, maybe a Rumble 500 or an Ampeg BA 210 would work.

    My questions: Are these good choices? Are there better alternatives? Will I come across as a total rube bringing small solid state amps to gigs? Like I said, I'm not a gear snob, but I do want to come across as professional as I can be. Any and all advice is appreciated.
  2. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    The Rumble 500 combo would be an excellent choice. I have even used my 100 as stage monitor in venues like you describe. I have a kick back stand I put it on to point it at me. I use my 500 and a 2x10 extension cab for gigs where we do our own sound. You might want to check out the Fender Rumble Club in the Amps and Cabs forum.
  3. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    The biggest potential problem of using a small combo amp as a monitor is that if you stand right in front of it so that it's blasting your ankles, you won't be able to hear yourself (except for the lows) and it therefore doesn't work very well as a monitor. So, you might want to look at combos that are designed to "tilt back," or use some kind of stand to point it up toward your head as @Gravedigger Dav said.
  4. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    The Rumble sounds extremely muffled in my experience. If you like a more dubby or less defined tone, it will be fine, but if you're looking for anything that cuts through, I can't recommend it. There are literally thousands of people who disagree with me, so it's best to try it for yourself.

    I highly doubt that you would come across as unprofessional with a combo amp.

    What's your budget? The Mesa subway line would probably do what you need it to, but they're much more expensive than the Rumble you mentioned. I also like the markbass combo, although I've never owned one so I can't speak to its reliability. I've just played them at GC and really enjoyed it. The markbass combos are extremely mid-rangey though. I personally like this sound a lot, but other people absolutely hate it.
    jchrisk1, alaskaleftybass and Pumpkin like this.
  5. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I completely disagree with your opinion regarding the Rumble. It is the best selling line of bass amps worldwide. I find it to be very articulate. When I purchased my first one (the 500), I chose it over Ampeg and MarkBass because of tone primarily. Now I do agree the OP should try it for himself as we all have different tastes.
    As to acceptability, the average person in the audience can't even identify what is on stage with you. There will be some gear snobs that might look down their nose, but they would only be exposing their ignorance. In my experience, I have seen a few raise on eyebrow when I bring it in, then raise both when they hear it played.
    BTW, it is really loud.
    Bodeanly and Aqualung60 like this.
  6. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    It all depends on what you like. Within the last couple of years I purchased 2 amps that I had read great things about on here and ended up not liking either of them. So it is best for you to be able to listen to them for yourself. If you are set on a combo the Fender Rumble and Ampeg BA are pretty different from each other and either could work for you. You could also check out combos from TC Electronic, Gallien Krueger, Markbass and Ashdown just to list a few. Any of those could work for you. Good luck and let us know what you get.
  7. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    the best description that I ever heard of the Rumble's sound is that it sounds like it has a wet towel draped over it at all times.
    alaskaleftybass and Lvjoebass like this.
  8. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    Hey JLW, have you actually played out of a Rumble and if so, which version? I'm not trying to be snarky or argumentative, just really curious. I did not like the original Rumbles at all, but I have to admit I was pretty impressed playing out of Rumble 500 V3 with a Rumble 410 cab. It was pretty articulate and did not sound at all like the usual Fender Tone Stack. I don't own one nor do I see myself buying one anytime soon, but if it were to show up on backline I would have no problem gigging with it.
    DrColossus68 and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. ThirstyMonkey


    Jun 27, 2011
    That is one of the reasons I have the amp on the short list, it's designed so that it can tilt back.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  10. JLW


    Dec 5, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    the most recent rumble 500. i think it had 2x10 speakers
  11. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    Ok thanks. That's not how I heard it, but we all hear things differently and I don't know if the 210 sounds much different from the 410. All good info for the OP though on his quest. Thank you.
  12. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    There are of course dedicated powered bass wedges, I think Markbass makes a nice one that you might check out. I've played through the Rumble 500 2x10. Not bad at all. If you are looking at a combo like the Rumble 500, consider putting it on a tilt stand as it will make it easier for you to hear. Your Line6 can be used on a stand or tilt back device and serve you just fine to.

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  13. Don't forget Gallien Kureger. They make excellent combos here in the USA. A good used MB212 will serve you well as would a MB210. You can also add powered extension cabs. :thumbsup:
  14. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Pay no attention to the anti-Fender hate speech & Rumble bashers. Keep an open mind and go audition everything in your price range. That being said, +1 for the Fender Rumble 500. It will do all that you require and more. Very versatile active four band EQ. Well defined tone. Handles a low B and drop tuning with ease. Custom designed Eminence woofers specifically for the Rumble cabinets and combos. Ear candy that is simply delicious at its price point. Sounds better than most amps costing two or three times more.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  15. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are looking at a combo simply because of the quick load in/out aspect?
    The Ampeg BA-210 is a pretty good choice and the brand will fend off the gear snobs. But I usually fart in the general direction of gear snobs.

    Hartke has the KB12 and KB15 kickback combos, but I can't say I've ever tried one. I don't like the fact that you can't add an extension speaker to it.

    A Markbass CMD 102P has a kickback design and will more than meet your needs volume-wise, but its tone is a subjective matter of taste. And they aren't exactly cheap.

    But for just a bit more money, you could get a fEARless F112 and your choice of micro amp. The cabinet is also wedge shaped, smaller and lighter than most combos, and is transparent enough that you choose the head that best suits your tone. This would also lend itself to being able to add more cabs if the venue requires more stage sound.
    Jared Lash, smogg and Bill Whitehurst like this.
  16. Even though I haven't played one, the new Ampeg BA210 is probably the best option as it has a tilt back. I've got the older BA210 which doesn't have the tilt back.
  17. Pumpkin


    May 19, 2016
    Washington, DC
    You can have a combo and be a gear snob, it just has to be a Markbass :roflmao:

    In all seriousness a tilt back plan is fine, but it does limit your options. If you have a cab and separate head, the head will probably fall off. For maximal options, consider an elevated cab, with a separate head. Do note that if you use a kickback stand of something to elevate your cab, your are probably going to experience a drop in your rumbly bass sound. From what I've heard and experienced, the best way to get the deep lows is to have a cabinet couple to a nice, resonant floor.

    Count me as a -1 on the Fender Rumbles. There are legions of supporters of them here but it is not accurate to describe them as articulate. I have owned them, played them and seen them played live. If you like a warm retro tone, they're great. If you want literally any other sound option, you're better off going elsewhere.

    A budget would help with this question. Without having one in mind, I would recommend a 1x12 or 2x10 for a monitor, with a 300-500 watt head. Every major bass amp manufacturer will have options that fit that range, so your choice should be driven by price and tone more than size and shape.
  18. PraiseBassing

    PraiseBassing Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2017
    For what you're talking about, a tilt back design would be good and most beneficial. I personally preferred the sound of the GK MB210 over the ampeg when I tried them and went that route, but the tilt back wasn't a desire for me.
  19. Pro rig would be a fearless 112 or 210, both of which will kick back like a monitor wedge. Get a small class D amp of your choice and you'll have great sound and an easy loadin.
  20. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    If you want a combo go GK...anything GK kills...period.
    jchrisk1 likes this.

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