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New bassist, what amp to buy

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Herculez, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Herculez


    Jul 16, 2017
    I'm starting out with the bass and need to buy an amp. It will be used mostly for home practice but used on occasion for small to medium gigs. In comparison I use a peavey classic 30 115 guitar amp. (30 watts 1x15" speaker). I like to buy the right gear the first time so suggestions are needed. I would like to keep the size down, and have been looking at the GK 200 MB112. i like the clarity and the option of a powered extension cab if needed. Don't worry about price range, though less than $1000 is preferred.
  2. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    The GK is a solid choice. You do need more power with bass than with guitar. Considering you are new to bass and probably haven't developed your own style yet I would consider a versitile less expensive amp like the Fender Rumble series. When you are more advanced you will know more about what fits your playing and can buy accordingly.
  3. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    You are thinking correctly with the MB112...! Made in the USA, and you can add the matching self powered GK 112 cabinet if you need a bigger setup. The extension cab has its own amp so it doesn't have to share the amp in the combo and split the power like with the Rumbles. The GK is only a couple of pounds heavier than the Fender. Clear, articulate, great tone, and reliable as well. The GK amps are solid!
  4. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    You're definitely thinking about this the right way, by trying to "get it right" the first time and by thinking beyond your immediate needs to the prospect of future expansion. Too many people start out with a small combo amp, then replace it with a bigger combo amp, etc., and wind up wishing they'd started with some kind of expandable, modular system in the first place.

    One arrangement that is fairly popular around here is a pair of vertically stacked 2x10 cabinets driven by a separate head. This kind of rig has numerous advantages, one of which being that it gets some of the speakers up closer to your ears so you can hear yourself when standing in front of it. (If you have a cabinet on the floor behind you, blasting at your ankles, you'll be able to hear the bottom end but not much else, even though it might sound great to everyone else in the room.) For now this is probably more than you need, and likely over your current budget, but you might consider buying a head and 2x10 cabinet now with the idea of adding a second matching cabinet sometime down the road.
  5. franklindayala


    Feb 8, 2015
    Aguilar Tone Hammer 350. Bass Head.
    Aguilar GS 112.
    Herculez likes this.
  6. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    GK, followed by whatever letters and numbers are available, at the time...

    ... you nailed it.
    Pumpkin, Kun2112, red_rhino and 3 others like this.
  7. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Is weight a consideration for you?
    Herculez likes this.
  8. kekani


    May 13, 2015
    My first rig was a DIY BFM Jack 112, with a Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0, mostly because I was a cheap ass and didn't know what the heck I was doing (other than being able to build a cab). I played through a few different cabs after that - Ampegs, GK, Hartke. Never picked up anything because I'd always get comments about how good the bass sounded. And I'm still a cheap ass. But I knew I wanted something else.

    Long story short, my current is a fEARful 12/6 cube (went through the regular 12/6, but like the form of the cube better), with an Eden WTX500 as my backup (and when I don't want to drag the rack) and a small 3RU pre/power rack that weighs about 22 lbs. Total cost was less than $1K for the cab and the rack. Built and played through a fEARful 1212/6, but that was overkill for my needs.

    Got my sights on an Audiokenisis cab - just for fun.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Although I use a Mesa Subway stack for pretty much everything now, I also have the GK amp and extension cabinet you mentioned. The GK setup is hard to beat for the price and portability. You'll be able to use just the combo most of the time, then add the powered cab when you need a LOT more. You could even add a 2nd extension cab if you want, for a 3x12 setup. I know first hand this setup kills :)

    I do prefer the Mesa setup, but the GK setup is much smaller and it sounds great and is very budget friendly.
  10. Herculez


    Jul 16, 2017
    Weight is not really a concern as my back is still strong enough. Unfortunately the footprint is the issue. I have young kids that share my practice space. Real estate and the ability to keep the noise dialed appropriately is paramount.
  11. Herculez


    Jul 16, 2017
    I appreciate the responses, so far the rumble 200 and GK seem to fit the need. The Mark Bass series intrigues me but the price point gives me concern. I would pursue these on the used market, and feel good about GK and Fender on the new purchase route. I will research the other amps suggested.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  12. Herculez


    Jul 16, 2017
    Not worried about them playing with the gear. Most of my practice time is in the evening when they sleep. Therefore a big stack is overkill. I prefer the compact design of a combo, with a master volume so I can dial
    In the tone.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Only after a night of Mexican fare, as I usually eat way too many chips, right off the bat...
  14. look into the fender rumble series if you want something with a bit of kick, that won't kill your back
  15. krfoss

    krfoss Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    My first rig was a hartke 2x12 combo, which was great and loud. I then switched to a. Svt 4 pro and 410hlf, which was way too much, but glorious.

    Have you considered a hartke rig? If I didn't end up with my little markbass 2x6 mini, I would have grabbed the hartke hydrive 115 combo. Great thick sound, loud, and really adjustable to get whatever sound you want.

    Other advice is to go and play a bunch of amps and cabs. You may get rave reviews from people up here for one set up, but hate it's sound when you play it, or have too much trouble working your sound out of it.

    Good luck.
    Herculez likes this.
  16. Herculez


    Jul 16, 2017
    I agree with the test drives. End of the day I need to like the sound of the setup I go with. Hard part is knowing where to start, but these suggestions are giving me a great spectrum to choose from.
  17. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    Check out the Carvin MB15. When I ordered mine, I was able to have them install a 400w neo speaker, which made it under 28 lbs and it's already compact. I also added the MBE115 with neo, all in for $810 shipped from San Diego to Los Angeles.
    Herculez and BadExample like this.
  18. Yeah I like the Fender Rumble series. Great tone for a little amp. Not heavy and they don't cost a lot. I have the 25w Rumble for practicing at home and will be picking up a bigger amp soon. But it works fine for practicing at home with my pedals.
    Herculez and Aqualung60 like this.
  19. lowplaces

    lowplaces Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    If you can find an Ampeg PF-50T locally, check it out.
    Herculez likes this.
  20. A GK combo is a good way to start. The nice feature with GK is the ability to attach a powered speaker cab to your combo thus doubling the output. I use a MB 115, 200 watts with a single 15" speaker and can hook up a powered 15" cab also pushing 200 watts. I love a pair of 15s behind me. Another excellent combo under $1000 is the GK MB212. 500watts out of 2 12" speakers with the ability to attach a powered cab. The MB212 is probably all the amp you will ever need at about 37lbs in weight and is excellent for home practice with external input for music and output for headphones. Definitely worth a look.:thumbsup:
    Herculez and MCF like this.