Newbie Bassist Wants to Buy Right Gear..Help!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by freebassone, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. freebassone


    Feb 11, 2005
    Rookie here...
    Can't believe I waited this long to feel what it's like to create that beautiful bass sound! Wow...I love her.

    But now I need to get some real equipment and my head is spinning with all the options.

    The facts:

    - I play and love a lot of heavy, warm, and throbbing music inc. reggae, heavy soul, jazz, etc.. I love all kinds of music though and want the flexibility to change my sound to suit a variety of styles.

    - I've got about $1000 to spend on an amp and cab. (I'm under the impression that this is the wisest move for flexibility over a combo.)

    - I don't mind buying used if it will get me more for my buck and is generally safe.
    - This will be the only equipment I have for gigs small and large so flexibility & portability would be cool although 2nd to sound quality of course.
    - I don't want to screw up and buy the wrong thing.
    - A guitar center guy is telling me to go with a Gallien Kruger 1000 something.
    - I hear a lot about Ampeg but was told their best known for rock sounds.

    Would love any advice as to what amp and what cab some of you cats might buy in my shoes.

    (also, I have an old epiphone 4 string active bass that I'm guessing will need to be replaced soon too. Hoping I can just get it setup properly and hangin but would love any thoughts re: a flexible bass too!)


  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Ampeg is definately for rock. GK would be decent, especially if you have only $1000. Perhaps you should go with an Avatar cab, as they are cheap and apparently sound awesome(do a search on here). For a head, you might want to look at getting a rack, as they are very flexible. For power, check out for a good Crown amp at a very good price. Crown amps are very heavy, but they sound good as any other and are a lot cheaper on that website. For a preamp, take what you get to Guitar Center and just try out what they have.
  3. For your budget I'd recommend a Hartke HA 3500 head (I'd recommend you jump on that, the price is very good) They're very versatile, have a tube and SS preamp and enough power.

    and an Avatar cab of some sort(a 4x10 should fulfill all your needs for now).


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I play funk, r&b, jazz, blues, gospel, and a little reggae and I'm making the jump from solid state to tube for that warm tone you've described.

    Have you thought about the Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout? You get the best of both worlds here. On one hand it's a 300 watt combo with incredible power and richness (and 49 pounds light, which will be a factor down the road). On the other hand, you simply remove a couple screws and the 300 watt head comes off to become even more portable (13 punds) and is able to be used on a larger half or full stack. I played one of these about 2 weeks ago, and I'm hooked! It's my next major purchase in a couple of months. :hyper:

    There are TONS of threads on this little puppy. Do a search for Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout, or search posts from TB'ers like Benjamin Strange (who used to work @ Mesa), or HumbleRumble.

    Hope this helps!
  5. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    I'm gonna throw in my recommendation from experience..

    Ashdown MAG300 Head (under $300 online now) - 307 watts at 4 ohms, grrrrrreat sound, dynamic tones. Easy to use and very easy to transport. Saw one on for $259 last night.

    Dr. Bass cabinets - I use one of their 2x12 cabs ($299), rated for 500w rms. Bought mine at 8 ohm, so I can add on later (since the head is minimum 4). It thumps, hums, and everything in the middle. 2 12" eminence speakers with a leson tweeter. If you're looking for a full stack, you could easily get a 1x15 + 4x10, or 2 2x12 cabs, or any other combination of two 8 ohm cabs for less than $600. Plus each Dr. Bass cabinet is about 20-25% lighter than Avatar. has a price list and ordering info.

    There ya go, a full stack that you will love for $900 or less, plus shipping (for me, $40 total).

    Just my 3 cents (cdn)
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Used Eden WT-400, used Eden D-410XLT. You won't be needing a new rig for a long time.

    P.S. [butthead] ... hhhhhhheheheheh heheh hhhhhhheheheh ... he said ... "throbbing" ... hhheheh heheheheh heh heh ... [/butthead]
  7. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004

  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  9. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Used Sunn tube head from Ebay and an Avatar cab has treated me very well

    I also have a Hartke 5000 I picked up for $350 used so check around your guitar shop for used gear.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    cant go wrong with Munji's suggestion.

    brand new, i like SWR's Workingman's series, which is funny, cause i never liked the regular amps and Goliath series. really warm tone, nice low B'ness, and the EQ is voiced quite nice. lows adds a big cushy feel, low mids adds a sweet punch, upper mids can cut out that annoying papery edge, and the highs adds a nice dash of openness.

    head over to MF, where they're having a cool sale: a nice 4004 head, with their 4x10 for only $730! add a 1x15 for about $250, and you've got a full rig that costs a little less than a grand:



    this commercial brought to you by joker! ;) but seriously, no affliation, just pointing out a great deal.
  11. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    The guy at GC is steering you in the right direction with he GK 1001RB-II. 18 lbs, 700 watts, sounds great, quality gear, reasonably priced. I'd go in there with $600 cash and see if you walk out the door with it, but don't pay more than $650 because there are other dealers that will give it to you for that price. Besides the GK the only suggestion I've seen that really makes sense is the WT400(used) and the Eden cab. You can probably get into that rig for less than 1K and have a quailty rig. If you go with the GK I'd recommend looking for a used Bergantino cab or buy one Berg HT112 now and the EX112 later. These will give you flexibilty to go large or small as needed. With the GK and Berg cabs that's another rig that last you a LONG time. Bottom line, used will give you quality gear at a reasonable price(if you can find what you're looking for), new on a budget the GK stands alone(also look at the 700RB-II) . Low priced new gear will give you what you pay for.

    Suggestion- do a search on the WT400 and the GK 1001RB-II. Both are fine amps and should fit right into what you want.

    Oh yeah, stay away from Ampeg!!!!
  12. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    Btw, here is the aforementioned Ashdown MAG300H with the Dr Bass 212 cab. I love them. No need for a second cab at all when playing in a church of about 200 or so.. Fills it juuuust fine. And did I mention the tone.. the tooooonnnne

  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Lots of good suggestions here...especially the Workingman Series rig (I agree with Joker about liking WM series cabinets better) or the WM cabinets with a Hartke head.
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Grab an Eden setup. I like the suggestion from Munji. With that rig, you'd be setup for a long time.....long time.

  15. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Sounds great, but not enough volume if you're in a loud rock band. I LOVE the eden tone, but none of their heads have the right power options for me. On the other hand, I have done outdoor shows on LARGE stages with a single 2x10-XLT, backing an Eden Navigator with a 1200 watts pushing it. IMO (and proven fact for me) speaker surface doesn't account for 10% of big CLEAN power can do. I just sold my WT-550 and Epifani 310 for an Eden Navigator, QSC RMX1850_HD (2400 watts at 4 ohms bridged), and one of the new Mesa Powerhouse 410's. I just got home from the first gig out, and it was an unbelieavably GREAT setup. Something like this might set you back a few more bucks at current used rates, but I promise this will be the LAST rig you will ever need to buy.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, I could agree with that. Navigator, D-410XLT (4-ohm), PLX 1604, sure. That's a fair amount more than $1K. You could probably get it all but the power amp for about a $K.
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    (used) Good head w/400 to 800W (like a GK 1001RB II) or
    good preamp (ampeg, etc) + whatever decent poweramp you can find for around $200 to $300;
    (new) BBE BMax preamp + QSC RMX850
    (new -- good luck finding one used) Schroeder 1210 or 1212 cab.
  18. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I know this is off topic, but this pic has to be the funniest I've seen in a long time. :D