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Newbie: TOO many choices!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by znegative, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    Hey. Newbie here. I bought my first bass just a few months ago. It's a Fender Squier P-Bass. It came with a tiny little 15 watt amp (Fender Rumble 15). Nice enough for practice and what not, but I'm thinkin its time to upgrade the amp!
    I have no clue what I'm doing here. I don't think I want another combo amp. Any suggestions? Oh...I am in a band, who isn't doing not more than practice right now, but we intend to play at parties, bars, etc., in the next few months.
    Any help, suggestions would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. How much $$$$$ do you want to spend, what kind of music do you play ?.....the sky's the limit !
  3. How much are you looking to spend, and what size do you want it to be?

    EDIT: slow post
  4. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Agreed. Too many choices, but you didn't give any input as to your budget, the style of music you play, the other members of your band and their gear, the sound you like, the bass you play, etc.

    In some cases, an Ampeg SVT and an 8x10 is the best. In others, a Demeter pre with a 2K watt power amp into a Schroeder 2x12 is perfect. In your case, a combo amp might still suffice. There are some great combos out there.

    edit: slow post.

    edit #2: D'oh!
  5. haha, this thread is probably going to be full of slow posts
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If I were just a little bit slower, I'd suggest to the OP to name a price, for starters.
  7. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    Thank you for the replies. Just a note, I don't mind the slow posts! :)
    We play rock. Stuff like 3 doors Down, Seether, Seven Mary Three, BuckCherry...
    My budget right now is under $1000.00.
    The guitarist in the band plays an Ibanez Prestige and runs it through a PA system.
    @ Tom Once Dead: As for size, if you are talking about watts, I really have no clue what I need. Sorry. That is one of my dilemas at the moment. I don't want to over do it right now, and of course...I don't want to under do it either. I do know that whatever I end up with, when I bring it the place where we practice (the guitarists house) I will be able to run it through his PA system. I hope this helps, as I said I'm a newbie. Also...I'm not opposed to another combo...however, I am under the assumption right now that the head is the most important piece. If I'm wrong about that, please tell me. :)
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    For 1000 bucks, you do have alot of options. To keep it fairly simple, look at amps that put out around 300-500 watts, (or more) into 4 ohms, and efficient cabs, (1 bigger 4 ohm cab, or a couple of smaller 8 ohm cabs), to match the head. Play through them yourself, don't use our opinions or sound bites as a guide, only your ears, in real life, with your bass. Have fun and get crackin'.
  9. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    @Ricken Boogie: Thank you for your help :)
    Sounds like it might be time for me to grab my bass and head to a place where they sell lots of diffferent setups and spend the day, testing 'em out!
    Oh...and I have no idea what you are talking about (yet) when you say "into 4 ohms and efficient cabs" Sounds important, but I'm a REAL newbie here, so at the moment I'm lost. :)
  10. kayak


    Sep 17, 2006
    Ohms is the resistance to current flow. Some speakers are designed to be 4 ohms, some 8 ohms, and some are something else. A given model from a given manufacturer may be available in both 4 and 8 ohm models. Theoretically, these two models, in the same cabinet, should sound the same.

    If you have two, 4 ohm cabinets hooked up together to an amplifier, the amplifier is seeing the two cabinets as one, 2 ohm cabinet, which will put a lot of stress on the amplifier unless it is specifically designed to run a 2 ohm load.

    If you have two, 8 ohm cabinets hooked up together to an amplifier, the amplifier is seeing the two cabinets as one, 4 ohm cabinet. Again, if the amplifier is specifically designed to handle 4 ohm loads, this is fine. But if the amp is designed to only handle 8 ohm (or higher) loads, this can put a lot of stress on the amplifier.

    "efficient cabs": speaker efficiency refers to volume per watt, comparable to cars and miles per gallon. A more efficient cabinet will give you more volume per watts. This is typically found as an SPL (Sound Pressure Level) specification, and a lot of companies make a reading by applying one watt of signal to the speaker, while measuring the volume one meter away (1w/1m), and the specification will be in decibels (db). When looking at SPL ratings, the higher the db number, the more efficient the cabinet is.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Well, most bass amps run full steam at 4 ohms. There are many exceptions, down to 2 ohms, but by and large, assume a 4 ohm minimumm on most amps. So, that means you want a combined total of 4 ohms for your speaker cabs. That would mean either one 4 ohm cab, or two 8 ohm cabs. As a "general" guideline. Just keep in mind, when amp shopping, you want your cab or cabs, to match the "ideal" load for the amp. Have fun.
  12. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    Kayak and RickenBoogie:
    Once again, thanks for the help.
    Amazingly...I get it now!
    Okay...it's off to the music store! Thanks!
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    ++1 best possible way to go for a newb like yourself, go out and try try try .. don't get too hung up in the techno details (believe me, there are plenty) ..some techno details are important, some are not. TB is a great place to come ask questions after you try stuff and BEFORE you buy.

    kinda two ways to look at your newbie situation.

    1. You can go used and sift though as much gear as you can until you find the sound/tone that fits your needs and what you want to hear from a rig and your bass.

    2. You can do a ton of listening and blow your $1000 on a solid near-pro rig and hope you get it right the first time. And I'm not saying this way can't work.

    Keep in mind that, just like any new vs. used situation, new stuff looses a huge chunk of value right out the door, whereas used stuff that is in good shape to begin with, and then is reasonably well cared for, will hold its value pretty well.

    good luck newb .. and welcome :cool:
  14. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    @ pfschim:
    Thanks for the input :)
    Thanks for the welcome :)

    I will be taking this approach; go test new stuff, or whattrever I can get my hands on, then buy used. I'm not looking for anything real fancy right at the moment, just bigger than my little 15 watts. My main objective right now is to LEARN how to play. Get good, get accurate, (look cool) then worry about all the techy stuff.

    Off topic:
    The band I am in wants to do parties and such, however, there are two of us who want to use the cover songs, strictly as practice. We really want to focus and commit to original work.

  15. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    You're on the right track bro. Keep us informed as you shop for amps. Best of luck.
  16. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    @ $1000 or less, check into Acoustic, Gallien Krueger, Markbass, Ashdown, and even into the Traynor tube head & cabs. Lots of tonal variation there, so bring your bass and give them a good test drive.
  17. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    As all have said, test drive... but since you are young and so likely have little $$, buy used. Pick a budget, decide on a brand and model and start shopping Ebay or your local Craigslist (or TB classifieds). MUCH more bang for the buck.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    What sounds good in the store may or may not sound good with your band.
    I suggest you post the amps your interested in on TB before you buy.

    Here are a few links that may help you out:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=442966 Links-30 light weight cabs,amps, combos

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5041266 Buying combo 1 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=510214 2 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=163735 Combos vs Head/Cab

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2968494 10s v. 12s v. 15s v. 18s 1 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=515702 2 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519459 4x10 vs. 2-2x10 vs. 2x10/1x15 vertical stack

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=475615 Happy with my rig 1 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=455442 2 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280571 Mini-rigs of doom 1 of 2
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=347456 2 of 2
  19. bfc


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fenton, MO
    You should definitely look at Carvin....
  20. znegative


    Feb 21, 2009
    @ Big Old Harry: YOUNG? Well, I'd like to think I am a 43 year old youngin'! LOL Guess you could say I got started much, much later than intended. Now that my kids are all but grown up, and I have one grandchild, (2 sometime today...daughter is having her second as we speak) I think it's time I did something I WANT! LOL

    @Stumbo: Thanks for the links!

    @ Everyone else: You guys are all great! It's nice to have found a place where people are willing to help "the new guy" :)
    much thanks and appreciation,

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