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O TBers, I ask thee for amp guidance ...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VifferMike, Feb 12, 2006.

Which one shall be the chosen one?

Poll closed Mar 14, 2006.
  1. Eden WT-335/395/405 (slanted face)

    11 vote(s)
  2. Genz-Benz GBE600

    7 vote(s)
  3. Gallien-Krueger 700RB-II

    16 vote(s)
  4. Yamaha BBT-500H

    5 vote(s)
  5. Ashdown ABM500 Evo II

    27 vote(s)
  6. EA iAMP500

    7 vote(s)
  1. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    OK: It looks like I'll be gigging here and there again in a few months' time. I've got everything I need, want and like except for a reliable 2-unit head that has enough power to fill medium rooms with no PA support. My pre-Fender SWR Bass 350 just ain't gonna cut it (pun intended).

    I need these features in a head:
    - 2-unit size, mono, and rackmountable size (no more room in my 4U case, and I don't wanna lug around anything bigger)
    - Speakon output connectors (I'm not a fan of 1/4" plugs moving high current)
    - 350 to 500 watts @ 4 ohms (my cab is a reasonably efficient 4-ohm 4x10, 800w max)
    - as clear and warm a tone as possible (I'll be playing mainly blues, pop and rock with a little funk and metal here and there)
    - Useful tone shaping (not over-the-top, super-duper parametric eq stuff ... I'll end up fiddling with it too much)
    - As few components as possible made in China (call me an old-school despot, but I've got a theological problem with a communist nation wanting to be a capitalist nation. Decide already!)
    - NO Ampeg, Trace Elliot, Carvin, Peavey, Hartke, Bear-in-grrr!, Kustom or SWR (Heard 'em & seen 'em, and not what I want.)

    I'm willing to spend $500-$600, and will likely buy used. I've narrowed my choices down to these:

    - Eden WT-335/395/405 (with the new simplified eq section and slanted front face)
    - Genz-Benz GBE600 (would match my G-B cab, but that's trivial)
    - Gallien-Krueger 700 RB-II (don't want the 700RB; I've heard stories about unreliability)
    - Yamaha BBT-500H (like the programmable digital-head theory, but how reliable is it?) No longer an option!
    - Ashdown ABM500 Evo II (electronics made in China, dangit, but assembled in jolly ol' England)
    - EA iAMP 500 (not sure it's in my price range used, but looks intriguing)
    - Aguilar AG500 SC (Nice and simple, but are Aggie amps time-tested?)NEW option

    So, genteel thumpahs ... swami asks for your sage guidance. Which one shall be the chosen one?
  2. Volk


    Dec 18, 2005
    South Jersey
    For the money I really believe Ashdown has to be the way to go.
  3. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I think for what you describe, either the Eden or Ashdown would be perfect.
  4. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Having played many blues gigs with my GK 700RBII I highly recommend it.

    It is IMHO a bright sounding amp with everything set at 12 o'clock but with the highs and boost turned down to taste it get's plenty warm.

    And as far as Rock and Funk I think it's perfect (and so do alot of endorsers).

    The EQ is not too complicated and is very powerful.


  5. On the list, I'd lean towards the Ashdown. Off the list, I'd look a little closer at the Aguilar AG500 or AG500SC. They are a bit harder to find used, but pop up every now and again.
  6. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas

    Yep; the Aggie AG 500 is another option. I'd want the SC, since it's mono (and that's a good thing, too, since it's less expensive).

    Turns out that the Yamaha only puts out 250 watts @ 4 ohms and lacks Speakon outputs, so it's probably out now. I guess the Aggie should replace it in the poll, eh?
  7. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    How many of the choices can you try and/or A/B with your ears through your cabinet?
  8. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas

    Probably very few; the only one of the group that I've heard is the Eden (a WT-335). I should be able to play through a 700RB-II next weekend. None of the others have dealers in the Dallas, Texas area to my knowledge, and I'd feel a little odd demo-ing an amp that I can't afford new (which is most on the list) from the dealer I'd theoretically be borrowing it from.

    That's part of the reason I posted the poll; almost all of the brands I counted out were because of sound (The rest are for either aesthetic or place-of-manufacture reasons). Not necessarily through my cab (an early Genz-Benz XB-series 4x10), of course, but through similar boxes. The remaining brands are ones that I've heard a fair amount of satisfaction from by players of the styles I'll be covering.
  9. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Makes a whole truck-load of sense to me... I chose the ABM500-RC over the AG500SC due to price. The Ashdown was less expensive by 300 samolians... at least from the local Aggie dealer out here! They are both extra-fine amps...
  10. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I have the Eden TT 330 (the first generation, the newer one the TT 405 is more power). And IMO it's the best sounding Eden they make.
    Plus it has a ton of connection options, mute, pre/post EQ to DI, from the Eden web site (a feature which I dig BTW):"The Time Traveler has an etirely new feature, an optically coupleddynamic smart booster for bass and treble. This allows for the bass and highs to be solid and well defined from a whisper to a roar. It automatically compensates for playing level so that the sound quality is maintained." Even though I never used it like this, it is stable @ 2 Ohms.

    It's a great sounding amp, plenty of power and light too!!