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Oh My.... Which Micro amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mausc, May 12, 2011.

  1. mausc


    May 12, 2011
    I'm a newbie registered on this site but I've been lurking and reading a lot of posts. Now I think I need a little advice.

    I'm a part-timer with 30+ years of experience and (like most of you) have gradually move away from double stacks and all that crap of the 70s. I'm currently playing through a 10 year old GK R400RB/210-II combo. It's been a dead-reliable, and versatile amp. But now, partially due to GAS and the desire to become even more portable I'm building a new rig. Just picked up an SWR Golight 2x10 and I'm pretty happy with the ound, size, and weight. Now I'd like to pluck one of those new micro amps off the tree and have a nice little amp package.

    I play primarily MM5s with DR lowriders but occasionally grab my 75 P-bass or my Signature Jazz (both passive). I play primarily rock and my sound tends to be kinda Geddy Lee growly. I rarely slap so that super transparent, bright thing isn't that important to me.

    Heard and read good things about the GB Shuttle 6.0 and the MBfusion. Anything else I should consider?

    Appreciate your thoughts
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    there are a ton of other ones you should consider. markbass, aguilar, ea, gb streamliners...pretty much everyone has a micro these days. my favorites these days are the ampeg portaflexes, though. for price vs tone, i think they're pretty unbeatable.
  3. bombpop14


    Apr 10, 2010
    Irvine, California USA
    Endorsing Artist Ampeg Amps
    I have the GK MB-500 and I love it. If you were happy with your 400rb you will find the tone familiar. I tried the MB fusion and found the tube preamp moot, but you might see it otherwise.
  4. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Well, as a fellow who was wondering the same thing not long ago..

    For me money is always an object.., so I had narrowed it down to..
    GK MB500
    Markbass LMII or LMIII (used most likely)
    Carvin BX500

    I had also kept my eyes peeled for anything affordable & "decent" that may come my way...trouble is the good deals usually go quick.

    What I ended up with was a Shuttle 6.0(Used in the TB classifieds,thanks guys)
    I had heard some about these, but they always seemed shadowed by the 9.0 , or recently the Streamliner..
    Tried at practice the other nite..couples with 2 epifani 112s I also just got (from the classifieds..thanks guys again)

    VERRRY NICE.Very nice indeed.
    I won't give a full review right now, but I play a 5 string, and I like my LOWS.(I don't go for the crispy /glassy/piercing highs..I like lows...and mid his;))
    Just thought I'd mention that as I read a few places that the 6.0 "didnt have the lows of this"...or "had more upper hi mids than that".Which scared me to be reading all this after I sent the cash for my new Shuttle.

    PLENTY o LOWS.(actually , plenty of everything)
    Now of course, this is all IME, IMO,ymmv (I just bought it, of course its gonna be the best amp ever;))
    So, take my opinion for what it is.
  5. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I'm sure this isn't the answer you're looking for, but if you really like the sound of your current rig, couldn't you pull the amp from your combo and use that with the new cab? (I think they're constructed that way, but I could be wrong...)

    I had a MarkBass LMII for a few days and it sounded great. Very clean, though, if you're looking for growl you might need a pedal. I have really loved GB gear, though I've never tried any of the micros. I'm really itchin' to try the new Aguilar. Sounds like just what you'd want, but I can't speak from experience.....

  6. mausc


    May 12, 2011
    I do like my little RB400 combo, but I don't want to yank the amp. One of the perks of the Golight was the light weight and transportability. I'd like to get the same from a head. I sometimes do small duo gigs with an acoustic guitar guy. Those gigs are 2 hours a way and I'd love to throw the cab in the trunk and carry the bass and head in a gig bag. The new micros fit that bill.

    The MB500 is another option. I've heard various opinions on the difference between the 500 and the fusion. Because I've had such good luck with GK products they obviously need to be in the mix.

    Bassdirty, you and I think alike. Budget is always in the mix. I picked up the Golight for $550 delivered, brand new. I am very open to used options. Seems MBs have been around a while and show up used quite a bit. I'm not opposed to that option but I LOVE your comments on the shuttle 6.0.

    I'm fairly certain I can find almost any amp and make it sound pretty good. All my basses sound terrific acoustically so I'm not looking to make something from nothing. But I do appreciate the opinions of those with access to more amps than I do.
  7. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    Lot's of good micro heads around these days. Thus far, I have been partial to the MarkBass LMII and the Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0.

    The LMII is a bit warmer while the Shuttle is a bit more "modern". I find that the shuttle makes a nice compliment to my 700RB-II.

    I'm also itching to spend some more time with the GB Streamiliner heads.

    Good luck in your quest.
  8. danny221


    Jan 16, 2010
    I have to give another vote to the Shuttle 6.0. I bought the GB Shuttle 6.0-12t combo used about two years ago and I have used it almost every day since. I have used the head with all sorts of other speaker configurations and it is awesome with all of them (Epifani 410UL, Epifani 112UL--I am looking for a second one of these if any one has one for sale, Mesa Boogie 210, Mesa Boogie 115). I used different combinations for different gigs and the Shuttle 6.0 always does the job. FYI the only thing Im not crazy about is the GB speaker cuz it gets a little brittle and hi-fi sounding for me sometimes.

    Happy buying!
  9. Carvin BX500 or BX250! The BX500 has a tube pre, the BX250 is solid state. Great little amps.
  10. I went with the Shuttle 6.0 and then sold a Sunn Coliseum-300, which was a darn fine amp...but I didn't need it after I got the Shuttle. I get everything I need from the Shuttle...been playing it for more than a year and I've been very happy with every note while playing it!
  11. mwalle1


    Apr 19, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I think the SWR Headlite should be considered, I like my stuff to match, but that's just me. I do have the Headlite/Golight stuff and love the different sounds you can get out of it. The knobs are very hard to read though. But the amp can go to three usable tones very quickly. The Aural Enhancer knob can be switched off or Marcus Miller(yellow) or standard (green) SWR tone. With these three tricks you can get very far in tone quickly in a wide range of rooms. Plenty of mojo for your single cab micro rig, and never gets hot.
  12. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Here I go again! Dave at Avatar is packaging his bass cabs together with some Genz Benz heads for discount prices right now. A Shuttle 6.0 with a TB153 or B212 would be righteous.

    Avatar Speakers.
  13. ddbassGA

    ddbassGA Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    I went through this same search about 6 months ago, coming from a GK 400RB into a BagEnd15. Since the nearest store to test heads is an hour 1/2 away I took the approach of buying used and ABing here with my own gear. Started with a Carvin BX500 for $280 and could have stopped right there. It's larger than most and has not much tube effect. But great semi para EQ for mids + compressor makes it very tone friendly.

    Decided to try a Shuttle 6 and liked it immediately. More tube gain effect I felt and tone and contour buttons very familiar to GK user.
    Wanted to try the Markbass tube so sold the Shuttle. The Markbass tube had really no tube effect so I sold it and bought another Shuttle. It is my crrent gigging head into a Berg 210 (+ 115 when needed).

    Had to try the GK MB Fusion so bought one new on sale from MF. Liked it. It died within one week. Sent it back. Very disappointing CS and TS from GK (TS told me to stay away from MB Fusion!) so took a refund rather than replacement.

    Now for the SAME money as the GK head I bought an Ampeg PF500 head AND PF115 cab. And I couldn't be more pleased. No tube but more Ampeg tube tone than any of the others. Plenty loud. Good tone control + compressor and great output options. I will start gigging this rig Saturday and well see how it hangs.

    I clealy didn't try them all but I found smiles with the Shuttle and PF500.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I just picked up a GK MB200 and have been using it with an Epifani 2x10 and its sounds great. - and it was CHEAP.

    The thing about GB gear is that it is really nice, but cheap it ain't...
  15. ddbassGA

    ddbassGA Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Athens, GA
    I dunno, I see Shuttle 6.0's going for $400-450 all the time on here. Seems GB and GK (and Mark for that matter) are at similar price points, for similar power ratings.

    At $399 MAP new the Ampeg PF500 is a bargain. When they hit the used market, it'll be stupid, like $300 or less?
  16. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    JimmyM mention the Ampeg PF500, which I'll bet is a good choice. But as you've already have a cab and like the Geddy kind of tone, the GK MB500 or the Orange bass terror should be something to think about. The GK is probably cheaper.
  17. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    I'm sticking with the 20-25 pounders on my quest, unless a small amp fools my ears into thinking that it's the same (and the price is equal, too).
  18. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck

    Sep 19, 2006
    Plainfield Illinois
    My current live rig is a 4 ohm Avatar Neo 212 and GB Shuttle 6.0. Very loud and very light!
  19. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    +1 (Thats why I went used)

    The only ones I hadnt tried were the GB and the Carvin.
    I read the carvin threads a Million times, and It was a roller coaster as I did.I wanted it, then people with reliability issues, then I didn't want one..then I did...

    And then I started reading bout BG reliability/customer service (Knock wood)..and I was sold.If I had to buy sight unseen...it would be the Shuttle.
  20. mausc


    May 12, 2011
    I appreciate the comments. After reading all this and catching a local guy playing thru a Shuttle 6.0 I decided that seems like the best route. Found a used one (with the carry-bag) on eBay in great shape and payed $425 shipped.

    Im excited to get it here and play around with it. If somehow it isn't what I'm looking for I'll turn around and flip it and move on to one of the others. But as a part-timer only playing small/medium gigs I'm sure I can get it to sound like what I want.

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